Childhood ADHD: Under Or Over Diagnosed

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In an ABC News segment titled Missing ADHD Diagnosis, Lost Childhood, interviewers talk to Andrea Frank, a 38-year-old nursing assistant from Wisconsin. While bright, she struggled in school and at work, where she never lived up to her potential. But when she married and had two boys, she noticed signs that they had behavior traits like her and wanted answers.

The answer came up to be childhood Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD for short and that diagnosis gave Andrea Frank the answer she was looking for. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the characteristics of childhood ADHD focus around three factors: inattention, such as having difficulty focusing on one thing; hyperactivity, like talking nonstop; and impulsivity, such as blurting out inappropriate comments, showing emotions without restraint, and acting regardless of consequences.

The National Institute of Mental Health goes on to say that that children with ADHD can have other similar disorders as well such as oppositional defiance disorder, bipolar disorder, or anxiety. ADHD can also be mistaken for other disorders or other disorders being mistaken for it, leading to false and incorrect diagnoses.

In fact, according to an article published in MedPage in 2013, the rates of ADHD diagnosis among children has increased at a rate of 25 percent or from 2.5 percent to 3.1 percent. Diagnoses of ADHD among children are on the rise and that likely means that the number of children being put on strong medications for ADHD is on the rise as well.

The medications, often stimulants such as Adderall, can cause numerous side effects such as loss of appetite, nausea, dizziness, or even mood changes such as irritation and agitation. Of course, there other medications that don't act as stimulants and homeopathic methods of recovery as well, for parents who are leery about giving their child a stimulant or a pill with terrible side effects.

For many like Andrea Frank, the diagnosis of ADHD is a blessing in that it enables patients and sufferers to find a solution for their ailments. But the diagnosis is just the start of the process, a process where medication (stimulant and non-stimulant) plays a role and where homeopathic methods can help a great deal as well.

Note: The image is a visual of the percentage of children ever diagnosed with ADHD from ages four through seven. The survey was taken by the National Survey of Children's Health in 2007.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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