Obedience Pills has put Patrick Hahn, Bill James and myself in a bit of a spot. We’ve had feedback that we might be contributing to the stigma against ADHD.
Our contact gave us a Video to orient us.
At the same time, the Guardian in the UK – Tik-Tok and the Rise of ADHD – and Globe and Mail – Adults Seeking ADHD Diagnoses – were writing articles on Adult ADHD, more promoting it than not but perhaps striking a note of caution.
Being viewed as contributing to stigma was a surprise to us because we’d spent a lot of time wondering what to call the book in order to avoid stigma. An early option, Drugging them into Submission, sounded off-putting and only likely to speak to those with already made up anti-ADHD minds.
Another option was Children’s Mental Health Pandemic: the ADHD variant, but this seemed too obscure to attract anyone to read the book.
Obedience Pills seemed an in-between option. Much less aggressive but not totally anodyne.
A title has to grab people but hopefully not put them off in order to get the book bought and the ideas read. A good book will get readers thinking about points of view they may not themselves hold. It just so happens this week that the Guardian has a review which meets this bill of a book called The Case Against the Sexual Revolution. In this case, the reviewer is or was a straight down the middle of the road feminist and liberal who found herself reading a book that gave another point of view and instead of dismissing it, she ended up thinking about it.
This is the goal of all good books but all too often people figure they have the answer to Life’s riddle.
The riddle is the riddle and always will be as Lewis Carroll might have told Alice in Wonderland.
Last Millennium Men
Patrick and Bill and I are last millennium men. Back then there was no ADHD in adults or children. We three, as likely many other groups of three, males especially, all figure we’d have been diagnosed as ADHD if it existed back then in the way it does now or if we were born again now and turned out to be the kind of kids we were back then.
Looking at it from our point of view, none of the three of us would have wanted to be any different to what we were/are – extraverted. Some introverts and cultures (the English) have a bias against extraverts and so yes, there is some stigma to being extraverted but it rolls off extraverts backs. At least some people with ADHD seem more sensitive about this – why?
- Extraversion paradoxically has much more biological data linked to it than ADHD does.
- There are great grounds to say we don’t grow out of extraversionm where until recently the received wisdom was we grew out of ADHD.
- Rather than pointing to a broken brain, extraversion points to skills that should not be overlooked.
- Extraversion points to skills extraverts have in contrast to ADHD which points to skills some drug will give them.
- Extraversion doesn’t get in the way of using stimulants but it does put a premium on using them judiciously – taking them when needed rather than every day of the rest of a life.
So, there is no way we or Patrick’s book is against people being the way we were. Calling whatever that is ADHD is not a huge problem except we have all been nudged into calling it ADHD now in order to get us to take stimulants.
Taking any drug is a problem. Stimulants are not the biggest problem there is – given a choice between them and SSRI antidepressants or antipsychotics, they’re probably the best choice if you have to take one. But no drug suits everyone and increasingly today when your drug doesn’t suit you rather than reversing out of the problem they’ve created, doctors put us on more and more drugs. ADHD risks being a lifetime on drugs – not just stimulants.
Every time one of us logs into Facebook, he gets adverts for Cerebral, an online platform that has been accused of rolling over and handing out stimulants for ADHD to anyone who offer the right answers to tick the right boxes.
This is where Obedience Pills might rub some people up the wrong way. The problem is that rubbing some people up the wrong way in this case seems to come down to saying that drugs don’t always work out the way we want them to. Can this not be said any more?
It’s the same with SSRI antidepressants with those who’ve been helped by them going into attack mode at any mention some people have been harmed.
This isn’t just a matter of the people on the pills – its also the media. The mainstream media don’t dare talk about the harms of anything medical either. The media have bought the idea that it is beyond evil to say or do anything that might put people off seeking a benefit.
The Cheerleader in Chief for this approach at the moment is the Pope – who was the first leader to mandate Covid vaccines. The idea that any harms might come from these or any other treatments seems to Frankie to be the height of conspiracy thinking.
MSM or SM?
We could try to get one of the mainstream media to review Obedience Pills but in the case of liberal media like the Guardian this seems a waste of time, they’ll be hostile, just they would be at any hint that the Covid vaccines might not be the unalloyed salvific technology they have been sold as.
There likely are some mainstream media, more right wing than left, who have still not completely succumbed to the ADHD Cool-Aid but they just pitch to an older generation, horrified at what people who are not like them are up to. Reviews in places like this won’t get to the people who are really grappling with key issues:
- should I take these drugs or not,
- what does it mean to be on these drugs,
- what exactly are these drugs doing to me?
Reaching out to get the views of ADHD influencers seems a better bet.
As mentioned, there is no perfect treatment in medicine. The SSRIs aren’t perfect. Pointing out their problems can lead to some people screaming stigma.
There must be some middle ground. We want views on what it might look like. If you know an influencer, can you put them in touch with us?
We don’t mind being told what we have done is horribly stigmatizing and the books should all be pulped. What we want to know is what would a middle ground look like?
For any influencer interested to know more, there is a bunch of material few people talking about ADHD have ever seen that is available on Obedience Pills.