Duncan Double is a British psychiatrist who has a website called Critical Psychiatry.
On October 12 he published a post under the heading: “The majority of psychiatrists think adult ADHD is an example of the over-medicalisation of everyday life.”
Here are some quotes:
“When I trained, adult ADHD was never mentioned – it’s a relatively new concept, gaining popularity in the 1990s. Many psychiatrists don’t feel happy diagnosing a condition in adults that they were taught children generally grow out of.”
“The point I’m making is that psychiatry doesn’t seem to be in control of this development. The majority of psychiatrists, at least British ones, have reservations, but they don’t seem to express them. There is a problem with voicing concerns about such trends for fear of being labelled as anti-psychiatry.”
Duncan Double’s posts are always worth reading, but what I find particularly interesting here is the notion that psychiatrists who have reservations about the proliferation of these spurious diagnoses are being effectively silenced by peer pressure.
The concepts that dominate modern psychiatry are not based on science – as is real medicine – but on faith and belief. It is more like religion than science.
My own position on the condition called ADHD is that paying attention is what behaviorists call an “operant,” which translates roughly as a voluntary act. Like all operants, it increases in frequency if it is reinforced and decreases in frequency if it is not. Chronic failure to pay attention to what the adult world defines as important is almost always a function of parenting practices.
It needs to be acknowledged, however, that the DSM criteria for the condition known as ADHD involve much more than not paying attention. Many of the criteria items are simply examples of disobedience and misbehavior.
I have written extensively on this topic elsewhere.