Australians faking ADHD: researcher

Herald Sun 22 May 2012
ONE-in-three adults being tested for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is faking it, a researcher has told a conference of psychiatrists in Hobart. Dr Danielle Florida said ADHD symptoms were easy to imitate and adults did it to get their hands on drugs or social benefits.

“Certainly American data would suggest that at least one-in-three people presenting for a diagnosis of adult ADHD are faking or malingering to obtain prescriptions for various reasons,” Dr Florida said.

She has been conducting a review of literature of diagnosis and treatment issues around ADHD, a developmental disorder.

She told the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Pyschiatrists’ Congress the American figures also applied to Australia, going on “the gross figures of the exponential increase in terms of diagnosis and stimulant prescriptions”.

Studies had shown people trained to fake tests and even those with a general knowledge of ADHD could get diagnosed.

“Anybody could Google what are the symptoms of ADHD,” Dr Florida said.

“The symptoms are there (on the assessment tool). You have to tick yes or no.”