Friday, 4 July 2014

ADD/ADHD Epidemic! (More about DSM5)

ADHD Epidemic.

                           According to the statistics,ADHD had tripled in the past twenty years.  Diagnosed in 11% of all American kids and 20% of teenage boys!
                            Have the psychiatrists gone nuts?   I've been in  practice for many years,  long before there was such a diagnosis as ADD.  I've seen and dealt with many hyperactive kids with varying degrees of attention deficiency.   Many of them were suffering from boredom.  Many of them were hyperactive and had difficulty sitting still.  Many of them were referred by over stressed teachers in overpacked classes because of the disruption they were causing and the stress the teachers felt.  Often the teacher made the diagnosis! Very few of them actually had a mental disorder and very often moderate alterations in school or parenting techniques resulted in significant improvement.  As a general practitioner, I looked after many children who would today be classified as ADHD.  Most of them grew into normal, productive adults. That is, if we can  define normal!!   And there's the rub, very often the psychiatrists can't  do  that and more and more of what might have been considered the normal  reactions to the stresses and difficulties of life have become 'medicalized'.  I am certainly not saying ADD/ADHD doesn't exist, I am saying that more and more normal/borderline normal kids are being given a diagnosis of a mental disease.  Treatment often consists of lenthy courses of stimulant or antipsychotic drugs that contribute to the patients suffering with complications some of them serious, of their own.  We don't yet know the long term effects on the young brain. The drug companies are pushing their products particularly by means  of direct advertising of prescription drugs to the public, something that is prohibited in almost every other country besides the U.S.   
                              More recently, adult ADD/ADHD has become a popular disease.
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