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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

A Nonsense Mental Health Diagnosis That Many Believe In

A February 25, 2023 article in The Wall Street Journal ("Administration Moves to Put Limits On Some Telehealth Drug Prescriptions") describes new government restrictions to rein in the COVID regulations permitting the online prescription of controlled substances including Adderall which is widely dispensed for the so-called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. ADHD is a popularly believed though unsophisticated notion with symptoms identical to anxiety and depression which are present in almost all medical and psychological disorders. It has a 200-year-old history from 18th century England onwards ("mental restlessness") to the Minimal Brain Dysfunction (MBD) of early 1900s America (of which a Harvard psychiatrist then remarked that only a doctor suffering from a minimal brain dysfunction would use this diagnosis), to its latest ADHD incarnation. Widespread ignorance of child psychological development and developmental psychopathology maintain belief in such nonsensical notions and treatments, fostered of course by businesses that profitably hustle these wares.

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