If you are not familiar with Dr. Amen, he has done quite extensive work on ADHD / ADD and the brain. He has eight clinics, and an extensive collection of scans that can show how different brains look using SPECT imaging. It is truly fascinating.
There are many critics of his work (as with anyone’s work) but I believe it is pioneering. The more we are able to capture images in the brain / determine the differences between a healthy brain and an unhealthy brain, the sooner people will understand that there should be no shame associated with different conditions affecting the brain.
There is always the negative perception that conditions like depression, ADHD, anxiety, etc. are ‘all in the head’. That we should just be able to control it, to ‘snap out of it’. It seems logical, especially to those that do not experience brain issues.
Rationally, though, you cannot stop your heart from attacking, or your lungs from getting cancer. You can certainly do preventative things, but you can’t completely control those organs. Just like you can’t completely control the brain.
I think the more we share with others the biological components of the brain, the more empathy we will get from others. Brain disease does not excuse a behavior, but if the person gets help, is taking steps to improve, and still is dealing with issues, they need to be accepted and accommodated for like anyone else.
Go back to the post on the benefits of ADHD. I really feel there are many, and if we continue to work on how it affects us negatively we are much more equipped to capitalize on how it affects us positively.
Last reviewed: 15 Apr 2010