New research suggests that some children showing symptoms of trauma and family dysfunction are being misdiagnosed with ADHD. Trauma and ADHD can be linked, but problems arise when ADHD is treated but trauma is not.
Unfortunately, the number of children being diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is on the rise. In the United States, the amount of children diagnosed with ADHD has risen from 6 percent to 10 percent in the last 20 years.
Not all cases of ADHD are a result of childhood trauma, but that does not mean we should discount the possibility of trauma with every diagnosis. A survey study of more than 65,000 children found that children diagnosed with ADHD had significantly higher levels of poverty, divorce, violence, and family substance abuse. Children who had experienced four or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) were three times more likely to be medicated for ADHD. Here are some symptoms of childhood trauma that can be mistaken for ADHD:
- Inattention and the inability to focus
- Impulsivity due to acute stress
- Hyperactivity and moodiness
- Difficulty controlling behavior
- Dissociative states, which can be misinterpreted as being distracted
Ask our office how we can help you get to the root cause by taking a holistic approach!