ADHD Misdiagnosis-Guest blogger Dr. Mary Ann Block
Author: Jeremy Lelek
I am excited to feature a guest blog by Dr. Mary Ann Block, great insights on good treatment of ADHD symptoms.
Attention and Behavior Problems Are Not ADHD, by Dr. Mary Ann Block
I have never seen a child that actually has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In my medical practice, I have seen thousands of children that have been labeled
ADHD and thousands of children that have been prescribed psychiatric drugs for ADHD, but they came to my office without a thorough history taken, a complete physical exam, lab work, allergy testing, heavy metal testing or educational testing. When I performed these tests, I discovered that none of them had ADHD. There was always some medical, physical or educational reason for the symptoms. If your child was labeled ADHD without these tests, there is a good chance your child was misdiagnosed as well.
Children with attention and behavior problems can have many different medical or educational problems that cause the attention and behavior symptoms. If one of these other diagnoses is found then that is the real diagnosis, not ADHD.
Find The Cause—Fix The Problem
Labeling children as ADHD and prescribing a psychiatric drug may be quick, easy and cheap, but I do not consider it to be good medicine. I was taught to always look for the underlying cause of any medical problem. Most of the children I have seen that were labeled as ADHD had teachers that encouraged the parents to take the child to the doctor for a prescription. The doctors usually did not do a physical exam, nor took a thorough history. Rarely was any lab work or allergy testing performed. The doctor just accepted the teacher’s opinion for it and prescribed a psychiatric drug to the child.
There is No Objective Medical Test for ADHD
The diagnosis of ADHD is actually made from a checklist filled out by the parents and teachers. Of course, the teachers know what to check to assure an ADHD diagnosis so it doesn’t surprise me that the diagnosis is given quickly and readily just as are the psychiatric drugs used to treat ADHD. Because the label made from a check list, ADHD is just a made up psychiatric label that is based on a group of subjective symptoms. There is no means available to determine that someone actually has ADHD. Your child might have many of the symptoms that make up the psychiatric disorder called ADHD but those same symptoms can be caused from many medical and educational problems as well.
According to the National Institutes of Health, there is no valid test for ADHD, there is no data indicating it is a brain disorder and there is little improvement in academic and social skills when it is treated with drugs.
ADHD Drugs Have Many Potential and Serious Side Effects
It concerns me greatly that children are prescribed these psychiatric drugs that come with a host of potentially dangerous side effects. I am sure you would like your child to be appropriately evaluated before using any of those drugs. The number of children and adolescents taking psychiatric drugs tripled in the past ten years. A study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine reported that pediatricians and child psychiatrists are turning more and more to prescription drugs to treat their young patients. The study said “little research exists to indicate whether psychiatric drugs are being prescribed responsibly in most cases, or whether they are being over-prescribed-in part because health insurers are reluctant to pay for non-medication treatments.”
Posted on October 15, 2012