This is indeed a quaint concept. Is it possible to ascertain a required or necessary level of medical diagnosis? Could this assessment be comparable to deciding whether an electric kettle has enough water in it before it is turned on? Or, is it more like a priest within a religion of control claiming that the religious fervour of a member of his flock is somewhat lacking in intensity?
What triggered this post is a newspaper article referring to under-diagnosis of ADHD. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disease (or, should it be Disorder?) is being treated pharmaceutically, with a rising tide of youngsters reportedly affected. My question is – is it a disease, or even a disorder?
My experience as a school teacher, parent and grandparent, and a member of a relatively large extended family suggests otherwise. Since the provendors of pharmaceutical products seem to increasingly rule the medical profession (including psychologists and psychiatrists), active children may be incorrectly diagnosed as needing medication. It is surely the nature of young children to want to move, reflecting their continuous growth, both physically and mentally.
Compensation for inadequate parental control probably results in some children being medicated for a ‘disease’ or ‘disorder’ which exists only in the minds of adults.
It is also commonplace for patients or parents to expect, or even demand, medication – even when the medico does not see any such need. Human communities are not as rational or organised in their conduct as are nests of ants, bees, and such like.
Interestingly, to suggest that a particular health condition – real or imputed – is under-diagnosed is to suggest that, like an appropriate water level in a bath tub, somehow, someone, can come up with a statistical measure of the extent of a ‘disease’ which needs to be medicated. Ah, the folly of a rich nation!