There is no conclusive medical test to determine the presence of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Its diagnosis is usually based on consultations with physicians as well as questionnaires completed by the patients, their family members, teachers, caregivers and/or co-workers regarding abrupt behavior patterns. In some cases, additional co-existing conditions can make the diagnosis difficult as multiple medical conditions mirror symptoms of ADHD, leading to inaccurate diagnosis and incorrect treatment plans. No doubt, ADHD has been overdiagnosed in the United States. Individuals suffering from chronic issues, with hyperactivity or problem in focusing are often diagnosed as ADHD patients. What matters is a correct and accurate diagnosis to rule out any medical condition before diagnosing someone with ADHD.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that as per 2011-12 report, 11 percent of American children, ages 4 to 17, have ever been diagnosed with ADHD, an increase of 42 percent in just eight years. In fact, adults can have ADHD, too. About 4 percent-5 percent U.S. adults suffer from ADHD. Moreover, the large-scale infiltration of ADHD in workplaces, schools and neighborhoods has created major money-making opportunities in the medical and health care industries. ADHD is a brain disorder which usually afflicts children and is characterized by an ongoing pattern of inattentiveness and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that hinders normal life functions or overall cognitive development.
Generally, children battling ADHD find it immensely tough to progress normally and even the smallest task in life can seem like a mammoth challenge. Moreover, handling children afflicted with ADHD can be a nerve-wracking experience for parents. Whenever parents, employers, therapists or school nurses refer some for suspected ADHD symptoms, besides their own expertise, doctors use the DSM checklist to confirm the presence of the condition. In almost all of the cases, the patient is prescribed potent psychopharmacological drugs, such as Adderall, Ritalin or Vyvanase, to regulate the brain chemistry responsible for a hyperactive system and other disruptive behaviors.
Unfortunately, most of the present diagnostic criteria for determining ADHD were designed to recognize ADHD symptoms in children, not adults. Criteria like “often keeps climbing or running around” and “never completes his or her homework” don’t help to ascertain ADHD in adults who are otherwise intelligent, diligent and analytical individuals. The truth is many medical professionals still do not believe that a condition like ADHD can even exist, which, makes finding a competent doctor a disheartening experience.
Medical conditions mirroring ADHD symptoms
- Nutritional Deficiencies:
- Surge in hyperactivity and aggression
- Inability to remain still and concentrate
- Increased restlessness, irritation and impulsiveness in children
- Sensory Disorders
- Inability to perceive danger in children
- Inability to focus on a single activity
- Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome:
- Exhibiting hyperactivity in high stimulus environments
- Experiencing difficulties while adjusting to change
- Displaying hypersensitivity to touch, textures and sounds
- Feelings of despair or dejection, especially if depression is a co-occurring condition.
- Difficulties in concentration and remembering.
- Hearing Impairments:
- Problems in hearing instructions clearly which could be misunderstood as absentmindedness.
- Feeling frustrated due to impaired hearing leading to antipathy and emotional outbursts.
- Iron Deficiency Anemia:
- Feelings of disinterest, fatigue and irritability
- Debilitated cognitive skills and failure to concentrate
- Susceptibility to distraction and diminished attention span
- Seizure Disorders:
- Confusion and disorientation following seizures
- Inability to follow directions or pay attention
- Sleep Disorders
- Inability to perform many daytime activities
- Inability to communicate, concentrate and follow directions
- Lead Toxicity:
- High levels of lead toxicity can cause mental retardation
- Problems in concentration, resulting in poor academic performance
- Short-term memory issues and impaired cognitive function
Need to find out ways to identify ADHD in adults
Doctors often mistake ADHD symptoms in adults for depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and other conditions with overlapping symptoms. About, 50 percent of the doctors nationwide still don’t know how to identify ADHD in adults. Moreover, evaluation using tests based for children which do not take into account adult symptoms well are ineffective in dealing with the disorder. ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorder in American children with conditions ranging from mild to severe. In the light of such a worrisome situation, the month of October is observed as ADHD Awareness Month in the U.S. to spread awareness about the condition so that parents and caregivers can reach out for necessary support for their children. For 2017, the theme for the month is “Knowing is Better.”
If you or a loved one is battling ADHD, contact the Sovereign Health of California, San Clemente, which offers a variety of customized therapies at rehab centers in California. Our licensed clinicians use several approaches to resolve each underlying problem. Programs at our residential treatment centers are tailored to individual needs in order to treat the person holistically. For more information, call our 24/7 helpline or chat online with our representatives who are available for your queries.