ADHD or Simply Sleep-Deprivation?

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It is said that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is over-diagnosed in children with many desperate parents looking for answers with how to deal with all of their uncontrollable energy.

According to a report in the New York Times,  more psychiatrists are purposely misdiagnosing ADHD in low income children in an effort to get them to adjust better in their school environments and ultimately perform better academically.

“We as a society have been unwilling to invest in very effective nonpharmaceutical interventions for these children and their families,” said Dr. Ramesh Raghavan, a child mental-health services researcher at Washington University in St. Louis and an expert in prescription drug use among low-income children. “We are effectively forcing local community psychiatrists to use the only tool at their disposal, which is psychotropic medications.”

Dr. Nancy Rappaport, a child psychiatrist in Cambridge, Mass., who works primarily with lower-income children and their schools, added: “We are seeing this more and more. We are using a chemical straitjacket instead of doing things that are just as important to also do, sometimes more.”

Another Doctor basically excuses himself from responsibility from misdiagnosing ADHD as a “means to an end” by saying, “We might not know the long-term effects…. I am looking to the individual person and where they are right now. I am the doctor for the patient, not for society.”

Shockingly, it is more likely that children being diagnosed with ADD/ADHD are more likely simply suffering from a lack of sleep.

The Examiner reports that many sleep-deprived children are being misdiagnosed with ADHD.

“General symptoms displayed by sleep-deprived children mimic the symptoms of ADHD,” Dr. Hooman Shabatian of the Los Angeles Sleep Study Institute said in a press release.

“Children need adequate sleep or there are negative consequences to their development. A child may benefit from a sleep study to determine whether or not they have a sleep disorder or if they do, in fact, have ADHD.”

Sleep-deprived children may show classic indicators of ADHD such as being moody or rambunctious. Standard ADHD medications such as Ritalin, Concerta or Adderall are stimulants and contribute to insomnia, worsening the condition of children with a sleep disorder.

Some sleep-deprived children who display behavioral problems snore or have nighttime breathing complications such as sleep apnea. These children are 40 and 100 percent more likely to become hyperactive by age seven, one British study concluded. The study was published in the March 2012 journal Pediatrics.

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Claire is an editor of the YoungPatriots website. A 20-something mom, her main concern is how the decisions made in government today will affect the lives of her children when they're her age. She believes passionately in a limited government, a charitable church and a peaceful personal life. In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas.
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