What is ADHD and What Causes ADHD? Is It Purely Genetic or Environment?

ADHD is not a disorder! It is contrived by profit-mongering pharmaceutical corporations that are fooling the public to sell pharmaceutical drugs. ADHD is purely genetic and inheritable! It is a real disorder and medicines for ADHD cure the disorder as long as you adhere closely to the doctor’s directives.

Is ADHD a genetic disorder or caused by external, environmental, or social causes? Evidence points to a combination of causes.

Is ADHD a genetic disorder or caused by external, environmental, or social causes? Evidence points to a combination of causes. Image courtesy of Cooldesign, Freedigitalphotos.net

Ideas on ADHD span these two extremes. On the one side of the fence books such as The ADHD Fraud: How Psychiatry Makes “Patients” of Normal Children and The Hyperactivity Hoax butt heads with the medical “establishment” and mainstream psychiatry whose books on ADHD are often firmly rooted in the “medical model” of mental health, where status quo rules in the medical diagnosis of ADHD and other mental health disorders.

Medical Model Based Treatment for ADHD:

1. Enumerating symptoms or signs of ADHD manifested by the patient.

2. Assigning a psychiatric label for the “disorder” based on the DSM-V, sometimes referred to as the “bible” of psychiatric labeling.

3. Prescribing appropriate treatment for ADHD usually consisting of psychiatric drugs— stimulants such as amphetamines or methylphenidate (Ritalin), as the most-widely prescribed ADHD medications. Often, with drug treatment, little else is done to help the patient other than monthly visits to a doctor—a psychiatrist, pediatrician, or primary physician.

It goes without saying that treatment for ADHD based on the medical model leaves a huge gap and that there has to be more that someone diagnosed with ADHD can do for themselves or for their child than take pharmaceutical medications. ADHD in children has become the most controversial subset of the discussion. While most do more for themselves or for children with ADHD than simply take ADHD medication, because of the ease with which the medical community can expedite treatment based on the medical model, a surprisingly large percentage of those who are treated for ADHD are receiving treatment that is, in reality, based on the pure medical model and do little more for themselves than take ADHD medications. This method of treatment has spawned a backlash of professional and other critics of the mental health system, ranging from moderate to extreme in their rejection of pharmaceutical treatment for ADHD.

The position that this blog takes on the question “Is ADHD Genetics or Environmental?” is the position taken by Associate Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University Joel Nigg, PhD, in the book What Causes ADHD? Understanding What Goes Wrong and Why, a view endorsed by numerous academics and medical professionals, which provides convincing evidence that ADHD is both a genetically influenced disorder that is aggravated, caused, or triggered by environmental factors. The position Dr. Nigg takes on ADHD can be applied to most mental health disorders.

According to this viewpoint, individuals are genetically predisposed to the Disorder. However, ADHD is not a purely genetic, inheritable disorder. Environmental factors are responsible for triggering the symptoms associated with ADHD. More evidence for this viewpoint can be found in numerous books written on the subject—Overcoming ADHD Without Medication: A Guidebook for Parents and Teachers provides a synopsis of this evidence. The book focuses on ADHD in children but also has wider application for adults. The Association for Natural Psychology (AYCNP) website also provides convincing evidence for this point of view.

What are some of the environmental factors that can be responsible for ADHD symptoms and its subsequent diagnosis? The next post will examine this question.

ADHD is an acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

3 responses to “What is ADHD and What Causes ADHD? Is It Purely Genetic or Environment?”

  1. Dima says:

    Hey Dr. K I am a 47 y.o diagnosed with ADHD 2 yrs ago. This diagnosis followed my 35 day stint in rehab for an opiate addiction.What I have had difficulties with ALL my life is relationships. The difficulty .they NEVER last more than 5 years. In fact, my Mom asked about my 5 year plan with my current love. Very discouraging. This relationship WILL last as I am working very hard at figuring out my self . So, in answer to your question you are helping me in the relationship area. As a side note: I was being treated with Concerta, however the nursing regulatory body considers that a relapse and I am now off it. Even though my contract states that medications prescribed by a physician aware of your addiction will be allowed My family doc diagnosed the ADHD, however he called my addiction doc to discuss treatment. Together they both decided the best treatment would be Concerta. The doctor the nursing body has appointed to monitor me is the doctor that prescribed it. My license was again suspended. So unfair .anyway I can REALLY tell the difference. I am a mess. Any suggestions? I may just have to go back on it. I am not nursing right now anyway.

  2. […] ¡TDAH no es un trastorno!                                                     Article in English […]

  3. Calochilus says:

    If you don’t understand that ADD is the name used under DSM 3 and ADHD is the name for the same syndrome used under DSM 4 and 5 then anything else you might say is tainted by a fundamental misunderstanding.

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