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Answering sceptics – a question for Rick

Answering sceptics – a question for Rick2010-06-14T19:43:04+00:00

The Forums Forums The Workplace Who to Tell? Answering sceptics – a question for Rick

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    Post count: 211

    I attended the latest ADHD workshop this past weekend and it was *awesome*. Rick and Dr. Jain did an amazing job. Even the folk manning the ticket and T-shirt sales station were friendly and helpful.

    During the workshop though, Rick mentioned a few things you could say to sceptics when they put down the whole idea of ADHD, as if it doesn’t exist. So Rick – those words of yours were so wise and bright that, well, I just forgot to wear sunglasses and so I’ve forgotten what you said.

    Would you mind repeating it?


    Post count: 14413

    Hmmmm, oh Ricky boy. Where are you?

    Anyway, he is probably playing with himself…er…something.

    The best advice I give is speak to the science. I remember when a clever reporter tried to have one of those adversarial discussions with some flake who had their own theory and wanted to see a fight on TV. I was not aware of the situation so there was this blind siding that occurred. It was one of those medications kill children openings like it was staged by the Church of Scientology or something. My opening line with absolute calmness was, “I’ll show you my 4, 218 scientific peer reviewed papers. You show me yours, unless you believe that all science is fake, well, then let’s talk……” The guy was like stunned and tried to change the topic line to his agenda and I kept on hitting him with the science. The other line I used was, “So you want children to suffer, right? You believe that it is the parent’s fault. Maybe we should hit our children more. Is that it? You look a lot younger than the 243 year old individual that you are!”

    That’s a start……


    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADD
    Post count: 473

    Hi, sorry, I haven’t bee in on this one.

    Okay, first piece of advice… whatever someone complains about or goes on and on about, or argues vociferously about… says much more about them than about you.

    This is why the televangelists and politicians who are the most adamant that homosexuality is an abomination, a sin, a terrible scourge, etc., etc., etc. are the ones who are caught in the mens room with another man or have their tennis instructor claiming they have had sex for nine years and done drugs continuously.

    So don’t take it personally.

    Second, get that they don’t know any better. And consider that at one point you didn’t know any better.

    There are still people who have been dealing with ADHD in their kids for ten years and yet they will claim, “I won’t put my child on medication, the drugs are dangerous.” Fine, if you don’t want to put your child on medication. Who would? But please, dangerous? Compared to what?

    Sorry, I just get cheesed. Which of course says something about me.

    Third, stick to the science. Ask them questions. Never defend, never argue. Just ask questions and watch them fumble for answers.

    THEM: “I don’t believe in ADHD. It’s just made up by drug companies.”

    YOU: “Really? What about the criteria in the D.S.M. -IV? Do you think those are all invalid?”

    THEM: “The… the what?”

    YOU: “The 18 Symptoms of ADHD. You know about those right? I mean, they define the disorder. You must know what the disorder is exactly before you can say you don’t agree with it.”

    THEM: “Well, uh, I just think…”

    YOU: “So do you think both subtypes are invalid?”

    THEM: “Uh…

    The only downside of this is, you have to know what you’re talking about. But I find this interesting and learning about it has been fascinating.

    Just don’t get hooked, stay calm, smile, and ask questions.

    Another great strategy, is to agree with them:

    “Yes, I’m so glad you said that, because that’s what so many people still believe, despite the overwhelming evidence of thousands of studies and millions of people who’ve responded to treatment. But there’s still so much ignorance being spread around. For example, I’m guessing you can’t actually tell me what ADHD is, or what the 18 symptoms are, right?”

    A caveat: My temptation is to demolish the other person with my wit and wisdom.

    Not really wise.

    They may stop arguing. But shutting up and biding one’s time is not the same as agreeing.

    The ultimate way to convince people, and I’ve seen this again and again, is to show them the documentary and ask them what they think.


    Post count: 211

    You know something? I think your approach is a great way to handle those situations Rick. In fact, having come from a fundamentalist religious background (and now out of it) I’m painfully aware of the frustrations of a closed mindset. You’re right – there’s no real argument you can advance that will in any way convince those who are adamant that their’s is the only valid viewpoint.

    So asking for empirical evidence (regarding this or any other subject) is probably the only way to go. Frankly, I’ve been astounded by the heat that’s come from otherwise intelligent people when the subject of ADHD comes up. The blog you posted (which Larynxa pointed out – thanks Larynxa!) has a few of the questions you mentioned in your workshop that I remembered. I think I can rhyme off about six or seven of the eighteen symptoms, so…..time to start memorizing! :)

    Dr. J. – I LOVED your story!! Wish I could have been there to see it. Would have been better of course if Tom Cruise was there to make the accusation. If there’s such a thing as reincarnation, maybe the gods will be good and bring him back as a nurturing mother – with 23 kids and all kinds of post partum depression to go with them…..thus satisfying the leveling requirements of karma.

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