Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Misdiagnosed
In recent years, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has become a very common disorder. As a result, people and doctors have raised the question, is this disorder being over diagnosed? If you were to ask people this question many would think the answer is yes. People think this is true because of the drug companies “aggressive marketing epidemic”. This epidemic involves drug companies trying to educate people, specifically doctors, parents, and teachers on how to spot symptoms of ADHD in children. Therefore, making people assume that doctors are over diagnosing to gain more profit off the drug companies stimulants. (Frances) Although this idea seems to be a pretty logical explanation, there is not enough evidence to pin point a direct correlation between the “aggressive marketing epidemic” and doctors’ profits contributing to over diagnoses. (Frances) Although now that we understand Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is not over diagnosed, we can see there actually is a problem with diagnosing. This problem is misdiagnosing. Misdiagnosing pertaining to ADHD means that there are several cases where people have all the symptoms of this disorder but are not actually diagnosed and the opposite; people are diagnosed with ADHD who actually do not have it. Misdiagnosing accrues for mainly three reasons; the definition of ADHD is too broad, the growing emphasis on educational achievements, and errors in diagnosing methods. Understanding why Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is misdiagnosed we start by looking at the definition of this disorder, which is “a disorder characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and or hyperactivity” (Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine). The definition can contribute to misdiagnosing because the symptoms that go with this disease are too broad. They are too broad in the sense that several other disorders can be linked to the same symptoms. Statistics show that “75% of children with ADHD have the same symptoms for several other disorders such as conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, depression, dipolar disorder, anxiety, learning disorders, and language-based disorders” (Connor). Therefore, several children are being misdiagnosed with ADHD when they could very well have another type of disorder. Not only do the symptoms effect the definition being too broad but also the misconceptions that ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder is a disorder of its own. ADD is not a separate disorder from ADHD; it is actually part of it. ADD is part of ADHD because it goes along with one of the three types of ADHD. The three types are Predominantly Inattentive, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive, and a combination of the two: Predominantly Inattentive Type, which is ADD, is defined as an individual who has difficulty in organizing or finishing a task, paying attention to detail, or following instructions. Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type is geared more toward your traditional ADHD patient who fidgets, excessively talks, cannot sit still for long periods of time, and interrupts people. Lastly, the combined type is someone who has equal depiction of symptoms for both types (“Facts About ADHD”). Inevitably, since ADD is a disorder within a disorder statistics of people having ADHD seem to be significantly increasing. ADD being apart of ADHD clearly lead to people thinking that the disorder is being over diagnosed. There are other factors that contribute to ADHD being misdiagnosed; one of these being the new way our society determines the success of people. This new way of evaluating success is by looking at how great a person’s educational achievements are. How does this new standard for success have any part of the ADHD diagnosing problem? Marcia Clemmitt explained it this way, “over the past half-century, success in American culture has been increasingly defined in terms of educational achievement. It may not be surprising,...
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