Why Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Is Not a True Medical Syndrome

Critics of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have repeatedly argued that there is no proof for the condition being symptomatic of an organic brain disease and that the current "ADHD epidemic" is an expression of medicalization. To this, the supporters of ADHD can retort that the condition is only defined as a mental disorder and not a physical disease. As such, ADHD needs only be a harmful mental dysfunction, which, like other genuine disorders, can have a complex and obscure etiology. This article argues that such a line of argument fails to save ADHD as a valid diagnostic category. Given the general diagnostic logic of the DSM-IV and how ADHD has been defined in terms of everyday (male) child behaviors, there are compelling grounds to disbelieve that ADHD can be a true medical syndrome united by some type of harmful dysfunction. Indeed, strong logical and empirical reasons will be adduced to show that people may qualify for ADHD diagnosis without suffering from any type of underlying pathology.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,914
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Seija Sandberg (2005). The Biopsychosocial Context of ADHD. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (3):441-442.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

17 ( #157,110 of 1,725,580 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #349,436 of 1,725,580 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.