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Monday, March 4, 2013

Transformers: More than meets the ADHD eye...

If you have ever been to an after school special on drugs or alcohol, you tend to hear this line come up a few times: "Alcohol/Weed is a gateway drug ". Apparently, that also exists with mental health and psychiatric/behavioral disorders. As reported by, which quoted the March 4th online issue of Pediatrics as saying "57 percent of children with ADHD had at least one other psychiatric disorder as adults, as compared with 35 percent of those studied who didn't have childhood ADHD. The most common were substance abuse/dependence, antisocial personality disorder, hypomanic episodes, generalized anxiety and major depression...Of the children who still had ADHD as adults, 81 percent had at least one other psychiatric disorder, as compared with 47 percent of those who no longer had ADHD and 35 percent of those without childhood ADHD."  

Interesting, yet why would we not say these children had any of these disorders AND THEN developed ADHD? Maybe these children do not have ADHD at all and simply cannot give another diagnosis to them because the DSM(Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) would not give enough criteria for the child to have another maybe more severe diagnosis. I don't have the answer, all I am saying is, call it ADHD ,call it banana bread, makes no significant difference in the scheme of things as long as the child receives the best treatment possible.

I had to dig further into the broader scope of mental health. Can a person have only one diagnosis or do the majority of psychiatric/behavioral patients have at least two diagnosis?

Again, pulls me through. In an article in 2008 they reported, "Most patients had more than one diagnosis; on average, patients had 1.9 current diagnoses. Patients with principal diagnoses of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and bipolar disorder had the highest number of diagnoses."

With both articles this leads me to believe that there is a good chance that those children may have had other psychiatric problems already and not that it LED to those disorders in adulthood. Before you get on my case, I am NOT, I repeat NOT suggesting that those children have or should be diagnosed with Bipolar or Schizophrenia or a Personality disorder or any severe psychiatric illness. What I am suggesting is that ADHD much like other behavioral problems are not a stand alone issue and there is more going on than "Jonny cant sit still or concentrate in class".

Good to be back folks!
PS-Both articles are linked when you click ScienceDaily


1 comment:

  1. Great elaboration! Dual dx are always interesting. Chicken/egg/chicken/egg