Adhd: Medicine and Sean Essay

Submitted By ensee604
Words: 1373
Pages: 6

ADHD: Effects of Medications
ADHD should not be considered a legitimate issue in children because children are individually unique and experience their lives differently. The definition of mental health and ADHD are subjective and cannot be used to counter deficient behaviors and abnormalities in children. Sean’s socially deviant behavior is being diagnosed as a medical illness because his parents believe that his academic deficiencies are from his condition. His parents fail to see his strengths in other subjects meaning that his low grades may be caused by disinterest and not an actual condition like ADHD, showing that the diagnosis may be out of reassurance (Nicki, Lecture notes). Sean still has the ability to apply himself in school and his behavior should not be medicalized because they do not fit the standards of his parents. Punishing Sean with medication would be dehumanizing (Lecture notes) him because his parents are aiming to improve his grades in traditional subjects. ADHD’s legitimacy can be compared to mental illnesses like psychosis and bipolar disorder. These conditions were once rarely diagnosed but have emerged as some of the most commonly diagnosed conditions. Any form of “deviant” behavior, like extreme energy in many children, is being shaped and promoted into a disorder that can be treated with medications. Rather than being driven by the duty to help people, pharmaceutical companies, doctors, and psychiatry have shifted their motivation to “persuade almost everyone to view themselves as sick” (Moncrieff, 1) in order to construct the legitimacy of disorders. A study performed by Dryer, Kiernan, and Tyson illustrated the effects of the ADHD label based on symptoms in school aged children and how treatments were prescribed based on a label or no label. If ADHD was a legitimate disease, there would be a clear cut and specific treatment regimen for the child that would not be similar to the one given to a non-labeled child who is just suffering from behavioral problems. The study demonstrated that there were no differences in treatment suggestions based on an ADHD label and no label, supporting the illegitimacy of ADHD. In opposition to the argument that ADHD is not a legitimate disorder, there is the argument that proof can be seen in many children who have taken Ritalin and reportedly improved their lives. The PBS Frontline documentary, Medicating Kids, gives an example of this. Noelle, a fifth grade student at the time, was diagnosed with ADHD after a series of incidents at school. After taking Ritalin, Noelle’s life changed in every aspect according to her mother. Noelle became more confident, improved her grades and became interested in athletics allowing her to compete in state championships because of her high level of dedication and concentration. Noelle stopped taking Ritalin at one point in her life and relapsed to her old behavior showing how much the medication worked and how it became a necessity to life. I think Sean’s parents and physician are both behaving ethically wrong by forcing him to take Ritalin. The first point to consider is the beneficence of Sean because his enjoyment of life and interests are being suppressed by his medication. Sean’s mental health is at risk and he makes this point clear because he realizes that when he takes medication he does not like the way it makes him feel. If he were to continue taking Ritalin, it would only hurt his mental health and not promote it making it ethically wrong to force him to take medication. In objection to this, Sean’s parents could argue that his health is promoted by Ritalin because it clears his thoughts and allows him to function better in school. However, Sean is already functioning well in school, just not in the subjects his parents would prefer. They would be violating the ethics of care because there is no sense in exposing Sean to something medically disadvantageous to his health. Ritalin comes with side…