Archives for June, 2012
In my previous blog post, I contrasted two posts by my esteemed colleagues, fellow ADHD bloggers Bryan Hutchinson and Jeff Siegel. I'd like to continue with my personal analysis of the discussion from the point of view of a woman with ADHD (and possibly a slutty one, at that. You'll have to wait to find that one out). About success I think you verge on my point Jeff, when you hold your spouse and other women (such as Jane Goodall) up as role models of success that your daughters could emulate. But why do we have to have a one-size-fits-all definition of “success”?
Recently, two of my (male) ADHD blogger colleagues wrote dueling blog posts about famous women with (confirmed or alleged) ADHD. As promised on my Twitter feed, I'm weighing in. In one corner, we have Bryan Hutchinson’s inciting post (Bryan is the creator of ADDer World). Bryan's post was called 4 Most Famous, Cool, Succcessful, [sic] ADD Bad Bad Girls of ADHD! And Another Myth Debunked. In the other, blogger Jeff Siegel's comeback titled, The New Female ADHD Role Model: The Alcoholic, Drug-Abusing Slut. As a woman diagnosed late in life with ADHD I'm amply aware of the challenges involved in living with the condition. Like my esteemed colleagues (both of whom also have ADHD), I too am working to educate others. On that count, I fear both men have lost a tremendous opportunity in their discussion.
The Truth About Adult ADHD Treatment - Or, What I Learned On My Summer Vacation - Part II In Part I, we can already see the effects of adult ADHD treatment (as listed under "Prep Positives"). Just like the field of fireflies in the photo wouldn't be seen in the daylight, so too were my ADHD treatment gains invisible until my recent vacation shone light on how far I've come.
The Truth About Adult ADHD Treatment - Or, What I Learned on My Summer Vacation! Confession: I wrote but didn't post this last week before leaving on my mini-vaycay. (I didn't have time to find an accompanying image, edit and post.) In hindsight, I'm glad it worked out this way because having now returned home from a relaxing, fun-filled and meaningful retreat, I can juxtapose the before and after experiences in light of my ADHD. I'm amazed at what I discovered about adult ADHD treatment. To be honest, for the first five years after my diagnosis, I wasn't always convinced my life would get appreciably better (which is, let's face it, the whole purpose behind diagnosis and treatment). Here's what I've discovered: Part I - BEFORE (written a week ago)
I was diagnosed with ADHD at 46. After my diagnosis, I had a long talk with my sister (who does not have ADHD). One of the most startling things she told me was when we were kids, we’d be happily playing, when – POW! –I’d have an angry outburst. It scared her. Hearing my sister's story brought tears to my eyes. I was filled with shame and remorse. I’d had no idea how my moods had affected her. When we were kids, I also had no idea why I couldn’t control my impulsive anger. Today, I understand that effort and willpower are no match for undiagnosed ADHD. And I now know why I couldn't control my anger or other sudden mood swings.
On June 6th, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada’s largest mental health and addiction treatment facility and teaching hospital, held its 15th annual Transforming Lives Awards (TLA). The event is a fundraiser that honors “…extraordinary people who face their personal challenges of living with mental illness, addiction, or both, with dignity and perseverance.” (from the Transforming Lives Awards 2012 website). During my morning ritual of tuning in to CBC Radio (Canada's national broadcaster), I heard the show's host interviewing some of the TLA award recipients. I was struck by her comment to the award winners that, "it takes a lot of courage" to tell their stories in public.
It's become abundantly clear that girls with ADHD have fallen between the cracks. In Attention Difference Disorder (2011) psychiatrist Kenny Handelman says that while the ratio of ADHD is actually equal in males and females, we’re still diagnosing 3 to 4 times as many boys. In Suffering in Silence: Women with Adult ADHD, F. Xavier Castellanos, MD, director of the Institute for Paediatric Neuroscience at the New York University Child Study Centre says it's even worse, that the ratio of males to females being treated is as high as nine males for every one girl. But let's look at the bright side. Given typical ADHD symptoms in girls, ADHD symptoms in girls have a great chance of being magnified in today’s social climate. Maybe, finally, we’ll sit up and take notice - and get these girls the help they need (and deserve). Let’s examine why the time is right for ADHD symptoms in girls.