Why it's become important to tread carefully when diagnosing ADHD

Specialist psychiatrist Dr Lavinia Lumu says diagnosing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is becoming a more complex terrain.

Dr Lumu says many critics have accused medical practitioners of over-diagnosis in recent years, while many adults still experience untreated symptoms due to stigma.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is often colloquially referred to as attention deficit disorder (ADD).

However, she explains that diagnostic criteria refer to ADHD and not ADD because ADD represents only one subtype of ADHD.

ADD is basically a variant or type of ADHD that one can get.

Dr Lavinia Lumu, Specialist psychiatrist

It's a neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorder which affects certain functions of the brain including the ability to pay attention, focus and concentrate.

Dr Lavinia Lumu, Specialist psychiatrist

Read: 'Turn your phone off and spend time with your kids'

ADHD falls under three categories, the inattentive type, the hyperactive-impulsive type and a combined type.

Dr Lumu says it's not just about a naughty or seemingly disruptive child. It's about a cluster of symptoms.

She advises that ADHD requires several clinicians to make the diagnosis. Individuals need to be thoroughly assessed to rule out any other underlying conditions or factors, Dr Lumu adds.

Right now we're faced with a difficult situation where people think that doctors and teachers want to medicalise the behaviours that children present with, thereby leading to the over-diagnosis of ADHD.

Dr Lavinia Lumu, Specialist psychiatrist

It's not an easy diagnosis given the era that we're in, where people want kids to sit still in class. We have to exclude other things as well.

Dr Lavinia Lumu, Specialist psychiatrist

Up to 60% of children who have ADHD in their childhood, continue with ADHD symptoms in adulthood. Only a small percentage of children outgrow their ADHD.

Dr Lavinia Lumu, Specialist psychiatrist

Listen to the expert advice:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Treatment for ADHD more accessible to kids in 'privileged' schools

Treatment for ADHD more accessible to kids in 'privileged' schools

Despite the known efficacy of treatment, access to health care and treatment for ADHS is limited for many children.

Learner diagnosed with ADHD and Aspergers finally placed after 18 months

Learner diagnosed with ADHD and Aspergers finally placed after 18 months

WC Education Department has confirmed that 11-year-old Kasey Hughes has been placed after waiting months for a suitable school.

My son who is diagnosed with Aspergers and ADHD is not in school

My son who is diagnosed with Aspergers and ADHD is not in school

Eleven-year-old Kasey has been out of school for 18 months as schools say they are not equipped to deal with his needs.

Struggling to focus? You may have adult ADHD

Struggling to focus? You may have adult ADHD

Antoinette Muller, who is diagnosed with ADHD, explains the change she felt after going on treatment.

Meds aren't only way to treat kids with ADHD, psychiatrist explains

Meds aren't only way to treat kids with ADHD, psychiatrist explains

A mental wellness expert explains what ADHD is and how families, parents and teachers can better equip themselves to help kids.

Popular articles
Meet Woolies slayer Shannon McLaughlin, founder of Ubuntu Baba Baby Carrier

Meet Woolies slayer Shannon McLaughlin, founder of Ubuntu Baba Baby Carrier

Ray White interviews McLaughlin, about three months after she shot to fame for taking on the alleged copycat, Woolworths.

'Reasons Thabo Mbeki couldn't back ANC haven't left yet' suggests Refilwe

'Reasons Thabo Mbeki couldn't back ANC haven't left yet' suggests Refilwe

Former president Thabo Mbeki has come out now and called on citizens to vote for the ANC, after years of silence.

Khulu Phasiwe: My little boy would repeat everything I said about load shedding

Khulu Phasiwe: My little boy would repeat everything I said about load shedding

Former Eskom spokesperson describes how his duties in dealing with the media often began at 5am and lasted until 10pm.

Cape Town train fire CCTV footage leads to arrest

Cape Town train fire CCTV footage leads to arrest

Regional head of Metrorail Richard Walker discusses the Sunday train carriage fires and the arrest of one suspect.