ADHD Is More Measurable Than Ever
It is a very recent disease to mistake the unobserved
for the nonexistent; but some are plagued by the worse
disease of mistaking the unobserved for the unobservable.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb – The Bed of Procrustes
ADHD Experts Emphatically Agree
Undiagnosed, under-diagnosed, and misdiagnosed ADHD costs the country millions of dollars annually: $13.7 million annually in 2000 for work related medical costs, and an estimated $16 trillion for inmates incarcerated with ADHD. Yet, surprisingly, others still argue that ADHD confusion arises from too liberal diagnostic and treatment interventions, and medications thrown at children “just being children.”
Whatever your personal view of the psychology/biology debate you are well aware of the speculative conundrum that currently exists regarding ADHD diagnosis and treatment at any age. Concerned citizenry do wonder: just what are the reasons for this unremitting confusion, and what are we missing with this increasingly common childhood and adult malady? Is ADHD a biologic reality or just a defect in character with inattention to socially acceptable boundaries?
One outstanding point is certain:
Far too few regularly witness the abundant downstream pain and suffering attending those who for years have been either missed or incorrectly treated, many completely overlooked during or after childhood. Marriages struggle and end, children drop out of school, families disintegrate under the parental pressures of internal conflicts and lost jobs – and yet the questions pervasively remain: just what is ADHD, what is “Hyperactive” and “Inattentive,” – and how come those pesky stimulants work so unpredictably? Why does ADHD still appear to be so inordinately confusing and vague, – and just what are we missing medically?
In a word, we’re too often missing function – brain function.
We’re missing the new brain biology. To miss that inherent biology is to perpetuate counterproductive confusion. To understand the new science is to add new treatment options with more predictable outcomes.
We haven’t been listening to the remarkable evolution in brain science. The biology is there, but many don’t yet recognize that evidence as useful. Brain and body measurement tools bring new biomarker understandings to the activities of brain physiology – from SPECT brain function to neurotransmitter assessments we miss the new biology that connects the dots for improved diagnosis and treatment strategies. Evidence brings more precise treatment targets, and an improved appreciation of the sometimes-unpredictable nature of ADHD medications.
The new brain and body biology has a significant impact on everyday psychiatric practice, from child to adult assessments, to pharmacologic interventions, to new treatment strategies such as neurofeedback, to supplements that improve neurotransmitter function. To appreciate the actual biologic evidence is to significantly add more possibilities to the treatment arsenal. That new science will ultimately improve current treatment strategies, as outlined my eBook, ADHD Medication Rules: Paying Attention To The Meds For Paying Attention, not yet available at Amazon.
The new brain message:
We must move beyond ADHD appearances, the superficial description of hyperactivity and inattention, and look at the person with ADHD as a complexity of issues including both biology and psychology. Both mind and body matter.