Medscape’s article Who Is Diagnosing All These Kids With ADHD? reports on a 2014 survey by the CDC on ADHD in the population. The prevalence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has been increasing in recent decades with an alarming 11% of US children being diagnosed according to this survey. And often, diagnosis leads to drug treatment. I think the statistics are even higher. When I worked in New York, in the early 2000’s a teacher with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, who came to our clinic, said the 10 out of 10 children in her after-school class were on Ritalin.
The CDC survey found that primary care doctors and pediatricians made the bulk of the diagnoses based on the child’s behavior rather than more thorough testing by psychologists or psychiatrists. It seems that now that ADHD is a “common diagnosis” it will be diagnosed more often. It reminds me of the shift in treatment for depression, anxiety and manic depression from talk sessions with psychiatrists or psychologists to drugs prescribed by primary care doctors. Also, with more intractable childhood conditions like Autism, Asperger’s, Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder seeming to come out of thin air – the diagnosis of ADHD might not seem so bad!
What’s left out of the discussion of why there is an overdiagnosis of ADHD is the massive stress experienced by parents and teachers who may not be able to take ordinary childhood rambunctiousness. There was no Ritalin when I was a kid but I’m sure my parents would never put me on it – they just channeled my massive levels of energy into constant activities: camping, sports, theatre, girl guides and even a paper route!
Today, children, in general, aren’t encouraged to do physical activities. While both their parents work, kids sit immobilized for hours in front of their screens: TV, computer and smart phones. Perhaps their physical energy is being redirected into twitches and tics and repetitive movements that are misdiagnosed as ADHD.
Of course there is much more to the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD (or the Autism Spectrum Disorders) from a natural medicine perspective. I’ve written several articles and blogs on the topic, which you can google (use my name and ADHD). In them I speak about poor diet, yeast overgrowth, magnesium deficiency, zinc deficiency, selenium deficiency, B Vitamin deficiency and mercury toxicity from vaccines and dental fillings. Now that I focus my therapies on my Total Body ReSet formulas, I recommend ReMag, ReMyte, ReAline and RnA Drops that address all the above possible causes of ADHD and much more.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future™
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