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Debate on the Medicalization of the Ailment Known as ADHD Essay

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Among the various conditions that have risen to prominence in the American media, the debate on the medicalization of the ailment known as A.D.H.D. has proven to be controversial. There is a growing concern within the American medical community that due to various sociological reasons, the number of people diagnosed and treated for A.D.H.D. is rising drastically despite the lack of a formal test that guarantees the presence of the disorder. It must be considered that American society has medicalized A.D.H.D. to the point that more people are being treated for A.D.H.D. than there are those that actually have the condition. Due to the relaxation of A.D.H.D. symptom test standards, increased influence of pharmaceutical companies in societal matters, and the explosion of the medical advertisement industry, A.D.H.D. is becoming increasingly medicalized by American society in negative ways.
A.D.H.D. is defined as a behavioral disorder characterized by “difficulty in staying focused, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity” (NIHM). It is one of the most common behavioral disorders and is often observed during childhood and carries on to adulthood. There are three subtypes of A.D.H.D. that have been medically documented. First is the Predominantly Inattentive Type in which the afflicted displays more symptoms of inattention than hyperactivity and mainly struggles in focusing in paying attention to their actions. Second in the Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive type in which the afflicted displays more symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity than inattention and are generally restless and unpredictable. Finally, the Combined Type displays qualities of both of the other types and can be equally inattentive and disruptive. Al...


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...f the creation of new medications (to heal people and better their lives) as well as a disconnect between advertiser and consumer will become more and more pronounced. This can only lead to the destabilization of the legitimacy of modern medical companies as it increasingly appears that profit is more important than the healing of the sick. Ultimately, a restructure of the American pharmaceutical industry must be considered for an ideal future of modern medicine.



Works Cited

"Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)." NIMH RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 May 2014.
Schwarz, Alan, and Sarah Cohen. "A.D.H.D. Seen in 11% of U.S. Children as Diagnoses Rise." The New York Times. The New York Times, 31 Mar. 2013. Web. 08 May 2014.
Schwarz, Alan. "The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder." The New York Times. The New York Times, 14 Dec. 2013. Web. 09 May 2014.



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