Everything I used to know about ADD was wrong. Getting a proper diagnosis and treatment was transformational; like losing 400 pounds, only from the mind rather than the body. I was more productive with far less wear and tear on my soul. Everyone deserves to have this feeling of being in charge of their lives, rather than being a confused victim of mysterious whims. It’s possible.
Rick Green is an award winning producer, director, writer and comedic performer who has made hundreds of innovative television, radio and stage shows including: History Bites, The Red Green Show, Prisoners of Gravity and The Frantics.
Like many adults with ADD, Rick first suspected he might have it when one of his children was being diagnosed. Rick realized he scored higher on the tests than his child. This appealed to his competitive streak.
For a long time, Rick managed his ADD in a, well, ADD kind of way—sporadically, when it reached a crisis. God bless television deadlines. He also unknowingly demonstrated most of the symptoms of ADHD through his disarmingly destructive character “Bill” on The Red Green Show.
The more roles Rick took on—producer, director, actor, writer, teacher, father– the more he took on his ADD. And the more surprised he was at the amount of stigma, misinformation and vitriolic opinion masquerading as fact. Knowing the power that understanding makes in addressing ADHD, Rick created the one-hour documentary ADD and Loving It?!.
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation honoured Rick with their 2009 Celebrity Transforming Lives Award for producing ADD & Loving It?! and his nomination said, “… this will, in one hour, transform how this country views this disorder.”
While it may seem odd for a comedian to be doing something quasi-educational, Rick actually has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics, which he barely earned in his three years at the University of Waterloo. (That didn’t stop the University from naming Rick one of their Top 50 Graduates Of The First 50 Years!) Rick’s first job was teaching at the Ontario Science Centre where he ran demonstrations, wrote and produced science-themed plays, developed exhibits and set his hand on fire with a 40 foot long, 1000 Watt Laser. (Ever see a flame come out of your thumb?) Luckily, he stopped doing science demonstrations and found his calling here on Totally ADD.
Being married to Rick Green has given me insight and understanding to life with ADD. Before we made ADD & Loving It?!, I had a difficult time understanding what Rick was dealing with. Education, support and a game plan has made our lives easier and enriched our relationship. My goal is that Totally ADD is a safe community for anyone affected by ADD. I’ve heard from so many ADDers that just don’t have that kind of support from the people around them. I want them to find that here.
Ava Green is an accomplished video editor and producer, both roles that draw upon, and showcase, her organizational abilities. She is so not ADD it’s sad in a way because she has no idea of the craziness she’s missing out on.
She has participated in many productions including History Bites and the Red Green Show, so maybe she does have some idea. Her work in sports broadcasting with NHL hockey, CFL football and WWF wrestling also gave her some insight into the ADD mindset.
Because Ava is married to Rick Green and step-mother to a child with ADD, she reflects the world of the family who deals with ADD and this comes across in her ability to understand a different perspective.
She is the heart of the team and one that ADDers will feel in the flow of information. Ava represents all of the advocates who have someone with ADHD in their life.
If you’ve had to deal with ADD in someone you love, you’ll recognize Ava’s challenges. And you’ll admire her patience. How does she manage? Ava seeks to find the levity in situations and laughs better and louder than most. She has a killer sense of humour.
Dr. Umesh Jain
This disorder is real. It is genetic. And it causes real impairment. I know that getting a proper diagnosis and educating yourself can totally turn your life around. I am constantly moved and inspired by what my patients achieve. I am committed to providing that for as many people as possible, whether they have ADHD/ADD or not.
Dr. Umesh Jain is a Nova Scotian (this alone may explain a lot about him). He did his undergraduate degree in Math and Economics, his medical school, his Internship and part of his Residency at Dalhousie University and then realized, “What am I doing in Halifax?” (Mind you, Halifax asked the same thing!) He escaped to the University of Pittsburgh where he became a US Board Certified Psychiatrist, finished his child psychiatry fellowship and then went to Toronto where he did his Ph.D. at the Institute of Medical Sciences in 2002. There he also completed his M.Ed. from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in 2007.
The number of degrees he has reflects his need to overcompensate for something. I think we can all guess what it’s about.
Dr. Jain is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He is an internationally recognized scientist and teacher in the area of ADHD, impulsivity in children/adolescents and psychopharmacology with over 50 peer reviewed papers and book chapters, 90 peer-reviewed posters, invited lectures and workshops and over 300 presentations.
Dr. Jain has been involved with both the American and Canadian Academies of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry as a member of their Scientific Boards, Local Chairperson of four of their meetings and on the National Executive of the CACAP for three years.
He began the Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance (CADDRA), an affiliation of all Canadian specialists practicing in the ADHD arena. Dr. J continues to edit the Canadian ADHD Practice Guidelines which is now in its third edition. He has also won the Naomi Rae Grant Award by the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry for this work with ADHD.
In real life, he can be found loitering at the neighborhood Home Depot or Canadian Tire. He lives in Toronto with his four children and his wife, a neonatal specialist. His wife would like you to send him home if you see him buying tools.