Sunday, February 3, 2013

ADHD Nation

My opinion:  I think that doctors really could be over-diagnosing ADHD.  It almost seems as if half the kids around me are now on medication to treat it.  In my medical humanities class, we often discussed the metaphor diagnosis is health.  Diagnoses is probably one of the most difficult aspects of being a doctor, as the effects can be disastrous if the diagnosis is incorrect.  But because diagnoses are sometimes wrong, then it may not be the most accurate interpretation of our health.  I'm glad that the parents did not entirely buy into the doctor's diagnosis, and I hope that, if I end up in medical school, I will learn how to handle these situations.  Also, since Adderall is widely used as an illegal study drug, this article prompts questions about prescription drug security.  Maybe medicine should give equal weight to debates regarding purely illegal drugs and misused prescription drugs.  Feel free to comment.

VIRGINIA BEACH — Every morning on her way to work, Kathy Fee holds her breath as she drives past the squat brick building that houses Dominion Psychiatric Associates.
It was there that her son, Richard, visited a doctor and received prescriptions for Adderall, an amphetamine-based medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It was in the parking lot that she insisted to Richard that he did not have A.D.H.D., not as a child and not now as a 24-year-old college graduate, and that he was getting dangerously addicted to the medication. It was inside the building that her husband, Rick, implored Richard’s doctor to stop prescribing him Adderall, warning, “You’re going to kill him.”
It was where, after becoming violently delusional and spending a week in a psychiatric hospital in 2011, Richard met with his doctor and received prescriptions for 90 more days of Adderall. He hanged himself in his bedroom closet two weeks after they expired.

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