Overdiagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has become a serious concern in the US. According to a study by Susanna Visser study, there was a 42% increase in the prevalence of ADHD from 2003 to 2011, which doesn’t necessarily mean that many children and adults actually developed ADHD. Many criticized the findings and believed ADHD is highly misdiagnosed.
Children and adults misdiagnosed with ADHD are at risk of being prescribed with incorrect treatments and medications. And there are also serious risks to people with ADHD who are not treated for it.
Identify the symptoms of ADHD
It’s crucial to know the symptoms of ADHD. These include an ongoing pattern of inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, preventing a person from functioning normally or reaching his or her full potential.
Some adults with ADHD may find ways to cope and manage their symptoms, but there are those who are unable to and continuously struggle. Their academic, professional, and personal lives are greatly impacted by the consequences.
Know the negative consequences when ADHD is untreated
A student who is constantly unable to pay attention to instructions does poorly in school. Similarly, a working adult who performs certain tasks (particularly those that require one’s rapt attention) poorly may find it difficult to advance in his or her career, or be denied employment opportunities.
The negative consequences of untreated ADHD go beyond the inability to focus — some of the consequences can shape the course of your life. For example, you may be unable to maintain healthy relationships,, and succumb to anxiety and depression, all because of an untreated behavioral condition.
A person with ADHD is also highly impulsive and may say or do things without thinking them over, resulting in both emotional and physical harm toward one’s self and others. Leaving ADHD untreated heightens those perils, including greater risks of substance abuse, cigarette smoking, unplanned pregnancy, and destructive behavior that leads to danger, like getting into a motor vehicle accident.
Differentiate ADHD from a simple case of inattentiveness
Everyone suffers from bouts of hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity, and it would be a mistake to automatically assume that these are symptoms of ADHD.
The best way to ascertain whether or not one has ADHD is to undergo a comprehensive interview conducted by a qualified mental health professional. During this interview and examination, a clinician thoroughly assesses the symptoms and delves into a patient’s mental health history. This covers learning the age of onset of the symptoms, as well as how they’ve progressed and how they’ve affected the person throughout his or her lifetime.
The truth is that there’s no fast and easy way to tell whether or not someone has ADHD. If you or someone you know wish to learn more about the symptoms of ADHD, consult Meridian Psychiatric Partners’ mental health professionals who can give you an accurate diagnosis, the right treatment courses, and medications. Our Chicago, Evanston, and Lake Forest offices welcome consultations for ADHD. Schedule an appointment today.