Fake ADHD Isn’t Real (Part 4 of 7)

Many people have an old-fashioned notion of willpower, leftover, I think, from a Victorian notion of morality.  Technology, science, and medicine change rapidly, but culture and social structure, in many ways, change at a glacial pace.  Slavery ended in 1863, yet we arguably still feel effects of this scourge today.

Charlotte Perkins Gillman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper,” published in the 1890’s is about post-partum depression/psychosis and the popular “rest cure” for well-off women of that era which consisted of nothing less than solitary confinement.  In the story, the narrator complains to her husband that although she may be getting better in body, she’s not making any progress in her mind and may be getting worse.  His reply:

I beg of you, for my sake and for our child’s sake, as well as for your own, that you will never for one instant let that idea enter your mind! There is nothing so dangerous, so fascinating, to a temperament like yours.

This dialogue belies a belief that many people have today.  If one is depressed, the advice is “just don’t let it bother you,” that one can just shut it out.  Likewise, the common advice for those suffering from ADHD is to “try harder.”  (The better advice is “try differently,” but that’s for another post.)

Part of intellectual maturity is to recognize that people are different in mind and see the world and function in different ways. This lesson comes to me all the time when I grade papers with students.  I’ve had students thank me for a D and storm out of my office for a B+.  I’ve always thought that personal essays are more fun and easier to write than research papers, but I’ve had students tell me the opposite is true for them.  Having autistic children helps me understand different minds too.

(Next: Everyone is a little ADHD. Especially professors.)

All my posts on ADHD Fakeness.

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Photo by flood llama

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ADHD Awareness Month

Well, I’m late as usual on this because it is ADHD Awareness Month and I was only aware of it as of today, said month being nearly over.  But here is an important means of battling the ADHD myths:

7 Facts You Need to Know about ADHD:

  1. ADHD is real
  2. ADHD is a common, non-discriminatory disorder
  3. Diagnosing ADHD is a complex process
  4. Other mental health conditions often occur along with ADHD
  5. ADHD is not benign
  6. ADHD is nobody’s fault
  7. ADHD treatment is multi-faceted

Full discussion, handout, poster, and references here:

http://www.adhdawarenessmonth.org/adhd-facts/

Anno Domini High Definition

I don’t know what this has to do with ADHD, but it’s pretty.

ADHD and Fakeness

Two articles on the (un)reality of ADHD:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/09/adhd-or-childhood-narcissism/279660/

ADHD, or Childhood Narcissism?

The Atlantic

All too often, forces conspire in the doctor’s office to ensure that any discussion about a child’s predicament is brief, compact, and symptom-focused instead of long, explorative, and developmentally focused, as it should be. The compactness of the discussion in the doctor’s office may even be reassuring to parents who are baffled and exasperated by their kid’s behavior. It is easy to understand why parents may favor a sure and swift approach, with a discussion converging on checking off lists of symptoms, floating a diagnosis of ADHD, and reviewing options for medication.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2365911/

Public Knowledge, Beliefs, and Treatment Preferences Concerning Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

(via NIH)

Conclusion:

The public is not well informed about ADHD. Future media and educational efforts should seek to provide accurate information about ADHD, with a special effort to reach specific populations such as men, nonwhite minority groups, and older Americans.