ADHD diagnosis – too much or not enough? — ADD Tip o the day 152

There is a lot of controversy about diagnosing and treating kids for ADHD.  The teacher calls the parents and asks them to get the doctor to get the kid some ritalin, because he is driving her crazy.  Meanwhile, the girl with ADD sits quietly, daydreaming, causing no trouble and  ignored.  But does the boy have ADD or something else, “just a behavioral problem”, anxiety, abuse, hearing or vision problems, something else. The critics are partly right – it is not good to just to throw medication at a problem with out a careful evaluation and diagnosis, and that does happen.  Maybe a good thing though is that if it is really ADHD the ritalin is likely to really help, which helps not just the teacher but the kid, sometimes enormously, and if it is not ADHD the ritalin is unlikely to cause any improvement.

Getting the needed help can make a huge long term difference in the childs life, and most of us don’t outgrow ADD or ADHD.

Conclusion:   Many children are getting put on ritalin who don’t need it and many who do need it are not getting it- so its both too much and not enough.


About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at, or (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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3 Responses to ADHD diagnosis – too much or not enough? — ADD Tip o the day 152

  1. Pingback: “Are We Overdiagnosing and Overtreating ADHD?” – Part Three, the Last and Maybe the Best— ADHD Tip O the Day 788 | ADDadultstrategies

  2. We are struggling with this right now with our son. he is 7, and over the last two years has had increasing behavioral problems. Wanting to avoid wrongful medication, we have sought help from nutritionists, councelors, homepathics and are now working with a therapist and psychologist to determine the root of the behavioral problems as well as testing him to see if he does have ADHD/ADD. We are hoping to find the right solution before things get any worse.


    • that is really difficult. be sure you have a clinician who really knows about ADHD. Get the right diagnosis. If it is ADHD then try to overcome any aversion you have to medication, it can be life saving sometimes, or sometimes just helps some at least. you and your child deserve the benefit


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