The prevalence of the ADD/ADHD diagnosis does not definitely indicate that something is dreadfully wrong with the nation's children, but rather that something has definitely changed. How society has taken to raising the next generation could be more the cause behind the ADD/ADHD diagnosis as well as dietary and nutritional issues.
Many supposed disorders are due to factors that influence the social, emotional, and environmental development of children. It is probably because of these that the American Psychological Association's Diagnositc and Statistical Manual (DSM) has placed ADD/ADHD in the category of psychiatric disorders. The reality is that ADD/ADHD could best be categorized as a personality type instead of a psychiatric disorder.
There are many who would disagree with some of the disorders in the DSM being classified as psychiatric disorders. Most of those that have walked away with the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD would not argee that they have a psychiatric disorder. Just like many other disorders that have been noted to have a basis in psychiatric disorders, there is in truth not much evidence supporting ADD/ADHD as a psychiatric disorder.
Are individuals who suffer from ADD/ADHD just different?
Common sense says that an asthma sufferer would not be labeled with a psychiatric condition. It's also obvious that someone with diabetes would not be classified according to DSM criteria. Therefore, those that have been labeled as ADD/ADHD might want to avoid being classified as psychiatric in nature.
There's no real evidence to support a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD
In the rush to diagnose and medicate individuals to fit into the mold that society creates for the majority of people, the medical community has labeled an entire generation of children as unmanageable. And in that rush, millions of children are being medicated on a daily basis. Researchers are beginning to see that the problem here could really be with society who wants to hide or eliminate the ADD/ADHD tendendies instead of with the individual ADD/ADHD.
Changes that have been made in parenting, education, and the rules of society may be more responsible for an ADD/ADHD diagnosis than any actual psychiatric disorder. Most of those that have ADD/ADHD usually have the feeling that the only issue they have is how they react and understand everything going on around them.
Once upon a time, children were allowed to interact with their environment. Children were encouraged to run and jump and play at will. The limitations are more and more being ignored by children. The demands of conformity along with the stresses of modern life may have a significant effect on people who cannot manage to fit into the mold.
Yet, this is not necessarily the fault of the unruly individual. They may be just wired differently than most other people. Being different doesn't mean being defective; it merely means that concessions need to be made.
Is ADD/ADHD a warning that something is wrong with parenting, society, and the environment?
It could be that ADD/ADHD, a condition in which individuals just can't slow down, is a signal to do just that... slow down! In the past children were raised in more structured homes where there was consistency in the day's structure and the ability to get their energy out exploring the world around them. Today schedules are chaotic as the children are rushed here and there eating processed foods that need no preparation and then sit for hours in front of modern shows that promote their current lifestyle.
Before placing the burden of the diagnosis of disorders such as ADD/ADHD, Tourette's, and others on the heads of the parents, it needs to be understood that much of the problem lies with society which has created the family structure that we know today: two income families needed, expensive educations, and schedulesthat are quite the opposite of what would be better fitted for those with these psychiatric disorders. The ADD/ADHD child could be just not geared to the current lifestyle just as a diabetic child cannot have the same diet as the other children and the child with asthma cannot play outside as much as the other children.
And before parents ride the waves of a guilt tsunami, they must realize that most people do what they are think is right. There has been nothing, until relatively recently, that encouraged parents to think for themselves when selecting options for their children. The FDA labeled food additives safe and the medical community failed to keep people informed of alternative methods of treating ADD/ADHD and many other disorders and illnesses.
The trend toward natural, non-medicinal, alternatives for treating such health conditions as Type II diabetes, high cholesterol, and even ADD/ADHD indicates that people are beginning to realize that the medical community and the health industry took the wrong path in opting for the quick, pharmaceutical, cure, and that other options are not only available, but preferred.
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