Why Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Is Not a True Medical Syndrome
Abstract:Critics of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have repeatedly argued that there is no proof for the condition being symptomatic of an organic brain disease and that the current "ADHD epidemic" is an expression of medicalization. To this, the supporters of ADHD can retort that the condition is only defined as a mental disorder and not a physical disease. As such, ADHD needs only be a harmful mental dysfunction, which, like other genuine disorders, can have a complex and obscure etiology. This article argues that such a line of argument fails to save ADHD as a valid diagnostic category. Given the general diagnostic logic of the DSM–IV and how ADHD has been defined in terms of everyday (male) child behaviors, there are compelling grounds to disbelieve that ADHD can be a true medical syndrome united by some type of harmful dysfunction. Indeed, strong logical and empirical reasons will be adduced to show that people may qualify for ADHD diagnosis without suffering from any type of underlying pathology.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 2012
More about this publication?
- Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry seeks to raise the level of scientific knowledge and ethical discourse, while empowering professionals who are devoted to principled human sciences and services unsullied by professional and economic interests.
- Information for Authors
- Membership Information
- Information for Advertisers
- Free Sample Issue
- Subscribe to this Journal
- ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites