You can pick your “personality traits” up and stick’em where the sun don’t shine – my views on anti-ADHD

The Tag “Adult ADHD” on my reader yesteray made me notice someone who is really hurt by some stuff he or she saw on the internet. Something a friend shared approvingly with him or her. See, the person I’m thinking of has ADHD and the thing on the internet was a blog entry by some Matt Walsh (am I supposed to know who the guy is?…) explaining why he doesn’t believe that ADHD exists. I was slightly pissed at first, when he stated that he would have ADHD if it were a real thing, because most of us who live with it are used to people saying “Well, but I have trouble concentrating too” although they thrive in the private and work life. But then I couldn’t stop laughing and shaking my head. Because this guy, apparently actually has ADHD, but well, that doesn’t exist, so f*** that.

Anyway, what mostly made me roll my eyes were his arguments: links to renowed phsychiatrists that show the syndrome doesn’t exist, the fact that being distracted or socially innapropriate is just a personality trait and his bafflement at the seemingly arbitrary number of “at least 6” symptoms (which he consistently discards as such by using quotes) one must have of a list before the subject is even considered for an ADHD diagnosis. Well, this is just hillarious!

Firstly, the notion that “his” disproving renowed psychiatrists totally beat all the other renowed psychiatrists who proved it – just by his say-so, I wonder?

Secondly, that he tries to show that he is not one of these coo-coo anti-psychiatry people by saying something like “Dementia! THAT is a mental ailment”, apparently totally oblivious that first signs of dementia are a display of personality change – but ADHD “symptoms” are not symptoms, they have got to be personality traits. Who ever heard of personality traits being a symptom? Not this guy!

And third and lastly, his bafflement at the arbitraty number of symptoms required as a minimum is the cherry on top the cake. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that, while innatention, irritability and blurting might be personality traits when presenting alone, but when they’re part of a bigger picture, they are most likely symptoms? Hmmmm… I wonder.

I’m not here to prove the existence of any syndrome to anyone, that is the role of the scientific-community. But when someone starts babbling shit like they have all the data and I notice they clearly don’t, I’m gonna go ahead and speak my mind too. This self-important ADHDer in denial actually tossed the typical “kids should have some sense knocked into them and be given place to use up their energy”. This fails to impress me because I am from the generation that got spankings, and I did have place to waste my extra-energy (my parents had a HUGE yard I played on constantly in those sweet technology-free 80’s). In elementary, the one thing I had trouble with was division by numbers larger than 10. My sister’s answer to this was to explain to me how it was done, write me up a block FULL of those exercices to solve, and then she tied my ankle to the dining room table and left me alone for the whole afternoon.

I trust this is medieval enough for “Mr” Walsh (yes, the Mr is ironic). But guess f***in’ what! I solved all all of those bad boys! Half of which were wrong! And despite that, even when everything else went wrong for me at college, maths and physics were the things I got down right on the first try (we didn’t have to use that type of division a single time, that’s why!). And I still have trouble focusing, and I still was diagnosed with ADHD and I still am responding to medication that levels my blood chemistry, as well as working hard at changing habits with the help of people who know that you can’t really tell us “You just gotta focus /you just gotta do it” and expect to see results.

Look, I get it that in the USA (and this is spreading everywhere), everything that is listed as a disability or sickness gets a bunch of benefits and this makes some people squint because there really are mentally disabled people who also are very shitty people (yes, I said it! Mentally disabled people are humans! The shock of it!). I get that these people will walk around saying “Well, my disabilty this and my disability that and you have to do this and that around me because I have a condition and you have to respect it!”. I get that some parents can’t handle their ADHD-free children and think ritalin is a magic pill, but ritalin will actually do nothing for you if you don’t have a chemical imabalance anyway – the joke is on these parents, even if I feel sorry for the kid. But if you have even half a brain like you claim you do, call shitty people on their bad behaviour; call people on their bad parenting; but don’t go around trying to invalidate a whole syndrome with some flawed grocery-store logic.

(Note: I did grossly overstep my self-imposed limit of 500 words, but that guy ranted so much for so long, it was hard to write this any shorter. Oh well…)

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