Panorama programme about ADHD...

I’m not sure what to say exactly but I do know I’m pissed off by the irresponsible Panorama documentary that aired earlier this week. Not because there may well be clinics who are acting irresponsibly but because most people who suspect they have ADHD and have gone through the process of assessment will tell you it is long and painful and actually quite hard- I found filling in the forms, bringing the right documentation and actually getting to the clinic on time almost an insurmountable barrier to being assessed and I nearly gave up. 


Most people seeking an assessment for ADHD are not doing it for the supposed zeitgeisty kudos or for the drugs (I’m reliably informed you can get drugs delivered to your house with less fuss and judgement). 


Most people with ADHD are struggling in many areas of their lives and are not looking for excuses for their behaviour, they are looking to better understand themselves and the people around them- to work out how they can move from just about surviving to living a “normalish” life. 


The real scandal is the waiting list for assessment and the fact that the NHS actually outsources to private clinics because they don’t have the capacity to deal with the amount of people waiting- I was assessed privately and luckily moved to shared NHS care- other people are not so fortunate. There isn’t an influx of people who’ve suddenly “caught” ADHD there is just more awareness of how it can present in people. 


A year ago I was ignorant myself and had never even considered ADHD -because I wasn’t hyperactive in any sense of the word- but just because I don’t know that didn’t mean I didn’t have it- awareness and diagnostic changes mean we have to shift our perspective sometimes. When I read about inattentive symptoms and how ADHD can present in women and girls my jaw hit the floor. I was a bright kid who didn’t fit anywhere and who always seemed to get in my own way, I could never understand how people were “doing that” ie living life when I found every day a struggle. 


There isn’t anything about my life that is easier now than before diagnosis/ treatment except how I feel about and treat myself- I still fail at the same things- communicating, being consistent, leaving things to the last minute… but instead of attributing these behaviours (and more) to being a shit person seemingly on the edge of depression (why else would you not remember to motivated about your own creative work?)  I can actually attribute it to the way my brain works and try to work with it when I remember to factor it in. 


Understanding more about more people and developing related compassion is, in my opinion one of our jobs as human beings while we are on this planet. That piece of shoddy populist journalism did no favours for neurodivergent people needing assessment and support. 


So Fuck you Panorama. Peace out ✌️ 


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