Treating ADHD

Are attention disorders overdiagnosed?


Once viewed chiefly as affecting grade school-age children — chiefly hyperactive boys — attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which makes it difficult to focus attention and control impulses, today is widely seen as a lifelong condition affecting both genders equally. As more and more children, adolescents and adults are diagnosed with ADHD, prescriptions for stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall to fight the disorder are soaring. Yet many experts say that while stimulants temporarily ease symptoms, they do nothing to improve academic or work performance or social skills, and some worry the condition is being overdiagnosed. At the same time, non-drug treatments remain under-used. The increased availability of stimulants, which are addictive, is fueling prescription-drug abuse among students and others who do not have ADHD ...

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