Attention Deficity Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) generally denotes a kind of deficit to selectively attend and (thereby) selectively inhibit certain stimuli. Evidently, the psychological community has much else to say about the disorder, frequently positing other cognitive and behavioral characteristics of the disorder , including hyperactivity, impulsivity, and a general lack of respect when it comes to persons of authority (e.g. parents or teachers). ADHD has recently been subdivided into various categories to attempt to make some distinction as to these general descriptions, but it is no mystery that even these subdivisions and subsequent delineations are difficult to qualify in practice. Moreover, the use of psychostimulants for children and most recently for adults has skyrocketed in the past few decades, sparking an unending debate as to the ethical considerations we should take when prescribing these potentially dangerous chemicals to persons whose behavioral or cognitive concerns may not nicely correspond to a condition that itself is vague, subject to cultural and linguistic factors, and not well-founded in psychological/cognitive theory.
[...] (Barkley, 575) (Barkley, 575) For such claims regarding the ‘myth' of hyperactivity, see Conrad (1975) and Schrag & Divoky (1975) Some of these claims were insubstantial in that they rested on faulty or even incorrect findings of several newspapers, including the exaggerations of the Washington Post in the 1970 article which, it was later found, grossly overestimated the percentage of kids in the Omaha school using psychostimulants. (Wender, 72) (Barkley, 577) This review is somewhat outdated, but nevertheless it suggests that, at the very least, the psychostimulants as a group do have notable effects on cognition. [...]
[...] This prompted a congressional investigation into the matter, and indirectly instigated the scientific community to publish numerous reports on the cognitive, academic, and behavioral implications of the use of psychostimulants on children. Simultaneous to the congressional and scientific investigations of psychostimulant use, a claim was being forwarded by some that hyperactivity was a myth created by teachers who were intolerant to special needs. These claims, coupled with the somewhat exaggerative remarks by the Washington Post and other newspapers in the 1970s, increased public skepticism of psychostimulant use, despite the fact that the frequency of use of these medicines was skyrocketing. [...]
[...] Steingard, New Formulations of Stimulants for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Therapeutic Potential, CNS Drugs 2004 Barbara Fisher, and Ross Beckley, Attention Deficit Disorder: Practical Coping Methods (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1999) Stuart Vyse and Mark Rapport, The Effects of Methylphenidate on Learning in Children with ADDH: The Stimulus Equivalence Paradigm, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 0022-006X, June Vol Issue 3 Paul Wender, ADHD: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adults (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000) Paul Wender, ADHD: Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adults (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 10-13. [...]
[...] Possible Implications of the Empirical Findings, and other related items to consider: Given the reasonably extensive review of the literature regarding the history and empirical findings of the most commonly used psychostimulants, judgments regarding theories of attention, the disorders of ADD and ADHD, America's possibly over-stimulated nation, and other things to consider in treatment may be (at least somewhat) founded on an inductively stable basis. Theories of attention are not as developed and articulated as theories of say, perception. The problem with any theory of attention, of course, is that it implies some adequate knowledge of consciousness, since it is traditionally conceived that any object we are attending to is something we are entertaining in our conscious mind. [...]
[...] The psychopharmacology of the stimulants (Adderall, Dexedrine, and Ritalin) is, at present, a relatively underdeveloped knowledge-base, and several competing theories are presently being debated as to the effects of these psychostimulants with regard to certain parts of the brain. Some recent findings of cerebral blood flow show that activity in the striatum and the neural connections between the orbital-frontal lobes and limbic systems are all enhanced during stimulant medication treatment. Another theory maintains that ADD and ADHD manifest as a result of metabolic dysfunction of the Reticular Activating System the RAS is believed to be the center of arousal and motivation in humans and animals. [...]
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