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Letter to the Editor
Pay Attention
Psychiatric News
Volume 37 Number 18 page 26-26

This letter is written to sound the alarm arousing the profession to awareness of a huge deficit in DSM-IV. Not only is this an oversight of possibly the most prevalent condition we encounter, but also it is compounded by the confusion of this condition sharing the same name as another condition.

I’m referring to the true attention deficit disorder (ADD), which is based upon dysfunction in the receiving of sufficient attention, rather than dysfunction in the capacity to focus attention.

If each psychiatrist listens hard with the heart and overcomes his or her own ADD (archaic version), she or he will discover that the single most prevalent complaint is that the "the world is not paying enough attention to me." There is truly an epidemic, till now undetected, of ADD (true version) among the legions of our patients and beyond.

Listen well, and you will discover this condition almost everywhere. There is even a form in which the victim may not be aware of its presence—the tragedy of the lack of wherewithal for providing adequate medical attention for treatment due to the breakdown of the health care system.

Now that the alarm has been sounded, it is to be expected that this glaring omission will become corrected by the time that not too many more DSM editions have passed.

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