This may rub some people the wrong way but the truth of the matter is, as someone who has been diagnosed with adult non-hyperactive ADHD, I do not know if it exists. Now when I say that, I am NOT saying it doesn’t exist either.
*WHAT I AM NOT HERE TO DO IS INVALIDATE ANYONE’S EXPERIENCE/STRUGGLE WITH THIS DIAGNOSIS.*
I am simply admitting to my ignorance on the subject matter. I have simply not had the time to fully delve into this subject, at least to a point where I feel like I can have a real objective view on it anyways.
That being said, to invalidate the struggles of those diagnosed with this disorder or view it as ‘lesser than’ others, I think, is a far cry from the level of empathy and humility that we should be practicing as human beings.
As far as I know, among-st young boys, ADHD is over-diagnosed, whilst, among-st young girls, especially those with high IQs and who do no employ the hyperactive component, it is under-diagnosed.
Beyond that, there are many (proven or unproven I don’t know) theories as to why it exists or, at the very least, presents itself as a disorder. The general consensus seems to be that there is a lack of certain chemicals/hormones in the brain or that these hormones/chemicals do not function the way they are supposed to. There are also some other lesser-known theories out there that claim developmental trauma is the root cause of these symptoms as well as the idea that ADHD is simply a divergent way of thinking which does not fit into the way our society functions.
I am also not an individual who simply thinks medication is the immediate answer. Yes, I am on medication myself and it has saved my life but it’s a very personal choice and journey.
At the end of the day I am not an expert on this and I can not make claims that I have not fully educated myself on.
What I do know is this:
- Nearly one hundred percent of the time when people claim it doesn’t exist, it’s not based on any thorough research but simply an idea that they have been spoon fed via their specific political/spiritual ideology.
- Nearly one hundred percent of the time, the people I have met within the ADHD community are not lazy or stupid. Rather, nearly one hundred percent of the time they are some of the most hard-working and smartest individuals I have ever come across.
- Nearly one-hundred percent of the time, when you state that this diagnosis, for an absolute fact, does not exist, you discourage very vulnerable individuals, especially children, from seeking out the help they need, or from, at the very least, seeking out solutions that may vary from the usual Western medical paradigm. Furthermore, when you state that these individuals are lazy, you invalidate what is an extreme struggle, especially for those who are high on the spectrum. You could even push them to the edge, with many individuals diagnosed with this disorder also suffering from major co-morbid depression and anxiety.
- Those who have been officially diagnosed, at least the ones I have met, really do struggle with executive function, planning, concentration and so forth. Many of them also have full blown or at least tendencies that are related to autism, OCD, GAD, depression, eating disorders and the list goes on and on. Whether the diagnosis is objective or not, the struggle still remains very real in the minds and lives of those affected.I don’t understand why it is so difficult for us to simply admit to not knowing everything, especially when it’s a topic that could really hurt other individuals in a very real way.
At the end of the day, I can not tell you what to think or say, but it does have a real influence, especially when the people affected are those really struggling, whether you want to view it as an official diagnosis or not.
Is your urge to live in the known and your ego too big for you to admit to ignorance that you would rather risk hurting vulnerable individuals?
Have your opinions and your thoughts and your debates. Freedom of speech is great and in no way do I want to take that away.
However, practicing some empathy and sensitivity down that road could save someone’s life.
It’s your choice. Words do matter.