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Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is most commonly diagnosed in children. Criminals with antisocial personality
disorder are now also being diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. People with ADD primarily function out of the
right side of the brain instead of both sides. ADD symptoms include fidgeting and not paying attention. Reactions to
food can cause symptoms flare up. The Feingold Program helps to eliminate foods and drinks that bring out these
symptoms. This is an alternative to medicine. Drugs used to treat ADD patients include Ritalin, Dexedrine, Cylert,
and others. There is not any evidence which proves why Ritalin works.
Attention deficit disorder, more commonly known as ADD, is "characterized by short attention spans, impulsivity,
with or without hyperactivity" (http://pathfinder.com, 1996). Researchers say that from five to 10% of school- aged
children have ADD and that boys are 10 times more likely to be affected than girls. Previously, this disorder was
known as "hyperkinesis, hyperactivity, minimal brain dysfunction and most recently, attention deficit disorder"
(Brody, 1991). Until recently, there were many disorders related to ADD, for example, attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Now, this and other related disorders are grouped under the heading ADD. What
was once know as ADHD is now known as ADD-H or attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity and attention
deficit disorder without hyperactivity is known as ADD-noH.
Children and adolescents with ADD-noH and ADD-H are at risk for other types of disorders. Approximately half of
these children and adolescents have conduct disorder (behavioral problems), one-fourth have an anxiety disorder,
one-third have depression and one-fifth have a learning disability (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Some researchers believe that attention deficit disorder is a factor of the antisocial personality disorder of criminals.
In a group of adults, usually men, whose behavior has been cause for arrests and hospitalization in mental
institutions, a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder is usually accompanied with the diagnosis of ADD
(Hallowell and Ratey, 1994, p. 189). People with antisocial personality disorder, also known as sociopaths or
psychopaths, usually break the law, lie, cheat, steal, etc. In males with a violent nature, one finds that they have a
history of ADD. This violent nature is not due to a lack of a guilty conscience but due to frustration with their
attention deficit disorder. Adults with antisocial personalities who had a confirmed childhood history of ADD, may
not have antisocial personality disorder or may have it but respond to treatments used for ADD patients (Hallowell
and Ratey, 1994, p.190).
People with attention deficit disorder function primarily out of the right side of the brain. The right side of the brain
controls our creativity and problem solving, intuitive thinking, and feelings and impulses. People with ADD do not
completely lack in the left brain skills, (logical thinking, linear thinking, and ordered thinking) but the
neurotransmitters connecting the two sides of the brain only work sporadically (McDowell, 1996, p. 427).
There are many symptoms of ADD. With ADD-noH, children tend to have short attention spans, which lead to easy
distraction. They do not pay attention to details so they make many mistakes. These children are forgetful, do not
seem to listen, and find it difficult to stay organized. Children with ADD-H fidget and squirm, find it difficult to stay
seated or play quietly, talk too much, and have trouble when taking turns which leads to interruptions (U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, 1996). Although these are only a few of the numerous symptoms, they
are a good general description of symptoms. The occurrence of one symptom does not mean that a person has ADD.
One symptom checklist has 78 different symptoms. Each symptom is rated with a score of zero to four. With this
checklist, if 20 or more are rated with a three or four, a person should see a professional to obtain an accurate
diagnosis (Amen, 1995). One should remember that there is no clear distinction!
between having ADD and being normal (Hallowell and Ratey, 1994, p.42).
ADD children sometimes have reactions to certain foods, causing some symptoms to become more prominent. The
child must be fed a specific food and if the child
1) is in a symptom- controlled state, 2) is not taking medication, 3) shows no sudden behavior deterioration after
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Psychiatric diagnosis, Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Childhood psychiatric disorders, Psychopathy, Abnormal psychology, Conduct disorder, Stimulant, Impulsivity, Methylphenidate, Antisocial personality disorder, Major depressive disorder, Driven to Distraction
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