W5 Activity: ADHD

Medications can play many different roles in American society. They began as treatments for illnesses or diseases that were preexisting for the patient. If someone had an infection they would take antibiotics to get rid of it. Medications then progressed into forms of prevention such as vaccines to protect from the flu. Now there are medications that treat conditions that have no impact on the overall health of a patient. This shows how the culture of biomedicine has progressed from necessity to luxury. People want to make the most of biomedical research and technology, even when it isn’t lifesaving. One condition that I believe is heavily biomedicalized is ADHD. The existence of ADHD is debated amongst health professionals while the number of patients that are diagnosed and treated with medication is increasing at an alarming rate. I am not here to say that ADHD doesn’t exist. There are many people who display the symptoms of ADHD and medication can change their life for the better. However, many parents have started to self-diagnose this condition and doctors will prescribe medication without second thought. This is information that comes directly from the source. I have interviewed a number of pediatricians who say that the number of ADHD cases is overwhelming. Parents are looking for a reason why their child can’t sit still in school. The doctor can ask questions to confirm the case, but the parents have already come up with the answers to match the symptoms of ADHD. ADHD didn’t just appear overnight, but the number of children that have been diagnosed has spiked in recent history. I believe that the reason behind this spike is the social implications that accompany ADHD. If a child has trouble in school, they may also find it difficult to make friends. Parents also communicate with other parents who have had their child tested for ADHD. If medication helped one child, it can always help another. The advertisement below shows a reality TV star that is promoting Adderall to parents of children with ADHD. It is trying to show the success you can achieve if the condition is treated.

http://www.kevinskinner.com/012010/portfolio/portfolio.php?id=8

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