Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Blogging About Other Blogs

Yay! There are a couple of new blogs that you might want to check out.

Thoughts on AD/HD and Marriage, by Dr. Ned Hallowell and Melissa Orlov. Of course they are writing a book and looking to tap into the AD/HD community for the text of said book. I also wouldn't be surprised if Melissa Orlov was doing most of the work, and Dr. Hallowell is just lending his name to the project. That's the way to do it! So go to the blog, and give them your two cents. I am hoping that this book will be useful.

The other one is Dr. Amen's Brain Blog, Ginger and I really like Dr Amen. I don't know why some in the ADD community and in Psychiatry are so against his work. I have read articles by some who don't like him but it seems to me that they feel threatened and just want to discredit him. Any attempt I have seen to do so just seems like sour grapes to me.

Politics. (And this is where the tangent begins)... Hartmann vs. Barkley? I tend to agree with Barkley that AD/HD is not an advantage. At first when I read Hartmann's argument that AD/HD is an advantage (Hunter in a Farmer's World), I agreed with it. But as my knowledge about AD/HD broadened, I began to think differently.

Yes, ADDers have great qualities, but the problem, for me, lies in confusing the person with the disorder of AD/HD - which exists over the top of that person, so to speak.

I was most convinced that AD/HD is not an advantage when I was pregnant and went off my meds... let me tell you, having all of my symptoms back conferred no special advantages to me. With meds, I was able to achieve more in all areas of my life. Without them, I was back where I started. Not good. Luckily I had learned some skills and work-arounds, but it was the toughest time in my life - to have reached a higher level of funtioning and then to give up that "edge" I had gained by taking medication. To go back to an unmedicated state. I'm sorry, but you can't tell me that AD/HD is a gift. If it was, I'd be first in line to take it back to the store!

People get confused and think that since the AD/HD is a part of their daily experience, they have AD/HD to thank for certain good characteristics they have: creativity, quick thinking in a crisis, etc. They think that the great things they do are as a result of the AD/HD. Before coming to this conclusion, though, you need to determine where AD/HD ends and YOU begin.

The ones who can push through thier difficulties may seem to be sucessful because of their AD/HD, when in fact, it is likely in spite of it. Perhaps their AD/HD is mild, they have a strong inner drive, and/or they are able to set up adequate support systems.

How the "Grief Cycle" ties into all of this is interesting. This is the process that we all go through as we accept what it means to have AD/HD. I see the "AD/HD is a strength" thinking as a part of the grief cycle. Denial / Bargaining.

As long as we believe that AD/HD is a strength, then we can continue to make deals with ourselves. We can put off making the difficult decision about whether or not to medicate. (I'm not saying that everybody with AD/HD should take meds, that's a personal decision.) We can put off coming to terms with the real limitations that we deal with every day. And that can actually make us less successful in life.

So, I'll get off my soapbox. Maybe I think too much.