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TOPIC: ADHD: Time To Change Course

ADHD: Time To Change Course 14 Nov 2013 00:07 #294

ADHD: time to change course
Posted November 10, 2013 by Susan C. Hawthorne

In March 2013, we learned that 11% of US children and teens have received an ADHD diagnosis, an increase of 41% in 10 years. Diagnoses among adults have sharply increased as well. Some ADHD experts welcome this change. They interpret these high rates as signs that much-needed attention is finally being given to people whose biology has been a disadvantage in work, school, and relationships. Other professionals have been taken aback by the current diagnostic rate and its purported repercussions, citing risks such as overprescription of drugs, medicalization of normal behaviors, and drug diversion to street use.

No general uproar has materialized, however. On the contrary, it’s looking like the upward trend will continue. Recent publications explain how to increase screening rates via computerized assessments, and how to hone diagnosis with a new EEG test. Most important, the new diagnostic guidelines in the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 relax the diagnostic criteria, pulling more people, especially adolescents and adults, under the “ADHD” umbrella. The ADHD therapeutics market has responded enthusiastically, predicting high profits from increased diagnostic rates.

One reason for the lack of outcry might be that people see this as the continuation of a steady trend: same old, same old. Diagnostic rates have been increasing for decades. Another might be the continued sway of the pharmaceutical business. It has effectively hyped the diagnosis for 40 years through targeted medical education; advertising to physicians, patients, and parents; and a smorgasbord of perks for “opinion leaders” and clinicians.


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Last Edit: 20 Jul 2015 15:25 by michael.bailey.
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