ADHD diagnoses on the rise, CDC says
August 19th, 2011
12:06 PM ET

ADHD diagnoses on the rise, CDC says

More and more children are getting a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The percentage of children with the condition rose from 7% in 1998-2000 to 9% in 2007-2009, for both boys and girls. In some areas of the United States those figures are even higher. From 1998 to 2009, ADHD prevalence increased 10% in the Midwest and South.

That's not necessarily bad news; it could mean that with greater awareness of the condition and better access to health care, more children who have ADHD get a proper diagnosis, which is the first step toward seeking appropriate treatment. Medications and behavior therapies are available to help kids with attention issues. But the report did not directly measure whether the rise in ADHD cases reflected better detection or an actual increase in the number of children with the condition.

On the flip side, past research has found indications of frequent misdiagnosis of ADHD. Some parents say the first suggestion that their child might have ADHD came from educators rather than mental health professionals. That could lead to misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment; ADHD is a specific condition involving lack of focus and impulsive behavior, but there could be other reasons for similar symptoms.

The CDC report looked at children 5 to 17 years old. It did not look at causes of ADHD, which remain somewhat mysterious; no one knows how to prevent ADHD or predict who will develop it.

Researchers highlighted disparities among ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Among children in families with an income under the poverty line, ADHD prevalence increased to 10.3%, and for those just above the poverty level it rose to about 11%.

ADHD prevalence is about the same across the ethnic groups that the report focused on, with the exception of Mexican children, who have consistently had lower prevalence of ADHD since 1998. Again, it's unclear whether that means this reflects a need for greater awareness and access to health care, or if children in this group are truly less likely to have the condition.

Whatever the underlying reasons for the condition's rise, a tremendous amount of money is being spent on health care and educational interventions directed at ADHD, not to mention other costs to parents. In 2005, using an estimated prevalence of only 5%, researchers estimated the societal cost of this mental illness to be about $42.5 billion.

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soundoff (579 Responses)
  1. Jennifer State

    It's not a stretch to look at an overlap in neurobehavioral disorders. While we don't know for certain why numbers are rising, we do know is there is a communication issue between and within the two sides of the brain that is at the root of autism. “Brain Sync” issues continue to be in the news when discussing neuro-behavioral disorders. Here is an article that discusses the issue in detail and what can be done to improve brain function: http://www.brainbalancecenters.com/2011/06/study-shows-poor-brain-sync-related-to-autism/

    August 19, 2011 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • john marrs

      Numbers are rising because we have made up diseases where none exists and the establishment can profit from it. The formula is pretty standard: do some studies, get some "reliable" scientists to back up the results and start the campaign of misinformation. Show me an ADHD person and I will show you a quick thinker and multi-tasker. Drugging them is convenient for those that can not deal with diversity and want to streamline us all. All studies and theories are just that made in a vacuum of the ecosystem within we all operate ... spirit, soul, mind, body. Single something out and study it on its own and you simplify and devalue and destroy the effects of the interrelationships of the ecosystem.

      August 19, 2011 at 15:46 | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      john: "Numbers are rising because we have made up diseases where none exists and the establishment can profit from it. The formula is pretty standard: do some studies, get some "reliable" scientists to back up the results and start the campaign of misinformation."

      It's cute how your entire rebuttal of ADHD diagnoses centers on your unsupported assertion that drug companies are evil and must only "want" ADHD to exist so they can sell medicine.

      Unfortunately for you, people with ADHD usually have underdeveloped impulse control; something that can readily be seen in brain scans. In fact, with drugs like Ritalin, kids with ADHD generally develop the impulse control centers of their brains because they're calmed down enough to actually do work.

      "Show me an ADHD person and I will show you a quick thinker and multi-tasker. Drugging them is convenient for those that can not deal with diversity and want to streamline us all."

      Not always. Many kids with ADHD multi-task and yet get nothing done. Why? Because they're perpetually distracted, doing many things, but doing none of them well.

      Over medicating kids with ADHD is a problem. Making them into zombies, or reducing their energy so they're unsocial, is detrimental. However, that doesn't mean the medication that helps prevent them from bouncing off the walls is, therefore, bad.

      August 19, 2011 at 15:58 | Report abuse |
    • Christopher

      John, I have to agree with you. The fact is that ADHD is a MADE UP disease. Most children are just naturally flighty, easily distracted, etc. It's time to admit that and to admit that parents and teachers have to WORK to keep children's attention while they are trying to teach them things.

      August 19, 2011 at 17:19 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne

      actually, many people who were diagnosed as high functioning autism/asbergers would today be diagnosed as ADD/ADHD. There is such poor understanding of how the brain works...neuroscience is still in relative infancy, and 10-20 years ago, even more so. there are not physical diagnositic tests for ADd/ADHD or autisum etc either...it's mostly observation, questionaires and personal history including interviews with family members, teachers etc. They do know a few things about it though that show that it is a real 'condition'...the levels of norepinephren and dopamine are usually too low or lower than average in people with ADD/ADHD. These people are often above average intelligence, creative, intuitive and usually have trouble reaching their potential. I believe they have actually identified a few individual genes that are associated with ADD/ADHD and it IS genetic...in fact, many parents in this generation are only now being diagnosed because one of their kids has been diagnosed.

      August 19, 2011 at 18:23 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      John and Christopher, ADHD is a serious neurological disorder cause by the lack of development of specific parts of the brain. ADHD is NOT FICTION. It is very real, has existed for a very long time, and will continue to exist as long as people with ADHD keep having kids.

      "Better" parenting and structure will not correct the disorder, and anyone that claims otherwise is ignorant of the real issue. You cannot parent a child into making parts of their brain develop. It does not go away at the end of childhood either, but lasts through adulthood. Children are misdiagnosed all the time, but that does not take away from the fact that ADHD is real and is very serious for those that actually have it.

      August 20, 2011 at 02:09 | Report abuse |
  2. Jeanne

    it helps that they understand better what ADD/ADHD is and isn't...too many people were told they were dumb, or lazy or thought to be smart but bored over the years. They've also found that it continues into adulthood, though some of the signs are masked by social adaptations and strategies. Unfortunately, many insurance carriers have not caught up with that finding and refuse to cover meds if you are over 18.

    ADD/ADHD is not totally a bad thing. Many of the biggest names/roll models out there are ADD/ADHD and wouldn't be where they are today without it...they just learned to manage the negatives and harness the postives of intuition and creativity and seeing the world differently than the average person.

    August 19, 2011 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jeanne

      I forgot to add that many adults are finding out they are ADD/ADHD because their kids are being diagnosed and they realize they are the same way. So there is also a big increase in the number of adult cases now. When today's parents were kids themselves, you were basically told you were dumb, lazy or bored or a troublemaker (more the adHd group). They also now know it is mostly genetic, having to do with dopamine/norepinephren levels in the brain.

      August 19, 2011 at 14:14 | Report abuse |
    • Izzie

      Agreed that insurance companies need to start recognizing ADD/ADHD occurrence in adults when it comes to prescribing meds but the need to do so (with kids AND adults) could be greatly reduced if a healthy diet were implemented. As a teacher, I can't tell you how many ADD kids I see consuming fast food at least once a week. Additives, sugar, hydrogenated oils, salt and caffeine should be eliminated and fast foods (ie, McD's, BK, etc.) contain heavy doses of the first four.

      August 19, 2011 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
    • Izzie

      Should have finished my thought...we need to be careful that we are not using meds as a panacea. Get the body in sync with diet and exercise and perhaps the need for meds will be tremendously reduced. Win win for all.

      August 19, 2011 at 15:21 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne

      Izzie. diet does have a part to play with aDD/ADHD... though not what most people believe. sugar and such does have an effect, but some recent studies show that it increases the INATTENTIVE part, not the hyperactive....double blind studies with placebos have shown that the perception of hyperactivity tends to be more an assumption of ..oh, they had sugar, they're going to be more hyper. They found that a high percentage of kids with ADHD have reactive hypoglycemic tendencies, which means sugar goes up, hangs a bit then crashes like a rock, where it is supposed to slowly taper off to normal....and in connection with this, these kids produced half the amount of dopamine as normal kids in the same study....all were given glucose tolerance tests. low dopamine is associated with ADD/ADHD

      August 19, 2011 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
  3. Chris

    Sell sell sell that Ritalin...

    August 19, 2011 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jbird

      YUP! How do you sell a drug? Tell everyone they're not acceptable by other and this pill will fix you. What do you bet that this study was funded and/or administered in affiliation with a drug company? We'll never find that out though...

      August 19, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
    • Nah

      jbird: "YUP! How do you sell a drug? Tell everyone they're not acceptable by other and this pill will fix you."

      Not really. It's telling them that their lack of focus and extreme hyperactivity can be helped with medication. That way they can learn and do well, rather than drop out of school and lead a life of uselessness.

      "What do you bet that this study was funded and/or administered in affiliation with a drug company? We'll never find that out though..."

      That's cute. You assume an evil, manipulative drug company "must" have conducted the study, and then dismiss the study out of hand.

      Wouldn't it be more intelligent to review the study yourself and evaluate it on its merits instead?

      August 19, 2011 at 16:03 | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      There really is no big money left in selling Ritalin. It was first synthesized in 1944, the patents have long run out and generic versions are quite abundant. A typical generic prescription of Methyln at your corner drug store is less than the cost of an insurance copayment. There goes your argument.

      August 19, 2011 at 16:55 | Report abuse |
  4. Jay

    Is is possible more kids are diagnosed w/ADHD because society doesn't easily recognize kids who don't fit cookie cutter molds?

    August 19, 2011 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • austingrrl

      Or lazy teachers who can't handle their class.

      August 19, 2011 at 15:28 | Report abuse |
    • dharma

      I agree with Matt and Jay. I am sickened by the number of "professionals" who push this diagnosis.

      August 19, 2011 at 15:33 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne

      I can say as someone who has been ADD all my life and only diagnosed in my 40's that the meds do help. However, people with ADD/ADHD do think significantly differently than so called normal people...we are wired differently. It's not necessarily that normal is good and aDD/ADHD is bad, it's more of the world runs on schedules and deadlines and stimulus response and averages and so on, while ADD/ADHD people tend to run on intuition/creativity/innovation....hate time deadlines and often try to do many things at once instead of the do something, get it done, go on to the next thing. Often, ADD/ADHD people, not just kids, are some of the smartest people around and many have made a huge difference in the world because they think outside the box....so yes, they don't fit the cookie cutter pattern....the meds help them still be themselves, but fit better into the time constraints the 'mainstream' expects and requires, it doesn't change them into a carbon copy...just helps them adapt to living in world where the way they think doesn't fit perfectly.

      August 19, 2011 at 17:30 | Report abuse |
  5. Steven Bulcroft

    Perhaps it's all the TV and Video games that these children are exposed to and I wonder if Mexican children have the same access (i.e. TV's in their rooms with xboxes, etc.) and that is why they don't get it as much? Of course another reason for it's increase is the pharmaceutical industry has drugs to sell that they say are good for ADHD so MD"s are marketed to prescribe them. Another article I read today indicates that these "ads" in medical journals don't even follow the FDA's guidelines touting all sorts of unproven benefits and ignoring adverse effects, etc.. Go figure.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Robert

      I have adult ADHD and I am 50 years old. Video games and cable television weren't in the home I grew up in. I had strict disciplinarian parents. So how do you explain your theory that ADHD is all because of Nintendo, xBox, Playstation now?

      August 19, 2011 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
    • @ Robert

      well do you drink allot of caffine, take other meds, have been lazy since you left your parents home? have you had the same symptoms all your life? ADHD is a joke! really would like to know what the long term effects will be on these developing children that are being drugged up. sad

      August 19, 2011 at 16:42 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne

      While I do believe that internet, twitter, tv, text messages are all adding to a general tendency of impatience...we want info in the quickest and shortest fashion possible, ADD/ADHD is genetic...more so than diabetes, they say...it has to do with the levels of dopamine and norepinephren the person has compared to so called normal people. The meds increase these two neurochemicals in the brain, which helps with focus.

      AS to a comment about caffeine, while some may think that caffeine causes the problems, it's actually the ADD/ADHD person's unconscious attempt at self medication...using a stimulant to help you focus. You often see this in one form or another with untreated/undiagnosed ADD/ADHD people.

      August 19, 2011 at 17:38 | Report abuse |
  6. YO

    I would rather live with adhd than become a speed freak for the rest of my life.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Stefan

      Not all ADD medications are speed. Strattera is not. (It may be the only one that isn't.)

      August 19, 2011 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
    • Mom

      My son started Tenex and it is really helping. It slows the hyperactivity and he sleeps at bedtime, and eats at dinner time.

      August 19, 2011 at 16:04 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne

      No two people with aDD/ADHD are alike, and sometimes the meds that work for one person, don't work well for another. I am on adderall, and it works fine.....I am more ADD...and it helps me focus, but doesn't make me hyper or high or anything...I feel more normal on it than without, where I am tired and unfocused. Some people cannot tolerate the stimulants, some tolerate the non stim. meds better, and some respond well to nutritional or herbal treatements. Coaching is still considered one of the biggest helps, however, teaching these people how to deal with things..keep on track etc.

      August 19, 2011 at 17:44 | Report abuse |
    • KeithTexas

      MOM – it is quite possible that your son is bi-polar and that the ADHD drugs will make him suicidal when he starts to maturate. He is probably just a boy and needs an opportunity to do boy things instead of girl things like he is expected to do in public school.

      August 19, 2011 at 21:18 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne

      KeithTexas, one of the reasons they put younger kids on non stimulant meds such as the one MOM's son is on, is because kids react differently to stimulants than adults...in addition, stimulants can stunt growth (yes, there is some truth to the old drink too much coffee and stunt your growth.) And while body chemistry changes from childhood to adult hood, they do monitor how the meds are working or not working and re-evaluate them as needed. Telling someone the meds will likely make their kid suicidal some day is uncalled for. In many cases, the meds actually reduce depression, and risk of death.

      August 19, 2011 at 22:48 | Report abuse |
  7. kidsarentworse

    i don't think adhd is on the rise, kids these days are the same they were 50 years ago, what is on the rise though is lazy bad parents who are looking for an easy way to drug their kid into a coma so they don't have to do that tiny thing called BEING A PARENT! Get your kids off the drugs theres nothing wrong with them and buck up and be a parent.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Karen

      I agree that kids are the same as they were 50 years ago, but I disagree with it being lazy parenting. It's lazy teachers that don't want to deal with it. It's teachers that are diagonising these kids not doctors. I'm far from a lazy parent and refuse to put my child on ADHD medicine because I know how to reinforce positive behavior and maintain structure in my household.

      August 19, 2011 at 15:11 | Report abuse |
    • kidsarentworse

      thats great karen i applaud you, there are many great parents out there, just as there are many great teachers, just as a whole i see us all getting lazier. As far as teachers go, its the same as any job field you have good, and bad employees, however you couldn't pay me enough to be a teacher. I fully respect them and its not the kids that would drive me crazy its their parents that would push me over the edge

      August 19, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
    • H.T.

      I was also in the camp of over diagnosis for ADHD. Until I had children. I'm not a lazy parent. We severely limit our children's access to screen time. But with one of our boys it became clear that he could simply not manage his impulses and focus. So we very reluctantly, after several years of research and testing, to try medication. Okay, every case is different, every kid is different. But it was a pretty dramatic change. He was writing every day in a journal for his third grade class. His penmanship was almost impossible to read. The day that we gave him a specific medication, his hand writing changed. Hold those two pieces next to each other and they looked like they came from a different kid. Now 5 years later has it been perfect? No. Of course not. He's a great kid who still has problems focusing and making good decisions, just like most kids. But he is much better able to manage himself. He was noticing that he was different from other kids and didn't want to be in trouble all the time. So please don't assume that every parent out there is drugging their kids to make parenting easier. This path actually meant that we were much more involved, not less. I'm just saying.

      August 19, 2011 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
    • princemwh

      I am buying what your selling kidsarentworse. I totally agree. People have this stigma that generations get worse, which is totally untrue. Kids are the same. I also believe part of this whole parents Vs. teacher thing is true. The cold hard facts are that now days parents send their kids to school to be raised rather then them raising their own children. Schools are now charged with meeting increasingly stricter testing requirements in addition to raising children. Its no wonder teachers want their students to behave and diagnose them. An uncooperative student "wastes" their class time. I will tell you to change this whole teacher diagnosis thing, we have to see less pressure put on our education system first. If I was a teacher, I would not be happy having to constantly discipline kids because it takes time away from teaching skills needed for testing, which I would be paid for. Have low scores, get fired, have high scores, get a raise. Change that system first, then you will see some change in diagnosing kids because time will not be so precious in the class room.

      August 19, 2011 at 15:53 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne

      ADD/ADHD is not necessarily on the rise...the DIAGNOSIS is.....A lot of that has to do with improved understanding of it, though I'm sure in some cases, it is a matter of labeling and other things....and there are still many doctors who have preconceived notions of whether it is a legit issue or not....but as someone who spent her life being an intelligent, creative person who never seemed to be able to live up to my potential because I'd always try to juggle too many things and was unfocused etc....not lazy, it was a relief when my doctor finally made the connection (my daughter is also ADD), and put me on Adderall..it was like I could finally think straight! So before you all blame it on lazy kids, lazy parents, lazy teachers, try asking the people with it, especially those of us who have had it for years, undiagnosed until well into adulthood...do the meds really help? Most will say YES!!!

      August 19, 2011 at 17:55 | Report abuse |
  8. Ziggy

    ADHD? I would be sure many 'diagnoses' are a result of poor parenting, poor diet, poor enivronment.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      This is a common misconception. While I will agree that poor parenting and poor understanding of the disorder cause kids to be misdiagnosed, real ADHD is a neurological disorder. It's actually caused by the brain of a person with ADHD forming differently than that of "normal" people. Diet and environment tuning/adjustment can help a person with ADHD function better than they might, but it's not the cause of the disorder.

      August 19, 2011 at 22:03 | Report abuse |
    • whatignorantpeople

      I am a mother of two children who are ADHD. Both have been extremely active since they could walk and from the age of one there was a noticeable difference in my childrens active behavior than most kids their age. Activity and other issues I was seeing still did not make me think ADHD until they were in 3nd grade and a teacher AND the dr brought it up. As school started I got frequent phone calls and emails from the teachers and principals... not because they were disrespectful kids but because of the lack of impulse control and attention. It was causing disruption and although I would love for them to have a school where teachers are more prepared to deal with children like this and not treat them like they need to be in special education class where learning would slow down, all my wishing doesn't make it true. Before you go the route of "Well my school does... or there are other schools..." Really!? so every parent with this issue has to move their kids to an apparent "special" school where they HOPE the teachers are actually helping the situation. If there was a place that we knew that did what children like mine really need, they would be packed with people trying to get their children in and then they would shut down because a kid or two to every teacher can't bring in much funding. They couldn't even hold the focus to look you in the eye for 10 seconds. By no means was this because I didn't spend time with my children or work with my children to behave in a maner that suits society. I have my children in cub scouts where they teach respect and dicipline. I am even a den leader so by no means am I not involved with them or they spend all their time in front of a video game. I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out why one parent could tell their 2 year old child "Now Jenny can you go to your room and give get me your dress" and they would come back, dress in hand and no problem. If I told my child the same thing he would get stuck watching a bug in the hall way for 5 min and come back with nothing because he had forgotten that I even asked him to do anything at all.. Weather it was 2 years old or 6 years old... I had the same thing happen all the time. You are going to tell me at the age of 2 my total lack of parenting of 2 whole years (1 of which is basically infancy) is what caused him to forget that I asked him something just 5 minutes ago. And then it continued always as he got older. Why it would take him 4 hours to do homework that should take him 20 min, Every day turning into a fight about just staying sitting and doing homework. I wasn't going off and leaving him to do it.. I was right there makeing dinner (while he sat at the kitchen table with no tv on or anything), washing dishes sitting with him to help him. Nothing worked. If I sat to try to help him he was frustrated. If I left him alone to try it on his own he was frustrated. As I grew up my parents told me to go clean my room and I went and did it. Not because I was afraid of them or thought they would ground me or anything else. I just naturally did it. My parents were lucky enough to have a kid that just did things when asked and could sit still and learn things because that was my NATURAL reaction. It sounds like all of the people on here who call all parents lazy who give their kids medication to help them must be blessed with perfect kids to not understand the problem. Or your kids have the problem but you blame everyone else for it or don't see the problem or care what it's doing to them. My son went from getting F's now gets A's after finally starting him on medication. Yes F's he could not focus that much to even retain or even look at the teachers. By far not because he wasn't smart enough! He's now above average in everything in school. I waited and tried anything I could before going the medication route. When nothing else worked what were my options really? Have my children fail at school, feel stupid and insignificant while all of your perfect children are awarded for being NATURALLY calmer and able to focus. Do you think your childs NATURAL ability to remain calmer or just have a more "normal" reaction to everyday life makes you a better or great parent? You got lucky to not have the issue parents like me have. (Although I do concider myself lucky because I have the sweetest kids with the best hearts and I love them more than anything! ) Even for the families that have to "work at it". There was no working at it for us that actually resulted in anything other than crying because they just couldn't focus long enough to retain anything and understand what needed to be done on any consistant basis. Now they are happy kids. Not at all zombies, who have control over their impulses and feel just as smart if not smarter than the kid sitting next to them. Psychology is a big deal with children as they grow to be adults. If the school or society is always telling you that you aren't good enough... guess what you probably won't be because no matter how many times your family tells you other wise, bottom line is what society thinks of you will stick more in your head as you grow. Do I hate they have to be on meds? Absolutely! Do I think it's best for them to be off the medication and have them struggle and fail all the time and create high frustration at home and school and risk their self esteem and happiness to please all the people who think most parents who put their kids on medication are lazy? Not a chance. How lucky all of you are to have perfect children! Or maybe you are oblivious to the problem or don't even have children and just think you know. How arrogant are you to put down parents who have done what they needed to because life did not give them a kid apparently like yours or as you think, your fabulous parenting skills. Really you guys should get toghether and right a book to let the rest of us know how to do it right.

      August 20, 2011 at 02:06 | Report abuse |
  9. Karen

    I have mixed emotions about this. My son is 7 and at 5 he was diagnoised with Sensory Integration Disorder and when he went into Kindergarten, it quickly turned into ADHD because of teachers. The symptoms of the two are vary similiar and it frustrates me as a parent, that the teachers would prefer kids to be zombies than deal with them as individuals. When I grew up we were taught invdividually but now it appears everything is as a group and the group can't move on to the next subject until the majority have learned the current lesson. Also, I remember having 3 recesses when I was in school, but now they have dropped that down to 1 recess after lunch. So they have 30 minutes to eat and play. How do they expect kids that have energy to use it if they have no outlet for it.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • B

      Honestly, if a teacher told you your kid has ADHD, you should recommend that she take a psychiatric exam, there's probably something wrong with her. Possibly a neurosis of some type, more than likely there's nothing wrong with your kid, they're just probably really smart and always correcting the teacher cause she's teaching incorrect material, making too many mistakes, or just unqualified, this happens often. That's why some kids get medicated, happened to my nephew. He's apparently too smart, and corrects his instructors too much. That's why he got diagnosed with ADHD-ADD, he went on to show that ADHD-ADD has no scientific or medical basis and recommended that his teacher be checked for a neurosis and have a subject test to determine if she was qualified to teach her subject material. As you can imagine, being told this by a junior high or elementary student can be well highly annoying, hence the ADHD-ADD diagnoses. I have seen this type of behavior in numerous kids, that are considered gifted.

      August 19, 2011 at 15:27 | Report abuse |
    • Candi

      Actually, there is a difference in brain scans between "normal" and AD/HD brains and it's genetically related which is why many parents find out they have it after their child is diagnosed. I call your BS, B.

      August 19, 2011 at 15:31 | Report abuse |
    • TinMT

      A very important point Karen with respect to SID. Very few physicians are aware of this and it is so often completely overlooked.

      August 19, 2011 at 15:42 | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      Not only are a lot of phyicians not intuned with it, trying to explain it to a teacher is even worse. Nothing like the deer in the headlights look and then expect them to understand your child.

      August 19, 2011 at 16:40 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne

      There are many syndromes and disorders which overlap and may even be related, but because of how they manifest in an individual, get placed into one or another diagnosis. One of my friends has a son who is ADHD and OCD, and I think he may have SID too..but I'm not sure about that. I am dealing with both PCOS and ADD myself, and I find that the mental symptoms of PCOS are very similar to ADD...both have issues with sugar metabolism and there are signs that testosterone levels may also be involved in both . PCOS and Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue also often get mixed diagnosis. A lot depends on your doctor and what they believe is a legit diagnosis. A few years ago, for example, Fibro was considered more mental than a legit physical illness...partially because mostly women are effected by it.

      August 19, 2011 at 18:04 | Report abuse |
    • TinMT

      Ahh, another important point Jeanne with respect to OCD. There is a lot of interesting research and considerable evidence supporting a condition called PANDAS ( Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal infections). Here is a link to the NIMH with some information http://intramural.nimh.nih.gov/pdn/web.htm . I have seen cases of OCD completely resolve with treatment for PANDAS. Although you sound as though you may already be aware of this condition in which case I'm probably preaching to the choir!

      August 19, 2011 at 20:20 | Report abuse |
    • KeithTexas

      Get your kid out of that school. All he needs is time to be a boy.

      August 19, 2011 at 21:20 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne

      TinMt...actually I had not heard of that, but I really hadn't looked much into OCD...it's the son of a friend of mine I recently made....I can mention it to her, however. I just know that the lines are not clearly drawn between many of these things....and some of them, I suspect may turn out to be different ways of manifesting the same problem.....and so much of diagnosis is a mixture of knowledge + educated guess + intuition + bias...and by bias, I mean the doctor's personal opinions about the validity of said conditions....like I said, it wasn't long ago that Women with fibro were looked at more as psychicatric cases than having a valid physical illness, primarily because women were seen as weaker mentally/more prone to 'hysterical' illnesses.

      August 19, 2011 at 21:46 | Report abuse |
  10. JimF

    I read the first paragraph and then I had to do something else.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Brian

    I think the last paragraph of this article is really the only thing needed to be read. It should really give you the urge to add a couple grains of salt to this.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Johnnie

    Take a look at http://www.melalueca.com – This is a Green Manufacturing Company that promotes Health and Wellness – We are killing ourselves with all the Toxic chemicals in our homes – All the bleach and disinfectant chemicals are causing this – Melalueca offers a great alternative and their products promote non toxic zone items – Love the company – it has really blessed my life

    August 19, 2011 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Parenting

    It is just lazy parenting that is all!!

    August 19, 2011 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Karen

      Please enlighten me on how lazy parenting causes ADHD. I am far from a lazy parent, and my son has been diagnosed by his teacher with ADHD....NOT his doctor who diagnosed him with Sensory Integration Disorder....

      August 19, 2011 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
    • andy

      @ karen " Please enlighten me on how lazy parenting causes ADHD. I am far from a lazy parent, and my son has been diagnosed by his teacher with ADHD....NOT his doctor who diagnosed him with Sensory Integration Disorder...."

      Well, you are a "lazy" parent because you just let your kid get sold out to Zombie Drug Corp by his teacher who get's 14$/hour, and not a doctor who at least went to grad school and can BS a little better. How about YOU make a diagnoses, of less sugar before bedtime, and no more 10 cokes a day, and hey- sit down and shut up and do your homework or no Xbox. Wow. ADHD magically dissapears...

      August 19, 2011 at 16:21 | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      @ Andy, maybe you didn't didn't understand my post....come find me and call me a lazy parent. My child is not on medication...I've sold my child out to no one. I handle my household, we don't eat a lot of fast food, their sugar intake is minimum and physical activity is a part of their daily lives. My child has been diagnosed by a DOCTOR with Sensory Integration Disorder, so before you want to comment on something check yourself first.

      August 19, 2011 at 16:34 | Report abuse |
  14. yabbut

    If my childhood had been filled with the manic television, vidoegames, & nonstop high intensity activities that cram the schedules of today's children, I'd have developed ADHD, too.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      No, it would not have. ADHD is not the result of environment, but an actual neurological disorder. Brain scans have proven that a person that really has ADHD has areas of the brain that have significant differences from that of a person without the disorder.

      August 19, 2011 at 22:11 | Report abuse |
  15. Scott

    More good news for big pharma. Wasn't there just an article that 1 million, that's right, 1 million kids misdiagnosed as having add/adhd because they were the youngest in the class. Please people, stop drugging your kids. The U.S. accounted for 80% of the world's add/adhd drug purchases in the 2000's and 90% in the 90's. Other countries don't have this problem. I don't know the answer to this but all these medications are is synthetic speed. And anyone who takes thier kid to a psychiatrist is asking to get drugged. But that's a whole other story.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. tevii

    This doesnt mean more people have it. This means the doctors are getting lazy and diagnosis this more often. They diagnosis this for every damn child. So then we get our kids dependent on ritalin which is more similar to cocaine than it is different.... brilliant.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Lily

    Why aren't we seriously looking into the causes? Probably because it involves our food supply additives or the pharmaceutical industry.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      ADHD has been around for a very long time and is an actual genetic trait passed on very commonly.

      August 19, 2011 at 23:14 | Report abuse |
  18. B

    ADHD does not have an actual scientific or medical basis. Most of those kids are just bored in class, or can't pay attention because they suffer from poor sugar metabolism. They're either hungry, or severely bored from being taught information that is severely below their IQ level. Feeding them amphetamine based medication will not help solve the issue. Now, retraining teachers to deal with super highly intelligent and/or bored students may help. In my opinion this is a parenting or teaching issue. You can't make all kids into walking zombies, some are going to be incredibly creative, experimental, and take to a more hands on approach, others will just get bored from having to do subjects that they care nothing about. Most people have quirks that help them throughout the day, some people twirl their pen, others tap their foot, etc., these things are quite common. Often times a teacher picks up on this behavior, probably because they too are bored from teaching the same subject material. Also some ADHD medication can exacerbate the condition, correctly diagnosing the underlying health problem may help, in most cases it is not a psychiatric one.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lisa

      ADHD is a nuerological condition. It is caused by a chemical embalance in the brain. Things that would make most people jittery (Coffee or othe Caffeine drinks) calms my son. Foods and Dyes may or may not influence the symptoms and there severity.

      August 19, 2011 at 15:30 | Report abuse |
    • Joe


      August 19, 2011 at 23:12 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne

      @Joe...interesting video..will have to watch more of his presentation.....I can understand what he is saying and why the impending deadline leads to focus...it's adrenylin etc....again, a stimulant....Will have to watch it to see what he actually recommends because he's right...I know all about how to organize and so on..but I just keep having time management problems....

      August 19, 2011 at 23:46 | Report abuse |
  19. parent

    My children are both gifted, and teachers for both of them at one time or other told us they thought the children had ADHD. One was even required by the school to go through an evaluation process. In both cases, at least according to all the health care professionals we consulted, they do not have ADHD. At least in my experience, it seems ADHD is a favorite "diagnosis" among teachers for students who may have all sorts of reasons for not paying attention in class. I worry that the increased diagnoses include some mis-labeled and unnecessarily medicated children.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • beenthere

      I've been through a similar situation with my oldest child. The school claimed my son needed medication to help him. My wife, a psychiatrist, agreed that the child was unique, but would in no way allow his individuality to be compromised by drugs. Instead, we set goals and a point system for him. We taught him to be aware of his uniqueness and how to deal with it, without medication. It was a challenge, but one week after his 21st birthday, he bought his first house. Not something that you see too many 21 year olds doing. He learned to turn this extra energy into a positive thing and not look at it as debilitating. I know there are some severe situations where medication is needed. But to just give in without at least trying an alternative to medication is wrong. Now days people want it the easy way. Just take a pill to lose 50 pounds, as opposed to eating correctly and exercising. It's not the kids that are at fault here, but rather society and the insistence to conform that is to blame.

      August 19, 2011 at 16:59 | Report abuse |
  20. Supra

    I'm not sure if many of these diagnoses are correct. As I understand a person who actually has ADD/ADHD can barely sit still and would be distracted by the sound of a fridge of a butterfly if he/she is flying a kite. Many people in my class take medicine for ADD/ADHD yet they can play Call of Duty for hours on end. Is it really ADHD if they can sit in one place and focus on a screen to play a game that requires a lot of concentration?

    August 19, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Candi

      A typical symptom of AD/HD is also hyper-focusing. "Attention Deficit" isn't the right word for it – it's more like attention inconsitancy.

      August 19, 2011 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      "I'm not sure if many of these diagnoses are correct....Is it really ADHD if they can sit in one place and focus on a screen to play a game that requires a lot of concentration?"

      Absolutely. ADHD people lack the dopamine production levels commonly found in people that do not have the disorder. This lack of dopamine causes ADHD people to seek out very stimulating activities to help boost dopamine production. Video games can be a huge source of stimulation because of the actions being watched and the persons involvement in creating those actions.

      The problem is that ADHD people have a nearly complete inability to self-regulate and once they stumble upon activities that create these intense stimuli, they will continue to be drawn to them as a means of boosting their dopamine production without ever realizing the root cause. With an effective treatment plan, the need to for stimulation will still exist but will not cause an inability to function.

      August 19, 2011 at 23:24 | Report abuse |
  21. andrew

    As a adult with ADD and left handed by the way, I can say its not on the rise as it is being recognized more than it use to. You see we have become a overachiever society that demands standards of children to fit in with a complicated society of intellectuals that want to make others conform to their ways. If a child is a visionary, dreamer and a nonconformist, they might be considered a misfit in today's computerized society.
    Its really about making use of the talents that each child has that will make each one fit in living a "normal life" unlike normal on a washing machine.
    there is use for proper medication when warranted. However ive had great luck using Traditional Chinese Medicine in taking care of this disability. actually, everyone has a touch of ADD Many are in denial about themselves.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Matt

    Completely overdiagnosed. Why not, when doctors can sell Ritalin to the kid for the next ten years? "Lack of focus" and "Impulsive behavior"? It is called BEING A KID. I think the increase can also be attributed to parents looking for an "easy fix" rather than deal with their misbehaving child. Why raise a kid when you can just zombify them with drugs?

    August 19, 2011 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Robert

      I am a 50 year old adult with ADHD. How do I fit into your description of ADHD as "that is just how kids are"? I take ADHD medication every day. It has never "zombiefied" me.

      August 19, 2011 at 15:47 | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      It is quite clear that some people making comments have never had a child with this issue. Some people making comments have never had their two year-old in early intervention because of major (major major major) meltdowns, impulsivity, and lack of attention. Some people making comments have never shelled out incredible amounts of money for their children to receive sensory integration therapy after age 3 (because that is when "early intervention" runs out, and SI therapy is not recognized as a diagnosis by the DSM). Some people making comments have never read book after book after book recommended by their pediatrician to "manage" their child (books like "The Explosive Child" and "The Difficult Child"). Some people making comments have never had repeated meetings with their child's preschool teachers to devise strategies to help them cope at school. Some people making comments have never sat across from a Neuropsychologist after filling out endless questionnaires about their 5 year old son, and been told that their child "may have anxiety, may have ADHD, may have Asperger's syndrome–he's still too young to say." Some people making comments have never desperately tried cutting out any trace of sugar from their child's diet to see if that helps them focus and listen. Some people making comments have never had multiple hearing tests done to determine if perhaps there is a physical reason their child does not seem to "hear" them. Some people making comments have never had to pass up social engagements because it would be "overwhelming" for their child and would therefore not be fun for their child or for anyone else. Some people making comments have never been told by their family members to just "be more strict." Don't you think we've tried that? Don't you think we know our child? When you have multiple children, and ONE has issues and challenges that the other children do not, it is clearly not an issue of parenting. It is clearly not the child's fault. My son is only 5 1/2 and we have been through all of the above, and more. And we still don't have any definite answers. Child psychologist believes that ADHD is the culprit. He has also been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder, which makes living day-to-day life more challenging for these children and their families than people can even know. Pediatrician believes ADHD and SPD are the culprit. Teacher has suggested everything from anxiety to OCD to Asperger's. My son is one of the smartest people I have met in my lifetime, yet he struggles daily with following directions, listening, and acting impulsively. My husband and I would do anything and everything to help him, and we work our tails off "parenting" him. So please don't be so quick to dismiss this serious issue.

      August 19, 2011 at 15:53 | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      I did not mean to imply in my post that ADHD did not exist, nor that there aren't people who legitimately suffer from it. I was more talking about the fact that it is overdiagnosed, and many of the children being treated for it do not actually have it. Nor did I say that anyone with an ADHD affected kid is by default a lazy parent. But the fact is, there are lazy parents out there, greedy doctors out there, and this rise in diagnoses are likely affected by this.

      August 19, 2011 at 16:01 | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Are there cases of misdiagnosis. Sure. But I respectfully disagree. I think ADHD is UNDERdiagnosed. I work with people who should clearly seek testing and clarification on whether they are ADHD or not. Just as one drunk can often spot another drunk, ADHD people can spot others with ADHD. I don't understand why this is such a hot button issue and why ADHD is viewed so negatively. ADHD is not an automatic sentence to a life of failure and disaster. It certainly brings on unique challenges that need to be managed. I wish that ADHD was better understood when I was a child. It would have saved me years of dealing with self-medicating with alcohol and pot. Which is why it is imperative to properly diagnose and manage children with ADHD. Improve their educational experience and hopefully prevent drug and alcohol abuse which is typical of teens with undiagnosed and untreated ADHD. Studies show that properly managed ADHD during teenage years decreases the likelihood of drugs and alcohol abuse. There are some very good ADHD traits that I consider to be the best parts of myself. If they made a pill tomorrow that would "cure" ADHD I wouldn't take it. I will, however, continue taking my ADHD medication.

      August 19, 2011 at 16:26 | Report abuse |
  23. Eric

    This may just be me being cynical, but any chance that those in the lower income classes have higher ADHD diagnoses because the parents can then file with the Social Security office and get a check in the mail every month for the "disability"? I work with some lower income kids who have this diagnosis, but they don't seem to lack any more focus than I did when I was 13. I probably could have received a similar diagnosis, if I found the right dr.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lin

      That question and your allegation are beyond cynical, Eric. They are ignorant, and border on prejudice against lower-income people. Do some research on the physiological causes behind ADHD, the symptoms and treatment of it, and who is affected by it.

      August 19, 2011 at 16:18 | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      I am hardly ignorant of the issue of federal program abuse, having worked for the US Attorney's office where nearly half of the office's white collar crime workload is focused on misappropriated federal benefits. You may call me prejudicial, I call myself a realist. If it is there for the taking, there are plenty of people out there who have no problem misrepresenting their situation simply to take it. Low income persons are simply more likely to take the risk because their situation is more desperate. If you don't absolutely need the money, why would you risk prison time and fines?

      August 19, 2011 at 21:55 | Report abuse |
  24. quitsa

    Could be that we diagnose more ADHD because of non-caring parents, non-disciplinary parents, drug addicted parents who give birth to drug addicted kids and oh – the state pays the district for every kid labeled "special needs" The school district "special needs" budget now exceeds the regular budget. The good ole USA will reproduce itself out of existence since the only people having kids are the ADHD adults, stupid adults, and mentally ill adults. The normal ones go to work every day and cannot afford to have normal children!!!!.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Robert

      Wow you have some unresolved issues you need to seek therapy for. As I have stated elsewhere in this thread I am a 50 year old adult with ADHD. I have 3 children who have ADHD. For each of my children my wife and I have written a 504 plan that allows for reasonable accomodations like any other condition covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The school district where my children attended did not receive additional funding for any of my children. None of my children were allowed to use their ADHD as an excuse or a crutch. All 3 of these bright and gifted children are currently attending college with plans to do post graduate work. My wife and I are very involved and caring parents and have been married and stable for 28 years. We both work full time jobs and provide for our family. We have never been on public assistance. I am offended at your idiotic comment about "ADHD/stupid/mentally ill" people are the only ones that will be having children. Most of the people I know who have children with ADHD are very similar to our situation. So how does your theory about stupid mentally ill people breed and have ADHD kids so we can get special funding and welfare hold up now?

      August 19, 2011 at 15:57 | Report abuse |
  25. Apeasant

    A culture that needs drugs to raise its children is a dying culture

    August 19, 2011 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. mattmchugh

    And, just out of curiosity, from 1998 to 2009, what was the percentage increase of counselors, therapists, and psychologists on school payrolls?

    I think this may be a "When you got a hammer, every problem looks like a nail" phenomenon.

    - mm

    August 19, 2011 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brenda

      quoth–> counselors, therapists, and psychologists "

      totally. A complete Cottage Industry.

      August 19, 2011 at 21:55 | Report abuse |
  27. Lisa

    I have a son that has ADHD and I am not a lazy parent and I do not like to put my child in a "drug enduced coma". My son does not sit in front of a TV or video game all day. Parenting a child with ADHD takes skill and patience. Everyday skils are a challenge. Dealing with the stress of getting dressed, brushing teeth, combing hair, doing homework, the impulsive behaviors, the temper tantrums. As far as the medications we have come a long way from Ritallin. In fact my son has been on ADHD medications since 1st grade and has never taken Ritallin. I believe that being a good parent is finding the means to help your child be happy and successfull. This means therapists, tutors, neurologists, medication and patience. Even with all of these each day is a challenge. Don't criticize parents until you have walked in our shoes.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Garry, LICSW


    I'm continually amazed, although I shouldn't be by now, about all the mis-perceptions out there about, as Jennifer rightly calls them, "neuro-biological/developmental" conditions (Ok my term but she's on target). While involvement by educators, parents, etc., can either help or hinder kids with ADHD (by the way there is no official category of ADD.. there are 3 subtypes of ADHD), this, along with many mental health conditions, is brain based – NOT a result from bad parents or bad parenting. Further, the use of medication is not an all or nothing matter; it's not all bad or all good. Stimulant meds taken for appropriate reasons do not make people speed freaks. And, one need not have ADHD to be creative or think outside the box – having it is no picnic so, please, let's not glorify it. My suggestion is to become informed about the nature of conditions like ADHD before making uninformed comments. Read or attending seminars.

    FYI: ADHD is really about executive functions..., cognitive functions that reside in a specific brain region that appear not only in ADHD, also Autism, OCD and traumatic brain injury among others.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. andrew

    By the way ADD doesn't mean your just "Slow". It also can mean your Thinking so fast your not a good listener. Your ready to give the answer before you can hear another speak.Hmmmm
    Check out the Amen clinic for ADD information.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Candi

    I think it's possible that there are overly active kids who don't fit the "cookie cutter mold" that are pointed toward that diagnosis by teachers/schools who simply don't want to deal with their behavior. But a child with true AD/HD makes those kids look calm and definitely needs help for the same reasons. If parents don't help them find a way to reign in that energy and creativity, they will be labled within the schools, their education will suffer and their self-esteem will be shot from constatnly being told what they are doing is wrong. I have an 8 year old who was diagnosed in 1st grade and behavior therapy along with medication was the best thing that happened to him. Contrary to popular/ignorant belief, his medication does not turn him into a zombie. That only happens if the medicine is not the right one or the dose is too high. Instead of being in constant motion and lost in constant thought, he can now sit through a school day without getting in trouble and do the necessary tests/assignments to the best of his abilities. And his abilities? He is a freakishly good drummer for his age (what better instrument for an AD/HD kid to play?) and has been selected to his school district's gifted/talented pool, opening up opportunities galore! All thanks to a 1st grade teacher who saw his potential and worried about him falling behind as the work got harder, a pediatrician who knew him from birth and, even though his school was concerned in kindergarden, wanted to wait a year to see if it was just immaturity and a therapist who loves children and has ADD himself. I am so proud of my brilliant boy and all he has accomplished and overcome. His future is bright. I feel sorry for the AD/HD kids with parents who refuse to accept that it is a real diagnosis and just think it's something lazy teachers make up. It's real, it's typically genetic and, if diagnosed, treatable. It's also a gift if you can just learn to work with it rather than against it.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Unbelieveable!

    I can't believe what I am reading! Lazy parenting, lazy teachers??? I happen to be both and am very offended at some of the comments. My child has severe ADHD and it is NOT from how we parent. Until you have a child with ADHD or teach children with ADHD you have no business saying it comes from parenting.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Candi

      It's straight up ignorance and "crunchy" websites warning about "big pharma" and medication turning kids into zombies, which those of us with AD/HD children know is entirely untrue. A parent of an AD/HD kid is anything BUT lazy...lol!

      August 19, 2011 at 15:38 | Report abuse |
  32. Parent

    The ignorance keeps coming...if you've never tried to raise a child with this diagnosis, then you don't have say on this board. It's real and it's hard to deal with when it's your child. When a true ADHD child takes ritalin its SLOWS them down – explain that away to parenting, etc. So to the idiots like Parenting, yabbut, whoever - shove it. Be thankful you never had to deal with it.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Robert

      VERY well put Parent. Thank you for another voice of reason in a sea of ignorance here.

      August 19, 2011 at 16:05 | Report abuse |
  33. TinMT

    I have often wondered if ADD/ADHD is the beginning of a healthy adaptation to the overstimulation of our youth foisted upon them by the rapid changes in technology, with those impairments on the PDD spectrum being an unhealthy one. No research on this, just my musings as I continually run into children who have been misdiagnosed with ADD. It is conceivable that the true ADD brain is trying to catch up and that in 50 years or so we could see this not as a disorder any longer. As stated in the article, many parents first hear about the possibility of ADD/ADHD from educators. I often have parents come into my office telling me that the school/teacher/principal, etc. have told them their child has ADD/ADHD and that the child needs Ritalin. I am a clinician in a Community Mental Health Center. What I also see is that Pediatricians or Primary Care Providers often prescribe stimulants without ever consulting a professional, or at least the DSM-IV. Of statistical significance, in my experience, is more often there is a significant trauma history which is overlooked. The distractibility/poor concentration, etc. can often be traced to intrusive thoughts, recurring thoughts, fears, etc. related to trauma. With effective trauma treatment, we often see the 'ADD/ADHD" symptoms resolve. For those not in the practice of diagnosing ADD/ADHD it is important to remember that the symptoms must be present in 2 or more environments. I have also seen an increase in adults coming to our clinic requesting stimulants because they have been told they have ADD/ADHD. As there are no criteria in the DSM-IV for diagnosing this in adults, prescribers often write stimulant prescriptions based on the client's assertion of the diagnosis. This is not good practice, many of our 'ADD adults' also have addiction issues and prescribing stimulants only serves to feed their addiction.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lin

      TinMT, a lot of those adults have addiction problems BECAUSE they have been forced to self-medicate for years. They grew up being told they were lazy and stupid and not trying and getting yelled at and ridiculed by teachers and parents and classmates for their poor grades and behaviors. They knew something was wrong with themselves, and no one would listen. When they tried addictive substances, something either made them feel more normal or it just took away the pain for a while.

      August 19, 2011 at 15:56 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne

      You do make some very valid points...I tend to say had the society been one based on different priorities..where the world worked on intuition, creativity, inspiration and not on deadlines and test scores etc...that the ADD/ADHD people might be considered the normal ones and the evolution angle has occurred to me...I think the tendency has always been there for ADD/ADHD(genetic neurochemical levels), but as humans have gone further and further from hunter/gatherer and survival mode to a more intellectual environment and lifestyle, with education and better health care, and so on....our brains are changing...and I'm not at all surprised that we see more ADD/ADHD among the very intelligent kids, because they are the ones who fit better in such a society...at the risk of sounding nerdy ...the ADD/ADHD people would be perfect in a Star Trek future...the dreamers, the idealists, innovators...people who's minds work on problems and ideas because they want to, not because they have a quota to make so and so much money or products by a deadline. I've also wondered if there have been any studies on how much mylonation (not sure of spelling...been too many years since my BA in psych!) and ADD/ADHD. I seem to recall a correlation between intelligence and higher levels of neural mylonation.

      As to the addiction issues in many adult add/adhd people..I have also heard of that....and in some cases it does seem to be self medicating....though often self defeating depending on what you chose....in others, I could also imagine it is a form of escapism from what they are dealing with. I know I was drinking a lot of caffeine before I went on the adderall....which I have since mostly cut out.

      August 19, 2011 at 23:12 | Report abuse |
  34. Not More, More Accurate

    As someone who has ADHD, I believe that there is a trend towards over diagnosis children. An immature child does not necessarily have ADHD. On the opposite side of the coin, however, there are plenty of people who have ADHD who are NOT diagnosed. I am 23, and was not diagnosed until 4 months ago, and it has been a life-changing experience. Not to mention, my father, age 45, has ADHD and was not diagnosed until.... get this.... 6 months ago. So, along with any chronic psychological issue, the more we know, the more accurate the diagnosis will become!

    August 19, 2011 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Pete H

    I've dealt with ADD my entire life, though I wasn't "diagnosed" until I was an adult. Yes, I take medication for it. I have to, in order to fit into the "sit down and do your work" pigeonhole modern society expects everyone to fit into. Those that don't fit are labeled as "underachievers" and are said to "not be working to their potential." They also have a hell of a time trying to get a college degree! School to me was tantamount to prison. A couple of hundred years ago, these same "underachievers" would have been excellent hunters, soldiers, trackers, sailors, and the like. This is one of those situations where the human brain hasn't evolved as quickly as society has changed. Of course, society could indeed move in the other direction where education would play second fiddle to the ability to sense dozens of mental stimuli and respond to them just to survive. Of course, that could never happen, right? As for the low percentage of Mexican kids diagnosed; if this data was derived only from kids being educated in the U.S, one would probably find that most educators would assume any inattention on the part of a Mexican child was somehow due to a language issue.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Woody20

    ADHD doesn't exist! It's all made up to sell drugs!

    August 19, 2011 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      Yes, it really does exist and as long people continue to be ignorant and insensitive about the disorder, people will continue to pass it off as another joke diagnosis for doctors and drug companies to make money. ADHD has been around for a very long time and has been actively studied for 100 years. It is not something new created out of thin air, and since it's an actual neurological disorder resulting from genetics and brain development it is not going to vanish suddenly either.

      I'm not claiming that everyone who is told they do or might have ADHD have been properly diagnosed. What I am saying is that it's really frustrating when people that do have the disorder are shunned as being lazy or just a failure in general by people that do not have the disorder and do not understand it. It can be very traumatizing, especially with children when they do not receive proper treatment and grow up thinking they're just stupid.

      August 19, 2011 at 23:41 | Report abuse |
  37. doobie

    There is no such thing as ADHD..

    Either it's a made up 'excuse' disease, or for no apparent reason in the last 20 years the amount of people with it increases by like 50x.

    At this rate, everybody will have a neurological disorder in a few decades. What a joke.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Candi

      Go smoke another doobie. You obviously have no idea/experience with this.

      August 19, 2011 at 15:41 | Report abuse |
  38. Varier

    It's called G-8. It was introduced to your blood stream when you were a child and you pass it on through your genes.
    You can thank Du-Pont.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Marx

    People need to stop confusing uniqueness and non-conformity with psychological disorders. Some kids with ADHD are far brighter and more intelligent than those without it, albeit they might be more socially awkward(which isn't a bad thing).

    August 19, 2011 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Karen

    I work with a guy who claims to suffer from this. Funny how it only effects him at work, and not at his weekly poker game!

    August 19, 2011 at 15:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jeanne

      Karen...that is because Poker not only interested him, but the excitement of gambling increases the adrenylin levels, which is a stimulant. Stimulants raise the norepinephren/dopamine levels, allowing focus, and even hyperfocus......granted, the tendency has to be seen in more than one environment to be ADD/ADHD...but the one place you will see an overabundance of focus is when it is something the ADD/ADHD person finds of interest. Gambling, like caffiene, and other things can be forms of attempted self medicating because it does stuff to the brain's chemical levels.

      August 19, 2011 at 23:26 | Report abuse |
  41. Morgan

    The increase in diagnosis is related to increase in drug advertising and parents' desire to have a "one up" on everyone else. One private school in town has 20% on adhd medications. Teenagers learn from their friends how to get prescriptions for these stimulant drugs by coming to their doctor and saying they can't pay attention. Too many doctors just hand out the prescriptions. Parents pressure doctors to put their kids on these drugs – amazing how many kids are brought to the pediatrician to get this diagnosis right before the PSAT test – I know, I am a pediatrician. These drugs are like academic steroids and widely abused.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Shannon

    I would have once thought that medicating a child was inappropriate. However I have a 10 year old in my house that without a doubt has ADHD. I think the majority of people look at medication as a bad thing and trust me I was that parent as well However my 10 year old can tell you all about the frustrations he goes through dealing with this. I can sit here all day and defend mine and my husbands parenting but he is my child and not yours. He lives in my home and not yours. He is my responsibility and not yours. I sit and read these boards and everyone on here must really know it all. I guess I should have let you decide what is best to raise my children. I spend more time with various Doctors who have been unable to help. We have tried various medications to try to help my son feel "like all of the other kids". However until you are in the childs shoes we really do not knowwhat it is like. I can tell you we punish our son and daughter for bad behavior. My children are being raised just as I was. However I could reason and understand right and wrong. I could also remember that my parents told me to look both ways before I cross the street. It appears to me that deep down most of you today do not see some of the safety concerns with raising ADHD children. However today's society says children should have cell phones and I disagree. I survived with a lot less then the kids have today. I turned out to be a productive citizen. Both my husband and I have jobs and we are doing the best we can for both of our kids. Just remember while you sit and critize other people that you really have no idea of the things that go on in other people's home. The only people I feel bad for are the children. What are we telling our youth when we are not doing everything we can to teach them values and morals?

    August 19, 2011 at 15:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. qwerty

    Check your local library for the movie Generation RX. The statistics and information about pharmaceutical companies supplying Ritalin are a real eye opener...

    August 19, 2011 at 15:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Kevin

    I met a guy who claimed he had adult ADHD. It was funny to see how his attention was so focused on what he wanted to do and not on what he had to do at work. He had no problems on talking to people and planning his weekends, but god forbid he had to pay attention at work.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Robert

      Yup. It is called being able to "hyperfocus". It comes easy for someone with ADHD when it is something new or exciting or the deadline is 10 minutes away and you have 3 hours of work to do. Routine day to day tasks just aren't that fun. It is just how an ADHD brain is wired. It is part of the daily struggles that an ADHD individual deals with. It isn't a character flaw and we aren't crazy, lazy or stupid. In fact, most ADHD people are above average intelligence with some in the MENSA catagory. Many of today's leaders and shakers are adults with ADHD. David Neeleman, the founder of Jet Blue Airlines, Will Smith, Sir Richard Branson, Howie Mandel, Terry Bradshaw, James Carville, Paul Orfalea who founded Kinkos among others. Hardly a group of stupid, lazy or mentally ill people. You might want to check out http://www.chadd.org and get some facts before you pass judgement on this guy or anyone else you meet who "claims to have ADHD".

      August 19, 2011 at 16:15 | Report abuse |
  45. Unbelieveable!

    My child is medicated and he is not a zombie when he is medicated! Times have changed and there are more medication options. When he is medicated he can focus and fully understand and not miss anything. Again, he is not a zombie. My child is very bright and offers a lot to his classmates. Some of you people making comments need to get a life. If you want to come and live in my shoes for a week, let me know!

    August 19, 2011 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. GBfromOhio

    Oh great, another opportunity for the clueless to post "there's no such thing as ADHD, kids and parents are just lazy". It does not matter what the health issue is, there are always mean-spirited, simple-minded people with predictable, cliche responses. YOU ARE THE FOLKS WHO ARE LAZY ... too lazy to deal with learning disabilities and take the effort to facilitate ways for everyone in our society to learn and contribute. For those with these lame responses, your disabilites are many ... intolerant, inflexible, uneducated, inability to empathize. I will say this, I agree a diagnosis should be made by a trained behavioral scientist, i.e. a phycholgist, who specilaized in cognitve testing and learning disabilities, not a GP or teacher, although they may pass along their observations so a diagnosis can be made.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      please read my post below

      August 19, 2011 at 15:57 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Don't bother reading Jim's post; it's the typical "ADHD" isn't real garbage.

      August 19, 2011 at 21:54 | Report abuse |
  47. Roger

    ADHD affects middle class Americans, UK, Canadian and spreading into Australia. Other countries chalk it up to a personality disorder for which I agree.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Robert

      Since ADHD has been proven to have a genetic component your statement about the USA, UK, Canada and Australia is correct. However, ADHD is not a middle class disease. It affects all income levels and does not magically appear in poor people and go away when you become rich. It is a neurological condition relating to executive functioning in the brain of the ADHD individual. It is no different that having a genetically influenced condition like diabetes or blue eyes. It is NOT a personality disorder. It is not a mental illness. It is not a character flaw. We are not lazy, crazy or stupid. Quit the contrary. We have to work much harder and develop coping skills to achieve the same level of success as non-ADHD people.

      August 19, 2011 at 16:47 | Report abuse |
  48. Baer

    They ruin the kids' brains with sugar and hyper cartoons (ever watch Power Rangers Dino Thunder? Prepare for a siezure) then make some cash on the back end by pumping them full of amphetamines and making them dependent. They can do the same to adults who grew up reading books and playing outside who now go from screen to screen except when they're looking at the wall while standing at the urinal.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      This is absolutely not true. Real ADHD is the result of genetics and cannot be induced by sugar and tv or whatever else you want to blame it on.

      The root cause of ADHD comes from how the brain functions and develops certain areas that control mood regulation and motor control. In short, the brain of a person that really does have ADHD has an underdeveloped limbic system and a lack of dopamine production causing them to seek out stimulating activities much more frequently than others in order to boost dopamine production.

      August 19, 2011 at 21:35 | Report abuse |
  49. ReputardianGuardian

    That would explain the following of the Repubtard and Tea Losers.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Robert

      I am a Democrat.

      August 19, 2011 at 16:28 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Myself and the other members of my family that have verified ADHD, have very high IQ levels and are all "Democrats" for lack of a better designation.

      August 19, 2011 at 23:53 | Report abuse |
    • Jeanne

      I'm ADD and am NOT a follower of the TEA PARTY! If anything, a lot of ADD/ADHD people are very independent thinkers who don't just follow the loudest voice in the crowd blindly! Usually, the loudest voice is also the craziest, the most insecure and ignorant person or group trying to make themselves seem important and justified!

      August 19, 2011 at 23:58 | Report abuse |
  50. Jim

    To me there are two issues here with this "condition". If it is diagnosed more often, more money is being made through the sale of drugs, the perennial quick fix in America. Drugs, by their very nature are toxic to the body and virtually all of the cause side effects. Why is it that western medicine is always obsessed with finding the cure while ignoring the cause? Simple answer, money.

    This is a relatively new issue in society. Why? Environmental stimulation has conditioned he mind to always be looking for further stimulation. It is an addictive behavior. Watch an old movie or a TV show from the fifties. The mimic life. One or two cameras and a natural flow is what you see. Today's movies, television, video games, live concerts are all flash, flash, flash. You can't focus on anything for more than a millisecond. That's the environment that we live in.

    The culture is training people into attention deficit conditions and it has created a generation of aggressive, hyper, impatient, angry young people as well as some older ones. Slow things down and many of these problems will go away without drugs.

    August 19, 2011 at 15:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      1. The most commonly used ADHD medications are not patented and have not been for many many years making them very affordable and cheap with many generics available. There are new versions being developed, but the point is not to increase cost but reduce the ability to abuse the medications. We are talking about amphetamines here.

      Also, it's not about money, but about helping people that really do have ADHD increase the dopamine production their brains lack to help them function in a society where individual expression and impulsivity are supposed to be beaten out of you by the time you finish High School.

      2. ADHD is no where near a new issue in society. It's been researched for almost 100 years now. People have always had and will continue to have it because unlike your belief that it's being created randomly it's actually a genetically carried trait that is very commonly passed on.

      3. For people that really do have the disorder, and not just people that a parent or teacher had drugged, there is an actual difference in the structure of the brain from people without the disorder. The limbic system of a person with ADHD does not function to regulate mood, motivation, and self control like that of a person without the disorder. In extreme cases, people with ADHD have a nearly complete lack of regulation by their limbic system.

      August 19, 2011 at 21:51 | Report abuse |
    • DebP

      I would agree that kids are overstimulated today, but on many levels. Not only television, video games etc, but their systems are overrun with a whole host of chemicals that were not around as much 50 years ago. Those whose genetics do not support detoxification as well will struggle to get rid of all this abundance of chemicals and pollution, and when their bodies can no longer handle the invasion, it will affect their minds. The extent may start out as hyperactivity and spread all the way to autism. Yes, the brains thus develop differently.
      It is a gross negligence in duty of care on the level of humanity. While products and services are made 'for the people', the consequences are felt by 'the people', and noone seems to care.
      I think if every human being were to take some oath such as the Hypocratic Oath for them to be able to be part of the human race, then all of these problems might go away. People should care that kids get overstimulated. People should care that the world is full of toxins. And not just some people but ALL people. We need to start thinking about communities where we care about each other so that noone would even contemplate allowing toxics spills, or the use of toxic chemicals in products, or supplying products that will overstimulate our kids.
      Why are we also so busy trying to distract our kids RATHER than spending our time trying to make them integrated, useful and productive members of society?
      And Joe, you mention it is not about money. I would say it goes both ways. I do believe those on the R&D level truly have their hearts in the right place. I know, I used to work in that area, and my husband still does. Yet the further a product gets into development, the more the product is taken away from R&D and placed in the hands of business people and lawyers. Unless a company is 'not for profit', then the bottom line will always be money. Yes, the product's patents may have expired and the prices may have gone down. Yet with lower prices this means that to be profitable they must be bought by more people – prescribed to more children and teens.
      The bottom line is that we ALL need to start caring. The blame game is over. Its time for everyone to grow up and act like the real human beings we were put on this earth to be.

      August 20, 2011 at 03:30 | Report abuse |
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