When it comes to Americans who say they have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), we now know that a bunch of them are big fat fakers. A new study says almost one in four adults are exaggerating or just flat out making up their symptoms to score medication that will help them concentrate and get a leg up on life. While this news is shocking, it also makes me a little jealous and wonder why I didn't think of it at my last checkup. I want a leg up too!
The study looked at 286 adults who had been diagnosed with the disorder and found 22 percent of them did at least a little faking. Some actually were suffering from ADHD, but exaggerated their symptoms so they'd for sure get the good drugs. Others may have just incorrectly self-diagnosed themselves.
Between 2-4 million adults are thought to legitimately suffer from the disorder, but there's no clear-cut way to diagnosis it. Doctors aren't really inclined to call people out as liars unless they know for sure, so plenty of people are able to pick up prescriptions for Adderall and the like pretty easily if they have any acting skills at all.
So why shouldn't we all be taking these drugs if they have such great powers? The problem is that they work differently in people who legitimately have the disorder and those who don't. For those who do, the drug can be the help they need. But for those who don't, the drugs can be dangerous and seriously addictive. Dr. Karen Miotto, director of the University of California, Los Angeles, Alcoholism and Addiction Medicine Service, described to MSNBC a case in which a woman whose addiction to Adderall caused her to drop out of medical school:
She said she was just trying to do better in school. Just trying to keep up. There’s a point in time where you need to come to terms with things. I said, ‘Honey, this isn’t about medical school anymore. Now you have a serious illness — it’s called addiction.'
Crap, I have too much to do to spend time in rehab, so I guess I'll just try to deal with life as best I can with my current drug of choice for boosting concentration and energy -- coffee.
Do you know anyone who has faked ADHD to get medication?
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