Psych 476 Mendoza
January 29, 2016
ADHD is diagnosed in 3% to 7% of American school-aged children, of which 15% of these children are currently taking medication to alleviate the symptoms of ADHD. It is the most commonly diagnosed neurobiological disorder in school-aged children. (CDC, 2011). Other studies suggest that rates of diagnosis are much higher. In the case study of Gretchen, it is unclear at what age her symptoms initially presented, however, the DSM says the criteria that symptoms that caused impairment were presented before age 7 years. In Gretchen it’s clear that the onset was before age 8 as this was the age at which she first reports forging her parents’ signatures on disciplinary notes from school to avoid punishment. The DSM also specifies diagnostic criteria of a minimum of six of the inattention symptoms, of which Gretchen demonstrated eight of the ten symptoms of inattention inattention to tasks, lack of organization, loses things, distractibility and forgetfulness. Gretchen also had difficulty with fidgeting, talking out of turn and leaving her seat at school at inappropriate times, by her own report she was “always on the go”. The symptoms meet the DSM criteria for hyperactivity. These symptoms present themselves in two or more settings, at home, school and on the soccer field. Evidence for a significant impairment in an academic setting is seen in the frequent notes home and eventual expulsion from school. There is no evidence of a developmental disorder. For these reasons, paired with the results of the psychological testing Gretchen underwent, the diagnosis of ADHD is appropriate. However, Gretchen also demonstrates many symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, of which there is some symptomatic similarity with ADHD. Gretchen’s inability to concentrate and her restlessness could be symptoms of either GAD or ADHD. The most compelling evidence for GAD can be found in the physical symptoms of anxiety Gretchen...