ADHD in America

ADHD is attention deficit hyper disorder, this means that someone has problems focusing and controlling their actions. An article “The Worldwide Prevalence of ADHD: A Systematic Review and Metaregression Analysis”  published by The All American Journal of Psychiatry talks about ADHD and it’s prevalence around the word. They created a study that tested why attention deficity hyper disorde estimates were highly heterogeneous  and why  this was so porrly understood. They used data from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East. ADHD experts gave out surveys to kids that were 18 and younger to determine were there were the most cases.  The results that were found were “The literature search generated 9,105 records, and 303 full-text articles were reviewed. One hundred and two studies comprising 171,756 subjects from all world regions were included. The ADHD/HD worldwide-pooled prevalence was 5.29%. This estimate was associated with significant variability. In the multivariate metaregression model, diagnostic criteria, source of information, requirement of impairment for diagnosis, and geographic origin of the studies were significantly associated with ADHD/HD prevalence rates. Geographic location was associated with significant variability only between estimates from North America and both Africa and the Middle East. No significant differences were found between Europe and North America.” It is being treated by prescription medication like Ritalin or Adderall. This disorder is heavily influenced by culture but not so much biology.  This disorder is more common in areas like America and Europe and areas that have been exposed to this illness and have integrated it as a part of society. Attention deficit hyper disorder is as often misdiagnosed in children. Children are hyper by nature and parents unforuntanly deal with this by giving their child medication instead of channeling this energy into something productive.  ADHD is found in many parts if the world but is more common in areas that have grown accustomed to it making it a culture bound syndrome.


Guilherme Polanczyk, M.D.; Maurício Silva de Lima, M.D., Ph.D.; Bernardo Lessa Horta, M.D., Ph.D.; Joseph Biederman, M.D.; Luis Augusto Rohde, M.D., Ph.D. “The Worldwide Prevalence of ADHD: A Systematic Review and Metaregression Analysis” The American Journal of Psychiatry, VOL. 164, No. 6.  June 1, 2007.

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  1. Ashley Hall says:

    Defining the word “culture” in my own words is difficult, but I would say it’s the customs, relationships, social institutions, attitudes and behaviors of a group that is recognized and understood. I think that this illness, ADHD, is both a bit socially constructed as well as relevant to other societies. I believe this is truly a disease that people struggle with, however, I think the culture imposed on the U.S. and our society make it out to be something it may not be. I’ve been brought up to believe that ADHD is something someone has to take medication for and work through. Our protocol for how we address and handle this disease is one I believe to be corrupted to an extent by corporations. Our culture is based on making money, and many benefit from the misfortune of others. Perhaps, a change is diet would be a good way to alleviate some of the symptoms of ADHD as proven by some doctors to be effective. Or even counseling that may teach an individual how to deal with some of the symptoms in a more proactive manner may help. Instead, doctors will generally give a prescription out to those that have been diagnosed and say this is the best form of treatment. I believe this can help and hurt different people. Some just take the pill on occasion to help them focus, others may depend on it far more. Additionally, it reinforces a culture that thinks prescription pills can be casually taken because more and more people have access to them. In other societies may view ADHD as overexcitement or agitation. They may say that calming exercise would be the best form of treatment. In another society, they may say that the best form of progression with this disease to pretend it doesn’t exist, because in that society they believe it to be more of a mental illness. Treatment plans really do weigh heavily on which culture a person is presently in.

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