Nearly 10 percent of children and 4 percent of adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with ADHD.
But studies suggest that while many people with ADHD still go undiagnosed, others are wrongly diagnosed with
ADHD when they are instead suffering from a range of other disorders.
The most common cause of misdiagnosis is a misunderstanding
of what ADHD really is, according to Dr.
Russell Barkley, clinical professor of psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina and author of “Taking Charge of ADHD: the Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents.” “People rather superficially see that someone has difficulty paying attention and think they may have ADHD,” he says. “But the differential diagnosis of ADHD is not based on inattention — it’s based on the other deficits that go along with inattention: lack of self control, heedlessness, recklessness, thoughtlessness, an inability to think of what you’re doing before you do it.” So which conditions are most often mistaken for ADHD, and how can such misdiagnoses be avoided