The latest psychiatric guidelines for diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and adults have changed to make it 18% easier to qualify for the regularly prescribed stimulant medications.
You now only need five symptoms of ADHD to qualify, and the age group for which prescriptions are recommended has been expanded.
Are you thinking, “Great, that will make it easier for those suffering from these syndromes to get the medication they desire!”? It isn’t necessarily so, according to San Francisco psychiatrist Dr. Winston Chung.
“Since the majority of adults who get diagnosed with ADHD get treated with stimulants, as opposed to psychotherapy, more people getting diagnosed will mean more people taking them (stimulants,)” says Chung.
The diagnosis may not even be correct, he points out. “Adults and teens who experience difficulties with concentration or distraction should be informed that these problems can also be symptoms of mood or anxiety issues.”
It’s quite easy to get these prescriptions, nonetheless, he points out. The criteria for diagnosis of ADHD is based on symptoms, not biological markers or causes. “All it takes for a patient to get a prescription is to recite the DSM symptoms.”
The chairman of the task force relaxing the standards for ADHD diagnosis publicly regretted how changing these standards contributed to “false epidemics” of ADHD, autism and bipolar disorder in children. The latest standards, the DSM-V, will be published this month. DSM is short for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the guide by which most medical doctors make a diagnosis.
“For perspective on how arbitrary yet high-impact DSM standards can sometimes be, one should consider that the original DSM-II classified homosexuality as a mental disorder,” says Chung.
Even without the relaxing of the standards for the prescription of stimulants to treat ADHD, the prescription of these stimulants in the United States is rising with amazing speed. The largest change in prescriptions was among the adults age 19-25. Young and middle-aged women saw a 264 per cent increase in ADHD drug use from 2005 to 2010. Chung finds a diagnosis of ADHD for which stimulants can then be prescribed is the most common referral in his group practice.
Chung, a psychiatrist who is qualified to diagnose and prescribe these drugs, cites some alarming statistics about their consequences in his article in the May 1, 2013, issue of the San Francisco Chronicle. Emergency room visits linked to ADHD meds doubled from 2005 to 2010, according to a survey by the Drug Abuse Awareness Network. “The fact that the greatest rates of increase for these visits were in adults older than 18 suggests that this is the age group at highest use for misuse.” He points out abuse of these stimulants can lead to mood fluctuations, anxiety, or even psychosis.
A study published in the February issue of the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry found that 20 per cent of students at one U.S. medical school reported “lifetime use of prescription stimulants,” compared to only 6 per cent of college students.
Might there be some alternatives that could ease the suffering these people are experiencing, without the side effects that drugs cause?
Many people who have experienced the Access Consciousness® technique known as “Access Bars®” have experienced significant relief from the symptoms of distractibility, inability to concentrate, as well as depression and other “mood disorders” for which people may be mistakenly diagnosing themselves and taking drugs.
Many practitioners of individual Access Bars® sessions have noticed profound relaxation among their clients. Many of these individuals find that they experience a lack of that very hyperactivity and distractibility for which drugs are so often prescribed. They may experience being relaxed for the first time in their lives.
Chung notes that the chronically hyped up nature of our society contributes to the hyperactivity we suffer from, as well as the demand for stimulants to cope with it. “We live in a tough economy and culture that demands coffee and energy drinks,” he says. “We point fingers at Lance Armstrong and Barry Bonds, but may be Pollyanna-ish for denying the possibility that professionals or students without ADHD might seek performance enhancers in our pervasively competitive world.”
Many recipients of the Access Bars® report their performance is enhanced in many ways they did not expect, often after just one hour-long Bars session. One teenager in Mexico did not even open his book before exams, but just asked his mother, a certified facilitator, to give him a Bars session. He aced the exam. Another teenager told his mother at breakfast he hadn’t studied for his upcoming geography exam. She only had time to do a very short session, but he also passed his exam with flying colors.
Unlike stimulant drugs, Access Bars® session have no negative side effects. “You cannot hurt anyone by doing their Bars,” says their discoverer, Gary Douglas. Douglas is the founder of Access Consciousness®, which offers Access Bars® sessions and classes in 47 countries worldwide, through over 2000 qualified Bars Facilitators.
Receiving Bars sessions, as well as gifting them, leads not only to relaxation but also to a sense of wellbeing and even happiness. What if that were the ultimate mood and performance enhancer, available without drugs?
You can find Access Bars® Facilitators near you by going to www.bars.accessconsciousness.com. Access Bars® Facilitators are qualified to facilitate classes where you learn to perform the Access Bars® sessions for others, as well as receiving two complete sessions yourself in the one-day class format. Anyone who has completed one of these classes, which are also available online, should be qualified to gift you an Access Bars® session.