There is an epidemic of over-diagnoses of ADHD

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maizie
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Re: There is an epidemic of over-diagnoses of ADHD

Post by maizie » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:35 pm

volunteer wrote:My best guess is that this would have been local CAMSH. So you are saying that a psychiatrist at CAMSH could prescribe Ritalin to such a young child for some pretty "mild symptoms". Makes mental note to myself to make sure my children never go anywhere near them!
We've had several children on Ritalin over the years (about 2 or 3 every year). We had one who was absolutely no trouble whatsoever. Every so often they changed his medication and we got a Connor's Scale to fill in and asked if we'd noticed any changes. We filled in the scale saying 'no' to just about everything, even wrote accompanying letters to say that, apart from an apparent disinclination to do anything that looked like 'work', the child had never caused a moment's bother. Still medicated. We could only conclude that it was something the parents said...

elsiep
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Re: There is an epidemic of over-diagnoses of ADHD

Post by elsiep » Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:28 pm

Some CAMHS services are excellent. Others have been found in independent reviews to be not fit for purpose (well, at least one, according to an independent reviewer - haven't been able to find her report).

elsie

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Re: There is an epidemic of over-diagnoses of ADHD

Post by volunteer » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:23 pm

That's scary when they are dishing out drugs at such a young age which could affect a child both mentally and physically longer term. When I read about Ritalin's potential side effects it makes me feel very sick to think there are children who have been prescribed it unnecessarily. Sure if the situation is really dire and the behaviour if left untreated is going to result in something even more dire for the child. I don't understand why it isn't prescribed with greater caution by some psychiatrists - it's most definitely not a harmless drug.

Why isn't there more adverse publicity about its potentially harmful effects? An unnecessary label of ADD or ADHD or Dyslexia or Oppositional - Defiance Disorder or high-functioning ASD is one thing; an unnecessary long-term course of Ritalin is quite another thing entirely.

elsiep
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Re: There is an epidemic of over-diagnoses of ADHD

Post by elsiep » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:58 pm

Because we have an education system that isn't designed to fit children, so the children have to fit the system.

I attended a workshop recently on medicating children with behavioural problems and it was fascinating. Psychiatrists are very familiar with side effects and usually monitor symptoms carefully. Having said that, IMO nowhere near enough attention is paid to environmental factors that can often act as a trigger for behavioural problems.

elsie

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Re: There is an epidemic of over-diagnoses of ADHD

Post by kestrel » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:04 pm

A couple of points that are sometimes overlooked about ADHD - first of all, one sub-type is mainly characterised by inattentiveness and difficulty focusing/concnetrating - so in those cases there wouldn't be any symptons of hyperactivity to be seen. Yet this sub-type can have just as damaging an effect on children's academic progress as the more well-known climbing-the-walls variety.

The other point is that the detrimental impact of ADHD on children's lives isn't just limited to school - it often extends to their social life as well. ADHd kids are apparently often perceived by other children as aggressive, inconsiderate, immature and annoying - inappropriately interrupting and not partricipating properly in play activities, for example. And the primarily inattentive types are seen as odd as well as immature - I think "goofy" is the word I recall being used. The result is that they struggle to make friends and often find themselves rejected by their peer group.

I know the idea of giving children psychoactive medication is scary - but on the other hand, the negative impact of the untreated condition on these children's self-esteem and general mental well-being needs to be considered as well. When you see yourself more and more as a failure both academically and socially, as you move through school and adolescence, it can be pretty devastating in all kinds of ways.

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Re: There is an epidemic of over-diagnoses of ADHD

Post by JAC » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:58 pm

Why isn't there more adverse publicity about its potentially harmful effects?
This book was published way back in 1975 -
http://www.amazon.com/The-Myth-Hyperact ... 0394495551

I think it is fairly well-known that there is overdiagnosing and over medicating. Here in Western Australia there is one of the highest rates of prescribing, so much so that Martin Whiteley, a politician and former teacher has had a campaign to stop over-medication. http://speedupsitstill.com/about-martin-whitely

I went to a talk here given by Professor Rosemary Tannock – University of Toronto, and what I understood her to say, was that medication forms part of a properly managed therapy, and that the period of maximum effect of the medication should coincide with periods of instruction for the child to benefit. In other words for the best outcome, make sure that the windows provided by Ritalin are optimised.
It's probably the case, that this does not always happen.

I also seem to remember her saying the average length of time a child is on medication is about 2 years.

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