ADHD: Yeah, It Exists, No Matter What the Attention-Seeking Doctor on TV Says

In the past year or so, my son Noah was diagnosed with ADHD. It’s been a hard road to walk (and that’s a post I’m not writing today), but along the way I learned that I have ADHD, too.

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Suddenly MANY THINGS from my childhood onward made a lot of sense. My adult life makes more sense. Medication has helped both Noah and me to function more successfully in the world.

You know what sucks more than having a condition like ADHD? Having people tell you it doesn’t exist. Morons like this guy perpetuate this myth to the detriment of people like ME and MY SON. Why do people harp on this condition in particular? Do they tell people with depression to get happy? Do they tell anxious people to relax?

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The moment ADHD comes up in a conversation with someone who doesn’t know I have it or that Noah has it, I often hear some version of clucking about “kids these days” being “overmedicated.” No one can usually specifically name one of these children, accurately describe the condition of the child, or remark on the effect of the meds, and relate the doctors’ determinations (often it’s an anecdote about a child they know tangentially). But they can go on for a good while about kids, you know, these days.

Here’s the truth: families go through a lot, generally speaking, before medicating a child. No one sees it as a first option. No one I know takes it lightly. It cost us many hundreds of dollars to first assess what was going on with our son, and then to seek the right treatment–in fact, that’s an ongoing process. It hurts when people flippantly protest this treatment in a general way.

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For Noah, medication is involved, and his teachers from both kindergarten and first grade can testify that it was and is sorely needed. It has made a nearly immeasurable difference in his behavior and academic performance. For example, this year Noah went from not being in the highest reading group–something I knew wasn’t reflective of his innate abilities–to reading at a fourth-grade level. In first grade. Because now he can sit and focus long enough to realize his potential.

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Please learn about ADHD for yourself from reputable sources before forming an opinion. I’ve included some resources on this page for further reading.

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2 thoughts on “ADHD: Yeah, It Exists, No Matter What the Attention-Seeking Doctor on TV Says

  1. I feel like holding hands with you right now and singing, “Go tell it on the mountain!”

    My kiddo has been diagnosed and on medication since first grade where he was testing as gifted by also biting his classmates and, in generally, being a super smart six year old that was acting like an ornery 3 year old. Now, he’s at the top of his classes, has a pretty solid understanding of the way his brain works and can usually sidestep distraction before it becomes a problem. Are we out of the woodwork? Newp. Not by a long shot. He still has trouble with executive function – making lists, getting organized, tackling large projects, etc – and the more I learn about this facet of his condition, the more I realized I HAVE POOR EXECUTIVE FUNCTION. And, just like you, so much about my childhood makes so much more sense.

    I’m in the process of putting things in order so that I can start to get a better handle on all the things that I once blamed on being an overstretched single mother. Now that I’m married and not so stretched, I should be remembering to do things and capable of creating order in my life. I haven’t had insurance for … um, forever. But now that I’m insured, I need to get off my duff and get myself tested properly.

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    1. Jami, I would love to hear more about your thoughts and progress regarding your ADHD & treatment. Another interesting topic: being a girl, and then a woman, with ADHD. Often our symptoms are not “classic” and we go untreated, as here.

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