Dangerous? Or helpful?

Dangerous? Or helpful?

I read a lot about ADHD. And I don’t limit my reading to the scientific studies, although that is certainly some of what I read.

I also read blogs like mine from people who experience ADHD first hand.

Additionally I read posts from clinicians and mental health care providers. Most of these people know what they’re talking about. Good thing too, they’re who many of us lean on for help.

But I also read things from people who like to pretend that they are presenting a well thought out and equally supported alternate theory or two about ADHD.

No, I won’t go there today

When I write about those ones, I usually sound a bit bitter and angry. Sorry about that, but you see, when I do write about those ones … I am a bit bitter and angry. You see, they’re misleading at best, and downright lying at worst.

And then there are the ones who just denounce ADHD as fake. And I have come to realize that many of the naysayers are likely not only deluded about ADHD, but are often likely deluded about the extent to which ADHD is affecting them.

Or possibly they’re not deluded by that effect at all, they just want the potential diagnosis to go away so they can go back to thinking of themselves as normal.

This just in …

I have great news for them. Having ADHD is as normal as can be. One in 20 and possibly even as many as one in ten have ADHD, so welcome to normalcy.

But the ones who start decrying ADHD medication therapy as wrong and dangerous are the ones that get my ire up the most lately. Their zealous, fervent ranting against medication can have nothing but negative effects on the potential of this therapy to help people with ADHD.

Suggesting that the medications are over prescribed is the same as saying the disorder is over-diagnosed. And we know that is wrong. And suggesting that those meds are addictive for people with ADHD is again wrong. While they help with focus and attention and other executive function aspects, many people with ADHD are unhappy with the meds and their side effects. Unhappy to the point that they decide to go without.

And that’s not all

Additionally, people with ADHD can often forget to take their meds. This has happened to me personally. Does that sound like an addict? “Man, I forgot my meds today, but I’m so jonesin’ for some …” not really, eh?

And lastly, and this is from personal experience here, when I discovered that my meds were causing at least part of the increased anxiety I was suffering from, and added to that the fact that I was on blood pressure medication solely to be able to continue taking those meds, I decided I would be better off without them, at least for a while. So I stopped taking them.

I … just …. stopped …..

There was no withdrawal. There was no regret. There was nothing.

No, I lie. There was something. Whenever anything made me realize I had not taken my meds, there was immediately the thought that I was on my own, and I was succeeding anyway. And then the thought that my blood pressure was almost back to normal. And then the quick indexing of my anxiety. How good it felt to be able to say definitively that I was feeling less anxious.

But there was never a thought given to missing the so called “addictive” substance that had helped me get a handle on what it was I was trying to achieve in my behavior and focus.

Not one second’s thought. Nothing. Does that sound like an addiction?

So the real threat of ADHD medication is that it might well have helped.