Univ. 112 - 103
April 25, 2012
ADHD: Fallacious Conformity
“Often has difficulty awaiting turn, interrupts or intrudes on others, blurts out answers before questions have been completed, talks excessively”, this is a mere preview into an array of “qualifications” one may check off to legitimatize ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyper-active Disorder. The only problem with this is that majority of ADHD diagnoses occur between the age of three and six, when children are naturally hyper and mischievous. Labeling this misbehavior as a psychological disorder is immoral. Especially considering the fact that there is no solid evidence that ADHD is a genuine disorder or disease of any kind. There is no proof of any physical abnormalities in the brains or bodies of children who are routinely labeled with ADHD. Yet, the American Psychiatric Association, or APA, continues to ignore this fact and endorses official publications of ADHD in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Large pharmaceutical firms largely fund the APA, so this cycle of give and take has corrupted ethical practices in the psychiatric field, and medical fields alike. Instead, ADHD is a term concocted for the profits of large pharmaceutical firms and has no scientific proof backing up its claims; there need to be a more considerable focus on poor parenting skills and overprescribing patients.
Argumentatively, many say that significant difference has been shown when comparing patients before and after medication. A study done by Llina Singh under Center for Family Research, University of Cambridge, showed those students’ scores increased an average 12% on standardized testing after being diagnosed and prescribed for ADHD. Not only that, but there was an overall 66% improvement in overall performance with dextroamphetamines and amphetamines. Singh also states that bad parenting is not to be blamed for genetic causes of children. She states that parents are not a new concern in the arena of child psychopathology. Instead the category “parents” often serves as a euphemistic cover for accusations against mothers (Singh 580). The article indicates that while mothers and sons have been carefully researched in the ADHD literature, parents and children have not. Yet, the study fails to provide reasoning behind the correlation of high mother to son behaviors.
As far as the improved test results are, there is no proof that those improvements were because the children “outgrew” their ADHD characteristics or because a foreign substance was introduced, which would increase potentials regardless. There is no saying that a child could be mentally less capable than another child, ADHD or not. So, with the introduction of speed the blood rushes to the brain, which would naturally cause one to have increased cognitive performances (Rich 40). Singh’s feminist point of view tries to criticize research methods of not testing father-to-daughter behavior. But it is proven that mothers have a greater influence on children than fathers do (Rich 43). So, the fact that mothers have an influence on their sons shows that parents do indeed affect their children’s behavior. The nature vs. nurture principle plays into a heavy consideration here, as stated by John Locke: children are like blank slates, “table rasa”, and their environment shapes them to be who they are. The environment, for the most part, is congruent to parenting. A study performed by the Department of Psychology at University of California presents that parenting behavior and maternal care influence biological mechanisms in offspring. An experiment performed using rats that were reared by genetically unrelated mothers, who were frequently licked or groomed showed increased hippocampal expression. This means the rats were “happier” and when they were happier, they were calmer because the hypothalamic corticotrophin releases factor expression – essentially a factor that