The Childhood ADHD Explosion


Childhood ADHD is a diagnosis that is as common as it is controversial; indeed, compared to fifty years ago, there seems to be a sudden ADHD tidal wave washing over children across the globe. From a health and wellness perspective, the question becomes: What is childhood ADHD and how has it spread so much so fast?

Childhood ADHD is a behaviour disorder that is characterised by a combination of poor attention skills and hyperactive behavior. Children with ADHD struggle to focus on simple tasks at home or school and are prone to outbursts of energy that can be disruptive in various social situations. At present, 3-5% of children globally are diagnosed with ADHD and it is one of the most commonly discussed and studied psychiatric disorders.

So why has there been an increase in childhood ADHD? Likely because behavioural problems from nervousness to hyperactivity have been studied intensely during the last 50 to 100 years. The result is that psychiatrists have been able to label the disruptive childhood behaviour which has always been around—it just didn’t always have a diagnostic name.

As with many psychiatric diagnoses, there is debate surrounding childhood ADHD: is it the result of nature or nurture? Is it a biological disorder or a maladaptive social disorder? On the one hand, many researchers claim that ADHD has biological roots and thus it can only be treated with drugs such as Ritalin. Opponents of the biological approach, (or) those leaning towards the side of nurture, claim that social changes have contributed to the rise in childhood ADHD:  (such as) longer, more regulated days in school and homes in which both parents work being good examples.

So who is in the right? The nature or the nurture people? There is probably a little truth to both approaches. Drugs have been shown to help children diagnosed with ADHD but there is also proof that ADHD can be reduced by lifestyle and dietary changes.  Ultimately, it is up to each individual family to decide how to work with their child’s ADHD diagnosis. ADHD is a very real disorder for the millions who suffer from it. It is important to avoid stigmatizing them, and instead seek ways to help childhood ADHD sufferers have a better quality of life.

ADHD affects millions of children across the globe. To find out more about this behavioural disorder—including what you can do about it, join in the discussions on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Childhood ADHD Explosion was last modified: July 2nd, 2015 by Maureen

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