Medicalization of ADHD
This research taken by Dr. Rebekah Richards, looks at the medicalization of ADHD in children and in adults. The review was published on January 5, 2011. This research draws upon mostly primary sources including sociology journals, published letters, and a complete collection of the Doctoral Review. Most prior research on medicalization focuses on connection to ADHD and the personalities that are associated with it. This case example shows how medicalization can be argued.
The article I read, Medicalization: Society’s Conception of Normality, explained that medicalization of normal conditions, risks the creation of medical diagnoses that are widely inclusive and that hold the potential for further expansion. It was written by Dr. Rebekah Richards and it also discussed many biologically normal conditions, such as shortness, infertility, and menopause, are currently considered medical problems. These naturally occurring states are now regarded as undesirable and deviant. This process is referred to as medicalization. Although they are considered deviant, however, the process of medicalization also removes culpability: a person’s problems can be ascribed to a chemical imbalance rather than seen as reflecting his or her character or accomplishments. This article also explained ADHD symptoms which include forgetfulness, distraction, inability to concentrate, constant restlessness, and excessive talking and fidgeting. Compensating ADHD students for their inability to concentrate may penalize students who have some difficulty concentrating, but not enough to merit a diagnosis. And since one cannot be discriminated against for medical reasons, this diagnosis can paradoxically act as an enhancement. In 2003, the College Board stopped “flagging” the scores of disabled students who received extra accommodations because of discrimination complaints (Lewin). There have been some reports of students faking a learning disorder to get...
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