ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

ADHD: Who Knows?

Updated on July 14, 2015

"Right" Knowledge is Empowering

There seems to be an explosion of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) so much to where it looks like every other child has it now. It is no longer clear whether it's a real mental health disorder or just a behavioral label. Most parents wonder whether or not their children are exhibiting the signs of ADHD. While many teachers and physicians are quick to label any active child with ADHD, they are certainly not trained to diagnose the disorder and it is best to seek the diagnosis of a qualified, licensed mental health professional, such as psychologist or psychiatrist. A proper ADHD assessment is the only acceptable method of establishing the diagnosis. Even if a child was diagnosed with ADHD, there is still the possibility that the child may not need medications at all. In many cases psychotherapy is more than enough to support an ADHD child and help him cope with daily routines and school load. For some children ADHD can be generally outgrown because as they grow up the ADHD symptoms disappear. Yet, it all depends on the severity of the disorder. Concerned parents should gain a full understanding of all the facts and controversies surrounding the phenomenon of ADHD so that they may be able to make informed decisions about what is best for their child.

A Little History

The conditions that serve as the basis for ADHD were first recorded by Hippocrates (350 B.C.) long before it acquired its famous name. The behavior’s label was introduced as Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD in the 3rd edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published in 1980. The name was changed again in 1994 to Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD to include hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattentiveness to a list of behavioral manifestations initially associated with ADD. Children who are properly diagnosed usually display defiant, aggressive behavior, have trouble concentrating and paying attention and have difficulty getting along with others. Usually, if an adult is diagnosed, they may have had untreated symptoms that manifested from childhood. According to Psychology Today, 5 to 7 % of children are diagnosed with what it describes as a “developmental disorder.”

Gee! Who Knows?

Most children appear to outgrow what was initially considered by most as mere childish behavior that could be curbed through time, discipline and guided structure in the home and at school. But, for some children, the condition, if left untreated, can have devastating effects that can snowball into life-long learning disabilities and more sophisticated behavioral abnormalities. It still remains the very real question of whether ADHD is a true disorder or a collection of naturally-occurring behaviors that are less tolerated in today’s high-demand world. So, given the information that is out there about ADHD, how should these behaviors be clinically treated, if at all? Who would know best? Here are a few factors that should be taken into consideration before accepting a diagnosis of ADHD for your child from any healthcare professional.

Although you may seek out a qualified, licensed healthcare professional for help in battling childhood ADHD, it is important to note that all healthcare professionals, no matter what their area of medical or nonmedical expertise, may not have specific experience with ADHD and its symptoms. Therefore, it is important for the professional that is evaluating your child to be able to recognize ADHD symptoms, as well as discern those symptoms from other conditions that may be confused with ADHD. Several mental illnesses have the same symptoms as ADHD. The most common are bipolar disorder and depression. In such situations, it is important to ask questions and to seek referrals and advice about the best course of action to take in order to prevent misdiagnosis. With a little research, you may come across several online resources (e.g. to help guide you in the right direction in finding the right health care professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

A Cultural Stigma

African-Americans have a long and rocky history with the American medical establishment. Events like the Tuskegee Experiment and outgrowths of the Eugenics Movement (Planned Parenthood), cause grave skepticism in the Black population concerning the use of legal drugs to control human behavior, especially in children. Noted African-American school psychologist, Dr. Umar Johnson, cautions against the use of what he deems as “dangerous psychotropic drugs” in order to control behavior he views as prevalent in Black youth by the design of historical racial oppression. According to Dr. Johnson, drugs like Ritalin contribute to low sperm count in Black males and over time, exacerbate disruptive behavioral disorders and antisocial behaviors like homicide and suicide. Dr. Johnson supports the use of Behavioral Psychology as a viable remedy for properly diagnosed ADHD, primarily because there is no medicine. Behavioral Psychology focuses on a ”consequence/reward” system which stresses active parental involvement.

© 2015 Dana Ayres


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • kndashy41 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dana Ayres 

      3 years ago from Houston, TX

      I'm not sure if diet plays a huge roll in an ADHD diagnosis, but too much of the fast stuff can't be good in any way and can affect mood, as well as concentration in the long run. But, I don't believe to the point where a person would need medication. So, while I am a proponent of eating the healthiest diet possible, I don't think it would make much of a difference in the case of ADHD. I could be wrong...just my hypothesis.

    • peachpurple profile image


      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      may i know is ADHD related to the fast food and drinks that had made the child different? I saw a documentary about this

    • kndashy41 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dana Ayres 

      4 years ago from Houston, TX

      I understand your position completely. I also agree that there are real cases of ADHD, especially within the African-American community, that need to be assessed and treated as any other. However, I added Dr. Johnson's position to highlight the fact that many real cases of ADHD in African-American youth aren't detected or are misdiagnosed because of cultural stigmas...and the neglect swings both ways. Many African-Americans don't seek help for mental illnesses like severe depression, bipolar disorder and ADHD. Often, when mental health symptoms arise in Black youth, instead of being assessed for a clinical malady, they are subject to disciplinary penalties, shuttled into "special education" programs and given mind altering drugs that further exacerbate learning disabilities. Things may be changing for the better these days and I certainly hope so, but when I was growing up in the 70's, I saw what Ritalin did to kids...and this is all before these stimulants were officially deemed dangerously unfit for minors in the 80's. You do the math.

    • John Pokea profile image

      Dr. John Pokea 

      4 years ago

      I think Dr. Johnson's position is very damaging for African-Americans who seem to listen to him. It become popular these days to be anti-meds and blame ADHD on conspiracy of big Pharma. As a therapist I work with many ADHD clients from all social groups and ethnicities. I can ensure you that ADHD is very real disease and in severe cases it requires medications to be controlled. Many parents decide not to medicate because of all this noise in the media, as a result their children fail schools and colleges and ruin their future.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)