I was surprised to find that the British Medical Journal recently published a ‘head to head’ commentary on whether Adult ADHD was a valid diagnosis.
They had one paper written to say ‘Yes’ – Adult ADHD is a valid diagnosis, and then a second paper written to say that ‘No’ Adult ADHD is NOT a valid diagnosis.
Pinch me for a second…
I just double checked – it wasn’t published on ‘April Fools’.
Is this a real publication?
Yes it is.
The British Medical Journal is publishing a debate on the existence of Adult ADHD in 2010.
I find this shocking and very concerning.
The fact that stigma still exists in our society at large about ADHD makes sense when the medical community itself can’t seem to agree on the existence of Adult ADHD.
Now, let me be clear:
The diagnosis of ADHD can have its problems. And there certainly are issues with how the DSM-IV-TR ADHD diagnostic criteria are applied to Adult ADHD (which will hopefully be addressed in the new edition of the DSM-V).
I’m very comfortable with the scholarly discussion and debate on the issues and problems in the diagnosis and treatment of Adult ADHD (and child/teen ADHD for that matter).We all know that there are issues, and scholarly discussion and debate helps to clarify issues and propel the field forward.
I am not comfortable with the concept that a leading medical journal is publishing a debate on something like the validity of Adult ADHD. This inhibits growth and pulls us backwards.
I see this as an insult and ‘slap in the face’ to our field, and more importantly to all of the people who are bravely fighting against many odds to bring success to their lives despite their Adult ADHD.
I have checked, and I haven’t seen any scholarly debate about whether: breast cancer is a valid diagnosis in elderly women, or whether heart disease is valid in children. I wonder when the BMJ will look at these issues? I won’t hold my breath for those ‘scholarly debates’.
Please share your thoughts and comments below.