Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or A.D.H.D., is a psychological disorder— classified by deviant, distressful, and dysfunctional patterns of thoughts, feelings, or behaviors— of the brain that is caused by low levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine can be thought of as the motivation, cognition, and reward system. The main characteristics of this disorder are inattention, hyperfocus, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. To be diagnosed with A.D.H.D., a person who is seventeen and older must have at least five or more symptoms listed in the DSM-5—the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a tool used for classifying and diagnosing mental disorders—and those who are younger than seventeen must have at least six. The symptoms also have to have been present prior to age twelve. Although some believe that the A.D.H.D. diagnosis is harmful to children due to the subjective matter of the diagnostic assessments and the surge of A.D.H.D. diagnosis in children, the diagnosis only has a negative effect to children if it is a misdiagnosis and helpful to children if they truly do have A.D.H.D; following a diagnosis, those with A.D.H.D. are able to receive support and opportunities that they may need to function at their best in their home and school environments.
There are many dire consequences if the A.D.H.D. diagnosis is prolonged. The diagnosis opens several opportunities for treatment and if the disorder is left untreated, then this could prove detrimental to not only their mental health, but their relationships, grades, and productivity in work and school environments. According to Tanya E. Froehlich, associate professor of developmental and behavioral ped...
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...o been taken. The diagnosis isn 't what is harmful to children, instead it is the approach taken by some physicians.
Overall the diagnosis of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is helpful to children who actually do have A.D.H.D. otherwise, they would be unable to receive the support and treatment that they need to help them with the symptoms that interfere with several different aspects of their lives. The different options for treatment that open once they are diagnosed such as pharmaceuticals and skills that they learn through behavioral therapy are helping children manage their symptoms. By prolonging the diagnosis and moving away from it, physicians are denying children access to the support that they need to function in their everyday lives. It’s imperative to get diagnosed because while A.D.H.D. doesn’t get worse, the impact of it on people’s lives does.
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