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Changes in authenticity: Perceptions of parents and youth with ADHD of the effects of stimulant medication 

Changes in authenticity: Perceptions of parents and youth with ADHD of the effects of stimulant medication
Chapter:
Changes in authenticity: Perceptions of parents and youth with ADHD of the effects of stimulant medication
Author(s):

Erez C. Miller

, and Amos Fleischmann

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198806660.003.0025
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date: 11 April 2021

The use of medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been strongly debated because medications may alter the individual’s sense of authenticity. This chapter examines online forums that include young people’s experiences with ADHD medications, their sense of control over medication use, and the drugs’ effects on their sense of authenticity. It discusses the analysis of four Internet forums dedicated to ADHD issues using an ethnographic-discursive approach, and demonstrates that the results suggest there are two types of competing narratives—those of the young people, who express doubts about taking medications due to their effect on various psychological characteristics and especially on their sense of authenticity, and those of professionals, who uphold the medical perspective that regardless of the medications’ effects they are still the best option for treating ADHD. It covers how the clash between these two competing narratives resonates a more general struggle of people with disabilities for their rights. Finally, it discusses how social media echoes the struggle between individuals with disabilities and the establishment’s view of ADHD as a medical condition which should be treated accordingly, even at the cost of losing the individual’s authenticity.

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