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 kids. It was first defined as Hyperkinetic Disorder of Childhood in 1957 and was often called hyperactivity or hyperactive syndrome until it had been renamed ADHD in 1987. The renaming also represented a shift in focus from hyperactive behavior to your inattention as a major characteristic associated with 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 are apt to have higher rates of ADHD diagnosis than minority children. The definition of ADHD has broadened in recent years. Now, as well as school-age children, ADHD is diagnosed in preschool children, adolescents, and adults, which plays a part in the rising prevalence.
The most typical hospital treatment for ADHD is with psychoactive medications, especially ethyl-phenidate (Ritalin) as well as other stimulant medications (Cylert, Adderall, and Concerta). Treatment rates have increased enormously in recent years; in 2004 the Department of health insurance 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 significantly higher in the United States compared to other countries, but evidence implies that considering that the 1990s it is often rising far away as well, for example, in the uk.
What causes ADHD are not well understood, although various theories have been offered, including dietary, genetic, psychological, and social ones. In past times 2 decades, medical lab researchers have reported genetic susceptibilities to ADHD and found differences in brain imaging results from people with ADHD and individuals without ADHD. The causes of ADHD are still largely unknown although bio-medical theories of ADHD predominate. Some contend that whether or not you can find biological differences between children with ADHD as well as other children, what exactly is observed can be a reflection of variations in temperament rather than a specific disorder.
ADHD and its treatment have already been controversial at least since the 1970s.
Critics have expressed anxiety about the drugging of schoolchildren, contending that ADHD is just a label for childhood behavior that is deviant. Others grant that some children might have a neurological disorder, but maintain that there is an overdiagnosis of ADHD. Every so often some educators and parents have raised concerns about negative effects from long-term use of stimulant medications. Child psychiatrists see ADHD as the utmost common childhood psychiatric 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), tend to offer the medical perspective of ADHD.
Because the 1990s there has been a rise that is significant the diagnosis and remedy for adult ADHD. Whereas childhood ADHD is normally parent or school identified, adult ADHD appears to be largely self-identified. Some researchers have noted that lots of apparently successful adults seek an ADHD diagnosis and medication treatment because of learning about the disorder from professionals, the media, or others, after which seeing their very own life problems reflected into the description of ADHD (e.g., disorganized life, inability to sustain attention, moving from job to job). Adult ADHD remains controversial, however. Many psychiatrists have embraced adult ADHD as a major social problem, with claims of tens of huge amounts of dollars in lost productivity and household income because of the disorder, whereas critics have suggested it really 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 in addition to remedy for ADHD as a kind of medical control that is social.
Whereas some have pointed out that when a problem becomes medicalized it really is less stigmatized, because its origin is observed as physiological or biomedical rather than as connected to volitional behavior, others point out the social consequences of medicalizing children’s behavior problems. Some have suggested that medicalizing deviant behavior as ADHD individualizes complex social problems and allows for powerful kinds of medical social control (medications) to be utilized. Secondary gain, accruing social benefits from a diagnosis that is medical is also a concern with ADHD. You will find reports of adolescents seeking an ADHD diagnosis to achieve disability that is learning custom writing in order to acquire certain benefits, such as for example untimed tests or alternative assignments. From a sociological view, the definition of ADHD is a prime illustration of diagnostic expansion, the widening definition of an accepted diagnosis. For many individuals, ADHD has become deemed a disorder that is lifelong with an expanding age range for diagnosis (from preschool to adult) and a decreased threshold for psychoactive medication treatment. It is more likely that an increasing number of individuals are being identified, labeled, and treated as having ADHD although it is possible that the behaviors characteristic of ADHD are increasing because of some kind of social cause.