How to help yourself and others with ADHD
Friends of the Center,
ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder among American children—and it’s on the rise, especially among girls and within in the Hispanic population, according to a new study. The prevalence of ADHD in children aged five to 17 increased almost 43% between 2003 and 2011, and now 5.8 million U.S. children have been diagnosed with ADHD. The study also reports an 83% increase in ADHD within the Hispanic community from 2003 and 2011.
In DC, MD, and VA the prevalence for children aged four to 17 rose to levels between 9.7 and 12%. Moreover, more than one-third of children in DC, MD, and VA reported by their parents as not receiving treatment also exhibited moderate or severe ADHD.
In all, across the country one in eight children are likely experiencing hyperactivity, inattentiveness, or other symptoms of ADHD that interfere with daily functioning. And the study showed a greater increase in prevalence for girls than boys.
What it means
The rise in ADHD diagnoses—whether due to increased awareness, overdiagnosis, or some combination—means that more people are dealing with it, whether with family, friends, partners, or children, and that more discussion is necessary.
What you can do
As the prevalence of ADHD rises and the next generation begins to seek treatment, you can be supportive of those you know who are dealing with ADHD.
Listen to them when they want to talk about how it affects their lives, including any potential stigma attached to their experience—and respect their wishes when they don’t want to discuss it. You can check in with a child’s parents, caregivers, or educators if you think a child might be experiencing ADHD.
Most importantly, if you think you may be experiencing symptoms of ADHD, you can take charge of your health: Start by scheduling an assessment or free consultation with a trained DCNE therapist. Ask plenty of questions about what you’re experiencing and potential treatment plans. And if you think someone in your care may be exhibiting symptoms of ADHD, schedule an appointment with DCNE to discuss the potential symptoms and likelihood that it’s related to ADHD.
The best way to be certain of your diagnosis is for an expert medical provider to assess your symptoms, including the possibility for comorbidity and other lifestyle factors. DCNE offers ADHD assessments, therapy, and neurofeedback. Read more about our services, or contact us today: 202-998-ADHD (2343) or [email protected].
Schuyler Cunningham, LICSW