The Journal of Pediatrics recently published a study conducted over 15 years in Taiwan:
Summary/analysis of the results here:
I’ve long thought ADHD diagnoses, especially among children, are absurdly prevalent and that’s caused me to doubt the validity of it as a real mental condition at all. This study confirms, at the very least, that there are an enormous amount of diagnoses made on faulty pretenses (i.e. relative maturity and development of classmates rather than any sort of objective measurement). If it were a real condition that was being diagnosed correctly, we would expect to see a roughly even distribution of diagnoses across all potential months patients were born in. But not only is that not the case, there’s such a huge discrepancy, that it really makes the mental health profession look like a bunch of yokels who don’t know what they’re doing.
Is no one else concerned about all this speed that they have been doling out to kids while minting money for Big Pharma to support false diagnoses throughout the ADHD fad? Will these findings lead to any sort of reform or at least a more critical look at the diagnostic process? I’m willing to concede that ADHD might be real, but it’s just hard to take it seriously (and by extension, mental health medicine as legitimate science), when we see how shaky the foundations of diagnosis really are.