Here are the facts. The percentage of children who have been diagnosed with ADHD is now at 11 percent. Contrast this to 7.8 percent about a decade ago, and you’ll notice the 41 percent increase. And this isn’t the only age group that has seen a marked increase in ADHD diagnoses. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 6.1 percent of young people are currently taking some form of ADHD medication, a 28 percent increase from numbers in 2007.
There is much debate on what is causing this shift. Many contribute it to growing competition in the pharmaceutical industry, indicating that the American population is over-medicated and loosely diagnosed. Others suggest that the increase in ADHD diagnoses is a product of our digital age. We live in a world of instant gratification, which makes doing routine or regimented tasks for long periods extremely difficult.
Do people grow out of their ADHD? It may appear so, but this is due in large part to the fact that adults can choose their tasks. People with ADHD can choose more stimulating occupations, which seems to make their ADHD symptoms disappear.
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There are plenty of neurological studies that point to problems with receptors in the brain, but ADHD cannot be explained away on a chemical level alone. The problem often lies with boredom. Whether or not doctors prescribe drugs like Ritalin or Adderall, ADHD patients must fine healthy outlets for stimulation.
According to Dr. Richard A. Friedman, “When the brain is focusing, the task-positive network takes over and quiets the default mode network. This reciprocal relationship is necessary in order to focus.”
What Dr. Friedman is suggesting is that, more likely than not, the same factors that help adults “grow out of their ADHD” may help children and adolescents cope with their symptoms. People with ADHD grow bored more quickly and need to be in an environment that catches them before their boredom turns into acting out.
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People with ADHD are more likely to turn to forms of instant gratification like drugs or alcohol. Koffel Brininger Nesbitt is passionate about representing individuals who may be battling addictions and living with ADHD. Our focus is on rehabilitation. In cases where the defendant is diagnosed with ADHD, we know that incarceration will not fix the root of the problem.
Contact Koffel Brininger Nesbitt today to learn more about how we can help criminal offenders living with ADHD or a similar condition.