Have you ever checked out the comments section of an article about ADD/ADHD? I don't really advise it if you're trying to maintain a little serenity. People go head-to-head in the most nasty way. Meds versus no meds. Disorder versus gift. Does ADD even exist, or is it a plot perpetrated on our children by Big Pharma? Sheesh!
It can even happen on NPR's website. Here's what someone wrote in reply to a comment of mine once: "Seriously, this is a dark ages approach to mental illenss. Might as well just call the excorcist to get the deamons out!"
I've always assumed that many of the vitriolic statements come from people who don't have ADD in the family. Who think about ADD in sound bites. Who find it easy to judge people but don't really know what they're talking about. Seems to me that once you start learning about ADD, you begin to understand how multifacted it is. But the mom of a son with ADD suggests the opposite in a nice essay in Philadelphia Magazine:
We chose not to put Jake on Ritalin. Nearly a decade later, would I make the same choice if I could go back in time? Of course I would. Because Jake’s life has been an unqualified success? Not hardly (though don’t get me wrong; I’m proud of the young man he’s becoming). I’d make the same choice because I couldn’t bear to find out what might have been better … different … more of a gift … if we’d chosen to medicate.
That’s why those battles inevitably rage in the comments section of every new report on ADHD. Parents are compelled to defend the choices they’ve made as loudly as they can. Otherwise, you allow the possibility that you did wrong by your child—and who can live with that?
I think she and I are both right. And, by the way, I had that NPR piece open on my desktop, but I just closed it. I was starting to read the comments all over again, but I'd rather hold onto a little bit of serenity right now.