Isn’t ADHD Just An Excuse For A Lack Of Discipline?
A great response to this question was found in ADDitudeMag.com, by Robert M.A. Hirschfeld, M.D., who is a psychiatrist and a father of an ADHD child….
“The idea that willpower can solve all problems is as American as apple pie, but so are compassion, tolerance, and wisdom. Some people with diseases such as diabetes and hypertension can organize their lives to limit the effects of their disabilities. But some, no matter how hard they try, need insulin to break down sugar or medication to lower their blood pressure. We offer them support, and we do not blame them for their failure to “fix” themselves.
The same goes for ADHD.
Unfortunately, when it comes to brain disorders, such as ADHD, depression, or other neurological conditions, a harmful attitude creeps in: the belief that attention deficit disorder, and other disorders originating in the mind, reflect “bad character” and that all it takes is more willpower to overcome them.
As a psychiatrist, and also as the father of an ADHD child, I know how destructive this view is. Many people with depression suffer for years because they’ve tried to make themselves feel better, and they still can’t function. Coworkers and spouses become frustrated and blame the sufferer when attempts to “jolly” a person out of a depression don’t work. Their lack of understanding adds guilt and shame to the long list of problems that depressed people cope with.
My son could not will himself to not have ADHD. Trying to get him to change his ADHD behaviors didn’t work. And had we stopped at that, his life would have been marked by frustration and failure. Without proper medical, psychological, and educational interventions, no amount of willpower could have helped. Fortunately, our continued interventions have enabled our son to shape his own destiny and experience many successes.
Challenges remain, and he’s needed our support—not our demands—to overcome them. We didn’t want our son to experience the fate of earlier generations of ADHD kids who didn’t have the benefits of new knowledge and better science.”
For more insight on the topic of ADD/ADHD listen to today’s podcast.