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Posted by bio_man   October 1, 2021   2907 views

What's the difference between a child with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and one who is simply more active than other children?

Many children are rambunctious, to an extent that their parents or teachers find somewhat worrisome. Figuring out how to distinguish between normal high-energy levels and pathological overactivity can be quite difficult. Furthermore, the distinction can be complicated by parental tendencies to be permissive and to fail to set up clear rules, reprimands, or restrictions for when a child steps outside the limits.

Figuring out how to make this distinction is not a trivial issue. Children diagnosed with ADHD are usually prescribed methylphenidate (Ritalin) or other medications that lessen their activity levels and help them concentrate. Ritalin, for example, works by increasing the amount of dopamine released in the striatum, a key region in the brain related to motivation, action and cognition. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter molecule that transports signals between nerve cells, and previous studies have shown that higher levels of dopamine make both humans (and rodents) more motivated to perform physically demanding tasks.

While these medications can be very useful in the child who truly has ADHD, they also have side effects, such as diminishing appetite and reducing normal rates of growth. Therefore, parents should think very carefully and exhaust all other approaches before allowing their child to be placed on Ritalin or other related medications.

A diagnosis of ADHD, which is considered to be an abnormal or pathological condition, is based on criteria and guidelines that are specified in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (known as DSM-V), which is published by the American Psychiatric Association. These criteria are quite restrictive and require that the child must manifest very high levels of distractibility and overactivity, to the extent that his or her ability to function is significantly impaired.

For children, the guidelines require that a child show behaviors typical of ADHD before the age of seven. The behaviors must last for at least six months, and must occur more frequently than in other children of the same age. The behaviors also must occur in at least two settings, such as classroom and home, rather than just at a single setting.

Children with ADHD may squirm and fidget at their desks in school, get up often to roam around the room, constantly touch things, disturb other people, tap pencils, and talk constantly. ADHD also makes children unusually impulsive, so that they act before thinking. They may run into the street without looking, blurt out inappropriate comments in class, interrupt conversations, and be unusually clumsy or accident-prone.

There is currently considerable concern that ADHD is being over-diagnosed in children (and even adults) who are within the normal range of activity levels or distractibility. In fact, physicians in the United States diagnose the disorder more often than doctors elsewhere in the world. Critics regard this discrepancy as evidence that physicians and psychologists too often apply psychiatric labels to children who are naturally more active or simply nuisances to teachers and parents.

Psychology ADHD Mental Disorders Diagnosis
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1 Comment | Write Comment
I think it’s crime to give kids such medication because we don’t know what could cause as long term effect since kids at that age are still developing mentally and physically. Parents and teachers back then were so patient that they never considered anything abnormal versus now. They dealt  with it by being patient parents and teachers without the intervention of medications. 

Just an opinion Neutral Face?
Posted on Oct 1, 2021 by cloveb
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