Rational (Pathological) Demand Avoidance: As a Mental Disorder and an Evolving Social Construct
Woods, R. (2022). Rational (Pathological) Demand Avoidance: As a Mental Disorder and an Evolving Social Construct. in: The Routledge International Handbook of Critical Autism Studies Routledge.
Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) is a proposed mental disorder, that is simultaneously gaining substantial controversy and support. There is no consensus over how to conceptualise and diagnose PDA. Nonetheless, PDA is frequently aggressively lobbied and researched as a form of autism. By accepting that all mental disorders are inherently social constructs, this chapter details why both PDA and autism represent tangible features in people, and common mechanisms for their cultural production. Critically appraising its literature, it might be best to view PDA as a new type of mental disorder, and that represents the pathologising of anxiety driven distress behaviours. Subsequently, exploring the historical journey that PDA has undertaken from not being viewed as a form of autism, through to how in the mid-2000s it became associated with the autism spectrum. Finally, investigating how the social construct of PDA evolved over the last decade to adopt features associated with autism, fitting the emerging narrative it is an autism spectrum disorder. PDA is a novel impairment category, and it provides a rare opportunity for disability studies scholars to explore how such phenomena evolve from their inception, while studying their impact on those assigned a label of PDA.
|Book title||The Routledge International Handbook of Critical Autism Studies|
File Access Level
|Online||13 Dec 2022|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||07 Dec 2022|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003056577-7|
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