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Reply To: How do I Explain this to Others

Reply To: How do I Explain this to Others2013-11-17T16:27:59+00:00

The Forums Forums What is it? Need Help! How do I Explain this to Others Reply To: How do I Explain this to Others


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Before you go sending out videos to folks, please don’t be surprised when folks still don’t get it. If you don’t have it, you will be hard pressed to “get it”. I agree with kc5jck that there is no one quick video and you are better off not even bringing up the word ADD, since it has become somewhat of a joke to many – I’ve even used it as a joke before getting diagnosed because it references the most obvious and least destructive symptom of ADD: “can’t focus” If ADD were simply a problem of not focusing we could all just grab a cup of coffee and a quick nap and everything would go back to normal, right? Of course not! The very term is like calling Autism “hand flapping and talking funny”. Those symptoms have very little to do with how the underlying condition affects our lives. Dr. Russell Barkley is the best I have heard so far at explaining why ADHD is so misunderstood:

I was diagnosed about 3 years ago (I am 47 now) and I have a sister who trained as a psychiatrist though she doesn’t practice. Even though she hasn’t directly treated ADHD she knows me pretty well – but she only gets it up to a point. What I am saying is do not expect any video, no matter how funny, relatable, or comprehensive to explain this. There are continuous updates to the field and it has had to overcome a lot of bad pop science and medicine and by extension, bad press.

Besides this website, one of the most informed and respected experts is Dr. Russell Barkley, who gives lectures that are literally hours long to explain the symptoms and the biochemistry of ADHD, the myths, the latest findings, etc… Some of his lectures are broken down into 3-5 minute sound bites that each address some of the most common and far reaching issues of what this type of brain wiring actually does. He relabels the symptom as a very specific disorder or dysfunction, which makes it more accurate, but also more jarring for those of us who have experienced it and not realized that it connects to our ADHD. Some of these have made me cry, partially in relief (but not always) because they are so dead on correct, but completely overlooked if you don’t understand how the brain really works. And 99% of us don’t, including the “experts”.
( a long video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ua8Zm9STtKY)
I recommend them for your own personal education, and then you’ll see why telling people about your condition who don’t have a personal stake in your success and happiness is often a waste. Some – correction, many – folks will never get it and dismiss your explanation as an excuse for failing. At least that’s been my experience.

If people say they think they have it, I get very serious and tell them they should get tested because this kind of disorder can ruin just about every aspect of your life – relationships, family, marriage, work, school, finances – things you never realized were connected to your “not focusing” or “being disorganized and forgetful”. This usually gets their attention and they at least will not take it so lightly the next time the subject comes up.

Below are a few of Barkley’s short clips to illustrate my point: