diagnosing kids diagnosing adults 25 Years of ADDitude

How the DSM-5 Fails People with ADHD — and a Better Way to Diagnose

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October 3, 2023Approximately 25 years ago, when ADDitude published its first newsletter, the diagnosis of ADHD was based on criteria published in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Version III-C.

The DSM-IV diagnostic criteria adopted two years later were the most scientifically validated to date.Its 18 symptoms were evenly divided into two lists: problems with inattention vs.

problems with hyperactivity-impulsivity. To warrant a diagnosis, a patient had to exhibit at least six symptoms on either list, suffer impairment in one or more major life activities (home, school, community, peers), and begin experiencing symptoms by age seven.

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