While there is no denying that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that occurs in some children, it is also becoming clear that this medical problem can often be misdiagnosed.
Today, there are more than 6 million boys and girls taking pharmaceutical drugs to address ADHD diagnoses. However, this treatment isn’t always necessary and may be creating widespread economic, sociological and emotional/physical consequences.
Approximately 1 in 5 (or 20%) of children diagnosed with ADHD are misdiagnosed, and do not need ADHD medications.
There are many possible causes behind the misdiagnoses of ADHD in children. Check out the video below to learn more about the statistics surrounding ADHD and its misdiagnosis in America’s children:
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Since the year 2007, there has been a 28% increase in the number of children taking ADHD drugs. The medications used to treat ADHD in children are expensive. Some states, such as Louisiana, Kentucky and Indiana, have a particularly high rate of children who are taking these medications. But who is paying for the pharmaceuticals? In an era of widespread healthcare reform and upheaval, the burden to pay for ADHD prescriptions is falling upon insurers and families.
From the sociological perspective, even one case of misdiagnosed ADHD carries with it serious repercussions. Many children are diagnosed early in life. In fact, there is a fascinating correlation between kids diagnosed with ADHD and their ages relative to other classmates’ ages upon entering kindergarten.
Generally speaking, when a child enters kindergarten and is younger than his or her peers, he or she has a higher likelihood of being labeled as “ADHD.” Not to mention that the youngest children in grades 5 through 8 are 50% more likely to be prescribed stimulant medications that their older peers. This leads many people to conclude that perhaps ADHD diagnoses are being misapplied to boys and girls who are simply younger and, therefore, less developed in the areas of focus and discipline that they will eventually learn as they age in a formal school environment.
Finally, it is critical to note that children prescribed ADHD medicines like Methylphenidate, sold under the brand name “Ritalin,” have physical reactions over time to these drugs.
For example, children who take Ritalin are typically smaller than those who do not. This is a condition that cannot be reversed even by stopping the medicine. Similarly, children who take Ritalin for ADHD are more likely to have increased blood pressure.
Again, this isn’t to suggest that Ritalin and ADHD treatments are not useful for some cases. Certainly, those children truly afflicted with ADHD can benefit from the administering of proper pharmaceuticals as prescribed by knowledgeable physicians and psychiatrists. With that being said, however, it is clear that America owes it to its young people to be a bit more selective when determining which children have ADHD and which do not.
What surprising information did you learn from this video? Tell us in the comments section below!