Adhd Research Paper (Argumentative Essay)
Adhd Research Paper (Argumentative Essay)

Adhd Research Paper (Argumentative Essay)

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According to a news report by USA Today, the diagnosis and prescription of medications for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have significantly increased in recent decades. In the last five years alone, there has been a 40% rise in ADHD medication use, resulting in a total of 39.5 million prescriptions ("New findings," 2009). These statistics prompt inquiries about the validity of the disorder and the suitability of the treatments given to individuals.

Both sides of the argument seem compelling, however, the abundance of research on ADHD makes it hard to doubt its authenticity as a disorder. ADHD is a neurobehavioral development disorder that is diagnosed based on various symptoms. According to an article by Ayesha Sajid, Maria C. Poor, and David R. Diaz, the origins of ADHD can be traced back to 1902 when physician Sir George Frederick Sill coined the term "defect of moral control" (


58). Dr. Still perceived this "defect" as something beyond an individual's control.

In their article, Sajid, Poor, and Diaz (year) explore the evolution of terminology for disorders until 1980. The official recognition at that time was Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), with or without hyperactivity. According to Russel A. Barkley's definition, ADHD is a disorder characterized by response inhibition and executive dysfunction. This results in difficulties in self-regulation, organizing behavior towards present and future goals, as well as adapting socially and behaviorally to environmental demands (Sajid, Poor, and Diaz 58). Recent research has established that the neurotransmitter Dopamine plays a significant role in the symptoms associated with ADHD.

The article by Sajid, Poor, and Diaz discusses the significance of dopamine in our brain, specifically its role i

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motivation, reward, and punishment (58). The authors propose using stimulant medications as a remedy for dopamine deficiency since these medications imitate dopamine and aid in its release from storage (58). Some examples of stimulant medications include Aderall, Vyvanse, Concerta, and Ritalin. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that although statistics support stimulants as the most effective treatment option, there are alternative choices to consider.

There are different non-stimulant medications that are not commonly used for treatment, unlike stimulants. Alongside medications, behavioral therapies can also effectively treat ADHD. An article from USA Today titled "New findings raise questions about use of ADHD drugs" states that after three years of treatment, parenting and classroom behavioral therapies have similar results to stimulant medication treatment. Therefore, there is no apparent difference between individuals who undergo therapies and those who take medications.

There is ongoing discussion about the appropriateness of using stimulant medications, as indicated by research findings. Many people are concerned about the potential long-term effects of these medications. Consequently, some suggest that alternative treatment options, such as behavioral therapy, should be considered instead. Others go further by completely denying the existence of ADHD. They believe it is not a valid disorder but rather a result of factors like ineffective parenting, excessive sugar intake, or simply having an overly active child. It is understandable how these conclusions can be easily reached when one lacks personal experience with the disorder and therefore lacks understanding.

People with ADHD can confirm that it is not easily understandable. The continual lack of motivation, concentration, and control are beyond the control of those affected by ADHD. For some people, functioning in

school becomes almost impossible because of these symptoms, and it is not just because they are lazy. These symptoms are caused by the impact of a neurotransmitter known as dopamine on different brain functions. They result from a chemical imbalance rather than being a deliberate decision. However, despite this fact, the disorder does not improve on its own.

Taking steps to help oneself can enable individuals with ADHD to overcome their disorder. Nevertheless, despite the available facts, there are those who deny the existence of ADHD. The viewpoint they hold is understandable given that ADHD seems to be less prevalent in other countries. Angela Southall, a children's psychologist, states that 90% of Ritalin prescriptions worldwide are issued in the United States (Southhall). This clearly indicates that ADHD is more widespread in the United States compared to any other country.

Many individuals think that ADHD is a fabrication orchestrated by the pharmaceutical industry in the United States, regarded as a form of deception. This perspective is even bolstered by the opposing stance, as it seems that pharmaceutical companies are strategically promoting their ADHD medications in the United States to achieve broad acceptance. However, those who object to this viewpoint do not doubt the existence of ADHD itself. The disorder's concept had already been established prior to the introduction of pharmaceutical treatments. Another prevalent objection towards ADHD pertains to the medications employed for its treatment.

People are questioning the use of stimulants for treating hyperactive children with ADHD due to their undesirable side effects. Commonly observed side effects include motor tics, insomnia, and loss of appetite. These medications are also highly addictive, raising concerns

about substance abuse. The presence of these side effects prompts speculation about potential long-term consequences.

Stimulant medications should be used responsibly and by the proper individuals to guarantee safe treatment. One common argument against the legitimacy of ADHD is that it simply mirrors a child's innate behavior. Some individuals are against classifying a child or adult with a specific disorder based on their actions. They argue that a child's behavior is shaped by their upbringing, implying that subpar academic performance stems directly from inadequate parenting. Although this may hold true for certain children, it certainly does not encompass all.

Parents often try to address their child's behavior before seeking a medical diagnosis, but diagnosing ADHD is a complex and thorough process. It requires extensive research to gain an understanding of this multifaceted disorder. The diagnosis involves evaluating impulsiveness, inattention, and hyperactivity levels using a checklist of symptoms.

According to an article on ADHD, the diagnosis process for this condition comprises five parts. It is crucial to note that all symptoms must be more severe than those of another individual at a similar level of development. Goldstein and Naglieri (860) outline these five parts, labeled as A through E. Part A consists of the commonly mentioned 18 diagnostic symptoms. Part B necessitates that symptoms cause impairment before age 7. Part C indicates that the impairment must be present in two or more settings. Part D emphasizes the requirement for clear evidence of significant impairment in social, academic, or occupational function. Lastly, Part E specifies that symptoms should not occur exclusively during other conditions' course or be better explained by other mental disorders. This

diagnosis process can pose challenges in determining whether an individual has ADHD or not (Goldstein and Naglieri 860). Examining the 18 diagnostic symptoms of ADHD aids in comprehending its impact on an individual's life. The American Psychiatric Association categorizes these symptoms under the inattention category of ADHD.

The individual shows a tendency to disregard details or make hasty errors in their academic work. They struggle with maintaining focus in tasks or recreational activities, and consistently fail to listen when directly spoken to. Moreover, they frequently do not complete various types of tasks as instructed and struggle with organizing their activities. Furthermore, they often avoid or display reluctance to participate in tasks that demand prolonged mental exertion. Losing important items for activities and being easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli are common occurrences for them. Additionally, they often experience forgetfulness in their daily routines (124).

The symptoms described are used to categorize a condition called ADD, which is a type of inattentive ADHD. The American Psychiatric Association has identified two other categories of symptoms associated with ADHD. One category is hyperactivity, which encompasses behaviors like fidgeting with hands or feet, frequently leaving one's seat in expected situations, engaging in excessive running or climbing in inappropriate situations, talking excessively, and struggling to engage in leisure activities quietly (124).

The APA has identified a category of symptoms related to impulsiveness. These symptoms include answering questions before they are completed, struggling to wait their turn, and interrupting or intruding on others (124). These symptoms are used to classify two types of ADHD. Combined ADHD requires symptoms from both the inattention and hyperactivity categories. Hyperactive-impulsive ADHD requires symptoms from the

hyperactivity and impulsiveness categories.

To receive a diagnosis of ADHD, one must exhibit an assortment of symptoms and meet criteria B through E. These latter four criteria differentiate individuals with ADHD from those who may be perceived as unmotivated. Typically, ADHD emerges during adolescence, which is crucial for distinguishing individuals with ADHD from college students seeking prescriptions for Aderall or Ritalin to enhance their productivity. Assessing whether the individual has experienced symptoms since childhood can pose challenges for doctors during the diagnostic process.

The credibility of ADHD is called into question by the diagnosis of individuals in this era. It is crucial to acknowledge that ADHD symptoms are likely present throughout a person's entire life. Part C of the diagnostic process states that these symptoms must be evident in two or more settings. Merely showing ADHD symptoms at school and struggling academically does not provide enough evidence for a diagnosis. Symptoms should also be observed in other aspects of the individual's life, such as participating in sports or being at home.

The presence of difficulties in controlling actions suggests a problem with ADHD. These issues are not limited to just school, as similar symptoms are observed in multiple environments. Part D of the diagnosis process is important as it determines the significance of symptoms. Comparing symptoms to those of another individual at the same developmental level helps determine their significance. For example, certain hyperactive behaviors in children may be considered normal childhood behavior.

Children have a considerable amount of energy and enjoy playing. However, a child with ADHD would demonstrate much higher levels of energy compared to their classmates. They would

be noticeably more restless and inattentive than most of their peers. This is an important aspect of the diagnosis process because it helps differentiate between genuine cases and false ones, as individuals sometimes exaggerate symptoms to be diagnosed with ADHD. The final stage of the diagnosis process, part E, officially determines whether a child has ADHD or not.

Ruling out misdiagnosis of ADHD in children is crucial during the diagnosis process. It is important to distinguish between ADHD symptoms and those of other mental disorders. Conducting a thorough background check on the individual is necessary to prevent an inaccurate diagnosis. All aspects of the individual's history are considered, including their genetic background, to identify any other mental disorders present in their family history.

The patients background check is crucial in choosing the right treatment. ADHD stimulants have a significant role in the ADHD controversy, as previously mentioned. Stimulant medications are widely acknowledged as the most common method of treating ADHD. According to an article titled "Overview of ADHD," Stimulant medications have been proven to result in a clinical improvement of 65% to 75% in double-blinded placebo controlled trials for both children and adults, making them the preferred first-line therapy (Sajid, Poor, Diaz 58).

Sajid, Poor, and Diaz (58) emphasize the unquestionable effectiveness of stimulants as a treatment option for ADHD. They point out that stimulants are extensively researched and considered the most well-researched choice. The authors also delve into the decision-making process between long-acting and short-acting stimulate formulations containing methylphenidate (58). It is noteworthy that methylphenidate enhances the release of stored dopamine in the brain while selectively promoting the release of newly

synthesized dopamine. These findings underscore the crucial role played by dopamine in ADHD.

The use of medication for ADHD indicates an imbalance in dopamine levels, disproving the idea that laziness, bad parenting, or lack of control causes ADHD. The severity and uncontrollable behavior associated with ADHD can be attributed to factors beyond rationality. It is clear that dopamine levels in the brain influence these symptoms. Therefore, using stimulant medications to treat ADHD is justified.

Despite the conclusion, there is much more to the argument. The opposing view raises questions about the rise in stimulant medication prescriptions. Research conducted by the Commission for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health shows a 700% increase in stimulant medication use since the 1990s (Lefever, Arcona, and Antonuccio). This significant increase is important for understanding ADHD history.

The use of stimulant medications to treat ADHD-like disorders can be traced back to 1960 in the book "Minimal Brain Dysfunction in Children" (Wender et al. 10). From 1960 to 1990, awareness of ADHD increased among the general public in America. Initially, there was skepticism towards the disorder and its treatment methods.

The disorder and its medications were made public, which provided accurate information about it and could lead to increased acceptance. The reasons for the disorder's growing popularity are somewhat unknown, but there are several factors that can explain the significant and continuing rise in numbers. One factor is the increasing acceptance of the disorder, making it more socially acceptable. This has resulted in parents and individuals being more willing to seek diagnosis and treatment for ADHD.

The rise in ADHD diagnoses since 1990 can be partially attributed

solely to this factor, but it doesn't fully explain the observed 700% increase statistic (Lefever, Arcona, and Antonuccio). Misdiagnosis and completely incorrect diagnosis play a significant role in the overwhelming surge of acceptance for ADHD. This is driven by human competitiveness, as parents strive to have their child diagnosed for advantages in school. Students with disabilities receive additional test time and other benefits as compensation for their disorder.

Many parents are bringing their children to the doctor and exaggerating their child's ADHD symptoms. According to a Medical News Today article, 46.7% of diagnosed children only have mild symptoms, while just 13.8% have severe symptoms. This shows that a majority of ADHD diagnoses are given to children without significant symptom problems. Thus, it can be concluded that a large proportion of those diagnosed with ADHD actually do not have the disorder based on symptom severity. To address the issue of overdiagnosis, author David Antonuccio suggests redefining the definition of ADHD. He proposes limiting the number of individuals who can have the disorder due to its statistical rarity and mentions an estimated prevalence rate between 3% and 5%. Including this statistic in the definition helps validate that false ADHD diagnoses are increasing in the United States.

According to Steven Weinberg's article in The Washington Post, the prevalence of ADHD in American children is 9%, which is higher than the estimated range of 3% to 5%. This demonstrates that the disorder is relatively uncommon. It can be concluded that lenient diagnostic criteria and lack of control during the diagnosis process have led to a significant increase in ADHD diagnoses. These findings reveal misconceptions about the legitimacy

of ADHD. The considerable rise in diagnosis and treatment has raised doubts among people, causing them to question the validity of this disorder.

The increasing popularity of ADHD diagnosis does not undermine the legitimacy of the disorder. The responsibility for this trend lies with the people of The United States, not the ADHD community. To assess the credibility of ADHD, it is important to concentrate on its definition rather than cultural controversies surrounding it. Moreover, skepticism about ADHD goes beyond issues of incorrect and misdiagnoses; some individuals erroneously assume that ADHD is only prevalent in The United States.

Despite the higher rates of ADHD in the United States, other countries also face this disorder. An article from The Times in the United Kingdom highlights similar concerns. It shares data demonstrating notable rises in stimulant medication prescriptions across different regions of the UK. In Scotland specifically, prescriptions surged from 4,000 in 1996 to 72,000 in 2009 (Smith 8).

In Scotland, the increase in ADHD cases is linked to better identification of the condition, thanks to heightened awareness among healthcare professionals. This pattern mirrors what occurred in the United States earlier, when low diagnosis rates were due to limited knowledge about ADHD. Thus, it would be inaccurate to assume that ADHD solely exists in the United States.

The rise in ADHD diagnosis rates is observed globally, although not as high as those in the United States due to its novelty in other countries. This indicates that ADHD is a valid disorder. The acceptance of the disorder and advancements in technology contribute to this fact, allowing for new insights into brain functions. Despite addressing

the controversy surrounding its legitimacy, the argument remains ongoing.

The controversy surrounding ADHD's stimulant medications is similar to the over-diagnosis controversy. The use of these medications has sparked its own debate in the medical world, as many reject them due to their negative side effects. Users and others involved in the ADHD argument are increasingly concerned about the potential long-term effects of stimulant medications.

A study featured in the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services provides answers to questions about stimulant medications. To understand these medications, a brief summary of the study is necessary. The table titled Effects of Long-Term Stimulant Therapy on Safety Outcomes in Children With ADHD presents information about side effects: Treatment was well tolerated, with only 7.6% of patients discontinuing treatment. There were minimal impacts on weight and height. Changes in blood pressure or heart rate were small, if any. Headaches were seen in 3% of patients, insomnia in 19.% of patients, decreased appetite in 18.7%, abdominal pain in 11.1%, and tics in 9.4% (Wilens, Donner, Michaels, Ambrosini, Biederman, and Lerner). It is evident that possible side effects from using stimulants include trouble sleeping, abdominal pain, decreased appetite and tics based on this two-year study's observations. No new discoveries were made during this study.

The long-term use of stimulants can result in different adverse effects. Nevertheless, individuals with ADHD who receive stimulant treatment can confirm that these side effects are controllable by using the medication appropriately. A crucial factor is taking the stimulant early in the morning to avoid experiencing insomnia. Extended-release stimulants generally have effects lasting for 12-18 hours; hence, taking the medication in the

morning permits it to wear off by bedtime. Moreover, patients undergoing treatment need to make a conscious effort to consume meals regularly.

Stimulant medications have the ability to decrease appetite and hinder individuals' ability to detect their hunger. Despite not experiencing feelings of hunger, it is vital to consume nourishing meals regularly. Failing to eat due to stimulant treatment can result in weight loss and potential health issues. When undergoing stimulant medication treatment, there are other factors that must be taken into account. It is crucial to obtain the correct prescription prior to beginning treatment. The article "Overview of ADHD" suggests that a thorough medical history should be obtained before prescribing any medication.

When considering the use of stimulants, it is important to investigate any personal or family history of heart conditions and arrhythmias. A comprehensive physical examination is needed, and depending on the information gathered from the patient's history (Sajid, Poor, Diaz 58), a referral to a cardiologist may be necessary. Once heart conditions have been ruled out, it can be determined that stimulant treatment is appropriate for ADHD patients. Nevertheless, parents should closely monitor their children after beginning treatment in order to observe any reactions to the medications and ensure that none of the side effects pose a significant risk.

It is crucial to carefully monitor weight and height. If there is a notable change in either, treatment should be discontinued. Stimulant medications also require caution as they can be addictive if not taken as prescribed. It is important to note that surpassing the recommended dosage of these medications is considered abuse and can result in serious problems. An article

discussing the misuse and abuse of these medications offers a list of symptoms that aid in identifying such misuse or abuse.

Both users and parents of adolescent users should be vigilant for various behavioral changes and issues. These may include problems in school or work, changes in activities and friends, increased attention, prolonged periods of sleeplessness, loss of appetite, secretive and isolated behavior, fatigue, depression, rapid heartbeat, confusion and delusions, aggressive tendencies, irritability, mood swings, weight loss, and dilated pupils (McCarthy). All these symptoms indicate prescription drug abuse. Stimulant users can indeed become addicted to these medications.

Despite its addictive quality, as long as the prescription is followed according to the physician's instructions, this characteristic can be overlooked. The impacts of stimulants suggest that they are suitable when taken with necessary precautions by the person being treated. These medications effectively treat individuals with ADHD and serve as a solution for many. However, some individuals may discover that stimulant medications are not the appropriate treatment. In such instances, there are several alternative treatments and therapies available that are suitable for managing ADHD.

The use of stimulant medications in individuals with ADHD has sparked a controversial debate, due to the effectiveness of behavioral therapies. This debate is highlighted in the USA Today article "New findings raise questions about use of ADHD drugs." The article states that studies on behavioral therapies have demonstrated a decrease in their benefits after three years. By the six and eight-year mark, there were no notable disparities in behavior and academic outcomes between children who maintained medication usage and those who did not (USA Today, 2009).

After three years,

behavioral therapy has been shown to be as effective as stimulant medications. This raises questions about the need for amphetamines. Instead of relying on medication, comparable results can be achieved through behavioral therapy. It is worth noting that stimulants provide immediate effects, which is appealing to those who want quick results. Ultimately, using a combination of both treatments eliminates the need for this debate.

If both stimulants and behavioral therapies are seen as equally effective, there is potential to combine them for a more powerful treatment approach. By utilizing the immediate effectiveness of stimulants and the long-term advantages of behavioral therapies, it becomes possible to create a therapy that is twice as effective. In this combined approach, ADHD patients who are already on stimulants would be more open to participating in behavioral therapies. Consequently, the therapy process would be accelerated, resulting in positive outcomes in half the time. Thus, combined therapy provides the ultimate solution for individuals grappling with ADHD.

The information presented in this argument supports two main points, which are that ADHD is a legitimate disorder and that stimulant medications are an appropriate treatment for those who meet the criteria. These conclusions are based on long-term studies examining the safety and effectiveness of these medications. Due to the extensive research conducted in the field of medicine on ADHD, it is impossible to include all of the information on this topic within this argument.

The lack of information in this argument will undoubtedly result in objections. Some people may find the evidence provided inadequate to support the conclusions made, especially those strongly against the argument. There could be contradictory information available,

but it is probably less credible than what has been presented. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize potential objections before reaching a conclusion.

Individuals commonly hold personal beliefs that can lead them to disregard presented facts. For example, if someone strongly opposes the use of stimulant medication, they may disagree with the conclusion drawn about behavioral therapies. Some individuals believe that behavioral therapy is a better option than combining stimulants with therapy because they consider stimulants as an inappropriate treatment method.

In this situation credit can be given to this objection, but the facts available don't provide as much support as the original conclusion. There are objections to the argument that can be based on fact. The position stated on the presence of ADHD in other countries will be objected by many opposers of the argument. Even after seeing the factual evidence that ADHD popularity is increasing in other countries, many would argue that its presence in other countries is only a fraction of what is seen in The United States.

Although this statement may appear to form a solid argument, it is countered by other factors. It is important to consider the population of a country when measuring numbers in terms of individuals. Due to its significantly larger population compared to most countries, the US would naturally have higher numbers when measured in individuals. However, creating a percentage by dividing the number of individuals by the country's population yields more accurate results. When examining ADHD rates in terms of percentages, similar rates are observed among developed countries worldwide.

Opponents may raise the most anticipated objection to the stated position concerning stimulant

medications. Despite the findings from a two-year study indicating the safety of using such medications with no notable risks, dissenters maintain a pessimistic stance. Nonetheless, there are some proponents who disagree and believe in the effectiveness of these medications.

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