Question

ADHD

What is the medical model of ADHD?

A Answers (1)

  • ALara Honos-Webb, PhD, Psychology, answered
    Although your psychologist, psychiatrist, or pediatrician may seem like an authority that you cannot challenge, many mental health providers do make a fundamental mistake.

    A current trend in the mental health system is toward understanding psychological issues according to a medical model. The medical model involves viewing behavioral symptoms as organic diseases that should be treated with medical interventions. The medical model presents attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a brain dysfunction to be treated with medication that changes the biology of the brain.

    In summary, the fact that the constellation of behaviors labeled ADHD is considered a medical disorder conveys the expectation to parents, children, and teachers that behavior should be unchanging, constant, and made better only by medicine. In many ways, the diagnosis creates an expectation that manifests in the very symptoms it sets out to describe.
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