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Diagnosing Conditions Such as ADHD, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 367

Essay

An old adage states that “if you give a small boy a hammer, it will turn out that everything he runs into needs pounding.” This statement is applicable to the danger of over diagnosing conditions such as ADHD, which calls for medicine that can be abused for a variety of purposes. Even though ADHD is the most widely studied mental health disorder in children, controversy over the diagnosis and medication treatment persists in public discourses and in the media. Overprescribing the medication has raised questions because it is a stimulant, which is why children and youths who may not have ADHD would opt to take it. A psychiatric disorder, ADHD refers to children who exhibit impulsivity, inattention, and hyperactivity. Prior to 1970, ADHD was rarely diagnosed for schoolchildren, adolescents, and young adults. However, between 1980 and 2007, the rate of diagnosis increased eightfold, which is an alarming statistic even amongst medical health professionals. Many professionals convey confusion and doubt with regards to where this psychiatric disorder fits on the general continuum of mental illness, thereby resulting in the perception that ADHD is merely a socially constructed illness rather than being an actual neurobiological disorder. Over diagnosing ADHD naturally translates into overprescribing stimulants for perceived medical problems. However, overprescribing raises serious concerns about the availability of stimulants produced in the United States during the past three or four decades. Such rampant production of stimulants leads to their availability for diversion and abuse rather than fundamentally providing correctives for psychiatric problems. Not all individuals who meets the medical criteria for ADHD requires medication, yet the public continues to be alarmed by the confusion over what ADHD should be categorized as. As a result, the legitimacy of ADHD has been called into question, and those patients diagnosed with it are viewed as merely acting sick so that they can receive stimulants. It has been reported that some individuals suffering from ADHD to sell the medication to others who have not been diagnosed with the disorder for concentration purposes in their work or studies. The prevalence of such activities has raised serious concerns over the efficacy of ADHD treatment and the dangers of prescribing stimulants as a corrective for the disorder.

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