The Problem of Power in ADHD: A Scoping Review
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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has become the most diagnosed mental health issue for children worldwide. There are substantive critiques of the psychiatric basis for the conceptualization, diagnosis, and treatment that dominate the ADHD context. ADHD discourse and practice are largely influenced by the biomedical framework of mental health and illness. The pervasive, continued acceptance of the dominant biomedical ADHD narrative is problematic in terms of addressing mental health care needs as well as illustrative of the influence and power that psychiatry wields with respect to the ADHD landscape. Further, there is a lack of focus on the concept of power within the ADHD literature. This paper presents a power framework that locates the influence of psychiatric power vis-à-vis instrumental power, structural power, and discursive power. Operationalizing the dimensions of psychiatric power highlights the access points for resistance efforts aiming to counter and disrupt the status quo in ADHD from research to practice.