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Rick Green from TotallyADD and Jessica McCabe from How To ADHD get together to discuss 4 ADHD Myths

Myth #1 ADHD Isn’t That Serious

Jessica McCabe – How To ADHD
Yeah I really thought this because growing up I had a brother who was autistic and he had very real very observable impairments.   A  lot of what I struggled with was very internal and wasn’t in comparison that big a deal.
So in comparison to what my brother was dealing with I was like, well I’m just struggling to get my homework done, I’m
just having a hard time submitting college applications, I’m just having trouble with these things that everybody has trouble with, so it’s not that big of deal.
So it didn’t inspire me to go and really seek more help than I was getting because I felt like I’m getting medication that’s enough, everything else is just a character defect at that point, or something I should I should be able to overcome on my own.
Rick Green – TotallyADD
So when I was diagnosed, because my child was diagnosed I took it far more seriously than if I just been diagnosed.   I started researching and one of the first statistics was that adolescent drivers, so drivers under 21 have 4* times the rate of multiple car accidents where they are at fault.   You too? Mine were all in parking lot.
Jessica McCabe – How To ADHD
Low speed always low speed, I’ve never been in an accident on a freeway but I’ve hit mailboxes, and other cars, and like I sideswiped a car going down like a side street once, I’ve had fender benders.
One time I was going through a cross-walk, not a crosswalk, I wasn’t driving in a cross-walk.
Rick Green – TotallyADD
She was but now she’s changing her story because the police might see the video.
Jessica McCabe – How To ADHD
I was going through an intersection and I got distracted by a billboard for a chiropractor, but I knew who to go to for the injury!   I think the
chiropractor did it intentionally, the billboard was very distracting.
Rick Green – TotallyADD
That’s interesting he’s drumming up business, injured in a car accident?  At the right intersection you could make a fortune!
Some of the statistics that I read, two to four times the rate of divorce.
Jessica McCabe – How To ADHD
Yeah I’m going through my second.
Rick Green – TotallyADD
Problems with finances , substance abuse and addiction.  No I avoided that one.
Jessica McCabe – How To ADHD
I eat a lot of ice cream.
Rick Green – TotallyADD
Okay now I want ice cream.  We’ll finish the video.  I knew ADHD was serious because I got all of this information and in doing the building the TotallyADD website and all the
videos there I talked to a lot of doctors and in the past ten years, just the understanding and the statistics of the costs of ADHD.
The latest one that just shocked me was, undiagnosed and untreated ADHD takes ten years off your life. Ten years off your life on average.

How Can ADHD Take Years Off Your Life?

How is this possible? Suicide, car accidents, risky behavior, drugs…
Jessica McCabe – How To ADHD
Dr. Barkley is talking about this, ADHD is a risk factor for all of these other conditions, that’s why it’s so serious.  You’re more predisposed to things like anxiety, depression,  substance use, car accidents, obesity and all of these things that are, they’re really
serious, smoking and all of these things, and we are at a higher risk for it.
So while it might not be the ADHD itself what that ADHD leads to is very serious.
Rick Green – TotallyADD
So this myth from the beginning for me was kind of like, oh it’s okay, but as I learn more, then I was voracious.  I want to know more about ADHD because I was dismissing it.
Myth #1 and #2 sort of morphed together, here’s…
I don’t remember what number? One?  Three? Myth #787
ADHD Myths #3

There’s Nothing Wrong With You, You Are Successful

Jessica McCabe – How To ADHD
We’ve both been on television.  I was on an episode of Monk you were on way more episodes of television than I was,  but because you’re doing okay a lot of times people aren’t worried about you.
I was in college and you know, I was smart and I tested well and I had a college counselor tell me ‘we’re not worried about you. You’re not just going to just go to college, you’re going to go to a nice university, we’re not worried about you’ so I was like, well I guess I don’t have to worry about this.
I dropped out. I dropped out of Community College is what actually happened, but because on the surface I seemed competent and successful you know “successful” and I tested well, and I had all these external markers of potential, people weren’t worried.
Rick Green – TotallyADD
My family were very worried but then I got on television, but it was the same thing where I went ‘well I’ve got it pretty well handled because I’m on television’  I have no money in the bank, but I’m on television!
ADHD Myth #4

The Only Treatment You Need is Medication

Jessica McCabe – How To ADHD
It does not solve everything.  I took medication except for a couple of years when a well-meaning boyfriend convinced me that I shouldn’t take it because side effects, of which by the way I had none.
I had like mild appetite suppression and that was it, but he was worried about possible cardiac issues even though I had very low blood pressure.   Well, turns out I didn’t have side effects on the medication really, but there are a lot of side effects of untreated ADHD that I discovered over those two years.
Other than that I did take medication over the course of like 20 years and I was never offered anything else, and because it was so effective for me I thought that that was enough and everything else I just had to… I don’t know, be a better person or try harder.
I didn’t know that there are other treatments for ADHD besides medication because that’s all I had been offered, and month after month I would go to a psychiatrist and they’d be like you know how are your meds doing? Are your meds working? and I’d say
yes, and they’d be like any side effects? and I’d say no, and they’d be like, okay on your way with a prescription.
They never asked me ‘How are you doing Jessica, how is your life?’ They never asked me how my life was working because I would
have been like. oh no it’s not, not even a little I think.  I’m going through a divorce and I just got fired from my job, and all of these things, I just got in another accident.
I would have explained to them that I was really struggling but because I took the medication and it helped me focus I thought that was enough and everything else was up to me, and now I understand, no, there are a lot of strategies that are available for people with ADHD, and a multimodal treatment is what is recommended for ADHD.
We now know that medication alone is not enough to improve long-term outcome.
Rick Green – TotallyADD
There’s a great phrase and I don’t know the source, but it is a doctor ‘Pills don’t build skills’.  Now when I took medication the
first time I was really reluctant, really worried about how I’d feel, and I had no side effects, maybe some appetite suppression because I managed to lose like 5 pounds in a couple of months, but I noticed no difference at all.
So I actually sat down to see if it was having any effect and did a years worth of taxes.   Taxes I couldn’t get to that had been sitting here for a year and in one day I got them done.  The hair went up on my neck as I thought, oh my god I’ve turned into an accountant.
The next day I’m writing comedy for The Red Green Show so I’m sending off like six or seven scripts on a bit of a frenzy because I hope I’m still funny, and I sent them off and they were still funny.
So I thought ‘this is great’ but here’s here’s the the pills don’t build skills part. A year later I was a year behind in my
taxes, because it allowed me to focus but I didn’t then use it to create the structures I needed.   To have a place for the
paperwork, and to mark on the calendar the 28th of the month ‘do the bills’  all of those things.
So they the phrase that I like about medication is that it’s the foundation that allows you to stick with exercise, to stick with mindful
meditation, I do yoga as well as mindfulness, and all of the other strategies that you add in,  a coach or just the things you’re doing around the house.
The medication allows you to focus and then hopefully at some point you may not need the medication because the other stuff takes
over.   When we interviewed Kate Kelly co-author of You mean I’m not lazy, stupid or crazy?! (Amazon affiliate link) and I asked her “if you could snap your fingers and make it go away would you?” and she said I kind of have using all of these strategies.
I’ve been at this long enough now for me that it’s not by any means gone, but I can see a real difference from like it what life was like
almost 20 years ago and what it’s like now and how much better.   I am as productive, maybe not as productive but stress level mm-hmm way down.
So yeah medication, really helpful if you can find one that works and then you got to do the other stuff.
Jessica McCabe – How To ADHD
I think of it like glasses, when I first took medication I remember feeling that same kind of difference from when I put on glasses
for the first time and realized I could focus like oh is this what the world is supposed to look like! this is so much easier!    The effort I was already putting in suddenly worked, and here’s the thing, you need glasses but you also need to learn how to read.
Very nice so there you go four ADHD myths that affected us and not just us you’ve talked to enough people and I have as
well.  These are common myths and if you have bought into any of those hopefully you can do a little more reading or research and be able to let go of them.
Definitely check out How To ADHD and if you have questions just show up at Jessica’s house, pound on the door
until she…  and no?  Okay come to our place.
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