Harvard Psychologist Says ADHD Doesn't Exist, Local Therapists React

SPRINGDALE, Ark. - - A world-renowned Psychologist and Professor at Harvard University claims A.D.H.D. is an "invention..." and doesn't actually exist.

We spoke to one therapist in Northwest Arkansas disagrees with that claim, but does believe it is being over-diagnosed.

"Medication has been more prescribed in the last 20 years because the incidents of attention deficit disorder has increased in the last 20 years."  Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Debbie Brooks, said

Brooks regularly diagnoses patients with A.D.D. or A.D.H.D.

She said the amount of people experiencing symptoms of the disorder has rapidly increased.

"That's something that's a real cause for concern, but we're not really sure why.. there's a lot of speculation about environmental factors," Brooks said.

She also has concerns that A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. medication may be over prescribed.

She says it's very important to have a thorough clinical diagnostic interview with a mental health professional.

There are other symptoms that can look like attention deficit disorder,  but are really attributed to anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder or bipolar disorder.

"What we do know is if its misdiagnosed their quality of life is not going to be very good... For instance if you have bipolar disorder and you've been diagnosed with A.D.H.D. you've most likely been diagnosed with a stimulant medication, which will cause you to have more manic episodes," Brooks said.

The American Pediatric Association recently changed its guidelines and recommends the first line of treatment should be cognitive behavioral therapy, instead of medication first.

"Because that actually has shown to address a lot of the symptoms if that doesn't work then you try stimulant medicine," Brooks said.

Brooks believes A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. are real disorders.

It's a matter of getting the right diagnosis and the right treatment.

"You need to have clinical scales given to teacher, parent, and if the child is old enough to the child and assess not just are their symptoms present but is it impacting two or more areas of their live... not just school but it needs to affect school, home, some other environment also," Brooks said,

Click the link provided for a complete list of Arkansas Doctors who treat A.D.D. & A.D.H.D.


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