Firstly, understanding how ADHD is a cultural construct is important in order to discuss how it has become a cultural epidemic. ADHD is identified as exhibiting an abnormal degree of hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsiveness, greater than what is considered within the normal range (APA 2013). This definition of ADHD is problematic since the concept of what is considered normal versus abnormal behaviour is culturally constructed (Jacobson 2002). Symptoms of ADHD, such as hyperactivity and inattention, are also considered to be normal behaviours of children in varying degrees (Brewis et al. 2002). Thus, at what level do these behaviours become a symptom of a neurodevelopmental disorder? According to Singh (2008), drawing the boundary between diagnosing and not diagnosing a child with ADHD is hard to determine. Additionally, Jacobson (2002) argues that with the current diagnosis process, any child could be labeled ...
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...eficit that physically healthy children may end up believing” (2004:61).
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is presently a cultural epidemic. It is a culturally constructed mental disorder, predicated on what our culture defines as abnormal behaviour. It is currently being attributed to biology while the diagnosis process for ADHD neglects to explore underlying cultural causes. This mental disorder can be attributed to the cultural importance of educational achievement, as well as the effect of children being exposed to high levels of stimulus from technology at early ages, thus finding the conventional classroom environment boring. If cultural factors are not explored and pharmaceutical drugs continue to be the main avenue of treating these deviant child behaviours, the ADHD epidemic will continue to flourish and remain a problem in our culture.
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