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The legitimation of psychotropic drugs : a philosophical discourse study on the use of psychotropic drugs in the treatment of children with ADHD in the Netherlands

Oude Bos, J.R. (2020) The legitimation of psychotropic drugs : a philosophical discourse study on the use of psychotropic drugs in the treatment of children with ADHD in the Netherlands.

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Abstract:Medication is commonly used in the treatment of children with ADHD, while the precise long-term effects are still unknown. This study explores how professionals legitimise this practice, using a philosophical-oriented critical discourse analysis, focusing on the elements: ‘mental disorder as an entity’, ‘neurochemical body’, ‘normality’, ‘morality’, and ‘well-being’. Discourses that justify the use of pharmaceuticals can be differentiated into: (1) those based on presenting ADHD as a scientific fact; an objective distinction is suggested between a child diagnosed with ADHD and other children, and (2) those that emphasise possible suffering, in which ‘well-being’ is conceptualised as the removal of potential struggle. The findings indicate a miscommunication between professionals and the public on ADHD and the use of pharmaceuticals. Reification mechanisms lead to a misconstrued view on ADHD as an entity in relation to the neurochemical body (Dehue and Te Meerman), normality is often unclearly defined or varies between two models of normality (Foucault and De Folter), and health is presented as the absence of disease, while containing a broader form of well-being (Achterhuis and Dubos). This miscommunication and vagueness within professional narratives contribute to the legitimation of using pharmaceuticals in the treatment of children with ADHD.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:08 philosophy, 15 history, 70 social sciences in general, 77 psychology
Programme:Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society MSc (60024)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/81354
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