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March 2002

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Is It Common? Is It Overtreated?

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002;156(3):209-210. doi:10.1001/archpedi.156.3.209

IN THE early days of my career-long interest in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a syndrome that went by other names then, one felt like a voice in the wilderness trying to drum up interest in a condition that was already known to be common. It was known that children with this syndrome were, at best, likely to underachieve and, at worst, likely to end up with significant psychiatric and social morbidity. It has been gratifying, therefore, to see the great surge in public awareness of this condition. An enormous amount has been written about ADHD in recent years. The sheer volume of information has been difficult to digest. This, combined with a public demanding answers and distressed by the number of children being identified and treated, has made the condition a lightning rod for controversy.

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