Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, better known as ADHD, is a controversial diagnosis marked by distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Adults are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, or ADD, which lacks this hyperactivity characteristic, but is similar in other ways to ADHD. More than one in 10 children in the . will be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, a figure that has grown exponentially in the last 50 years. Since 1957, doctors have been treating ADD/ADHD patients with psychostimulants like Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta.
In the UK, Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian awarded the film a maximum five stars, calling it "a gripping psychological thriller about big pharma and mental health that cruelly leaves you craving one last fix". He praised the lead performance from Rooney Mara as "compelling" who "lays down the law with her presence. She demonstrates a potent Hitchcockian combination: an ability to be scared and scary at the same time, and Soderbergh's film manages to introduce its effects in some insidious, almost intravenous way".  The . Club ' s Scott Tobias called Mara "superb as the glue that binds this fractured psychological puzzle," and commended Soderbergh's sophisticated direction: " Side Effects screws around in its own thriller architecture, toying with feints of structure and clever bits of misdirection, and otherwise playing the audience like a fiddle. At this point in his career, Soderbergh pulls it off with the unpracticed ease of a maestro."  Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph awarded Side Effects a maximum five stars and also acknowledged its debt to earlier psychological thrillers. He wrote: "There's a lot of Alfred Hitchcock in what follows, but even more Henri-Georges Clouzot , with whose classic spine-tingler Les Diaboliques (1954) Soderbergh's film shares a poisonous tang".  Peter Travers of Rolling Stone praised the film's performances, the script and direction, writing "Soderbergh delivers ticking-bomb suspense laced with psychological acuity about a world where mood-altering meds are as disturbingly prevalent as social media".