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Philosophy 2044G - Mar. 26.docx

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Western University
Philosophy 2043F/G
Louis Charland

Philosophy 2044G Wednesday March 26 Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD • Originally it was two disorders (attention deficit and hyperactivity) that have been combined into one • The rate of diagnosis is increasing rapidly (as well as requests for medications to treat this disorder) • While there is over diagnosis happening, there are also clear cases of people who are suffering and need help DSM V Criteria: • Persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development as characterized by 1 and/or 2 (you can have either inattention or hyperactivity-impulsivity or both) • Attention Deficit o Many symptoms are things that many children could classify under (it could be easier to qualify for Attention Deficit) o eg. Fails to give close attention to details/make careless mistakes in school work over a period of 6 months o They are not logically independent – one often qualifies for another one  eg. if you are distracted, you may not follow commands because you aren’t listening, etc… • Hyperactivity o eg. Often leaves seat in situations where remaining sitting is expected o eg. Often has trouble waiting in line • These criteria in the DSM are used seriously to diagnose children o Parents sometimes find themselves in tough situations where the school psychologist thinks their child has ADHD and wants them to take medication o It can be a convenient mode of social control (drug the kids who cause problems) Film: Learning Matters: ADD – A Dubious Diagnosis (1995) • The pharmacology of the drug is comprised of amphetamines, which are compared to cocaine • ADD is almost exclusively found in white, middle-class boys • The behaviours of ADD don’t seem to be a problem until the child begins attending school • Medicine for children with ADD works about 75% of the time where kids have an easier time concentrating and sitting still • Other effects of Ritalin: o Dizziness, unable to sleep, loss of appetite • The United States uses 5x as much Ritalin as the rest of the world • When the level of awareness of a disorder increases, there is an increase in diagnosis • Boys who are diagnosed with ADD say they can concentrate when they are interested in what they’re doing o eg. fixing cars, taking things apart and putting them back together • Out of all of the mental disorders, ADD is the most objective to be identified • Doctors who believe in prescribing medicine: o See it as being the same as prescribing an antibiotic for an ear infection o Think it helps the child fit in and be “the norm” ins
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