Is ADD and ADHD a "real" condition?
As a child, I would probably have been diagnosed with this. But there was no such thing at the time. I often wonder if this is a real condition or if it's simply made up for people who cannot control or handle their children.
There are generally both physical and spiritual implications associated with those who have been diagnosed with either of these conditions. Much of the research and debate on this issue centers around the physical cause and potential cure or care for the conditions. However, in that the essence of the conditions involves behavior that the Bible addresses...
I believe that it is a real condition, but it just didn't used to be recognised as one. All medical disorders exist before they are recognised and named. It's the same with autism/aspergers, dyslexia and other conditions which we now have names for. I believe I would have been diagnosed with aspergers if there had been a name for it when I was at school. Doesn't mean it didn't exist then.
There is however a lot of dispute about what causes ADD/ADHD, (developmental factors vs. psychiatric vs. psychological vs. environment/diet etc...) and therefore disagreement about what is the best way is to treat it.
I struggle to believe that either disorder is "real" and, in fact, I think that the vast majority of "symptoms" fall within the age-appropriate realms of behavior for most children. I do agree that some children struggle with attention and concentration, but I support the theory that the prevalence rates of ADHD have been much overblown. Check out my hub "The Truth About Your Child's ADHD". It can be found here: http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Truth-About-ADHD . Feel free to leave me questions in the comments section!
Speaking as someone with adult onset ADD, I can tell you that this is definitely real. But I also think there is a lot of gray area surrounding this condition, especially as it pertains to children. There are too many other things that can contain some of the same symptomology--such as Asperger's Syndrome and Autism. So while the condition is real, I believe that often times ADD or ADHD is chosen first (or too quickly), before there has been any in-depth testing.
It is a very real condition, though it's also grossly over-diagnosed. I have ADHD, and trust me, it's about SOO much more than not being able to pay attention. We're an over-stimulated society, so it's amazing when anyone is able to pay attention. I may go from being unable to focus on anything to only being able to focus on one thing for days at a time, have petit mal seizures every now and then, and can't speak properly at other times. Most notably, it's gotten worse since childhood -- I was diagnosed at 14, I'm 28 now and it's more noticeable than ever.
I did write an article recently (not on here, so I won't link it) on some interesting studies about brain structure differences in ADHD. Apparently, most of the study subjects had differences in their frontal cortex, basal ganglia, memory centers, and tissues around the parts of the brain that control concentration. There were a few other differences noted, but the point is that they were able to see a notable difference that wasn't a simple chemical imbalance. Note, too, that all of the people used in the studies were diagnosed by specialists, no self-diagnoses or labeling from pediatricians, school nurses and such like that. It's some pretty fascinating reading if you like science and want to understand the condition a bit better
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