argument top image

Is ADHD real? Show more Show less
Back to question

Scientific evidence has supported the existence of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder for decades, yet critics often question if it’s a valid condition. There is no doubt that the symptoms associated with ADHD are real, and though science has proven ADHD to be a real brain-based disorder, many still deny it’s existence. The debate continues; Is ADHD a real medical condition? Is it over-diagnosed? Is it under-diagnosed? Or is ADHD merely an excuse for disruptive behavior?

There is not enough evidence to support whether or not ADHD is real Show more Show less

ADHD is thought to be a neurological disorder, and though researchers theorize it is genetic, the causes of ADHD are still unknown. Until research can solidify the true causes of ADHD in children and adults, it is unclear as to whether or not it should be considered a real disorder.
< (2 of 3) Next position >

ADHD is a social construct

Many researchers have theorized that ADHD was not discovered, but “invented” by society in order to explain hyperactive behavior in children. If ADHD is real, it is a social construct used to categorize abnormal behavior.

The Argument

A theory surrounding ADHD is that the disorder was “invented”, not discovered. This means that ADHD is a social construct that explains behaviors that may be seen as abnormal in society, and not an actual pathology. [1]ADHD was “discovered” in 1902, when Sir George Still, a British pediatrician, classified it as “an abnormal defect of moral control in children”. He coined the term “Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder” as a way to describe hyperactive children who are intelligent, but have an inability to concentrate. [2] But wouldn’t the symptoms that Sir George Still categorized as ADHD be considered normal behavior for children? This argument has been made to counter argue the existence of ADHD, and would make sense as to why ADHD would be considered a social construct. As a society, we often like to give a name to behaviors that are considered abnormal. Hyperactivity shouldn’t necessarily be considered abnormal for children, since they are usually full of energy, and concentrating is difficult for many at a young age. The number of children and adults with ADHD are exceedingly higher than any other part of the world, which can also back up the theory of ADHD being a social construct. Why is it so prevalent in one area, but not so much in almost every other country? Maybe ADHD was created by Americans, and should be seen as a cultural condition, rather than an actual brain disorder.

Counter arguments

If we were to argue that ADHD is a social construct created by society to explain certain behaviors, then any other mental disorder would be considered a social construct. Saying that we as a society invented ADHD and other disorders such as bi-polar disorder or depression is irresponsible, as it puts individuals with these conditions at risk. By denying that these conditions exist, people may be less likely to seek treatment because of feeling shamed for not being able to function in a way that is seen as “normal” to others. ADHD is a real condition that was discovered in the early 1900’s, and is still being researched today. Though the causes of ADHD are still a mystery, we cannot simply say it was created by society just because we don’t have all the answers.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Social_construct_theory_of_ADHD
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/history

Vote

Not sure yet? Read more ↑

Discuss

This page was last edited on Monday, 12 Oct 2020 at 23:39 UTC

Explore related arguments