Free Classical Argument: Children With ADHD Essay Sample

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Family, Children, Medicine, ADHD, Pharmacy, Diagnosis, Behavior, Illness

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2021/01/04

Parenting young children is a difficult task. When those children have been diagnosed by a physician with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the task of parenting fidgety, hyperactive, impulsive, and oft-disruptive children is made even more difficult. This behavior is especially noticeable by teachers during school hours. The diagnosis of ADHD in children is especially common in American schoolchildren. Currently, six million American school-aged children are diagnosed with the brain disorder. But, is the disorder overdiagnosed?
Clearly, the risks of overdiagnosis, and the subsequent prescription of behavioral medications such as Adderall to "hyperactive" children outweigh the benefits. Since no one knows what the long-term consequences of medicating our children are -- as well as the short-term risks -- its overuse is not justified by a mere handful of success stories.
ADHD is commonly treated with drugs that help children focus, concentrate, and pay attention in academic performance, as well as athletic performance. Unfortunately, no psychiatrist understands the underlying causes of this illness, and no long-term study has explored the risks and consequences of the over-diagnosis and (mis)labeling of children with ADHD. Many professionals benefit from the illness, such as an arsenal of babysitter-educators who do not have to change their curricula, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, and especially profitable pharmaceutical companies.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 10 million children under the age of four are diagnosed with the controversial diagnosis (Velez, internet). When psychiatrists speak about this "illness", they use vague, pseudoscientific terms such as "being within the normal range of nervous system behavior" (, internet). This phraseology suggests that there is an acceptable norm of behavior, begging the question of who has the power to define normalcy. Many doctors, for example, benefit from perks such as cash and trips to speaking engagements that are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies such as Shire (, internet).
Opponents who support the diagnosis of ADHD contend that the behavior-altering medications work for children, helping them perform better in school and life. Insel (2014) asserts that children are not over-medicated, and that pharmaceutical companies' marketing budgets have decreased during the past several years (Insel, internet). Insel also argues that the parents of children often resist the diagnosis, and the treatment of their kids with medications that have unknown risks.
Granted, young children can be rowdy, disruptive, and may suffer from poor concentration. Many children are also typically bullied. However, the established medical, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries are making enormous profits, at the expense of children who display typical juvenile behavior. Furthermore, there is no standardized testing (besides the so-called Connor Test) used to diagnose the illness, prompting the question -- is ADHD even a legitimate medical illness? The psychiatric community is sharply divided (Renkl, internet).
Clearly, ADHD has no scientific basis, and the diagnosis as well as the medications should not be so liberally given. Many psychiatrists employ the so-called chemical imbalance theory, but do not specify which chemicals are being "balanced" by medications that control and alter normal behavior of children.
Doubtless, young children can be a handful for parents -- and children who are labeled with ADHD are considered by special interests to be a handful that requires medication. Unfortunately, the only people who benefit from the illness are the trail of treatment professionals, lazy educators, and pharmaceutical companies benefit from its treatment. Clearly, the over-diagnosis of ADHD needs to be checked, and medications need to be studied further, as they have not been proven to be safe over the long-term -- with their risks outweighing the benefits.

Works Cited

Frontline. (2015). (n.p.). "Medicating Kids." Retrieved on 29 Mar 2015 from
Insel, Thomas. (6 Jun 2014). "Director's Blog: Are Children Overmedicated?" National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved on 29 Mar 2015 from
Renkl, Margaret. (2015). "Are We Overmedicating Our Kids?" Parenting. Retrieved on 29 Mar 2015 from
Velez, Mandy. (9 May 2014). "Dangers of Prescribing ADHD Meds to Toddlers: 'We're Living in the U.S. of Adderall'." The Huffington Post. Retrieved on 29 Mar 2015 from toddlers_n_5353697.html

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Free Classical Argument: Children With ADHD Essay Sample. Free Essay Examples - Published Jan 04, 2021. Accessed April 24, 2024.

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