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What are some criticisms of ADHD?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Many people have negative opinions about the increasing prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in our society. The is that ADHD diagnoses are on the rise. In fact, diagnoses of ADHD increased 3% each year between 1996 and 2007. This trend alarms some people, who criticize the medical and mental health communities for paying so much attention to ADHD. Some public criticisms of ADHD include the following:
  • ADHD is not a real disorder.
  • ADHD is overdiagnosed.
  • ADHD is caused by poor parenting skills.
  • Parents of children with ADHD just want their children to have more advantages in schools.
  • Parents cannot tolerate normal hyperactivity in their children and want them to be more sedate.
  • Pharmaceutical companies are trying to make money from ADHD medications.
  • Too many children are taking ADHD medications.
  • Kids with ADHD just eat too much sugar.
The National Resource Center on ADHD says that many of these criticisms are presented without scientific or factual bases. Rather, people simply hold these opinions and do not look to see whether clinical research findings have shown otherwise.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.