THIS JUST IN: Today’s regularly scheduled blog post has been temporarily canceled due to incoming information.
This may shock you, but apparently, adult ADHD does NOT exist!
OK, more accurately, make that, not everyone out there agrees that adult ADHD exists. Still – shocking, I know.
Yes, yes, I can hear your cries of protest…in YOUR world, your employer has made ample accommodations for your, shall we say, “special” style of organization; your spouse routinely forgives you for forgetting his birthday; your teenage daughter doesn’t mind when your mood swings are worse than her PMS, but – yup – believe it or not – apparently, this ADHD thing is “all in your head.”
Like me, you probably need sound research and expert opinions from knowledgeable, educated professionals in whatever field you’re forming opinions about, but – bear with me – sometimes an argument is just too compelling to ignore, no matter the source (And you know how highly sensitive I am – make an impassioned appeal to me, and I’ll listen!).
So, without further adieu, I’d like to share the comment I awoke to at 6:30 a.m. this morning. Good morning, Zoë!
Maybe your just nuts and it’s all in your head. I mean come on.. Adult ADHD..get serious people. Your just using a cover up for your rudeness and life long inability to cope in a social place. You all cry for attention, but your under appreciated, therefore you must draw attention by claiming you have some sort of mental illness. Get over yourself.
Damn! Have I ever been wasting my time here at Psych Central. All those hours of research, self-reflection, reading and responding to your comments… when I could have been sitting on the couch eating bon-bons. Poop. Another bad choice. And I’m not even rich and famous yet! I should write to Jessica to get the details from her about this “draw attention” thing, I seem to have missed the boat. She sounds like a gal who would know.
OK, OK, here’s what I REALLY wrote back to her (once I woke up a bit more, read her comment a couple more times, and realized she was serious):
Jessica, you’re entitled to your opinion, although I’d be curious to know by what authority (degree in psychiatry, research of current literature, etc.) you arrived at it.
It might shock some (but I’m sure, not most) of my blog readers to learn that at one point, I pretty much shared it. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why I was rude at times and unable to cope, as most do, in noisy crowded situations or highly stressful ones (mostly at work). Everyone else blamed me, so of course, I also believed it must be my fault, and if I only tried harder, I could change. Try I did, just about everything – counseling, yoga, reading self-help books, etc., etc., etc. I didn’t want to be rude or mean, was highly motivated to change, but couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried. I think your comment implies a tacit acceptance of this behavior, which is not true at all. I hated it more than anyone.
Yet, would you also criticize the inappropriate blurting of someone with Tourrette’s Syndrome? Did you know some researchers link ADHD with Tourrette’s? Remember, once we all believed the earth was flat…if you thought it was round during that time in history, I might have thought you were crazy, too.
The Aha! moment came for me when I began to read about ADHD and saw myself reflected there – word for word. Is it a coincidence that only then, plus using medication, could I begin to understand the reason for my behaviours and to figure out – after 47 years of unsuccessful but sincere attempts! – how to change them? Although they have changed, I have no more or less attention now, but I’m much happier. And so are those around me! Do you really think if I, or anyone else for that matter, was satisfied being “rude” and “unable to cope in social situations” that I would have agonized over not finding an antidote? Do you think anyone REALLY wants to be criticized, put-down, ostracized and isolated by their closest friends, colleagues, family, etc. and suffer the shame, pain and hurt of that? If you think anyone but a masochist wants that for themself, my dear, you would have to be much crazier than I!
Anyway, I have no interest in trying to convince you or anyone else that adult ADHD exists. But I do have a great interest in helping others to learn about it so that they, too, can benefit from that knowledge.
Perhaps some with ADHD will, as I did, continue to suffer, always looking for that missing key that will unlock the reasons and antidote for why they just can’t seem to move forward in their lives – and they will, as you do, continue to believe it’s “all in their head.” (ie., they are making it up). I did that for the first few months after my diagnosis. But the research mounted (my own, and others).
Bottom line – even if it IS “all in my head” – I know how I felt doubting it, and how much (really, how little!) progress I made towards my goals while I disbelieved its existence, and how I feel and how much progress I’ve made (tons) believing that it is NOT just me, that it IS a real condition (I don’t think of it as a “mental illness”) – and I definitely am a happier, healthier, more productive and kinder person going on the basis that adult ADHD does exist and is a serious problem.
And why would we want to deny that opportunity for happiness to any fellow human being?
Wishing YOU every happiness,
And so, dear blog readers, do not despair. Deluded as I am, I fully intend to continue creating these fanciful little missives for you for as long as you’ll have me!
NOTE: For more information, as Jeff has already done an admirable job of covering the whole, “ADD is a Fraud” topic, please visit these links: