Treatments or Cures?
ADHD is not a mental illness. Is it a disease? Can you fix it? Rick rants about some very simple, but not necessarily obvious distinctions. A lot of what is being claimed or promoted around ADHD is actually less than it seems, thanks to weasel-words and sneaky phrases.
What’s The Difference Between a Treatment and a Cure?
So I need to distinguish the difference between a treatment and a cure. Because I have used the words interchangeably. And I got called on it by Doctor’s and experts and linguistics majors and my kids. So, I want to spare you the pain and humiliation of having someone saying, “Well, not exactly.” It was brutal! You probably know there is a range of ADHD medications. But unlike the medications for say a wart, which cure the wart, ADHD medications just reduce the symptoms.
But that’s not bad, because the symptoms are so challenging, toning them down can revolutionize your life. You’ll hear people share some of their experiences on other videos and in the Forums. But ADHD medications don’t ‘cure’ anything. They just give you a leg up. Then you’ve got to do the work, create the lifestyle, the structures, the support systems, to make life go smoooooth. You may have to adjust your career, your friendships, your home and… on and on.
Medications for ADHD don’t win the game. But they level the playing field so you have a fair chance. If you do choose to try medication, beware, many of them level the playing field very quickly. Unlike say, anti depressant that takes 6 weeks to allow your body to build up a normal level of happy. Many ADHD medications are like caffeine. Which is a stimulant. In 30 minutes they’re working, in four hours, well, you want another cup of coffee. So why isn’t it good that they work fast? It is good, just tricky.
Level Playing Field
But just because the field is suddenly level, doesn’t mean you’ve won the game. It takes time to get used to a playing on a level field. You’ve learned to play football on a hillside, always uphill, now imagine playing on a level field, or even now and then playing down hill… WOAHH. The challenges and weaknesses that you thought were just your personality traits have disappeared. And things you hoped would vanish haven’t. “I can listen to my aunt Ruth and really hear what she says. And I still think she’s a narrow-minded old coot and I don’t want to talk with her.”
“I can finally follow conversations when I’m in a noisy restaurant. And I still hate spending my evening with loud drunks in a crowded hot bar talking about nothing.” So, if you do find the right medication for ADD, one that works for you, it won’t be a cure. But it will give you freedom and choice and power. Freedom is scary. Choice can be intimidating. And with power comes responsibility. So if you find yourself overwhelmed by the fact that you are no longer so easily overwhelmed… I warned you.
For more information about ADHD in adults see:
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