ATLANTA, GA – Are we one nation under medication? A new study suggests nearly one in five High School age boys and 11% of school-age children have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. And this diagnosis usually comes with a pill. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say there’s been a 53% increase in these types of assessments over the last decade.
“When a diagnosis goes up that quickly in a matter of years, you really wonder about misdiagnosis,” says Yana Finkelshteyn, family doctor at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.
An estimated 6.4 million children ages 4 through 17 have been diagnosed with A.D.H.D. at some point in their lives. The jury is still out on whether there’s just more awareness of this problem, or if it’s simply that doctors have been prescribing drugs to children with milder symptoms just to calm them down.
“It is important to diagnose people who truly have it,’ added Dr. Finkelshteyn, ‘because it may impact their performance at school and lead to increase of rates of substance abuse
Experts say stimulants can certainly better the lives of those with chemical imbalances. Nevertheless, when these drugs are being prescribed to otherwise healthy children with the sole purpose of helping them improve their performance at school, this treatment could lead to addiction, anxiety and occasionally psychosis.
Maybe some kids are just too spontaneous for what our school system is willing to tolerate, or maybe teenagers need guidance and not drugs to cope with this stressful scenario called life.