ADHD — a psychiatric condition characterised by difficulties with attention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness — is in the news again after published research showed that younger children in a class were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with the condition.
Because once something has a label, any criticism is deemed heartless and uncaring.
In fact, the entire idea of addiction as a ‘disease’ is highly contentious within medicine.
It first started being widely promoted within the medical community in the late Nineties in the U. Some have argued that this was so health insurance companies couldn’t wriggle out of funding treatment for alcoholics. It was argued that although the use of substances was voluntary to start with, in some individuals it ‘flicked a switch’ in the brain that meant they could no longer stop.
But a recent review published in the highly respected medical journal The Lancet Psychiatry concluded the research into addiction does not support this simplified view.
This is a well-worn, PR-managed response to any indiscretion by the rich and famous.
Caught in a compromising position, pants around your ankles? No one will dare criticise you then because you’re unwell; it’s not your fault. In reality, these ‘rehab’ clinics are often little more than five-star hotels with therapists, who will nod sympathetically, tagged on. It is not a clinical condition recognised in either of the main diagnostic manuals used by psychiatrists.Despite attempts to increase access to higher education, for the most part a degree in medicine remains the preserve of the wealthy — it is a long course and, therefore, financially more prohibitive.Careful investment and support in deprived communities is what’s needed — not just throwing more cash at GPs.There’s been growing understanding around mental illness in the past few years.These days you can’t open a newspaper or switch on the TV without hearing someone talk about it — even the Royal Family are doing it.While something has to be done, and quickly, I’m not convinced a cash bung is going to solve the crisis.