ADHD Is Sometimes Overdiagnosed But More Under & Misdiagnosed

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I was quoted in Yahoo News article on ADHD about a study in the Journal of Pediatrics on their jumping to conclusions on a study of students with ADHD by age of when they entered school and diagnose of ADHD.

So often people talk about the over diagnosis of ADHD as if that is the main problem with ADHD. If you look at the science vs the ignorant stigma it’s not the main problem with ADHD.

The biggest problem is underdiagnosis of ADHD, especially in adults. 90% of adults with ADHD are undiagnosed and untreated.  Second biggest problem is the misdiagnosis of ADHD for things like depression, dysthymia or misdiagnosed as anxiety disorders.

For example, a study showing 28% Of Referrals To A Mood & Anxiety Clinic Had Undiagnosed ADHD. Only 5% of adults and 8-10% of kids have ADHD.

The third and smallest numeric problem is the overdiagnosis of ADHD. Yet that is the one that seems to be the only one the media and sadly some researchers who don’t know ADHD talk about.

And in ALL cases whether under diagnosed, misdiagnosed or over diagnosed ADHD the common response to any of these should be asking this question. Why don’t governments and medical college and psychologist departments properly train people on how to properly diagnose and treat ADHD in adults, children and teenagers?

And why do’t they  mandate ALL doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists have to do continuing education credits on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in adults, children and teenagers so they can get an accurate diagnosis?

Vs suffer needlessly for decades because they have been in incompetently abused and been either undiagnosed, misdiagnosed or over diagnosed with ADHD?

My quotes from the Yahoo News article.

“There’s so much ignorance on ADHD that there is sometimes overdiagnosis but there’s more often misdiagnosis and underdiagnosis, which is even worse in girls and women because a lot of people think [ADHD] is unruly, rambunctious boys,” says Pete Quily, an ADHD coach in Vancouver who was diagnosed with the condition in his 30s. 

“If you’re a teacher and you’re trying to spot it in your class and Cathy is just spacing out or tuning out or day dreaming and not irritating other people, you don’t care. You may think she’s not that bright but she’s not causing a problem. 

People with ADHD usually get diagnosed because they’re causing a problem: they’re causing a problem at school, they’re irritating their parents, they’re irritating their spouse.”

When Quily looks at the study findings, he says that underdiagnosis, and not overdiagnosis, may well be at play, and here’s why: The study itself states that ADHD is “highly prevalent” worldwide, affecting approximately seven per cent of children and adolescents with a male-to-female ratio between 3:1 and 4:1.

“There’s a possibility some were overdiagnosed, but there’s zero evidence that they were,” Quily says. “What they should have said is that of all the children we’ve studied, some were not properly diagnosed.”

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