Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Comments by tylerpage

Showing 7 of 7 comments.

  • I “have” ADD. Diagnosed at 8 and treated with Ritalin for 8 years. Re-diagnosed as an adult. I am a successful, high-functioning adult. ADD/ADHD is not an illness and I disagree with a lot about modern psychiatry and the way “mental illnesses” are perceived and treated. I LOVED Anatomy of an Epidemic and Bob Whitaker’s writings. They were a revelation to me about many things. But dismissing a chunk of the populations experiences and suffering doesn’t help anyone. I got tired of trying to explain my experiences to other people so I wrote and drew a graphic novel (a big comic book) about ADD from the perspective of someone who has actually lived this life. It’s obvious when posts or news articles like this go up that the writer and commenters have little-to-no firsthand experience with ADD. Go to http://www.raisedonritalin.com and read my book online for free or order a hardcopy. Read that whole book and then we can talk.

  • I do feel bad for those who are mis-diagnosed, mis-medicated, mis-treated, and so forth. Diagnosis is difficult and too many clinicians diagnose in 15 minutes without a second thought. I was lucky enough to have a caring, gentle pediatrician who worked with my family for over a year before pronouncing my ADD. One of the helpful things they did though was not use the label on me. I didn’t hear the term ADD until I was much older and better able to understand. I was on Ritalin for 8 years, until I was in high school. It seemed to have made all the difference in the world. I’m pretty sure I would not be the successful, healthy adult I am today without it.
    That said, it’s not popular to push back against folks who are “thinking of the children.” Labels are both good and bad and doing away with them in one fell swoop is not the answer. Medication should be the very last line of defense instead of the first and they should be used carefully. Antidepressants and atypical antipsychotics should not be given to children, period. Attempts to investigate and solve any social or family problems should be one of the first lines of attack for children who are experiencing any kind of difficulty. The real problem is with our capitalistic healthcare society. If we had a system that was truly focused on helping and healing we would see fewer stories like those above.
    Again, I feel terrible for anyone who has experienced trauma through a diagnosis or medication. I could myself among the lucky. I also think that for every 1 horror story we hear, there are 10 or a 100 people like me.
    (You can read about my story here: http://www.raisedonritalin.com)

  • Y’know, ALL of the disorders listed in the DSM are clinical disorders. There are no biological tests or thresholds for any of them. So tell me, if you don’t “believe” in ADHD, do you also think depression is made up? How do you know if you’re depressed? ADHD is no more an invented disorder or difference than schizophrenia or major depressive disorder. The fact you’re citing Dr. Breggin shows you’re full of it. The guy thinks ADHD can be cured with love. Please.

  • As a 37 year old who was on Ritalin for 8 years as a kid, they’d probably be OK if that’s the route you went down. But there are no guarantees. That said, you *should* push back against anyone that seems to be twisting your arm about medication, especially the teachers. It is illegal for teachers to even suggest ADHD or medication…

  • *facepalm*

    “From my perspective, the ADHD movement seems surreal because the behaviors (or as some like to call them “symptoms”) associated with ADHD are just signs of kids being kids!”

    From your perspective?! So you have no firsthand experience with ADHD? I was diagnosed in 1986 and put on Ritalin for 8 years. It helped. Did I *need* it? Maybe not, but it was also the only option available to my parents at the time. The authenticity of ADHD as a valid diagnosis is not questionable – there are behavior and functional differences in that population that set them apart from others. BUT a proper diagnosis – that rules out all other possibilities, needs to be in place first. The ‘epidemic’ of ADHD is indeed nonexistent per se, or manufactured. Too many kids and adults are mis-diagnosed, and too many clinicians give out Ritalin, Adderall, and others like they are aspirin.

    The medical and psychiatric communities, and drug companies have been irresponsible with this diagnosis. But make no mistake – it is real. I’ve been living with it my whole life (I was rediagnosed 3 times as an adult and tried meds again – though they didn’t work well for me as an adult – I’ve been off meds for years now, doing well). Some times have been easier, some times have been more difficult. Finding my place in life has mostly had to do with finding environments that worked well for my personality and behavior. And yes, as a small child, the stuffy nature of public schools was not good for me. I worked hard as I got older to find appropriate avenues for my energy and creativity. I’ve also worked to built a lot of flexibility into my professional life.

    I respect Robert Whitaker and love his books and work, but no where does he question the validity of the diagnosis – that I recall. Questioning the validity of the ADHD diagnosis does more harm than good. It IS noble work to push meds away as a first-line treatment as they are here in the US, and look for better ways of accomodating people, especially kids, who don’t do well in ‘regular’ settings, and finding where they will shine.

    I am aware of the dangers of all the major ADHD drugs. I’ve been on most of them. I’m currently writing my own book about my own experiences (and making use of my own medical records as well). So I understand the fight to find better solutions because yes, these meds are NOT a solution – they are a stop-gap at best and there is growing acceptance in the medical and mental health community of the reality that these meds don’t help long term, and may cause more problems.

    You also write, “The behaviors indicate that most kids have not yet learned or been convinced to adopt the social and behavioral expectations our society wishes they would. It is as if a 5-year-old, someone who has been on this planet for just 60 or so short months, should know exactly how to behave at all times. ”

    This isn’t about ‘learned’ behavior necessarily. I still encounter situations as a 37 year old man in which it is nearly impossible for me to control my behaviors, my emotional reactions, etc. I’ve gotten pretty good at it. But I was terrible as a kid – I lacked those controls completely – my development was behind my peers.

    Interestingly, I am in the process of raising a daughter who is almost exactly like I was as a kid. As a girl she’s a little better in school. And my wife and I will do everything in our power to avoid the question of medication because I don’t think that’s a choice I could make. It’s an issue I still struggle with – would I be who I am without Ritalin? I don’t know. Possibly. Possibly not. There are a lot of factors at play.

    I’m hoping your book takes a more nuanced approach because based on this post you don’t understand ADHD at all. If your mission is simply for us to stop medicating ADHD kids then “Debunking ADHD” is a terrible title for a book.

    And finally, I have tried to avoid any personal attacks and I’m sorry if I come across as a jerk, but this shit pisses me off.