ADHD's Witty Slide Into Depression

With my ADHD brain, I start thinking about money, or age, or politics, and the next thing I know I'm composing epitaphs. For myself.
Treating ADHD Blog | posted by Bill Mehlman
Bill Mehlman blogs about treating adult ADHD for

There's a poem by Dorothy Parker that I think about from time to time. Here it is:


Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

Ms. Parker was renowned for her wit, none of which I will present here. Look it up. She deserves it. But she's also a vivid reminder that "witty" doesn't necessarily have any connection with "happy."

I'd like to think that I've been witty at times about my attention deficit disorder. If nothing else, the odds are that I've been witty far more often than I've been happy. I usually shuffle through life, trying to avoid trouble, and I'm usually successful for a while. Then…well, you know the Krazy Kat comics, where Ignatz the mouse always bounces a brick off of Krazy Kat's head? That's me. I'm minding my own beeswax, trying to get through the day, when the bad stuff comes flying across the street and clobbers me.

That's not ADHD, that's depression. I don't know what does it, or why the meds don't always go 'Shields up!' and block the brick.

If I had to guess, I'd say that at least in my case, which is the only one I'm qualified to speculate about, it almost always has a "cigar is just a cigar" trigger. I start thinking about money, or age, or politics, and the next thing I know I'm composing epitaphs. For myself. If it weren't so pathetic it would be comical.

OK, I can't resist: Ms. Parker and her cohort were fond of playing word games. Once she was challenged to use the word "horticulture" in a sentence, and, without missing a beat, she came up with, "You can lead a horticulture but you can't make her think." She was the unchallengeable queen of the "Damn, I wish I'd said that" although later in life she disparaged her fame at what she considered shallow intellectual follies.

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