20 Facts to Know about the Construct of ADHD

ADHD points to a perceived problem with a child. The most vital determination is not the observed behavior, but the presupposition you will use to bring clarity and a solution to what you’re seeing in the individual.

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For more information on the construct of ADHD and to see supporting evidence, please purchase my book, The Truth about ADHD, and you may chat with me here.

  1. The first official label in 1902 was “a morbid defect in moral control” (MDMC), since childlike behavior was socially viewed as a moral issue and not as a medical problem. Words like “bad” are not used to describe a child’s behavior now. Instead, terms like “maladaptive” are the more popular description of a child’s poor and impairing behavior.
  2. ADHD is best described as a subjective social construct that describes 18 undesirable-impairing-normal-childish behaviors and attempts to frame them as a disorder subjectively.
  3. Every behavior listed in the DSM-5 begins with the word “often” to ensure that even the “symptoms” (the 18 behaviors) of ADHD are subjective and based on a person’s opinion. The acceptance of ADHD by many as objective, though it is entirely subjective, works by psychiatrists propagation of a logical fallacy. The American Psychiatric Association has convinced millions that they are experts on alleged abnormalities (such as ADHD) without ever establishing a standard of normalcy.
  4. Not only is the DSM-5 construct subjective, but there is also no valid or reliable means to measure or diagnose a subjective social construct such as ADHD is. Only a person’s personal judgment based upon their observation or another’s testimony is required. When someone says that they “have ADHD,” they are merely stating that they behave in such a way that causes them or their authorities distress. ADHD equals behavior.
  5. Since ADHD is subjective and entirely fluid, it is regularly impossible to win or lose an argument about ADHD. Making matters worse, people label many children under the subcategory of ADHD entitled as “Not Otherwise Specified (NOS),” which determines that children do not even need to meet the subjective listed criteria in the DSM-5 for a diagnosis of ADHD. Children need to be misbehaving in a way that a clinician feels it impairs or distresses the child or his family. This subjectivity regularly leads to clinicians overlooking authentic objective problems that the child may have.
  6. Not all of the 18 behaviors listed as supposed symptoms of ADHD are moral in nature. Some actions, such as “often forgets things of importance,” are normal childlike (and adult-like) amoral behaviors. Others, such as “often gets out of his seat when expected to remain seated” is direct disobedience and not hyperactivity as it is listed in the DSM-5. Because ADHD is subjective, some kids who are diagnosed as having the construct are not sleeping well at night, whereas others are rebellious at heart. It is not fair, therefore, to make blanket statements about the spiritual condition of all children who have been stigmatized with the ADHD label or suggest that ADHD is just a parenting problem. In some cases, that is true, but in other cases—because ADHD is so subjective—a child could have a physical sickness that has been undiagnosed (e.g., ASD).
  7. ADHD does not describe an inability to pay attention; the construct describes a problem of misplaced or immature interest/values. The child labeled can play video games for hours at a time without losing focus. The problem is not an inability to pay attention, but rather, it is a problem of misplaced attention. Attention is naturally a reflection of a person’s values/desires.
  8. The construct of ADHD assumes that healthy children have self-control rather than needing to be taught self-control and trained by the Holy Spirit. The default position of all children is to be like a city without walls that is open to destruction. Only by learning self-control can a child be successful.
  9. Hyperactivity is another name for high energy, which exposes another subjective aspect of the syndrome: “normal” energy levels do not exist from which to suggest a standard let alone to discern alleged deviances. When a person becomes a parent, individuals view his high energy as an asset not as a determinant like when he was a child. Who doesn’t want higher levels of energy? The most successful people in professional sports, in academia, and commerce are often the most energetic. High energy is only viewed as a disorder or impairment when it disrupts an academic setting, causes distress, or hinders success. But such is the result of a lack of self-control and not a problem of high energy.
  10. Unlike the construct of ADHD, when a child has a genuine physical impairment that hinders giving attention (e.g., ASD), he does not selectively offer attention (e.g., the child labeled as ADHD can memorize lines from his favorite movies but not math formulas). In ASD, attentional problems can be observed in all aspects of life and not just those that are not of interest to the child.
  11. ADHD depends on the perspective that “normal children” inherently offer their attention to their authority in a productive way and that children naturally know how and to what to give their attention. These vital lessons are not inherent to the child, and a cursory overview of the book of Proverbs reveals that teaching a child how to pay attention correctly and to what to give his attention are priority number one for the parent/sage.
  12. Research/statistics regularly reveal that many children who are labeled and stigmatized as having ADHD struggle with dyslexia, reading comprehension, are enduring familial problems at home (e.g., divorce, neglect, and abuse), and are sometimes autistic (they have a misdiagnosis of ADHD). They act out further because they are misunderstood, hurting, stigmatized with a psychiatric label that categorizes them as abnormal, and have lost motivation thinking that no hope exists for them.
  13. If ADHD were a valid physical disease with biological markers and an objective etiology, the child could grow out of it according to the DSM-5. The construct of ADHD is listed as a “neurodevelopmental disorder” in the DSM-5, which means that children are merely developing slower than their peers. This type of child was once called a “late-bloomer,” but now late-bloomers are looked at as disordered or degenerated children. If children are late bloomers, they can and will mature with loving direction and the learning of self-control. Through repetition and maturity in desires and pursuits, a child’s brain will conform to the patterns of thinking and behaving he or an authority establishes in his life. When you view a child as normal, this process is called education. When a child is considered disordered, abnormal, or neurologically damaged, this same process is called neuroplasticity. The answer is the same.
  14. Performance enhancing drugs (psychostimulants; e.g., Ritalin and Adderall) that are framed as medicines do not fix an alleged malfunction or balance out neurochemicals. Instead, these powerfully addictive drugs attack the nervous system to produce their effects. Behavioral changes due to the impact of powerful psychostimulants do not prove that ADHD is a valid construct; The results reveal that the drug action of psychostimulants is to stimulate and thus to enhance performance. This reality is why psychostimulants are forbidden in most competitive sports.
  15. Whether labeled or not, taking psychostimulants will enhance a person’s academic and athletic performance, which is why they are one of the most widely abused prescription drugs in America and regularly referred to as “Kiddie Cocaine.”
  16. Psychostimulants regularly cause insomnia, which is known to atrophy the prefrontal lobes and cause attentional problems. Sadly, the child’s alleged problem that these drugs are marketed to correct is to heal the prefrontal lobes where ADHD is supposed to one day be found. The evidence shows, however, that a large portion of children started on psychostimulants end up addicted to the prescribed drugs’ illicit counterparts (e.g., cocaine and meth) later in life. There is also mounting evidence that keeping children on an artificial high produced by psychostimulants causes them to be diagnosed as depressed, psychotic, and manic later in life. These drugs are not healing agents but neurodegenerative drugs. One must ask why a neurodegenerative drug that blocks the healthy function of the nervous system is being given to children who allegedly have a neurodevelopmental problem.
  17. No medical degree, knowledge of biology, or classes in neuroscience are required to diagnose ADHD, as it is a matter of recognizing behavior according to the APA’s standard rather than discovering a disease. This fact exists because there is no physical cause to the construct of ADHD; “No biological marker is diagnostic for ADHD” (DSM-5, 61). Parents, school counselors, behavioral therapists, and teachers—those without medical degrees—typically diagnose ADHD within social contexts, exposing ADHD to be a social construct and not a valid biological disorder. Teachers usually diagnose ADHD according to the child’s behavior (often on a behavioral scale and according to their perspective) and regularly initiate encouraging parents to have their children checked out.
  18. More than not, children labeled as ADHD will become defiant toward their authority and labeled as having ODD. This kind of person is precisely the pattern of the biblical fool that Proverbs warns. When the simpleton becomes a natural fool, he is headed toward becoming a scorner. Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) does not describe a disease, but the natural digression of a child being told he only has to listen to himself and is not responsible for his actions.
  19. Many of the behaviors listed as alleged symptoms in the secular construct of ADHD are in Proverbs as being ordinary foolishness. Scripture understands that poor behavior is the expected activity of the natural fool: “Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly” (Proverbs 26:11). According to Scripture, fools should be expected to repeat their bad behavior.
  20. To deny the secular construct of ADHD as legitimate is not to deny that a child has behavioral problems. Instead, it is to reject the secular attempt to reframe human nature apart from God’s wisdom, and in the process, it is to establish God’s Word as the proper authority and provide hope for these precious children and their families. Proverbs 20:11 exposes that all approaches to a child’s behavior require a presuppositional moral system: “Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright.” People have the freedom to choose which authority to place their faith in discerning children’s behavior. Nonetheless, everyone is judging or diagnosing children by a moral system that evaluates their behavior. ADHD represents the most popular secular moral system currently available.

For more information on the construct of ADHD and to see supporting evidence, please purchase my book, The Truth about ADHD, and you may chat with me here.

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