The Study shows 6.4 million children ages 4 through 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD.
(Image Source: Centers for Disease Control ) BY CANDICE AVILES Record amounts of children and teens are being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder also known as ADHD. The New York Times reports “1 in 5 high school age boys in the United States and 11 percent of school-age children over all have received a medical diagnosis of [ADHD].” The statistics were pulled from a Centers for Disease Control study. The findings show 6.4 million children ages 4 through 17 have been diagnosed, which is a 16% increase since 2007 and a 53 percent rise over the past decade. (Via YouTube / fairadventure ) ADHD is a behavioral disorder in which a person has a harder time focusing and controlling what he or she does and says, making them more impulsive and restless. (Via Medical News Today , BBC ) Diagnosing the disease is a challenge because it cannot be done so physically, with tests or scans, but rather through recognizing behavior patterns. That difficulty in diagnosing the disorder has many wondering if the drastic increase is partially due to over diagnosing. Including an expert at the University of California, San Francisco, who told The Wall Street Journal , “ Many other problems, such as learning disabilities, anxiety, sleep apnea and child abuse or a child being gifted, can cause symptoms that may be diagnosed as ADHD. Too often practitioners don’t take the time needed to make that distinction.” Researchers in Germany found similar actions of incorrect diagnosis stating, “...mental health practitioners [diagnosing] ADHD using their intuition and unclear rules of thumb, not recognized diagnostic criteria.” (Via The Atlantic ) If over diagnosing is, in fact, happening, that raises another concern. The study from the CDC also states two-thirds of kids who are diagnosed with ADHD are on Adderall or Ritalin. In a USA Today article, doctors acknowledge Ritalin and Adderall help those with ADHD but can lead to addiction and anxiety.