Adult ADHD is Not a Gift?
I had some time to kill between class and my train home on Friday and I spent it watching youtube videos. A waste of time, you say? Nay! I watched videos about Adult ADHD and one in particular by Dr. Russell Barkley about the fact that Adult ADHD is NOT a gift. But, Dr. Barkley, we've been told for so long that ADHD isn't only a bunch of junk that makes it hard for us to focus, but it's something that helps us to be more creative and really good and different things. What is the meaning of this?First off, watch the video. It feels somewhat angry to me, but it's because I'm not his intended audience. Dr. Barkley is speaking to some Canadians that work with those who have ADHD, not physical therapy students from Maryland. Do check it out:
Now, I could be grumpy about what the good Doctor has to say. We could be angry about what he has to say. He does make a good point, though, and here it is: we are NOT ADHD Adults, we are Adults with ADHD.
Let's say it again: we are NOT ADHD Adults, we are Adults with ADHD.
What's the difference? The former says that we are our ADHD and the latter says that it's a what we have and, therefore, a part of who we are. Dr. Barkley mentions famous adults with ADHD and states that we cannot hold their ADHD responsible for their famous-ness (I want to say greatness here, but can we definitively say that being a famous musician equates to having greatness???). There are traits inherent to these famous adults that are entirely unrelated to their ADHD that allowed them to be successful.
I mentioned this video to a friend and she was surprised to hear that ADHD often gets the credit for good things Adults with ADHD do. She couldn't think of anything special that ADHD gives you that is super-duper-great. I mentioned a trait that I think is commonly associated with ADHD: creativity. She followed up by rightly saying that there are many creative people who have not been diagnosed with ADHD. Seriously, how right she is!
We have ADHD; we are not ADHD. It's an important distinction to make, I think, and one that can allow us to feel even better about our accomplishments. We make our success, not our somewhat inattentive, hyperactive brains.
Prager, E. (2013, November 4). Adult ADHD is Not a Gift?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, August 25 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/livingwithadultadhd/2013/11/adult-adhd-is-not-a-gift
Author: Elizabeth Prager
This movement that wants to label this curse as a gift is nothing more than a way of making concerned parents feel better about their great mistake; those nine months in the belly, all those sleepless nights - all that sacrifice - only to find out that your investment is less than ideal. That's all it is - mitigation.
I know of this because I have this curse. I failed at almost everything I've done in life and now am approaching my 40s, unmarried and unaccomplished. I remain single because really, why would I want to pass this curse to an undeserving soul? To be resented like I resent my parents for giving me this debilitation?
And all the because of something the feel-good industrial complex wants to label a gift.
Let's call it what it really is - a brain defect.