This was one of the first non-review pieces I wrote last year after being diagnosed with ADHD later on in my life. I was constantly trying to research ways to help study or tricks of the trade, but instead all I found was doctors trying to minimize my experiences. Frustrated, I did the research and added my own 2-cents to a debate that never seems to consider ask people with ADHD how they feel.
By VERONICA YARON
“Brat Syndrome”. Convenient excuse. Kids being kids. These are all the name articles claiming that ADHD, or Attention Deficit Disorder, is some phantom disability diagnosed by overzealous parents and doctors.
Dr. Richard Worth, a specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry, defines ADHD as “having (an) inappropriate degree of inability to focus, hyperactivity and impulsiveness that can lead to adults and children having difficulty at school, work, in relationships, (and to be plagued) with low self-esteem.”
The key phrase here is “inappropriate degree”, so having ADHD should not to be confused with kids being kids or someone who is a bit quirky.
Forbes magazine explained that “ADHD is the product of a biochemical dysfunction within the brain due to low levels of dopamine production.”
Because ADHD is biochemical in nature, for around 40 years, ADHD has been treated with psychostimulants such as the generic versions of Ritalin, Adderall, and Concerta.
The University of Maryland Medical Center explains that “these drugs increase dopamine, a neurotransmitter (messengers in the brain) important for cognitive functions such as attention and focus,”
However controversy began springing up over the absurd debate that ADHD is some kind of socially constructed disorder.
In 2014, Dr. Bruce Perry, “a second world-renowned scientist”, came forth with claim that ADHD was apparently “not a real disease, but a description of symptoms,” in the words of Daily Mail.
He also offered using various activities to naturally “cure” ADHD, such as practicing yoga and playing the drums. However in reality, both activities that are nearly impossible for one with ADHD to focus on and perform without being medicated.
Perry’s ignorance on the subject ignored the reality of an actual chemical issue within the brain, by covering it up through the notion of over stimulating someone who cannot properly take it all in.
The media portrays me and others with ADHD as liars and brats: malicious, destructive, antisocial and literally bouncing off the walls. It is this kind of ignorance that causes those with ADHD to suffer in silence, unmedicated, undiagnosed, frustrated and ashamed with our own minds under a blanket of socially perpetuated stigmas.