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ADD / ADHD, Dyslexia.  It's a family issue.   Improve grades and self-esteem.  Evaluation and non-drug therapy that really works!

5. Why are researchers and doctors having a hard time defining and treating ADD?

As you could tell from the previous page, there are a myriad of causes of the behaviors and symptoms known as ADD.   When one attempts to wrap them all in one all-encompassing definition with one common cause and one common treatment, one is going to be doomed to failure.  It's like trying to find a common cause for all fevers.  It's futile.  

There are many causes of fever including, but not limited to

  • Fever of unknown origin (requires a systematic workup)
  • Infection – viral, bacterial, fungal
  • Hormonal fluctuations – e.g. PMS, Menopause
  • Vascular/Collagen diseases – e.g. Sjorgren’s disease
  • Autoimmune illnesses – e.g. hypothyroidism, Gray’s disease
  • Head trauma – especially to the hypothalamus
  • Malignancies – e.g. cancer
  • Heat stroke
  • Fictitious manifestations – such immediately after hot tub or warming blanket exposure, or smoking.

Each of these is naturally treated differently.  They don't all neatly fit into one box.  Sure, you can use aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), Advil or another analgesic to reduce the temperature, but it still doesn't fix the real cause.  If you had chronic headaches, week-after-week, month-after-month, wouldn't you want to know the real cause, instead of just using aspirin every day?  Therefore the testing process to determine the real cause of the fever is critical.  Misdiagnosis can result in mistreatment with a less than desirable outcome.

Let's return to the subject of ADD.  To do an adequate job of diagnosing the most likely cause(s) of ADD-like behavior takes time and a battery of tests.  In the course of a busy medical practice, most doctors don't have the time or battery of tests to do an adequate job.  Subsequently, most (but not all) simply look at the child for 5-10 minutes (if that), ask the parent some questions, and pull out their pad and write out a prescription for Ritalin, Dexedrine or other psychotropic.  If that doesn't work, try another drug.  Keep going until the child's behavior is closer to what the parents or teachers want.

But is that right?  Is that what is really best for the child?  What if the child had an auditory dyslexia?  What if there is tension in the home, with loud domestic arguments taking place in front of the child?  Is drugging the child the solution?

Is there a better answer?  Fortunately, the answer is yes!

But first, let's look at "Why are we seeing an epidemic of ADD?"

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