What are some unusual signs of ADHD

ADHD: how is the diagnosis made?

In Germany in 2006 2.3% of children and adolescents who were insured with the AOK were diagnosed with ADHD. In 2012 there were twice as many at 4.6%.

Some experts see it as positive that more ADHD diagnoses are being made today. They assume that teachers, doctors and therapists are more aware of the disease and that it was often not given enough attention in the past. Others fear that behaviors that are actually normal for children and adolescents will be viewed as pathological and that they will be dealt with too quickly.

One can only speculate about the reasons for the increase in ADHD diagnoses. Knowledge of ADHD and awareness of this disease are certainly greater than they were a few years ago. Today, parents may also seek medical or psychotherapeutic help earlier and more often. It is not uncommon for the impetus to come from teachers.

In addition, some experts suspect that ADHD is diagnosed more frequently because the DSM diagnostic criteria changed in 2013: In the current version of the criteria, it is sufficient for the first behavioral problems to occur before the child's twelfth birthday. The previous version required them to perform before their seventh birthday.

Last but not least, ADHD treatment is a worthwhile market for the pharmaceutical industry. Some experts see the increased number of diagnoses as an indication that manufacturers of drugs for the treatment of ADHD are increasingly bringing the issue to the public in order to increase sales. The question of how often drugs are actually prescribed unnecessarily is difficult to answer.

The public debate about ADHD is not about whether ADHD actually exists. Almost all experts agree on this. Rather, what is discussed is which form of behavior is viewed as requiring treatment - and which social developments and interests influence this. It is important: If a child has ADHD and everyone's quality of life and everyday life suffer as a result, this should also be taken seriously.