Are children with mental health illnesses like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder being overtreated? No, according to a recent Washington Post article citing a mental health study that says most children who meet the criteria for ADHD do not receive medicine consistently enough. “There’s a perception that ADHD is overdiagnosed and overtreated, so we wanted to see if that was true among those who met the disease criteria,” says Tanya Froehlich, a doctor at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and lead author of the study.
The study found that more than two million participating children ages eight to 15 met the criteria for ADHD, but only a third consistently received medication last year. Only 16 percent of poor children received medication, and were two-thirds less likely to receive medicine consistently. Although the study counters overtreatment of ADHD, another study, reports the Post, questions the validity of the increase in the number of children diagnosed with mental illnesses like bipolar disorder.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.