Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( Adhd ) Essay

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( Adhd ) Essay

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, more commonly referred to as ADHD, is a behavioral disorder that affects about 7.2% of children under the age of 18 worldwide and nearly 9.5% of children in the US (CHAAD). ADHD is diagnosed by the observation of a reoccurring group of behaviors such as inattentiveness, abnormal hyperactivity and impulsivity. A child must have a history of these behaviors and their effects must cause significant impairment in order to be diagnosed. This impairment can manifest itself in academic performance, family life, personal relationships and everywhere in between. Although stimulant medications are an effective treatment for the symptoms of ADHD, they do have some very well documented side-effects, including: possible enhancement or initiation of tics, changes in mood, stomach ache, headache, increased difficulty falling asleep, decrease in appetite, and an increase in heartrate and blood pressure (Hoffman). This begs the question, should we be medicating kids diagnosed with ADHD, especially those under the age of 10, or is there an effective alternative that would spare young children the burden of a stimulant regimen? Although stimulant medications undoubtedly relieve patients of ADHD symptoms, in the case of children ages 2-10, behavioral therapy should be the first line of treatment as opposed to stimulant medication, due to its constructive nature and lack of side effects. In conjunction, other non-traditional treatments for ADHD should be further researched and studies with strong methodologies should be conducted to further our knowledge of non-pharmacological treatments.
In the late 1930’s doctors observed that stimulant medication helped improve patients’ concentration, attentiveness and p...


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... benefits of stimulant medication are irrefutable, but everyone diagnosed with ADHD should not be burdened with the adverse effects of medication, especially in the case of small children. Also, the possible ineffectiveness of stimulant medication long-term further stresses the need for a safe alternative that has lasting and meaningful effects. Across the nation children as young as 2 years old are being diagnosed with ADHD and being prescribed stimulant medication, in some cases whether they need it or not. For the health and safety of children in the U.S. and across the world, further research needs to be conducted on alternative ADHD treatments, like a low dose stimulant regimen coupled with some behavioral therapy, encephalographic biofeedback, or fatty acid supplementation, which could possibly have a lower cost to the patients as well as to society as a whole.

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