A.D.H.D. Rates Rise Around Globe, but Sympathy Often Lags

Last year, Sinan Sonmezler of Istanbul refused to keep going to school. His eighth-grade classmates called him “weird” and “stupid,” and his teachers rebuked him for his tendency to stare out the window during class. The school director told his parents he was “lazy.”

Sinan has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, a condition still little understood in many parts of the world.

“He no longer believes he can achieve anything, and has quit trying,” said Sinan’s father, Umit Sonmezler, a mechanical engineer.

While global diagnoses of A.D.H.D. are on the rise, public understanding of the disorder has not kept pace. Debates about the validity of the diagnosis and the drugs used to treat it — the same that have long polarized Americans — are now playing out from Northern and Eastern Europe to the Middle East and South America.

Read the remainder of the article on the New York TImes website….

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