Analysis of over-diagnosing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

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The mental health community has been noticeably slow in identifying that there may be a problem with diagnoses and prescriptions for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The National Institute of Mental Health government publication, “Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General” notes a rise in concerns regarding over-diagnosis and overprescribing of stimulant therapy, by stating there may be "inappropriate diagnosis and treatment" taking place (National Institute of Mental Health, 2001). The US Dept. of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention reported in 2011 that an estimated 9% of children in the United States had ADHD (Bloom, 2011). This paper will define the disorder, discuss the notion of over-diagnosing, and the potential risks of overprescribing medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Adolescence is often a time of bodily, societal, and mental evolution. Some will go through certain sequences or experiences that can be linked to specific choices concerning “family and peer relationships, sexual expression, vocational/educational development, and experimenting with drugs and alcohol” (Maag and Irvin, 2005). Having a consistent view of your life will help adolescents to effectively steer their life transitions in a positive direction. Steering these transitions can be difficult for some adolescents due to their specific personality structures. When adolescents have a compromised capability to deal with pressure, apprehension, and interpersonal relationships they have a higher possibility of emerging with any of the various psychological disorders. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neuropsychiatric... ... middle of paper ... ...ty problems in primary care: A report from pediatric research in office settings and the ambulatory sentinel practice network. Pediatrics, 103(3), 661. Wilens, T.E., Gignac, M., Swezey, A., Monuteaux, M.C., and Biederman, J. (2006). Characteristics of adolescents and young adults with adhd who divert or misuse their prescribed medications. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 45(4), 408-414. Wolraich, M.L., Wibbelsman, C.J., Brown, T.E., Evans, S.W., Gotlieb, E.M., Knight, J.R., Ross, E.C., Shubiner, H.H., Wender, E.H., and Wilens, T. (2005). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder among adolescents: A review of the diagnosis, treatment, and clinical implications. Pediatrics, 115(6), 1734-1746. Woodard, R. (2006). (2006). The diagnosis and medical treatment of adhd in children and adolescents in primary care: A practical guide.

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