Why is this issue so prevalent in 21st century America, and are these stimulants used to treat ADD even safe? There is no question that symptoms matching those of ADD are becoming more common In America’s children, however, the disorder Is still being over-diagnosed. Before delving Into the Issue at hand, we first must establish what ADD Is, and where It Is defined. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be defines as an on going pattern of inattention and hyperactive behavior, according to the ADD Awareness Month website.
This definition can be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This book provides a list of symptoms and guidelines for the proper diagnosis for ADD (ADD Awareness Month 1). A few of the prime symptoms of the disorder include: fidgeting with hands or squirming in seat, difficulty engaging in activities quietly, and blurting out answers before questions are finished. One thing all of these symptoms have in common is that they are extremely subjective. The symptoms of ADD are too subjective to accurately diagnose children as fast as doctors are.
While reading through the symptoms, one can easily tell that many of hem are adolescence and maturity based. A child fidgets In his or her chair; does this mean they have ADD, or a lot of extra energy? A young student blurts out the answer before the question is complete, does this mean he or she has a mental disorder, or hasn’t been taught proper classroom manners? Although these symptoms are indeed those of ADD, the process of diagnosis is occurring too fast and causes the subjectivity of these symptoms to be used negatively.
Due to the subjectivity of the symptoms of ADD, many children are being diagnosed too fast. Doctors, teachers, and parents are not spending enough time lulling out all other causes of the issue. We live in a fast paced world full of quick, convenient solutions, and this causes us to lose focus of Important things like our children’s heath. Enrich Malignant, of The Atlantic, sheds light on this issue by explaining that, “conducting a sensitive and sophisticated review of a kid’s life can be time consuming.
Most parents consult with a pediatrician about their child’s problem behaviors, and yet they average length of a pediatric visit is quite short. ” This medication, so they turn to the most efficient solution, which are stimulants. Today, rugs are being prescribed not to fix a problem, but to refine classroom behavior quickly. The “quick solution” attitude of doctors and teachers is extremely dangerous to the youth of America because parents feel stimulants are their only option. For example, Diane Roth shares her story about her six-year-old boy who was forced to be prescribed medication.
She claims, “when he first started kindergarten, on his very first day of school, the school kept calling me up at work, 10 or 20 times, saying, Vincent won’t sit still or we have a problem with your son. ‘ And they called me in for a eating with the principal, a social worker, psychologist, and the teacher and they said: you’re either going to have to put your son on Rattail or we’re going to put him in a school for special needs children,” (Drugging Our Children 8:54). This shows why the ADD epidemic has grown so dramatically based on how quickly it is diagnosed.
Not only does the quick diagnosis occasionally wrongfully diagnose a patient, but it also may cause a failure to diagnose something with similar symptoms to ADD. Sanford Newark, head of the pediatric integrative nonrepresentational program at he University of California, says, “the author of a U. S. Study estimates that this mistake could account for 20% of the current ADD diagnosis in the U. S. , or about 900,000 children, by his count,” Thankfully, there are some changes being made so cases like this do not occur.
In 2000, The American Academy of Pediatrics released new recommendations regarding the evaluation of children six through 12 with ADD to prevent over- diagnosis Monsoons 1). According to Faith Johnson the group stated that, “we believe parents, teachers, the child and pediatrician form a team, and together should come o a decision about whether this is the right diagnosis,” The changes state that a child must show symptoms in at least two settings, and the symptoms must restrict the child’s academic ability. Also, teachers are now told not encourage the prescriptions of stimulants to refine classroom behavior.
These changes will cut down on the over diagnosis of ADD, however, some believe that the disorder is not over-diagnosed. Many believe that ADD is simply becoming more noticed and that the awareness of the disorder is increasing in America. For instance, Harold Explicit, president of he Child Mind Institute, claims the increase is, “the result of more parents and teachers recognizing the signs that certain children have serious problems concentrating, settling down and controlling their impulses,” He adds by saying, “children with ADD aren’t Just immature.
To be diagnosed with the disorder they must be clearly outside the range of other children their age in attentiveness, impulsively, and hyperactivity. ” Although this is true, it still doesn’t explain the over- diagnosis and extreme rise in children with ADD. If having ADD is becoming more normal, how can a student be “clearly out of range” in order to be diagnosed? Critics like Dry. Explicit feel that the mistrust of ADD is more dangerous than the drugs themselves. Although awareness is in fact increasing, the causes of this awareness may not be as genuine as they seem.
Over the years, the pharmaceutical industry has clearly taken advantage of this ADD epidemic. It has a vested economic interest in promoting the wide spread opposing side argues is really a result of advertising. Thanks to this economic pursuit, America now views ADD as a solidified disease. Doctors are even given incentives for prescribing certain ADD medications to patients. This influences them to write more prescriptions and not think in the best interest of their patients.
Film maker Michael Moore summarizes this notion by saying, “l think the pharmaceutical companies realized a while ago that there were huge profits to be made on playing on parent’s fears and also playing on a generation of parents that was looking for the continent way to raise their children,” The combination of the economic appeal and evolving parenting styles makes ADD an easy money maker. Despite mass appeal for these drugs, parents still do not consider whether they are safe or not. Although these prescribed stimulants are clearly the most efficient way to treat ADD, they may not be the safest.
In the 70 years that these medications have been in use, they have never been tested for long term affects. Granted, no long-term effects have been reported, but we are still relatively early in the epidemic. However, there are harsh side effects that many children deal with daily. These side effects include: decreased appetite, irritability, nausea, and insomnia (Newark 3). Although these side effects seem manageable and make these medications look safe, the American Psychiatric Association established that the prescriptions are neurologically similar to cocaine and amphetamines.
Withdrawals, feelings of suicide, headaches, and Trustee’s, have also been reported as a result of these medications (Stroller 110). This being said, although these drugs are convenient, there must be alternative treatments for America’s precious youth. Medications are indeed most affective, but have never been tested for safety. There are other methods of treating ADD that have been proven safe and affective. Families can work in behavioral management programs in order to condition a child’s behavior psychologically without the use of harmful medication.
Diet can also play a crucial role in decreasing symptoms. A recent study by a medical Journal found that 64% if children with the disorder had observable improvements with symptoms when certain foods were taken out of their diets (Newark 3). None of these methods are strong enough to tackle the symptoms of ADD by themselves. The combination of them however, can help the symptoms be reduced dramatically. Not only do the treatments and diagnosis suggest ADD is over-diagnosed, but how eminent the disorder is in our country is shocking. This problem is clearly and American issue.
Research shows that 80%-90% of all methamphetamine produced in the world is used to treat American children with ADD (Stroller 109). This fact alone proves that the disorder is caused by our culture and is over-diagnosed. Why us? It is clear that this disorder is a simply a result of the American way. If there is a problem, fix it with the most convenient and quick method, rather than figuring it out and treating it safely. There must be more changes made or this epidemic will become out of hand. To cap of this issue, a solution must be decided upon.
ADD stimulants should not be illuminated completely, for there are some children with severe cases. Parents and doctors should wait to for children to mature enough to outgrown the possible subjectivity of the symptoms before being prescribed a stimulant like Adrenal or treatment should be combined in order to fix this issue and treat children properly. If we don’t change the way we treat ADD, the numbers will continue to rise and our children, our future, will not outgrow this advertised disorder. The main concern should be the customer and patient, not the industry and doctors.
ADD is real, but unfortunately it has been over-diagnosed for many years, and is affecting many lives negatively. Works Cited ADD Awareness Month. Attention Deficit Disorder Association, Cot. 2013. Web. 28 Feb.. 2014.. This website provides a general overview of ADD and how it is defined, diagnosed, and treated. The recourses section has a primary focus on the ADSM-5 (manual of all mental disorders), and how this book defines ADD and its symptoms. It also include a description of how the guidelines regarding an accurate diagnosis have changes since the last revision in 2013.
They made sure to also include the list of previous criterion in the ADSM-5 to allow readers to comprehend how the revision differs. Given this website is for ADD awareness and aims to be informative, the facts provided are pretty straight forward and non-bias. The credibility of this website lies in the organizations that contributed to its creation. These include Attitude Magazine and the National Recourse Center on ADD. Drugging Our Children: Inside the ADD Controversy. Lolling. N. P. , 2005. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.. This video provides a look into America’s issue of ADD in young children.
It sheds light on the statistics behind the epidemic, why the problem has gotten out of hand, as well as ways to accurately assess ADD. The video raises disturbing questions and causes viewers to second guess the pharmaceutical industry. The video is centered along a series of detailed interviews with credible doctors, physicians, and Also, there are a few interviews that share first hand experiences of parents who have gone through the questionable process of having their child diagnosed. This adds a level of credibility and assists the persuasive element of the video in a non- as way.
Malignant, Enrich. “ADD, or Childhood Narcissism? ” The Atlantic. N. P. , 17 Swept. 2013. Web. 22 Feb.. 2014.. This article begins like many of the others, by introducing how common ADD has become in America. The article based on weather ADD is actually this common, or if it is a case or childhood narcissism. The author explains how factors like disappointment, underdeveloped empathy, and expressions of personal enlightenment, all contribute to the over diagnosis of ADD. Although there are some facts provided in the article, it seems the author is clearly conveying a bias.
He refers to a lot of his own experiences, rather than providing evidence from a more credible source. However, this article does provide a different lens for readers to view this issue and argument through. Johnson, Faith. “Debate Continues Over ADD Diagnosis. ” Lexis’s Academic. Augusta Chronicle, 14 May 2000. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.. This source is heavily focused on the changes being made in the diagnosis process of ADD. It begins by informing readers that within the next five years, federal agencies will spend six million dollars on a study to see if Rattail (ADD stimulant) is safe for young children.
Following this statement, the article addresses the changes that the American Academy of Pediatrics is making to the diagnosis process of ADD. These changes are being made to prevent the over- diagnosis of the disorder and to protect our youth. Similar to the other sources, there are both doctors and parents who share their experiences and knowledge to contribute to the article. For example, a mother shares the story of her child wrongfully being diagnosed with ADD and prescribed stimulant medications at a very young age. This helps establish the issue and offers a background of what needs o be changed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The article ultimately conveys the importance of doctors, teachers, and parents each playing a role in the diagnosis and working as a team. Newark, Sanford, and Harold S. Explicit. “Are ADD Medications Oversubscribed? ” Wall Street Journal. N. P. , n. D. Web. 3 Mar. 2014.. This article offers a direct debate between two men that have contradicting opinions about the topic. The article begins by introducing both sides of the argument and establishing the issue at hand. It then proceeds to a section written by Sanford Newark, followed by Harold Chopstick’s argument.
Marker’s section argues that ADD is oversubscribed and that stimulants are too quick of a fix. He finished by listing possible alternative treatments. On the other hand, Chopstick’s section stresses that ADD is not becoming over-diagnosed, but the awareness of the disorder is causing it to seem that way. Each contributor provides factual evidence to support their statements about the issue. Also, both men are credible sources. Dry. Newark is the head of the pediatric integrative improvement’s program at the University of California, San Francisco, and Dry. Explicit is president of the Child Mind Institute in New York.
Both men do a good Job of presenting their ideas, but it seems that Dry. Sanford has an easier time conveying his in a way that makes sense. Stroller, J. M. “The ADD Epidemic in America. ” Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry. Volvo. 9. Kerrey: Springer Company, 2007. 109-16. Print. This source begins elements of logos. The author stresses how much this issue only applies to our country, and raises questions about the reasoning. The passage continues by providing an overview of the risks of ADD medications, how the economy is inventing from this epidemic, and alternative explanations to the problem.
Finally, the source offers a conclusion that sums up all the findings and provides commentary about what our country has become. Although the author has clearly taken a side in this issue, all of the information provided is backed up by factual evidence. Whether it was based on a study, statistics, or a credible physician. The combination of these makes the source a valuable place to gather information. The author also does a good Job of acknowledging counter arguments and rebutting them fairly.