On the Implications and Consequences of a Neurobiochemical Etiology of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)

Seitler, Burton Norman
November 2006
Ethical Human Psychology & Psychiatry;Fall2006, Vol. 8 Issue 3, p229
Academic Journal
Many names have preceded the currently used name, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, yet no greater explanatory power has ever been achieved by the numerous name changes. Questions are raised regarding the basis for and accuracy of the neurobiochemical etiological explanation. Weaknesses in the neurobiochemical hypothesis are raised, involving problems with definitions, plus the existence of logical fallacies, flawed research methodology, and serious measurement difficulties (such as the fact that no single valid or reliable physical, mental, or genetic test is available for diagnosing ADHD). The author observes that many investigators do not regard ADHD as a single diagnostic category on its own, but as a syndrome or a comorbid condition. Believing that ADHD has a neurobiochemical basis often results in an organic treatment approach, and the use of psychostimulant drugs like Ritalin or Adderall, which newly published disclosures clearly indicate have serious aftereffects. Agitated depression has been proposed as an alternative explanation, as well as the use of effective, tried and true psychotherapy treatments that do not pose the risks involved in the use of psychostimulant drugs.


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