A Rise in ADHD Diagnosis Analysis

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“’When people don’t fit in, we react by giving their behavior a label, either medicalizing it, criminalizing it, or moralizing it,’ Nigg says,” (Koerth-Baker n.p.). Professor Joel Nigg, a professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health and Science University, made this statement in reference to the growing amount of people diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed medicine for it. The amount of people with prescriptions has increased immensely over the past several years, and will continue to grow over the next several years. In this statement, Nigg is saying that society simply names something seen as a problem, rather than trying to find a solution or a reason for whatever the issue may be.

ADHD was a little known disorder until the 1990’s, when the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1991 included ADHD as a disability. It started to become more and more known to parents that there could be an explanation to why their child was hyperactive. The Food and Drug Administration also played a part by making the drugs used to treat ADHD more known to the public. What was once seen as a simple fact of childhood was now being seen more as a hyperactive disorder. Companies that made the medications, such as Adderall and Ritalin, would advertise to parents that the medicines would make the child smarter or more inclined to do choirs around the house. The companies would hype up the product to make parents feel like their child needed the medication in order to succeed in schooling at all or just to be a normal child. An Irish company once printed 50,000 copies of a comic book showing superheroes promoting the medication to children, saying it helped them to do their job as superheroes. As interest in ADHD as an answer to childhoo...

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