20 Percent Of American Boys Are Now Diagnosed With ADHD. What’s The Deal?

Diagnoses of ADHD have shot up 6x over the last 20 years. Maybe something spazzy’s in the water, but more and more evidence points to overeagerness on the part of doctors.

For starters, only 0.5 percent of French children are diagnosed; the rest simply have “joie de vivre.” Moreover, kindergartners who’re the youngest in their grade are 60 percent more likely to be so labeled, and almost 2x as likely to eventually be prescribed stimulants — potentially only because they were born a few months after their peers and therefore seem less mature.

The takeaway: Before hopping the drug train, make sure there’s really a problem, and try behavioral & cognitive therapy first, which studies suggest are more effective than drugs alone (though who’s got the patience to read through a study?).


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