The statistics reported currently propose that as many as 13% of all children up to the age of 17, have ADD or ADHD. The number is increasing. This does not include the number of adults with the disorder. The CDC says that as many as 8% of all adults present with ADD or ADHD.
NICABM is now suggesting that some children may be getting misdiagnosed with ADHD rather than with PTSD or another trauma-related disorder. A child's hyper-arousal and cognitive difficulties could easily pass as symptoms for ADHD if the treatment provider did not know to look for signs of trauma.
Children can heal from PTSD, but only if they are receiving the correct treatment.
The mistake may be made more frequently than we think, as many disorders have similar symptoms to PTSD.
Diagnoses of ADHD are frequently made too quickly. The mother recites the list of symptoms and the doctor hands over a prescription. However a quick fix solution overlooks other problems that the individual may have such as --trauma, dyslexia, or mental illness--all of which can look like ADHD and all of which can, in turn, be missed entirely and go untreated.
Nancy Rappaport of the Huffington Post suggests that a physician work with the parents, teachers, and the patient to determine if the child has experienced trauma or has trouble focusing because of ADHD. The symptoms can look the same: the hyperactivity, the disorganized approach, the distraction, the frequent mood changes, the anger, the reactivity.
Bi-polar disorder can overlap quite a bit with ADHD. Both illnesses can share the same symptoms: impulsivity, pressured speech, and difficulty concentrating. Physicians can't be blase about stimulants, and or make snap judgments about ADHD either. Dissociative disorders are often misdiagnosed as ADHD because of the similarity in symptoms.
The individual may have become addicted to alcohol and drugs because they are used frequently to self medicate or to numb the psychic pain.
The bottom line is that each person whether adult or child deserves a balanced, thorough evaluation that allows everyone involved to proceed in a thoughtful way. The thoughtful way is what is found at a leading treatment center such as Mirasol. We work until we get it right for the client.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is an inattentive version of ADHD without the hyperactivity component. Poor concentration, daydreaming, spacing out, and just "out-to-lunch" are phrases commonly used to describe people struggling with this disorder. We need to look at the symptoms from all different sides. As an example, dissociation is a psychological process in which people experiencing acute trauma blank out or go numb, or quite literally shut down. Once the acute trauma is over, some people continue to dissociate when under stress or when re-experiencing the trauma. Something in the person's's environment might trigger the them to dissociate. It could be a sight or smell or a memory triggered by something in the class work or something a peer says. After a dissociative episode, people do not remember (treatmentcenters.net).
When someone has ADD or ADHD, they usually have damaged self-esteem and feelings of guilt or shame. In order to compensate for these feelings, they can develop eating disorders or substance abuse, or some kind of other methods to compensate and seek a greater sense of control. They are more likely to struggle in recovery and have a greater risk of relapse.
At Mirasol we do not immediately medicate every woman or girl who comes through the door with ADD or ADHD. We feel it's not appropriate until we have done a brain map and a complete biopsychosocial profile on the client which is then carefully evaluated by Mirasol's highly trained staff.
Every client at Mirasol is viewed as an individual. We do not try to use a one-size fits all approach. Our treatment philosophy is integrative and holistic. We focus on the woman or girl as a whole: spiritually, nutritionally, physically, emotionally, sexually, physiologically, intellectually — in other words the whole person! We carefully look at how co-occurring disorders such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, or personality disorders affect the client's ability to manage the symptoms of ADD/ADHD. We help our clients develop skill and confidence in using her recovery skills.Next: Effective Treatment for ADD and ADHD
FREE weekly eating disorder support group for adults struggling with food issues, staffed by therapists from Mirasol Eating Disorder Recovery Centers. Thursdays from 5:30-6:45 pm at 2954 N Campbell Ave. #157 in Tucson. For more information, call 888-520-1700.
"Mirasol is light years ahead of any other program in the country."