ADHD Doesn’t Exist (the book)

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    Getittogethergirl
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    Has anybody read the book, ADHD doesn’t exist by Richard Saul? I just skimmed it because I could hardly stomach it and I wanted to briefly vent about it. I was diagnosed close to a year ago and was thrown into the grief cycle of realizing I had a neurological disorder but also the liberation of having answers and opportunity for treatment.

    I was just recently off my meds for two days. Those two days made me incredibly grateful for modern medicine that has miraculously taken heavy, unseen burdens off of me. I was emotional thinking about how much I had needlessly suffered before receiving treatment. I am not just talking about socially, either. Off my meds my body is uncomfortably restless 24/7 and, although I may not often outwardly show it, my thoughts and impulses are frantically stirring always. On the outside I am paralyzed with inaction, almost like when 3 different people are shouting different directions to you all at once and it all has the most exhausting effect on me to where I have to get all my responsibilities done in the morning because by 2:00 pm I am exhausted from sensory overload. Sorry, I know you know what ADHD feels like, but I just want to highlight why I am therefore so deeply annoyed by this doctor’s bold, reckless conclusion of ADHD’s non-existence and his perpetuation of a harmful assumption that keeps people from getting the help they need. ADHD is so easy to dismiss if you have not experienced it!

    He posits that ADHD is always explainable by other disorders like depression, anxiety, bi-polar, autism, etc. He says in his treatment of patients, he has treated these “primary disorders” first and the ADHD symptoms have disappeared with the treatment.

    Before I knew I had ADHD I was treated for post-partum depression and anxiety. Guess what, Dr. Saul, my anxiety and depression went away (yay) but my most troubling symptoms lingered and lingered. At the time I did not realize they were “symptoms” as I had dealt with them my whole life. I just had hoped that maybe treating my depression/anxiety would help me in other areas of life I had always struggled in (like procrastination). It didn’t.

    Upon having some suspicions about my 7 year old son’s behaviors being abnormal and being completely ignorant of what ADHD really was, I began heavily researching his behaviors and found them to match up with ADHD. Even more alarming was discovering that my persisting feelings and behaviors were also indicative of ADHD. Off we both went to the doctor. I was fortunate in that the very first dose I took of Adderall was successful. It increased both my hope and grief as I got a glimpse into the brain of a neurotypical adult. Thank goodness I got my proper diagnosis and treatment.

    I am still medicated for anxiety as my doctor didn’t want to take me off old meds while trying new ones, but sometimes I wonder if my anxiety/depression would have disappeared with treatment of my actual “primary condition” — ADHD!

    Regardless, I am extremely grateful for the anxiety and adhd medications that have helped me feel like who I truly am and have helped me accomplish some of the 300,000 goals my ADHD likes to dream up.

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