Stigma?

ADHD

Check out this interesting article. At first blush, it has a simple message, i.e., doctors should come to grips with the “stigma” that they apply to certain patients, e.g. those with purported ADHD. They should recognize the stigmas they are employing, and get help in dealing with them.

BUT. Read the article carefully, and it turns out not to be so straightforward.  Most fascinating to me, for example, is this Psychiatrist’s use of the term “physician burnout.” While we have discussed this term a gazillion times as referring to physicians who become disaffected with the practice of medicine, Dr. Welby uses it to mean a physician who has been “burned” by patients in the past, and has become leery of similar patients as a result. So. One patient feigned ADHD to get stimulants to help her to lose weight, so ALL “ADHD” patients are suspect.

Bottom Line. Think about it. These are tough issues for clinicians to wrestle with. How does a doctor separate out benefitting from learnings from her own experience with a particular “type” of patient from stigmatizing all such patients?

Not easy!

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