Experiences and Explanations of ADHD: An Ethnography of Adults Living with a Diagnosis presents research on the lived experiences of those diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Drawing on in-depth interviews with adults diagnosed with ADHD, the book provides an examination of how the diagnosis is understood, used, and acted upon by the people receiving the diagnosis.
The book delves into the phenomenology of ADHD and uncovers the experiences of a highly debated diagnosis from a first-person perspective. It further considers these experiences within the context of our time and culture and contributes to a discussion of how to understand human diversity and deviance in contemporary society. Studying both societal conditions behind the emergence of ADHD, questions concerning everyday life with ADHD, and interpretations of the diagnosis, the book offers an analysis of the intertwinement of experiences of suffering and diagnostic categories.
This book will appeal to academics, researchers, and postgraduate students in the fields of cultural psychology and medical anthropology, as well as those with an interest in the sociology of diagnoses.
Table of contents
Series Editor Introduction
Ethnographic fieldwork: Examining experiences of ADHD
Chapter 1: Introduction
Aim of the book
A diagnosis of our time
An anthropological approach to ADHD
Clarifying concepts: ADHD as experience and diagnostic category
Structure of the book
Chapter 2: An old disorder or a recent product of medicalization?
A story of ADHD as an ever-present disorder
The incapacity of necessary attention
Children suffering from immorality
Minimal brain damage and anti-school behavior
A question of neurology: The rise of medical treatment
A one-sided story of ADHD?
A critical explanation of ADHD
Medicalization of society
Social, political, and cultural factors behind the emergence of ADHD
Ritalin on the market
Diagnosing adults with ADHD
The need for multiple perspectives on ADHD
Chapter 3: What is a diagnosis?
Diagnostic criteria and clinical guidelines
What is diagnosis for?
Creating mental illness
Putting a name to it
Living in a diagnostic culture
A neurochemical era
A shift in thinking about the human
The self in medical terms
Chapter 4: Experiences and implications of getting an ADHD diagnosis
The explanatory force of a diagnosis and questions of responsibility
Restructuring narratives and self-perceptions
Evaluating yourself and considering new questions
Restructuring practices and crafting skills
Ambivalences towards the diagnosis
Taking medicine and experimenting with experiences
A moral concern: Becoming the person you want to be
Chapter 5: Explaining and making use of an ADHD diagnosis
Dynamics between explanations and experiences
Identifying with ADHD
Distancing from ADHD
Explanations of ADHD and expectations to treatment
Having or being ADHD?
Chapter 6: ADHD as a temporal phenomenon
Studying rhythms and experiences of time
The rhythms of the body
When the world is in a different pace
Social synchronization: Trying to keep up but lagging behind
Developing time work strategies
Is society catching up on ADHD?
Chapter 7: Conclusion
Becoming someone with ADHD
Explanatory models of ADHD
ADHD as a relational phenomenon
Avenues for future research
Implications and recommendations for practice
The series Cultural Dynamics of Social Representation is dedicated to bringing the scholarly reader new ways of representing human lives in the contemporary social sciences. It is a part of a new direction – cultural psychology – that has emerged at the intersection of developmental, dynamic and social psychologies, anthropology, education, and sociology. It aims to provide cutting-edge examinations of global social processes, which for every country are becoming increasingly multi-cultural. Therefore, social sciences need new ways of considering how to study human lives in their globalizing contexts. The focus of this series is the social representation of people, communities, and – last but not least – the social sciences themselves.