An expert in the USA has recently estimated that ADHD testing is not being done so accurately. He has reckoned that as many as one on five children are misdiagnosed and that the ADHD label is slapped on them for life with all the negative consequences that will bring.
These children (estimated at a shocking 9 million alone in the USA) will be incorrectly treated and will also have to bear the brunt of a stigma for the rest of their lives. So, these 9 million children are treated for a condition that they do not have all because of inaccurate ADHD tests. What a pity there is such a low level of knowledge about this mental disorder among the general public.
It is no secret that ADHD is now over diagnosed and as we have seen from the above misdiagnosed. This is a pretty scary scenario especially when we realize that the usual treatment option with mind altering drugs can have serious consequences.
Other things to reflect on are the fact that any psychiatric drugs (such as Zoloft and Paxil for depression and also Ritalin for ADHD) may have played a role in recent college and school shootings. Most of the kids involved in those shootings were on some sort of psychiatric drug and we know that some of the side effects are hallucinations and suicidal thoughts.
Another aspect to consider is that the number of ADHD students actually going to college is very low as they have to cope with many obstacles so it is vital that a correct diagnosis be made early on and proper treatment be given for whatever disorder that they may have.
Another worrying aspect is that many childhood conditions such as hearing, eyesight defects, food allergies, sleep apnea, thyroid conditions and learning disabilities show remarkably similar symptoms to ADHD and these are not being correctly diagnosed either.
Pharmacological treatment of ADHD and other childhood conditions can only be part of the answer and all the major medical authorities in the UDA have come out strongly in favour of behavior therapy which means proper parenting skills and organizing an ADHD friendly home as the only really effective way of treating this mental condition.
This is another reason why a full and proper attention disorder test should be given to all children when there is a problem at school or at home.
Robert Locke MBE is a health enthusiast specializing in children’s health and has written extensively on ADHD, parenting and mental health issues.
He is a contributor to Quora, Lifehack, The Good Men Project, Liberal America and How to Learn.
He has written “Facts About ADHD Children – Tips for ADHD Parenting” on Amazon. He has also published children’ s stories (Ziger The Tiger series) , also available on Amazon.
After a long career in Italy in teaching and management with the British Council, he was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II for outstanding achievement in December 2005. He still lives in Italy where he writes and teaches.