Misdiagnosis of ADHD

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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, otherwise known as ADHD is a psychiatric condition that is manifested through attention difficulties as well as hyperactivity or impulsiveness. The symptoms of this disorder appear before the age of 7 and if it is not diagnosed it can severely affect the adult life. However the symptoms of this psychiatric condition are hard to identify, as they are also associated with other disorders. Furthermore most clinicians are not even well informed regarding this disorder. Due to the fact that the disorder is not properly theorized, the misdiagnosis doesn’t really fall under the medical negligence scenario unless the health care provider recommends extreme treatment which can cause physical or mental damages.

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Other possible diagnoses

What is sometimes perceived as ADHD can also be just normal children behavior or it can even be a sign of high intelligence. Children are naturally energetic and what may come of as hyperactivity can be just a normal manifestation of their natural energy. Furthermore all people are different and just because some are more sociable doesn’t mean that the rest are inattentive. There are also many psychiatric disorders that share symptoms with ADHD such as bipolar disorder, restless legs syndrome, chronic fear, petit mal seizures, learning disability, anxiety, depression, oppositional defiant disorder and so on. All of these need to be considered before making a diagnosis. Furthermore there are many other problems that may cause symptoms similar to ADHD such as emotional problems, child abuse, allergies, frustration, hearing problems, middle ear infection, fetal alcohol syndrome, temporal lobe epilepsy, food intolerance, conduct disorder, inattention, adverse reactions or personality disorders.

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Are the ADHD drugs a fast solution for more serious problems?

So far there have been millions of U.S children who were diagnosed with ADHD and about a third of them have received medical treatment. However a lot of psychiatrists believe that there are a lot of things that must be taken into account before resorting to drugging children. There is a lot of controversy behind the medical treatment for this disorder and a lot of people believe that it is just a way for adults to avoid taking responsibility. The misdiagnosis of ADHD can be caused by lack of interest of the adults who are responsible for the children. This refers to the parents as well as the teachers.

What is the cause for the misdiagnosis of ADHD?

The problem with ADHD diagnosis is that there is no certain test for proving the existence of this disorder. In order to set the diagnosis, doctors use the testimonies of teacher and parents. These can often be misleading as neither the doctors not the teachers can offer an objective point of view. Furthermore as we said before the adults in a child’s life can be the reason why the child is incapable of focusing or he is impulsive. For example, the reason why a child is having problems at school may be because he cannot pay attention or it may be because the teacher is not putting a lot of effort in the teaching process.

What can you do to prevent the misdiagnosis of ADHD

As a parent, you have the most control over your child’s life. If you suspect that he is suffering from ADHD you should take him to a doctor. However, before agreeing to a drug treatment you should explore all the possibilities and get a second opinion. The drug treatment can make a lot of difference in the emotional development of a child who is suffering from ADHD. However, drugging children in order to avoid taking responsibility for their actions is not an option.