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Diagnostic Deception Essay

1302 words - 6 pages

Diagnostic Deception
In the past 10 years, the United States has been experiencing a medical epidemic of frightening proportion, taking place primarily in children. Cases of a psychiatric deficiency known as Attention Deficit Disorder, or “ADD,” have been popping up in young kids and teenagers all over the country. What’s causing this? The American Psychiatric Association, often referred to as the “APA,” claims that the disorder has always been this prevalent, but it was only recently discovered, hence the increasing number of diagnoses, but there seems to be more to this “disorder” than meets the eye. As the number of cases continues to grow, many believe that the number of people with ...view middle of the document...

Claiming the ignorance of other medical communities is a transgression in itself, but doing so with the intention of covering up the truth is one of even greater magnitude. It is difficult to believe that the United States, whose health system is ranked 38th worldwide by the World Health Organization, is the only country competent enough to recognize a certain behavior as a disorder. How have there been no other confirmed cases anywhere else in the world? The answer is because this disorder, along with many others, has been designed by the APA.
In the 1980’s the APA decided that it was going to redefine itself as a group of medical officials, as opposed to simply psychiatrists. In order to be recognized as they wanted to, the APA committee had to gain a foothold in the medical industry. Their savior would turn out to be the evolution of what had been previously labeled in the APA’s Diagnostic Statistics Manual, or “DSM” as “minimal brain disorder,” to the status of ADD, (O’Shea). This disorder was perfect; one that children were especially susceptible to. People want nothing more than to provide their children with the proper medical attention that they require, and it was here that the APA would make their comeback.
ADD was not the unique in its addition to the DSM in the 80’s. Originally published in 1952, the DSM was made up of 112 catalogued diseases, but by its third re-publication in 1987 that number had more than doubled to 253. The next (and current) publication in 1994 would yield 374 diseases, (O’Shea). While some may perceive this exponential growth of known diseases as medical progress, what was happening underneath the surface was the APA creating new ways to authorize themselves as a relevant, and contributing group, but unfortunately we have seen their form of contribution appears to be the creation of an over-medicated America.
The tragedy in all this is that the target of the APA’s plot to reestablish their dying image, were helpless children. These children were told that there was something wrong with their brain; chemical imbalances that had manifested themselves into what is generally seen as unwanted behavior. But luckily, just as the APA had made such great strides in diagnosing psychiatric diseases, they had also come up with treatment; one that would soon become a billion dollar industry. Ritalin, Adderal, Focalin, Vyvanse, you name it, it was there. These amphetamine-based drugs were to fight the growing epidemic of rowdy kids in America; those diagnosed with ADD.
So why are doctors diagnosing so many children with this disorder? Writing thousands of prescriptions for amphetamine, habit-forming drugs for young children? The sad truth is; they aren’t. ADD and ADHD stand out once again from the spectrum of mental deficiencies in...

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