A Disorder Is Manufactured

One of the most obvious and pervasive examples of the fraudulent medicalizing of everyday life can be seen in the pathologizing of childhood through the historically recent invention of the attention deficit hyperativity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis. Children grow up, but therapeutic relations based on fraud don’t dissolve into a “normality” disorder diagnosis overnight. The American Psychiatric Association put its official stamp of approval on these relations in it’s new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5), the latest edition of the shrink bible, by adding an adult version of this fabrication.

Clinical Psychiatric News, as you would expect, has published an article on this fabrication by a doctor who believes, as it were, in the legitimacy of this fraud. The story, as if ADHD were a good grade, bears the heading, Adult ADHD: Making the diagnosis. Making up the diagnosis is more like it.

Adult attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is a common and treatable psychiatric condition the diagnosis of which is made more challenging because the disorder looks different than the classic picture in children.

I imagine this is the place to note that speed, the most common “treatment” for ADHD, affects adolescents and children differently than it does adults. Speed is now being peddled, not only as a illicit recreational drug, but also over the counter as a legal “performance enhancer” after the introduction of this invented disorder. Of course, it’s “performance enhancing” qualities are generally restricted to the short-term. We are talking about a drug, drugs work by disabling the brain.

The adult presentation of ADHD is more subtle than in children. It includes disorganization and poor time-management skills; impulsivity with poor self-control often demonstrated via rude comments and frequent interruption of others; emotional difficulties rooted in low self-esteem and poor affect regulation; and difficulty in concentrating and completing even simple tasks.

As with most other psychiatric fabrications, the person so diagnosed could also be said to be suffering from a profound alienation disorder. In so doing one must note that alienation is something that occurs in social relationships and between people, such as between a psychiatrist and his victims. Should we have a bad apple here, perhaps the reason is because somebody has managed to infest the barrel with worms.

The adult version of this fraud has a long way to go before it has anything like the pervasive presence that the adolescent or juvenile version has, but I expect that that presence, owing to the now official status of the disorder, is on it’s way.

“It’s a very controversial area outside of psychiatry but also inside psychiatry,” according to Dr. [Robert D.] Davies [University of Colorado psychiatrist]. “A psychiatric colleague of mine had diagnosed an adult patient with ADHD and then wanted to refer him to me. I asked why. He said, ‘Because I don’t believe in it.’”

Obviously the Church of Biological Psychiatry has some work to do before this diagnosis sells speed the way it’s adolescent and juvenile version does, but needless to say, that uphill slope is being mounted at this very moment. With the diagnosis now being  given official “disease” status, how long can it be before more and more spontaneously generated cases of adult ADHD start crawling out of the woodwork?

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