Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Yesterday’s wild, overly-energetic, reckless, exasperating child may well be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2003), ADHD plagues 4 percent of children who display one or more of its three symptoms:

  • Inattention: distractibility, forgetfulness, disorganization
  • Hyperactivity: fidgeting, talking too much and jumping out of seat at school
  • Impulsivity: difficulty taking turns, interrupting, answering questions without being asked


Over 6 million children ages 4 to 7 have been diagnosed with ADHD. To skeptics, being distractible, fidgety and impulsive sounds like a disorder caused by a single genetic variation, a Y Chromosome and, sure enough, ADHD is diagnosed 3 times more often in boys than in girls. Does energetic child plus boring school = ADHD over-diagnosis? Skeptics think so. In the decade 1987-1997, the number of children treated for ADHD nearly quadrupled. By 2005, a Gallup Survey of 13-17 year olds, found ten percent were being prescribed medication for ADHD. Children who watch a lot of television are more likely to display ADHD.

Convenient Cover Story

In addition adults may often too willingly accept the ADHD diagnosis for themselves, finding it handy as an explanation for their past school failures, vocational difficulties, and lack of self-discipline.

A Real Disorder

However, while not as objectively defined as a broken arm, the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) has declared: 

“there is strong agreement that ADHD is a real neurobiological disorder whose existence should no longer be questioned. ADHD is heritable. It is also marked in studies by tell-tale brain activity. It is not caused by too much sugary snacks or inferior schools. It often coexists with learning disabilities or with a defiant and temper-prone behavior.” 

It is often treated with nonaddictive medications. Its more frequent diagnosis today may reflect increased awareness of the disorder. About 30 percent of children medicated for ADHD are being studied, and show that withdrawal of ADHD medications later in life causes them to be more prone to depression.

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

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