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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - Essay Example

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a syndrome of disordered learning and disruptive behavior that is not caused by any serious underlying physical or mental disorder and that has several subtypes characterized by inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. …
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Download file to see previous pages Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a syndrome of disordered learning and disruptive behavior that is not caused by any serious underlying physical or mental disorder and that has several subtypes characterized by inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. According to Hallowell, who previously has been a paid consultant to Eli Lilly, "It is impossible to diagnose attention deficit disorder properly (in minutes)," he said. "Absolutely impossible." He is concerned that general practitioners, who often have just minutes with patients, will misdiagnose ADHD. (Elizabeth Cohen).If the diagnosis of attention deficit disorder were as simple as saying that a child is bored and can not sit still, Einstein, Ted Turner, and Bill Gates could all have been considered to have had attention deficit disorder. One should remember that not every wiggle of a small child is a symptom of ADHD. Not only can other conditions mimic attention deficit disorder, but one could even say that some doctors are trying to medicate away what are essentially normal childhood behaviors. As a result, ADHD is overdiagnosed in children, and harmful medications used to treat the condition are overprescribed.However, there is a big danger in using medications such as methylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, and pemoline when treatment is not necessary.
.For children who truly have attention deficit disorder, methylphenidate (Ritalin) and other medications have been very effective, but the drug is not at all effective for those who do not have the disorder. In fact, the drug only makes matters worse.
Hallowell said many people in today's hurried world may look like they have ADHD when they really don't. "The symptoms of ADHD can look just like the symptoms of modern life," he said. "I would speculate that 55 percent of the population has what I call pseudo-ADD, sort of a severe case of modern life. They're going so fast, they're doing so much, they're so saturated with information overload that they look distracted, impulsive and restless."
At this time no laboratory or imaging tests can indicate reliably whether a child does or does not have ADHD. A diagnosis relies only on behavioral symptoms and ruling out other disorders. Many experts believe that the disorder is both over- and under diagnosed, depending on a variety of factors. Diagnosis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is difficult for some of the following reasons:
Arguments that ADHD is Over diagnosed in Some Children.

The popularity methylphenidate (Ritalin) has encouraged some parents and teachers to pressure physicians into prescribing this standard ADHD drug for children, usually Caucasian boys, who are simply aggressive or who have poor grades. In one study of fifth graders in two different cities, 18% and 20% of Caucasian boys were being treated with medications. In one center, after careful testing, ADHD was the actual diagnosis in only 11% of children referred for ADHD and 18% had no disability. Others were simply poorer learners or had no problems at all.
In one study, children more likely to receive medication were young for their grade, indicating they may have been socially and intellectually immature, rather than behaviorally impaired.
Being poor and growing up in a single parent household contribute to emotional and behavioral problems. The significant increase in these problems has also paralleled an increase in the diagnosis of ADHD children, who may simply be responding to social and economic problems.
Speaking at the 1998 National Institutes of Health Conference on ADHD, William B. Carey of the Philadelphia Children's Hospital, concluded, "What is now most often described as ADHD in the United States appears to be a set of normal behavioral variations. This discrepancy leaves the validity of the construct (of ADHD as a 'disease') in doubt. "
"The medical community has elevated Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to the status of diagnoses, and most people believe that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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