Thursday, December 09, 2004

60 minutes: ADD Grows Up

Funny, I thought Andy Rooney was the only one who did commentary on 60 minutes. This story about ADD might as well have been one of his pieces.

After seeing this report, I will never again feel sorry for making up any sort of fact that suits me in my writing, because apparently it is standard practice. The report is pretty biased, including the statement that ADHD is not seen as often in countries such as Germany, or Japan, or Britain.

It did get me to thinking, though. Are the drug manufacturers being too aggressive? Perhaps they are: "You'd have to be in a coma not to respond yes to many of those questions," says Hallowell. "But the point of a screening test is to bring in as many people as you can."

What they don't give enough positive attention to is the fact that when a person truly has ADHD, medication can be a good thing.

We all know that the "skill is not in the pill," as ADDers are taught to chant these days. But without the pill, the skill is that much harder to learn (and retain for later use). Ultimately, the decision to use medication is highly personal. I respect that people all have their own timing on this issue, and that some of them will never want to try medication. I just wish that these reports didn't make it seem like a crime to use them. They create a stigma for those who make the choice to use medication, and they intensify the fears of people like David Neeleman, who is afraid that the medications "may kind of cure me or something and then I'd be like everybody else." What people forget when they take this view is that if you try medication, then you know what it's like. If you don't like being on medication, you can stop taking it. If you put all the emotions aside, that's what it boils down to.