ADHD: Treatment

This video, by Dr. Edward Hallowell, speaks to the effectiveness of ADHD medications with nearly 80% of his clients. I recommend Dr. Hallowell's many books to clients almost daily, however we do disagree, to some extent, on the nature of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Dr. Hallowell calls ADHD a "gift that is hard to unwrap," in the video, and that's problematic to me. But notice I'm still recommending this video on ADHD to you. There are many individuals, especially those who have no formal training or education in the field of psychology, psychiatry, medicine or ADHD specifically, who call ADHD a "gift." Dr. Hallowell calls it a gift here, and says that there are many aspects of a person with ADHD that are positive. People with ADHD are creative, fast thinkers, thinkers "outside the box," and so on. I simply have a little trouble with that. As Dr. Barkley points out, no one is creative, or an "out of the box thinker" or talented and so on BECAUSE they have ADHD. There is simply no research that supports such thinking, none. And this feeling that we are creative and "free thinkers" because of ADHD really can cause harm. Because of this people avoid treatment, don't want to change, refuse medication and become non-compliant with treatment. What is ADHD? It's a neurological disorder that prevents individuals from focusing, concentrating, keeps them avoiding or procrastinating and unorganized. Those are not "gifts" and in a good treatment program should be addressed while your able to maintain your creativity and spontaneity. I think that's what Dr. Hallowell is saying, but too often the message gets confused because doctors and other professionals want to avoid any words, phrases or "labels" that might make someone feel bad about themselves or their disability. All I can suggest is that you don't avoid treatment because you don't want a negative label. ADHD is like allergies, diabetes and other chronic conditions. Remember, you define them, they don't define you. I'm willing to listen to Dr. Hallowell, and am flexible enough to understand this issue. We all need to be flexible, and most of all, not avoid diagnosis and treatment. He is clearly saying that to.

Take a watch:

For more information about my clinical practice with ADHD, including diagnosis and treatment, look at my web page at www.adhdhelp.ca or www.relatedminds.ca. My offices are located in Burnaby and downtown Vancouver.
Posted on April 26, 2011 .