Inaugural inductees: HBO show host Bill Maher and his guests Arianna Huffington, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). Two liberals and two conservatives who could agree on one thing only: It’s okay to bash ADHD.
“Paddling a child is inhumane but drugging a child is the way to go?” began an indignant Kingston (R-GA), implying that there’s nothing about ADHD that a good whupping won’t cure.
(We’ve already talked back to that bad idea with this U.S. News and World Report “Parenting” column interview with ADHD gadfly/attention-seeking behavioral pediatrician Larry Dilller. Be sure to read the comments. In fact, while we’re at it, let’s induct that column into the ADHD Hall of Shame, too! Move in close, folks. It’s going to get real crowded in there soon!)
From there, Maher and the other two guests piled on ADHD, especially the medications that millions take to alleviate their symptoms. Finally: an across-the-aisle consensus maker! (To judge for yourself, advance the video above to 24:30.) Huffington Post blogger Michael Laskoff, who has ADHD, took issue with the show in a recent column, “Being Famous Doesn’t Make You an ADHD Expert”.
Anyone who knows ADHD intimately knows that all-too-familiar traveling companion: shame. Partly, shame originates from not knowing you have ADHD and internalizing all the inexplicably negative feedback you encounter, from childhood on. Another type of shame, though, is lobbed with full force by other people (some of them highly educated on other issues) who refuse to educate themselves yet self-righteously criticize ADHD as a “pharma invention” or “the disease du jour” or “overdiagnosed” or or or or.
They’re entitled to their own opinions, as they say, but not to their own facts. And when their deluded opinions target my friends with ADHD — on the airwaves, in print, or on the Internet — it leaves me at once angry and heartsick at this cold-hearted, mingy-minded meanness (never mind ignorance). They take not one minute to consider how their careless attacks heap more stigma and confusion on children who already have quite enough to deal with.
Would they taunt eyeglass-wearing children with the schoolyard bullying chant “Four eyes! Four eyes!”?
Would they rip into the parents with accusations that if they loved their children more, fed their children more healthfully, and spent more time with their children, there would be no need for vision correction?
It’s about time we held up the mirror to the bloviating blowhards (even as they profess valiant defense of children and adults who would otherwise be unjustly “drugged”) and send a little embarrassment their way. Hence The ADHD Hall of Shame.
Seeing stuff like this makes my blood boil, especially coming from elected officials. It reminds me of that Mitch Hedberg joke--"Dammit Otto, you're an alcoholic! Dammit Otto, you have Lupis!" Except there's nothing funny about this. I hate when people just assume that you are just lazy or something and you can just "get over it" or that people are overmedicated. No, some of us aren't, thankyouverymuch.
Things like this sure don't help this public health care debate.