Methylphenidate: Fact or fiction

Last modified: Saturday, 20. June 2009 - 1:02 pm

Do you have ADHD? U.S. medical doctors use a publication published by the American Psychiatric Association to guide them in their diagnosis of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). That publication is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). To be diagnosed as ADHD, a person would have to have either six or more symptoms of inattention or six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity “for at least six months to a degree that is maladaptive” and “inconsistent to the person’s developmental level.”
The symptoms of inattention include:
• Failure to give close attention to details or careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
• Difficulty maintaining attention in work tasks or play.
• Frequent incidents of failure to listen when directly spoken to.
• Frequent failure to follow through on instructions and tasks ranging from schoolwork to chores or workplace duties.
• Frequent difficulty in organizing tasks and activities.
• Avoiding tasks that require sustained mental effort.
• Frequent loss of objects such as tools, pencils, or books necessary for task or activity completion.
• Easily distracted by outside stimuli, and often forgetful in daily activities.
The symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity include:
• Fidgeting with hands or feet or squirming in one’s seat.
• Frequently leaving one’s seat in a classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected.
• Running or climbing in inappropriate situations.
• Frequently having difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly.
• Often on the go or frequently acts as if driven.
• Talking excessively.
• Frequently blurting out answers before questions have been completed, difficulty awaiting one’s turn, and often interrupting or intruding on others by butting into conversations or games.


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