A recent article in the newspaper screamed that ADHD diagnosis is rising in the US. 11% of the kids have ADHD.
The article points:
A.D.H.D. has historically been estimated to affect 3 to 7 percent of children. These new rates reflect a marked rise over the last decade and could fuel growing concern among many doctors that the A.D.H.D. diagnosis and its medication are overused in American children. About two-thirds of those with a current diagnosis receive prescriptions for stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall.
And even more teenagers are likely to be prescribed medication in the near future because theAmerican Psychiatric Association plans to change the definition of A.D.H.D. to allow more people to receive the diagnosis and treatment. the new rates suggest that millions of children may be taking medication merely to calm behavior or to do better in school. There’s a tremendous push where if the kid’s behavior is thought to be “abnormal “— if they’re not sitting quietly at their desk — that’s pathological, instead of just childhood.
So who benefits:
The pharmaceutical industry. Sales of stimulants to treat A.D.H.D. have more than doubled to $9 billion in 2012 from $4 billion in 2007, according to the health care information company IMS Health.
And what is worse, parents don’t even realize that they are being manipulated. Several doctors recently mentioned that advertising from the pharmaceutical industry played off parents’ fears — showing children struggling in school or left without friends — encouraging parents and doctors to call even minor symptoms A.D.H.D. and try stimulant treatment. A pamphlet for Vyvanse, for example, shows a parent looking at her son and saying, “I want to do all I can to help him succeed.”
What can you do about it?
Resist the urge to find quick fixes. ADHD is not a life sentence. And once you put your child on medicine, it harder to wean them off. ADHD medicine can also lead to addiction, anxiety and occasionally psychosis. So, think thrice before you start medicating your kid for ADHD.