REAL ADHD Screening Test
As many as 90% of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) sufferers are said to be misdiagnosed. Small wonder: the standard screening test lists symptoms that could apply to any person at one time or another. So, as a service to our readers, Stay Free! decided to come up with a more accurate screening test than the one used by psychologists. If you or a loved one think you might have ADHD, heres how to know for sure. | CM
Are you American?
The number of people diagnosed as ADHD in the United States dwarfs any other country. The U.S. produces and uses 80% of the worlds stimulants such as Ritalinten times more than Europe and industrialized Asia.
Are you affluent?
An ADHD diagnosis is most likely to be made in people who can afford it. (A neuropsychiatric evaluation costs anywhere from $250 to $1,500 and drugs run $30-60 a month.) Of course, this isnt actually good news for poor or minority kids. While learning disabled minorities typically wind up in Special Ed programs, wealthier ADHD students receive special amenities. An ADHD diagnosis, for example, allows students to take standardized tests like the SAT untimed. If youre poor, ADHD has a greater tendency to be considered "stupidity."
Are you white?
Several studies have shown that African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and other minorities are much less likely to receive the ADHD diagnosis than people with an Anglo background.
Are you male?
Males are much more likely to be diagnosed as ADHD in all age groupsmore than three guys for every gal diagnosed with ADHD. According to Forbes (August 12, 1996) among children under 16, boys account for 80% of Ritalin consumption.
Do you have:
a) A stressful family life
Young people diagnosed as ADHD are more likely to experience all of the above than the population at large. However, significant research in this area is sparse.
Do you live in Virginia?
Virginia has the highest per capita use of Ritalin among the states, with rates six times higher than that of the lowest state, Hawaii. After Virginia, the next four states are South Carolina, Delaware, Indiana, and Michigan.
Do you suspect that you have ADHD?
Then you do.
Sources for demographic info can be found in Running on Ritalin by Lawrence Diller; and Russel Barkley, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Glib commentary cannot.
See also: Letter to the Editor