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The Side Effects of Poor Medical Treatment

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Gina’s interview with HealthyPlace TV on the pitfalls of medical treatment for ADHD

When I first started advocating for and volunteering in the ADHD community 10 years ago, the overriding goal was creating awareness that Adult ADHD exists. I figured that the next step for many of those newly diagnosed—that is, exploring medication strategies with an informed physician—would be relatively easy.  Ha!

There is good reason that my book, Is It You, Me, or  Adult A.D.D.?.  includes three chapters on medication, including an entire chapter on the medication protocol offered by a top ADHD expert, Margaret Weiss, MD, PhD. Because, in listening to thousands of first-person stories, I so rarely encountered evidence that most physicians treating ADHD followed such a protocol. Or any protocol at all!

That’s why a chief goal in writing my book was creating a grass-roots movement to improve treatment standards.  (It’s also why the book is offered in PDF form, so that readers can easily print out key pages for mental healthcare providers.  The same for the details on evidence-based therapy strategies for ADHD. My book explained the details about  CBT for ADHD long before you read all the headlines.)

A few weeks ago, I wrote this comment on a blog written by a man with ADHD:

You’re right, Douglas. Not everyone with ADHD needs medication. It’s a personal choice.

But when that choice is based on bad experiences with reckless physicians or a tendency to latch onto negative information (a not-uncommon tendency with ADHD), is it really a choice? I don’t think so.

I’ve been an unpaid advocate in the area of ADHD for 10 years not because I have any ties with Big Pharma (or even any stock). I do it because solid information makes a huge difference in individuals’ lives. It is appalling how often people with ADHD get substandard medical care — and don’t even know it. …

The producers at HealthyPlace read my comment and asked for an interview with me on this topic.  Here is the video. I hope you find it helpful!

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  1. Jeff’s avatar

    Great video!! It would be great if this could be sliced up (or maybe create videos of your own) where you talk about what made you examine ADHD, the aspects of life that ADHD can have an impact on (driving, etc.).

    One thing. I found your husband’s point that it takes about 20 years for knowledge to trickle down from known discovery to clinical practice…as…well…a depressingly long number of years. It explains why I was undiagnosed for the majority of my entire adult life despite years of therapy with numerous therapists.

    Reply

    1. Gina Pera’s avatar

      Glad you liked it, Jeff! Coming from you and your viral-video fame, I am flattered. :-)

      I have planned for a long time to make some videos, but have just been too busy. Plus, I’ve never been one to put myself front and center. As a newsroom editor, I am accustomed to being behind a desk. Not to mention as the youngest of seven Italian kids, I could never get a word in edgewise!

      But it’s on my list now. These issues are important and need to be in as many media types as possible. tx!

  2. David’s avatar

    Great video. You come across very well indeed. Your passion and your unique perspective, being an expert and yet not a clinician, really helps the message get through, I think.

    I loaned your book last Monday to a woman who had approached me about her possible ADD after I mentioned it in a group we are attending. Before this week’s meeting she told me that some things in the book were so pertinent to a friend’s troubled relationship that she bought the book on Amazon for her. She was going to call the friend (in Scotland BTW!!) to warn her that the book was coming when she found a voicemail message expressing deep gratitude for helping save her marriage!!

    Pretty quick turnaround wouldn’t you say – for the ripple to travel across the Atlantic and back in less than a week!! Made my day!!

    Reply

    1. Gina Pera’s avatar

      Thanks so much, David. What I lack in polish I hope I make up in sincerity — and facts. :-)

      Wonderful to hear about your friend. I wonder how that happened, given that it is such a “negative” book. lol!

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