Diagnosing A Potential For Abusive Behavior

The sickly pallor of a bureaucratic medicalization advances and the acronyms accumulate. This development has advanced to the extent that now we have an article in MedScape Today bearing the heading Childhood ADHD, Conduct Disorder Linked to Intimate Partner Violence with a first sentence that should raise eyebrows and register a skin reaction. It should register a skin reaction, that is, if people have not become too numbed by this process already to acknowledge that it is taking place.

Adolescents with conduct disorder (CD), alone or with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), may be at increased risk for perpetrating intimate partner violence (IPV) with and without injury as young adults, new research suggests.

Suddenly spousal abuse has become an acronym looking suspiciously like a candidate for a future revision of the DSM. Why? You have 2 “disorders” laying the basis for such an outlook.

The second sentence is equally disturbing.

In addition, childhood ADHD without CD was found to be a significant predictor of later IPV resulting in injury.

I remember when conduct used to be a grade on a school report card. I remember when unruly children meant something besides an “adolescent psychiatric disorder”. I’m kind of nostalgic for those bad good old days. Funny to think that inattentiveness is more apt to result in spousal abuse than is disruptive misbehavior.

What’s going on here?

“One of the novel aspects of our study was understanding that ADHD did seem to have a unique relationship with [IPV],” study investigator Greta Massetti, PhD, lead behavioral scientist in the Division of Violence Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Injury Center in Atlanta, Georgia, told Medscape Medical News.

We used to think abusive behavior stemmed from bad parenting. Isn’t it terrific to learn that it doesn’t stem from bad parenting? It stems from “mental illness”. This is to say that according to the latest in psychiatric gobbledygook a difficulty in learning (ADHD) has nothing to do with learning from mom and dad. Instead it has something to do with “brain disease”.

Alright, kids, you have your excuses, grow up and batter away. Alright, mom and dad, you have your excuses, too. How about another vacation from the brats?

Has anybody ever considered that when discipline is plucked from a pill bottle, you have to expect this kind of thing?

2 Responses

  1. I think in many cases that “ADHD” is a result of poor parenting, so that it would “lead” to spousal abuse is not shocking. One does not lead to the other, and generalizations like that should be avoided, however, in a field as disreputable in psychology. It’s science, they need to questions their assumptions.

    Correlation does not imply causation.

    • ADHD is bunk if it isn’t bad parenting.

      I’ve seen studies suggesting that the kids born earlier in the year than those born later often get tagged with the “disease” label. You are then penalizing children for being less developed than children that are more developed. They will develop eventually, it’s call growing. Given a stimulant, there may be other physical, emotional, and social consequences that aren’t being considered.

      Inattentiveness, and lack of concentration, these are problems that appear in the classroom situation. They are also traits that characterize physical immaturity and childhood. Medieval painters used to paint children to resemble exact mineatures of adults. Expect children to perform like adults, and you will get cases of ADHD instead. Children are not adults. Raising children requires patience. Most of them will find something they can succeed at eventually. What they don’t need is the added baggage of a “mental illness” label.

      We speak of adults growing, and we speak of physically intact people healing, but we mean something very different when we speak of children growing and open sores healing. After a certain age, growth tends to be a matter more of girth than of height.

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