Talking About ADHD
Return to "Don't Call It a Disorder."

"Don't Call It a Disorder."

Your ADHD brain is not a burden or a handicap, but it does make life challenging at times. Here's how I accentuate the positive when speaking to my young patients about their Turbo brains.

5 Comments: "Don't Call It a Disorder."

  1. I forgot to mention, Hallowell was an advocate for LGBT people long before it was cool. He had either a brother or a cousin who was gay. It’s in his autobiography, “Because I Come From A Crazy Family”. I never finished it-I start far mor books than I finish-but I really enjoyed what I did read.

  2. Blevadhd1979,
    I do not believe you would have reacted so negatively if you knew Dr. Hallowell’s body of work.
    He is well aware of the negative aspects of ADHD, and often talks about them. He has been treating people with ADHD for decades, longer than just about anybody. He has prescribed trainloads of medication; he is not against them. This article is not denying those things. It just has a different topic.
    In all his years working with thousands of people with ADHD, as well as his own experience with his own ADHD, he has slowly come to the conclusions you see above.
    Since your experience of ADHD has been overwhelmingly negative, it may sound strange and unbelievable that the condition could have anything positive about it. Even more unbelievable is the idea that it is a net positive; more good than bad. I am with you there. I can’t see it either. The article above does NOT describe my experience at all.
    But Dr. H’s writings have meant a lot to me over the years. He has been a staunch advocate for us. He was one òf the first to point out positive aspects of this way of being. I don’t buy some of what he says. In fact, I get mad at him sometimes, like when he lumps ALL ADHDers in with the subset that are hyperactive and impulsive like he is. But on the balance I respect him. I say give him a chance. Check out some of his books from the library, or listen to his podcast. You might be surprised to find a new friend.

  3. I am willing to accept and I believe I have some gifts/skills that came with ADHD. I am generally not at all embarrassed about the ADHD. At first I kind of ‘mourned’ being different, but many famous people have this ‘quality’ of having a brain with a different ‘tune up’ you could say, and I am not sure if hypothetically I was given a choice, that I would want my brain tuned to ‘normal’. Some things are much harder for me to do/complete/accomplish but I feel smarter than a lot of others nevertheless. That doesn’t make me better nor worse only different. I have been using Ritalin for about 25 years since I was about 45 yrs old. I might have phrased the Doctor’s comments differently but I can’t totally disagree with him either. Be willing to be great in some ways!!

  4. Right on, Blevhd1979! ADD is nothing to brag about! I have paid dearly for this ****ing brain defect. I can count at least 4 major social faux pas that cost me my reputation and at least one job firing. I always knew there was something wrong and just last year at age 60, I found out the name of this suspect. Had this been publicly known when I was in high school my life would have been miserable.

    Without directing this to anyone in particular, let’s assume that a person has incurable gonorrhea? Would anyone in their right mind wear a t-shirt that proclaims “I Have Gonorrhea!”? Uh, I didn’t think so. There is a well defined boundary between high-minded principle and inspired stupidity.

    A self-employed person can take reckless chances but up to a point. For those of us who are workin’ for da man, this is not an option if you want to keep your job and maintain at least a modicum of respect from your peers.

  5. This is such a ridiculous post from a doctor. It’s like you’re trying to glorify the issue. Like there is a privilege to have ADHD. As a child I had obvious signs of having it. Thanks to doctors and news reports my parents were against medicating me for it. Which made it far more difficult as an adult to get treated. I did terrible in school because it’s like my brain was never my own no matter how hard I tried. Trying to get medicated as an adult I was treated like a drug addicted by almost every doctor I’d see. Having a limited number I could choose from with my insurance. Here you are acting as if picking a doctor is a fun task or finding new school clothes. It’s cost me jobs and relationships/ friendships. Yet you paint it like an Indiana Jones adventure. I hate to think of the people who’ve read this garbage who’s looking into getting help or medication. Oh and notice my terrible sentence structure. You can chalk that up to my minds adventure during every English class I barely passed or had to retake. Knowing I was gay and having anxiety and adhd ontop made me feel even more like an outcast. Oh but thank the lord for my magnificent brain that I’m so lucky to have.

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