A total of 15 to 19 million Chinese children suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), accounting for about 5 percent of mainland's school-age children, statistics of a recent survey revealed. ADHD has become a serious problem concerning public health, said Wang Yufeng, an expert on children's mental health and also a director of the Mental Health Research Institute of Peking University
ADHD is the most common mental behavioral imbalance among children. About 65 percent of the sufferers retain symptoms until adulthood. ADHD victims are five to ten-times more vulnerable to becoming criminals, alcoholics and drug addicts, said Wang at a meeting addressing newest research on ADHD in Beijing on August 2.
Wang and her team conducted a survey covering 812 sufferers aged from six to 18 in Beijing, Shanghai and Changsha. According to the survey, parents of sufferers display the most anxiety regarding their children's poor school performances, the negative effect such behavior has on family life and finally, when they watch their children display "naive, inappropriate behaviors." Most parents also worry that the disease may have a long-term influence on their children's development.
Although great attention has been attached to the disease and its sufferers, much remains to be done. Most parents surveyed are unsatisfied with clinical diagnoses and treatments. A large number of sufferers don't experience any relief from core symptoms as they grow older. Some even develop other behavioral or mental disorders, such as affective disorder and Tourette's syndrome.
"Some parents and teachers regard attention deficit as an ordinary characteristic during a child's growing phases," said Wang. "Others are unwilling to admit that their children are suffering from a mental disease."
Wang called for parents to keep a right attitude towards the disease and take their children to doctors for timely treatment if necessary.
(China.org.cn by Huang Shan, August 5, 2007)