Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as A Hoax?

There are some claims that ADD/ADHD is simply a hoax. Some of these charges are that there has been a conspiracy between medical and counseling professionals and the pharmaceutical companies, or that the former have been misled by the latter, which have profited greatly from the sale of medication such as Ritalin and Adderall, and have advertised their products extensively. Since medications became available, there has been an increased number of persons diagnosed. This might be explained by increased awareness or easy solution for doctors.

Another explanation comes from a common misconception of the symptoms that leads to an incorrect diagnosis. For example, an employee of a school might think that a student has ADD simply because the child cannot be controlled in the classroom. A teacher may think a student whom they cannot control has ADD, but in reality the problem may be a lack of discipline. The same teacher might not notice a child who forgets their papers, stares (entranced) at the carpet for long periods of time, or shows many of the recognized symptoms.

However, the results achieved in clinical tests with medication and anecdotal evidence of parents, teachers, and both child and adult sufferers has been taken as proof that there is both a condition and successful treatment options for most people who meet the criteria for a diagnosis. It is vital to insure that proper diagnosis of ADHD is made and that if medications are prescribed they are properly monitored.

Confusion may also arise from the fact that ADD/ADHD symptoms vary with each individual, and some mimic those of other causes. A known fact is that, as the body (and brain) matures and grows, the symptoms and adaptability of the individual also change. Many individuals diagnosed with ADD/ADHD successfully develop coping skills. It has been found that ADHD Coaching is effective in helping individuals with ADHD develop the strategies needed to focus, stay motivated, and be highly successful in their school, personal and professional lives.  See the section on Coaching for more information.