By On January 26th, 2010

Are physicians too quick to medicate for ADHD?

Between the year 1990 and 1998 the number of children and adults diagnosed with ADHD rose dramatically. In 1990 those diagnosed were estimated to be around 900,000; this number is now approaching 5 million. Many psychologists feel that these numbers are reflective of tendencies of physicians to be too quick to medicate. According to Esther Fine, PhD, a psychoanalyst in private practice in Los Angeles, the etiology of the disease is not understood well enough; while it may be that there are a variety of instances where neurological causes are central to cases of ADHD, children may be just as, or more, responsive to psychotherapy. According to Fine, “Unfortunately, it is now a prevalent notion that it is no longer necessary or relevant to understand the unconscious meaning of psychological symptom… It’s becoming a popular idea to consider psychoanalysis, and even psychotherapy, ‘dinosaurs’ in the treatment of mental disorders.” Mark D. Smaller, PhD, a psychoanalyst in private practice in Chicago, commenting, relayed that he felt much of the problem was due to the desire of parents and teachers to have a quick fix for unwanted child and adolescent behaviors. Click here to read an article from Medpage Today that discusses this study more.

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