Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavior problem that is characterized by hyperactivity, inattention, restlessness, and impulsivity and, until recently, was diagnosed primarily in children. It had been first defined as Hyperkinetic Disorder of Childhood in 1957 and was often called hyperactivity or syndrome that is hyperactive it was renamed ADHD in 1987. The renaming also represented a shift in focus from hyperactive behavior to your inattention as a characteristic that is major of disorder.
The centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 7 percent of school-age (6-10) children have ADHD, with a ratio of 3 to 1 boys to girls in the United States. White children generally have higher rates of ADHD diagnosis than minority children. In the past few years the meaning of ADHD has broadened. Now, as well as school-age children, ADHD is diagnosed in preschool children, adolescents, and adults, which plays a role in the prevalence that is rising.
The most frequent treatment that is medical ADHD is by using psychoactive medications, especially ethyl-phenidate (Ritalin) as well as other stimulant medications (Cylert, Adderall, and Concerta). Treatment rates have increased enormously in the past few years; in 2004 the Department of Health and Human Services estimated 5 million children ages 5 to 17 were treated for ADHD in 2000-02, up from 2.6 million in 1994. The treatment and diagnosis of ADHD is much higher in the usa than in other countries, but evidence shows that since the 1990s it has been rising far away as well, as an example, in the uk.
The sources of ADHD are not well understood, although various theories have already been offered, including dietary, genetic, psychological, and social ones. In past times 2 decades, medical scientists have reported genetic susceptibilities to ADHD and found differences in brain imaging results from individuals with ADHD and individuals without ADHD. Although bio-medical theories of ADHD predominate, the sources of ADHD will always be largely unknown. Some contend that even when you will find biological differences between children with ADHD and other children, what exactly is observed can be a reflection of variations in temperament instead of a specific disorder.
ADHD and its particular treatment have now been controversial at the very least since the 1970s.
Critics have expressed nervous about the drugging of schoolchildren, contending that ADHD is simply a label for childhood behavior that is deviant. Others grant that some children may have a neurological disorder, but maintain that there’s been an overdiagnosis of ADHD. Every so often some educators and parents have raised concerns about undesireable effects from long-term use of stimulant medications. Child psychiatrists see ADHD as the utmost childhood that is common disorder and consider psychoactive medication treatment as well established and safe. Parent and consumer groups, such as for example CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), have a tendency to support the perspective that is medical of.
Because the 1990s there is a rise that is significant the diagnosis and remedy for adult ADHD. Whereas childhood ADHD is usually parent or school identified, adult ADHD seems to be largely self-identified. Some researchers have noted that lots of adults that are apparently successful an ADHD diagnosis and medication treatment as a result of learning about the disorder from professionals, the media, or others, and then seeing their very own life problems reflected into the description of ADHD (e.g., disorganized writing essays for money life, inability to sustain attention, moving from job to job). Adult ADHD remains controversial, however. Many psychiatrists have embraced adult ADHD as a major problem that is social with claims of tens of billions of dollars in lost productivity and household income as a result of the disorder, whereas critics have suggested it is “the medicalization of underperformance.”
Sociologists view ADHD as a classic case associated with the medicalization of deviant behavior, defining a previously nonmedical problem as a medical one and the remedy for ADHD as a form of medical social control.
Whereas some have noticed that when a problem becomes medicalized it really is less stigmatized, because its origin is observed as physiological or biomedical in place of as associated with behavior that is volitional others point to the social consequences of medicalizing children’s behavior problems. Some have suggested that medicalizing behavior that is deviant ADHD individualizes complex social problems and allows for powerful forms of medical social control (medications) to be utilized. Secondary gain, accruing social benefits from a medical diagnosis, is also a concern with ADHD. You will find reports of adolescents seeking an ADHD diagnosis to achieve learning disability status in order to acquire certain benefits, such as untimed tests or alternative assignments. The definition of ADHD is a prime example of diagnostic expansion, the widening definition of an accepted diagnosis from a sociological view. For some, ADHD happens to be deemed a disorder that is lifelong with an expanding a long time for diagnosis (from preschool to adult) and a reduced threshold for psychoactive medication treatment. Though it can be done that the behaviors characteristic of ADHD are increasing because of some sort of social cause, it is more likely that an escalating number of individuals are increasingly being identified, labeled, and treated as having ADHD.