A new health study shows that 7.5 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 17 are on psych meds based on data collected from interviews between 2011 and 2012 with parents of over 17,000 children.
"Over the past two decades, the use of medication to treat mental health problems has increased substantially among all school-aged children and in most subgroups of children," the report's authors explained.
Unfortunately, the survey did not identify which diagnoses were being treated by the medications, but estimates indicate that a majority of the drugs are to treat ADHD symptoms, a point that critics are likely to seize upon. As noted by the UPI, "The study may lend credence to critics who say America's children are over-diagnosed with ADHD — and subsequently over-prescribed and over-medicated."
According to the American Psychiatric Association, five percent of American children have ADHD, but studies reveal more than 11 percent of American children are diagnosed with the condition.
What may be more alarming is that there is increasing evidence that ADHD may not be the epidemic that some are claiming, and in fact, may not even be an actual condition.
Dr. Richard Saul, who has been practicing behavioral neurology for 50 years, and is the author of the new book ADHD Does Not Exist, writes in a March 14 Time piece,
The fifth edition of the DSM [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] only requires one to exhibit five of 18 possible symptoms to qualify for an ADHD diagnosis. If you haven’t seen the list, look it up. It will probably bother you. How many of us can claim that we have difficulty with organization or a tendency to lose things; that we are frequently forgetful or distracted or fail to pay close attention to details? Under these subjective criteria, the entire U.S. population could potentially qualify.
Saul's analysis confirms what critics have been saying regarding the growth in the rate of mental illness issues: that it may in fact be the result of expanded medical terms and definitions.
Slate.com warned of such a thing last April:
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