Myth or Myth-er?

13 09 2010

Before I knew I had ADHD I was as uneducated about it as the next uneducated person. Sorry that sounds redundant, but bear with me.

It all ADDs up now …

I didn’t understand ADHD but I also knew I was easily distracted. This knowledge allowed me to be compassionate with people who had ADHD. Okay, I didn’t know if I knew any ADHD-ers. Turns out I did and still do now, but I wasn’t made aware that they were ADHD-ers back then. But, damn it, I was understanding of people who were easily distracted.

What the hell is wrong with people?

Since my discovery, I’ve tried to be open with people. I say “I’ve got ADHD.” or “There is a good chance that I’m ADD.” or “Was that a squirrel?” (sorry, couldn’t resist) Some people say “Aaaaah!” in a knowing way and some say “Oh?” and some say “What’s that?” These are the good ones. A long time friend’s first response was “How many books are you reading right now?” Huh?

What’s the story?

My doctor said that Adult ADHD is a fictional diagnosis perpetrated by the pharmaceutical companies. Whoa! That stung. It seems people will take just about anything they’ve heard as gospel if it’s fantastic enough. And that’s a problem. There are some myths that do no harm, like the idea that the sun rises in the east each morning. A solar system sized perspective would reveal the sun being stationary and us rolling around towards it, but still we say “as certain as the sunrise” and mean it.

Warning, may contain myth-information!

Fraudulent use of misinformation, however, is not just inconvenient, it’s dangerous. Okay, I’d maybe be alright without a diagnosis. Most likely I’d be no worse off than I was a year ago, but maybe I could be so much better. And hey, who has the right to give out information that might keep me from finding help that could very well improve my quality of life? Who? No one, that’s who!

So here’s the bottom line today: Trust your health care practitioner, but check up on the information they give you. I gave my doctor the benefit of the doubt, I assumed she’d been too busy to keep up on everything. I have taken it upon myself to assist her in her education. If she has 2,000 adult patients, she has at least 80 of us ADHD-ers. I’m doing this for them as well as her and myself. I’m keeping my cool and hoping to recruit new team members instead of taking offence and creating an antagonistic situation that won’t help anyone.

I need a volunteer

So, does anyone out there want to lend her your copy of Driven to Distraction? If not, I guess I’ll loan her mine … when I feel she’s ready.




2 responses

13 09 2010

Great post, Kelly. In regard to, “My doctor said that Adult ADHD is a fictional diagnosis perpetrated by the pharmaceutical companies,” unfortunately, your doc isn’t the only one bandying this rumour about. Your blog readers might find Jeff’s (Jeff’s ADD Mind) article, “It’s All In Your Head: The Logic of the A.D.D. Deniers,” enlightening. Here’s the URL:

13 09 2010

Thanks Zoë, nice to know someones out there reading, and thanks for the link. Warning: Jeff’s ADD Mind is not for the faint of heart, but it is required reading for all us ADHD-ers so take a deep breath and click the link.

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