ADHD Seen in 11% of Children as Diagnoses Rise

Monday, April 1, 2013

Yesterday, Mr. Alan Schwarz published the article A.D.H.D. Seen in 11% of Children as Diagnoses Rise in the New York Times. Followers of my blog and news updates may note that I cited another one of Mr. Schwarz's New York Times articles just last month. However this might seem, I am not on Mr. Schwarz's payroll!

Readers may also note that last month I published the blog ADHD U.S.A. - Is Rise in ADHD Treatment Truly Justified? Since my blog is not yet widely circulated, I cannot (unfortunately) accept any credit for inspiring Mr. Schwarz to write his most recent article. Having said this, Mr. Schwarz and I clearly share similar concerns regarding what I believe is an alarming trend in this country - the transformation of mild to moderate problems focusing and paying attention into a widely diagnosed medical condition that is frequently treated with amphetamines and other stimulant drugs.

Don't get me wrong - as a board certified child psychiatrist I believe ADHD is a legitimate diagnosis and, as such, patients reporting ADHD-like symptoms deserve a thorough and complete evaluation through a variety of measures. Having said this, I believe that if more children were evaluated from a 360-degree, holistic point of view we would see a return of ADHD numbers back to where they have historically belonged - in the 3-5% range. This is why my 360 team and I go through great lengths to determine who actually has ADHD and who, well, doesn't.

-Dr. Tim