Wednesday, November 24, 2010

ADHD: Not quite what you think it is. Or isn't. Cross-posted from one of my personal blogs

This is fairly impromptu, but hearing a couple of people talking and spreading their bullshit opinions made me angry and I felt the need to write this.

I am fed up with people who have no clue about something giving their opinion and talking shit when they have no business doing so.

Just so that you all know:

  • ADHD is a REAL disorder. 
  • Stimulants have been used to treat it since the first half of the 20th century.
  • Caffeine is a STIMULANT. This means that someone who has ADHD and is drinking 20 cups of coffee per day is more likely to be self-medicating than to be causing his symptoms.
  • ADHD is genetic. The genes which are responsible for it have been mapped. It runs in families. So yes, you WILL find families where mum, dad and all the kids are diagnosed and on Ritalin. There is nothing "odd" or "suspicious" about it.
  • ADHD brains are NOT the same as normal brains. The frontal and temporal lobes are underdeveloped. MRI scans have shown this.
  • ADHD is NOT a behavioural disorder, it is a developmental disorder. Hence the lack of DEVELOPMENT in key areas of the thinking/reasoning part of the brain.
  • Parents are NOT trying to zombify their kids. Neither are the teachers. It would be nice if the system was set up to have special resources and support for these kids, but sadly it doesn't. The best we can do is help them fit the world by altering their brain chemistry to resemble that of "neurotypical" kids.
  • ADHD is not just for kids. Plenty of adults never "grow out" of their ADHD. And that's why you'll get the whole family on the meds situation.
So don't talk about things you don't actually understand. Don't just repeat things you hear because they sound all conspiratory. Don't talk out of your arse until you've actually learned something about what you're talking about.

Stop saying how terrible it is that kids are medicated unless you've read up on how the medication works. Stop talking about misdiagnosis and overdiagnosis unless you understand the diagnostic criteria.

Basically, stop being a twit and LEARN SOMETHING.


  1. :)

    One of the things it's trying to do is educate people about the above points.

  2. Yep and this goes for all illnesses (mental and otherwise) that people talk crap about...