Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Are We Fostering Overdiagnosis?

  • Abdul Basit
Keywords: ADHD, Diagnosis of ADHD, treatment modalities for ADHD, Side Effects of Stimulants


There has been a growing restlessness among professionals and parents about the diagnosis and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is estimated that ADHD is occurring in as many as one out of 10 school-age children and 1 out of 20 adults. The rapidly growing use of stimulants (such as Ritalin) for children with ADHD has raised serious concerns. It is also worth special mention that the production of Ritalin has increased 500%. Many professionals think that the excessive use of stimulants reflects our keen desire for a “quick fix.” Parents have serious concerns regarding possible side effects. Some of the side effects of stimulants are insomnia, reduced appetite, suppressed growth, and suicidal thoughts, and they have long-range health implications. A critical review about the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD is vital to understanding the unsettled issues that have generated heated debate among professionals.

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