Adhd: Attention Deficit Hyper Diagnosing Essay

1159 words - 5 pages


In 1966 Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) carried the label Minimal Brain Damage and the medical community only recognized a few severe cases a year. This is a stark contrast to the 6.4 million children in the U.S. that were diagnosed in the last two years. Even more concerning is the 53 percent increase in ADHD cases in the last decade. Medical professionals, parents and scholars are advancing the idea that childhood ADHD is being over diagnosed in staggering numbers consequently creating erroneous statistics in regards to ADHD. Questions are being raised in the mental health field about diagnosing four years with ADHD when ...view middle of the document...

When a teacher in a crowded classroom compares the maturity of a five year old to that of a six year old, a five year old, child will be conceived to have symptoms of ADHD. The Michigan State study concludes that these children are not merely young when they start school but they are young relative to their classmates and that they are being medicated simply for acting their age. In this day and age, age is proving to skew the numbers in ADHD statistics.
Teachers bring ADHD to the table: they notify parents and school counselors when they believe a child is displaying symptoms of ADHD. ADHD has no known concrete diagnostic tools, the diagnoses is dependent on evaluations from teachers and parents or care givers. The New York Times believes that “that millions of children may be taking medication merely to calm behavior or to do better at school and do so at the advice of their teachers.” (Cohen and Swartz, 2013) Public schools have an incentive to refer students for ADHD evaluations: ADHD has been declared a childhood disability and schools have been allocated special funding based on the number of students in their schools that have ADHD. Teachers are licensed to teach however they are not licensed to diagnose any disease or disorder. In this economic environment of budget cuts public schools have discovered the more children that have ADHD the more federal funds their school will receive. The education system is adding to the hyper diagnosis of ADHD.
If a parent does not know about ADHD and most of the stimulant medications used to treat it all they have to do is watch television commercials which will downplay the side effects and up play the benefits of medication therapy. These commercials will also explain signs and symptoms of ADHD from a drug company’s perspective: “Shire, the longtime market leader of ADHD medications, recently subsidized 50,000 copies of a comic book that uses superheroes to tell children and parents that medicine makes it easier to pay attention and control your behavior” (Schwarz December 15th, 2013) Stimulants are a class three controlled substance and ADHD medications are one of the only categories of controlled substances that are allowed to be advertised and the Big Pharma (Big Pharmaceutical Industry) has been running wild with aggressive ad campaigns of these controlled substances. The Big Pharm has collectively been cited by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for improper sales and advertising of several ADHD drugs along with misleading...

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