There’s a cute meme about ADHD that I’ve seen a few times, it’s like a cartoon with panels, in the first a speaker is asking, “What do we want?” and in the second panel the crowd roars, “A cure for ADHD!”
Of course in the third panel the question, “When do we want it?” is asked and the inevitable reply, “SQUIRREL!!!” is in the fourth panel.
It’s cute. It’s funny. And it’s too close to true.
But it also makes me wonder, what do we want?
I want …
Yeah, I’m not sure what I want. I’d love to say that I want to not have ADHD, but I’m not sure what that would be like.
Would my mind be slower? Good lord, would it work at the same speed the world works at? I don’t know if I could take that.
Would the myriad of random associations that my mind notices just disappear?
When I took methylphenidate (Ritalin) I remember being able to concentrate better. That was nice, it wasn’t a cure, and didn’t fix everything that I’m told are the things that make up ADHD.
Additionally it caused anxiety for me, would being neuro-typical be a source of anxiety in my life?
How many times?
How many times have I figuratively reached into a crowd of confused people and placed the correct piece of the puzzle into the correct spot, the piece and the spot that they were all trying to find? How many times has my thinking outside the box been the thing that made something work?
How many times have I said something that made the difference or made people laugh or made the path more obvious and how often was it because my mind was wandering beyond the confines of accepted focus requirements?
If ADHD could be cured, would I lose that?
Now, I’m not saying things wouldn’t be better, but would they be better for me? Or would they just be better for the world?
And now that I think about that, would they be better for the world? Or would the world just think that things were better?
What does the world know?
This is all just speculation of course, I suspect that, since ADHD is a developmental issue there will be no cure until brain surgery reaches microscopic, genetic, or nanobotic levels.
And in the mean time, anything that might crudely cure the subtle intricacies of ADHD’s negative symptoms might also rob us of the positive aspects of our uniquely wonderful minds.
Do I want a cure for ADHD? … Yes, I suppose I do. So long as it is a real cure and doesn’t take away any of the positives of my brains workings.
And when do I want that cure? Weeeeell … I’d have to say that I don’t want it until it is ready and has been proven effective and not damaging in any way to the life I am enjoying right now.
In other words. “… oh look, a squirrel.”