The Over diagnosis of ADHD and the Abuse of Ritalin
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder was unheard of in the generation previous to us. ADHD as it is now more commonly known as is one of the most frequently diagnosed psychiatric disorders occurring in children. This condition is characterized by inattention, fidgeting, lack of organization, or squirming when seated. Such children often have difficulty paying attention to details and are easily distracted by other events that are occurring at the same time; they find it difficult and unpleasant to finish their schoolwork; they put off anything that requires a sustained mental effort; they are prone to make careless mistakes, and are disorganized; they appear to listen when spoken to and often fail to follow through on tasks. ”These symptoms usually become evident in preschool or when entering elementary school but can continue into adolescence and adulthood” (Mental Health). Many of these symptoms though, appear in normal children from time to time. For the reason that there is no fixed test that will give an accurate reoccurring indication that the child in fact has ADHD, over diagnosis has become hard to avoid. Doctors now prescribe Methylphenidate or Ritalin to regulate attention and impulse control (Schwarzbeck). Ritalin is said to help students concentrate more in school, improves alertness, and ultimately helps the being to control the disorder thyself. In some cases, children do benefit from the medicine. Too many medicated children, however, do not accept the other forms of help they need if they are too become aware of their difficulties and learn to compensate. This leads to the overuse of the prescribed drug to counterweigh for the other forms of help they did not receive. Which has resulted in discussions about the over diagnosis of ADHD and the abuse of Ritalin being one in the same. Over diagnosis is a major problem with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. An...
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Kissinger, Meg. “Is ADHD being over diagnosed.” www2jsonline.com. 16 Nov 2006. 23 Sep 2008. http://www2.jsonline.com/alive/family/1116sadkid.stm
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