This being my first posting to ADDitude, some full disclosure...
by Bill Mehlman
I am NOT: a neurologist (or any other flavor of M.D.), a psychiatrist, a psychologist or a researcher. The only postnomials I'm qualified to tag on behind my name (post-nomial, see?) are a slightly tattered B.A. in English Lit.
I was diagnosed with ADHD, at the "whoa, Nellie!" level, about five years ago at an eminent hospital here in New York City. Prior to that, I always knew there was something dysfunctional about me, something less concrete and less defined than some of the other plagues visited upon me by insidious genes. It was a relief. I could stop trying to kill ghosts and concentrate on knitting up the loose ends in my brain.
I believe that ADHD is a real medical issue, as opposed to a purely psychological or emotional problem. I have no idea whether it can be "cured" although at this point I'm respectfully skeptical. I absolutely believe that the symptoms can be controlled to the point where you, the ADHD sufferer, are leading your life, rather than having your life lead you around in circles. My interest in writing these little essays, aside from gathering some beer money, is to investigate schemata for coping with, and minimalizing the effects of ADHD.
In addition to being a writer, I'm a copyeditor and proofreader — a Ninja for clear, accurate prose (and yes, Virginia, there absolutely are rules). The point of this is that I refuse, point-blank, to write or say "everyone has their own opinion" or equally fudgy constructions. Hence, I tend to write "he" and ”she" when I'm referring to a single person. It's not sexism, mesdames, it's good grammar. Please: no letters until you've read the Chicago Manual of Style, cover to cover.
Last words. Unless you're totally tone deaf, or bored silly at this point, or—Egad, Holmes, it's the footprint of a giant HOUND!!—suffer from ADHD and lost the thread of this posting back around "postnomial" you might think that I'm a total wiseass. Absolutely right. Don't take it personally, don't assume that I'm mocking the afflicted. I am one. It's the way I face the demons. If I tried to write the way the mandarins among you wished, you'd all be asleep by now.