Is ADHD being overdiagnosed....and are their drugs being ove

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is it?

YES
11
85%
NO
2
15%
 
Total votes : 13

Is ADHD being overdiagnosed....and are their drugs being ove

Postby k9ruby » Fri May 12, 2006 5:17 pm

Is ADHD being overdiagnosed....and are their drugs being over perscribed?

Just thought i would post this as it seems to be a common debate now.
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Postby parnassus » Fri May 12, 2006 6:06 pm

I wish you had given more poll options as I don't think it's a straight yes/no question. It could be that the level of diagnosis is about right - after all, awareness of AD/HD is rising now so it is only logical that more people are being referred to the doctor - but that the way in which it is being treated is wrong. Drugs are very helpful to many AD/HD people - but not all. There is a danger in treating Ritalin the way we treat aspirin. Perhaps the diagnosticians should look very carefully at all the factors in the child's life to decide what to do about the problem, rather than automatically writing out a prescription.

Recent newspaper reports have revealed that a disturbing number of American college students have started faking the symptoms of AD/HD in order to get their hands on Ritalin, which they call 'Vitamin R'. They think it will help them to pass their exams. Couple this fraud with the fact that many children are subsisting off Smarties and other junk foods that do nothing for the brain, and it could be that AD/HD is being overdiagnosed. Personally I don't think that doctors do enough to rule out extraneous factors before giving the diagnosis, so after some wavering I ticked 'yes'.
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thanks

Postby k9ruby » Fri May 12, 2006 8:45 pm

I think as you said vicky, all factors should be considered first, and then drugs as a very last resort (if their is a geiniene problem)
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Postby Alice » Tue May 16, 2006 7:14 pm

I do agree that other factors should be taken into account, but it sounds to me like your blaming the doctors. I think your underestimating the amount of pressure doctors are under too make sure nothing goes untreated (but that nobody gets unnessaseraly refered to a specialist). I think the kids parents and school are where the blame should go, for not seeing the factors that they are more likley to know about then the doctor is.
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Postby parnassus » Tue May 16, 2006 8:37 pm

I appreciate the hard work doctors do and the pressure they are under. I just don't think it is fair to place the onus for correct diagnosis on a child's school or his parents. I discovered my own dyspraxia and made an appointment with the school's special teacher to discuss it - without my parents or my teachers ever doing a thing. My parents had never even heard about it.

After my original assessment with the educational psychologist, I was sent to a paediatric neurologist to see if I had brain damage. (My difficulties were so severe that the ed. psych. was afraid they might amount to more than a specific learning difficulty.) The neurologist sent me for a brain scan. Then she arranged for me to have a special eye test with the opthalmologist, plus a blood test to rule out possible chromosomal disorders.

Neurologists are very busy and extremely pressurised people. My GP said to me, "You're lucky to be seeing her - paediatric neurologists are like gold dust." It would have been far easier for her to skip the eye test, skip the blood examination, even skip the MRI - just confirm the ed. psych's diagnosis of dyspraxia after the brief series of physical tests she made me do. And why not? She would have discharged her own duties.

But if I had been suffering from something like Fragile X Syndrome or brain damage, which was the initial fear, I would never have known about it. Misdiagnosis can cause a lot of problems, and parents very rarely possess the specialist medical knowledge necessary to prevent it. I would rather put my faith in a medical school graduate where drugs are concerned, no matter how loving and sharp-eyed my parents and teachers are.
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same

Postby k9ruby » Wed May 17, 2006 4:05 pm

After my original assessment with the educational psychologist, I was sent to a paediatric neurologist to see if I had brain damage. (My difficulties were so severe that the ed. psych. was afraid they might amount to more than a specific learning difficulty.) The neurologist sent me for a brain scan. Then she arranged for me to have a special eye test with the opthalmologist, plus a blood test to rule out possible chromosomal disorders.


Same here! I had a blood test when i was about 3 (They manged to jab it into me whilst i was watching a fizzy light apparently, very crafty..), and I have also had a MRI scan!! (so noisy, so long to keep still)
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Postby Guest » Wed May 17, 2006 10:06 pm

I think ADHD is probably over diagnosed in the USA at least. Poor diet, sedentary life style with no exercise and to many computer games and por pearenting can all contribute to symptons of ADHD. I think awarness will have lead to greater correct diagnosis. But I can't help thinking that Ritalin seems and easy way out for some people not to mention its misuse (perhaps not appropriate to mention here but if you've seen desperate Housewives / House you may have an idea).

I do hate to say this though as I know how amazingly frustrating an upsetting it is to meet people often profesional who do not belive in SEN; dyslexia and dyspraxia, ADHD are largely products of Middle class parents need for an excuse for for there chldrens poor behaviour / stupidity or social workers needing a label for the vile children in there care. I'm foaming at the mouth but these opinions are supprisingly widespread. So if my view on ADHD helps confim there views I'm sad but in fact I think misdisgnosis probably reinforced these opinions.
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Postby towildhoney » Wed May 17, 2006 10:09 pm

that was me
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Postby Hermionefan5 » Sat May 20, 2006 7:23 am

Anonymous wrote:I think ADHD is probably over diagnosed in the USA at least. Poor diet, sedentary life style with no exercise and to many computer games and por pearenting can all contribute to symptons of ADHD. I think awarness will have lead to greater correct diagnosis. But I can't help thinking that Ritalin seems and easy way out for some people not to mention its misuse (perhaps not appropriate to mention here but if you've seen desperate Housewives / House you may have an idea).

I do hate to say this though as I know how amazingly frustrating an upsetting it is to meet people often profesional who do not belive in SEN; dyslexia and dyspraxia, ADHD are largely products of Middle class parents need for an excuse for for there chldrens poor behaviour / stupidity or social workers needing a label for the vile children in there care. I'm foaming at the mouth but these opinions are supprisingly widespread. So if my view on ADHD helps confim there views I'm sad but
in fact I think misdisgnosis probably reinforced these opinions.


Totally agree. I live in the states (as most of you know). My mom is a kindergarten teacher and gets many kids each year who have add/adhd or are just really hyperactive (I mean, they're like six years old, so they kind of are at a hyperactive age!) :lol: . She has to sometimes meet with parents to talk about the kids and they try to see if they have the disorder. The kids usually see a doctor and some are diagnosed, some aren't. People are diagnosed by a doctor here though, not just a teacher or parent. I think that some kids are just hyperactive, personally. I know people that are just jumpy and like to talk a lot, who maybe don't do that well in school, but they don't really have add/adhd. I think that they should do more brainscans to see if a person actually has it because it is a brain disorder. If a person doesn't have it, then they won't have the same exact patterns as someone who does (at least I don't think so, if it's not that way, maybe a DNA test would be good). I don't think it's fair to put someone on medication who doesn't need it. Way too many moms and dads/caregivers are letting drugs take care of their kids. My roommate told me that our generation (Generation Y, if you want to know), is the most medicated generation yet because of all our medical advances in depression pills and add/adhd pills, etc. THESE ARE NOT BAD!!!! PLEASE DON'T THINK I'M PULLING A TOM CRUISE* HERE! I THINK MEDICINE IS GREAT IF IT IS GIVEN TO THE RIGHT PERSON AND IF IT IS THE RIGHT MEDICATION FOR THAT PERSON! But if you are not add/adhd, I don't think you should be taking Ritalin. The point is too many people are being put on Ritalin because people "think" they have add/adhd, in my opinion.

*If you don't know, since I've met up with people who didn't know this lately: Pulling a Tom Cruise is telling everyone false stuff about medications (for instance, that post-partum depression pills are bad for women who have post-partum depression). THIS IS NOT TRUE!!!! It's just something that Tom Cruise said in the media last summer (around the same time he announced his engagement to Katie Holmes). He enfuriated Brooke Shields (a victim of Post-Partum depression, who says she survived because she took medication), and she basically said that he was full of crap and everything (WHICH IS TRUE). Cruise really ruined his carreer because he turned many people, especailly women, against him. I personally took medication for depression earlier in my life. It helped me a lot. In fact, I don't really need to take it anymore because it helped me so much. But, many people, including my grandma and uncle, need medication for their illnesses. If they don't take it, then they will have tons of bad things happen (my uncle had schizophrenia and my grandma is bipolar). They could be in deep trouble and do things that they normally wouldn't dream of doing (bad things) without their meds. THe danger of not taking medication is that your disorder might do more harm than good.

The danger of misdiagnosis is that people will think they have one thing their whole life or they could maybe get addicted to the medication (as we see in the movie Garden State (This is the one thing about Cruise's point that I agree with).

I hope I have not confused anyone.
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Postby carebear15 » Fri May 26, 2006 10:39 pm

I have adhd, and i was diagnosed feb. 2001 but i was having behavior problems and everything from i will say what i can remember is 2nd-12th grade and still have behavior problems. I know i was diagnosed correctly. It hurts me how i behave and i don't like how i behave. I scare people away by my behavior problems and i am very hyper, and impulsive, and i have a short attention span and everything. I have the combined type adhd. It is a mild case, so that is good news. I am doing better now that i am on the right medicine. I take ritalin. My cousin has adhd and he was diagnosed at 7 years old and his is more severe. I feel like adhd meds can get in the wrong hands and like i seen in the newspaper how a boy was taking adderall and he was stealing off of somebody. He doesn't have adhd. That is so wrong that adhd meds get abused. Cancer meds are abused also, because a lady that came to my house and she said that her husband beat her, it was a lie,she stole my little brother cancer meds, those meds were so important for him because if he doesn't take those meds he can die. This happen when he was in middle school. He is in remission and was diagnosed in sept. 1997 with acute lymphoma leukemia. So you can understand. That lady was a drug adict. that she abuse drugs and did drugs.
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Postby Ross Millar » Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:19 pm

I think some parents know there child is badly behaved ... show me a young child who isnt hyperacitve at the age... diet and "e" numbers are a major factor in todays childern ... im very aware that some parents may be mis diagnosing there child as having ADHD instead of looking at the individual child and there parenting skills just because they have badly behaved childern
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Postby tears_on_a_pillow » Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:13 am

I could write pages about this but Il try and summerise for you all.

I was diagnosed with ADHD in 1997 when I was 15. Back then it was rare to hear of girls with ADHD in fact it was rare to hear ADHD muttered at all, as even though ADHD underdifferent names has been described by medical profeesionals since 1902 not many are and were willing to give the behaviours a name.

I think now a days there is a lot more for want of a better word 'crap' in people's food and this has a chemical reaction with them which is very different to how it actually is living with ADHD.

There is a huge difference with ADHD and chemical induced hyperactivity, not to mention the day dreaming space caddets who are often over looked as they appear to be in their own worlds.

Some research says 1% of the population have ADHD but thats probably higher as a lot of people still have the opinion that you can grow out of ADHD, when in fact a lot of people find their ADHD presents its self in different ways the older that they get. If only its as simple as taking a tablet the night before your 18th birthday and it transforming you over night, I personally believe that as you get older if you have had a diagnoses 'earlier' then you learn your own ways of dealing with the symptoms, where as the longer it takes to get that diagnoses the more life frustrates as you just dont know what you have or how to help it.

The media has certinally not made it easy for survivors of ADHD as it is 99.9% of the time full of negative stories, how nice it would be to hear about the success' of ADHD'ers, how nice still it would be if the celebrities who have 'come out' so to speak helped to raise awareness, (daniel bedignfield sp* and duncan from Blue, Robbie Williams and a lot more besides) there are so many famous people with ADHD yet there are very few people willing to give aDHD a voice and enable it to be used as a advantage.

I myself have spoken at numerous conferences about ADHD since 1997, I have also run a support group on my own since 1997 and I still run 6 years down the road the first website anywhere in the world with first hand experience of ADHD, (yes I know it needs updating big time!!) www.yadhdpm.co.uk Im sure since my site hit the web a lot more people with ADHD have been inspired as I set it up iwth the intention of helping a max of 10 people, but nearly 60THOUSAND says I have exceeded all I could of dreamed of

Anyways its 2.15am and I need my bed
Lea
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Postby Ross Millar » Wed Jun 28, 2006 8:01 pm

Its an extremly intresting maze we have got ourself into here! ... we need to be really careful here ourselfs when making comments. We need to consider...

- The link between increased awareness and increased rate of diagnosis
- Contributary factors such as family enviroment and extended
enviroment
- And if people on an ADHD forum were answering a topic "Is dyspraxia
being overdiagnosed" how would like people to answer that?

The ADHD debate is a very intresting issue and one that will provide an intresting yet an informative response.
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Postby parnassus » Wed Jun 28, 2006 10:01 pm

The first two points you made about extraneous variables have already been addressed. My argument is that not enough is being done to screen out such variables. With college students happily admitting that they have successfully got their hands on drugs such as Ritalin through feigning the symptoms of AD/HD, the net is clearly not tight enough.

Your third point - how we would feel if people with AD/HD were discussing whether dyspraxia is being overdiagnosed - doesn't add anything to this debate. That is a separate argument altogether. I wouldn't be particularly bothered if people with AD/HD were discussing whether co-ordination disorders are overdiagnosed, as I know that my own diagnosis is correct. I would probably be inclined to agree with them. I've known a staggering number of dishonest people who have exaggerated their difficulties to get disability allowances for university, and that's just one cause of misdiagnosis. There are surely more.
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Postby Page » Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:22 am

I don't know if ADD/AD HD itself is being over diagnosed, but i definitely feel that the ADD meds are being overprescribed to kids who don't really need it.

When kids are running around and can't sit still, I wonder if the people in charge of schools have forgotten that that kind of behavior is WHAT KIDS DO. You can't expect kids to sit still all day like adults, but I think that people are giving kids too much ritalin to induce exactly that kind of behavior because they don't know how to control kids otherwise. Giving kids chemical lobotomies every day to keep them from acting their age can't possibly be a good thing.

When I was young, they shoveled ritalin into me everyday in an attempt to make me focus in class. It never did help very much in that regard and it completely overlooked the fact that I was constantly tired and couldn't stand up for very long without falling over--- The latter symptoms are not typical of ADHD. My particular manifestation of dyspraxia affects my concentration, memory, and organizational abilities signifigantly, so it would be easy to misdiagnose it as ADHD since some of the symptoms are somewhat similar.
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