In recent years, the increased diagnosis of ADD and ADHD has a lot of people questioning whether the conditions are in fact real diseases. Leading neuroscientists, physicians, and psychiatrists are all divided on the issue. While it is generally agreed that ADD and ADHD are overdiagnosed, many are unsure at what point the line in the sand is drawn. Some believe that the disease exists, but is not as common as it is made out to be. Others believe that the symptoms are not indicative of a real condition at all.
The Case Against ADD
Those that say ADD and ADHD are not real diseases generally believe that the conditions are a product of the environment that children are forced to function in. Hyper children are naturally less inclined to sit still and more inclined to fidget. In a classroom setting, this is seen as misbehaving. When the behavior recurs frequently, it is seen as a problem with the child. In many cases, children are not diagnosed with ADD or ADHD until after they have started school, which gives some credence to this argument. Those that believe ADD and ADHD are not actually diseases see it as a faulty system in which children are drugged to eliminate natural hyper tendencies.
The Case for ADD
Those that believe ADD and ADHD are real diseases have generally been diagnosed themselves or have a child that was diagnosed. The medications do force concentration, so the medications are seen to be working on the symptoms when taken. In many cases, this helps the child (or even adult) to fit into the established pattern of learning or working. For some, this can improve the quality of life considerably. Many see this as evidence that the conditions are real.