Netflix’s “Take Your Pills”: Anti-Science—and Mean

Netflix Take Your Pills

It’s that time again: A feeding frenzy on ADHD and the medications used to treat it. Because nothing sells like ADHD hysteria! This latest salvo in the anti-ADHD wars comes from Netflix, Take Your Pills.

Nobody has time for this nonsense. You surely have better things to do than read this post. I am immersed in developing online training for Adult ADHD-Focused Couple Therapy.

Yet, we all have a lot to lose by failing to speak up. The blogosphere and the clickbait-o-sphere are brimming with praise for Take Your Pills.

Please: Do not imagine that ADHD treatment is a given.

Look at many other Western countries, where adult ADHD is not even on the radar (often, pridefully so), especially in single-payer national healthcare systems. The U.S. could devolve to that, too, if disinformation campaigns sway public opinion.

Thank You For Sharing

The film’s clear aim is to provoke, to further confuse a largely science-illiterate public. “Driving us back into the closet,” says my friend Meg, age 40 and diagnosed at 35.

Moreover, this “Adderall epidemic!!! and ADHD over-diagnosis!!!” theme constantly rears its ugly head. In this post, I shed light on the reality.

The producers and Netflix call it a documentary. Yet that would imply balanced reportage. There is none in Take Your Pills.  Most legitimate documentaries don’t shovel shame and stigma on people burdened enough. (A professional documentary critic agrees; see below.)

“I agree with some of it,” a young woman with ADHD responded to my Facebook post.  No, I am sorry but it doesn’t work that way. You cannot cherrypick edible fruit from a toxic tree.

Sure, the filmmakers toss in a smidgeon of valid points. That serves to ensnare people ignorant to the complexities on this topic.

But therein lies the trap: the filmmakers’ vainglorious claims of addressing “an important societal issue”  amount to nothing more than a transparent and treacherous Trojan Horse.

Their true agenda is clear: No more ADHD diagnoses and no more medications.

This Post Covers These Points:

Yes, this post is long. But I want to cover as much territory as possible, and I am short on time.

Here are the highlights:

1. The producers are Maria Shriver and daughter Christina Schwarzenegger.

Christina was diagnosed with ADHD at age 6. Neither one seems to know a thing about ADHD. Except for having it. What else do they have? Gobs of money, access, and an ax to grind.

2. You can watch a video interview, below, where they clearly reveal their ignorance.

3. Contrary to popular belief in the ADHD community, “Neurotypicals” are not the enemy of ADHD awareness and legitimacy.

In my observation, it is a subset of people with ADHD who pose the biggest threat.

4. Professional documentary critic Christopher Campbell, an ADHD skeptic until his son was diagnosed, takes this film to task. Excerpt and link below.

5. A list of points about the complexities of “stimulant abuse”—including the fact that most of the people “abusing stimulants” probably have ADHD.

6. Two studies examining the “diversion” problem (diversion is when a prescribed medication is used by someone other than the patient for whom it is prescribed)

7.  I provide several links to substantiate or expand my points.  I hope they don’t distract you!  Maybe try reading the post fully and then going back to the links.

 

via GIPHY

Still Curious?  Watch This Interview Instead

So, before you take the bait and watch it on Netflix, please think about the consequences. Every time we “vote” for  skewed ADHD propaganda, in a film or newspaper, we say, “Give us more of this, please.”

(I’m convinced that the New York Times has been tapping into public hysteria about  ADHD for years—simply because it drives web traffic like little else. That’s why I don’t share the links.  And, rest, assured, Alan Schwarz, the former New York Times sports reporter who campaigned on the paper’s front page for a Pulitzer on the backs of people with ADHD, figures prominently in this film. I’ve heard he is now a high school math teacher.  Don’t know who he is?  Read these posts:  Dr. Thomas E. Brown Responds to NYT’s Alan Schwarz and The Truth Behind “10,000 Toddlers Medicated for ADHD)

Hey, but don’t take my word for it!  Check the videotaped interview below. It will tell you all you need to know about the filmmakers’ agenda.  Shriver and Schwarzenegger are interviewed by Kara Swisher (wearing sunglasses).

Did She Actually Say That?

A friend watched it and said, “Did that woman actually say, ‘Why does a 16-year-old need executive function?’ Good lord!”

Why yes. Yes, she did.

Swisher also proudly disclosed that she “declined” suggestions of ADHD medication for her school-age son. Instead, she let him run around outside.

via GIPHY

And. Then. This. Wait for it.

“Well, he’s just not going to do well in school. He’s a tall rich white man in America. I think he’ll be fine.”

Let that sink in a minute.

I’ve seen that attitude dominate in San Francisco, where Swisher lives.  It’s a city is known for its high rates of substance abuse. Meth, opiates, and cocaine are the drugs of choice (if you don’t count startups and IPOs), according to The Most Commonly Used Drugs in San  Francisco.  In a future post,  I share research showing the reduced risk of developing a substance use disorder among children treated early for ADHD.

 “NeuroTypicals” Aren’t The Enemy

Let’s be very clear:  “Neurotypicals” didn’t bring us this film.   That’s the word commonly used to describe folks who don’t have ADHD and are blamed for ADHD denialism. “They don’t understand what it’s like to live with ADHD,” some will complain.

Here’s a little secret:  In my long experience and close observation, no one publicly denies or obfuscates the facts around ADHD more than someone who has ADHD, is “in denial,”  is narcissistic—and has something to sell.

The producers are Maria Shriver and her daughter, Christina Schwarzenegger. Reportedly diagnosed with ADHD in childhood, Schwarzenegger reports taking Adderall through high school and college. It’s a bit confusing, but it seems the only reason she quit was that her liver enzymes were elevated.  “And no one told me this could happen!”  With all that Shriver/Schwarzenegger money, her parents a broadcaster and a one-time governor, no one ever even asked about this?

Anyway, according to them, everybody is abusing Adderall on college campuses. Everybody.  How do they know this?  Unclear.  But one gets the feeling that, whatever lip service to ADHD’s legitimacy they might give elsewhere, any use of a stimulant is an illegitimate use in their eyes.

Is Everybody Abusing Adderall? Truly?

Shriver particularly points to the dangers of more young women taking stimulant medications—”cause they want to do start-ups.”  Yet, my female friends with ADHD work as teachers, nurses, therapists,  and every other occupation. Consider this post from the aforementioned Meg: On Trying to Swim Blind: ADHD and Medication

Where Meg writes poetically of horizons expanding and clarity sharpening when she is diagnosed and begins stimulant medication, Shriver sees only disaster and addiction. A national calamity.

There’s more.

Sneak Preview Highlights:

Here are some interview highlights:

—Schwarzenegger claims she was diagnosed at age 6

In my experience, only the most severe cases of ADHD in girls are diagnosed that young.

—Shriver says her daughter was a “creative learner”

“But teachers will come to you and say ‘medication’ and I said ‘no no no.’ But there is a lot of pressure when the child falling behind.”

In other words, all the usual tropes….” schools are not designed for creative learners.”

And the world is designed for “creative learners”? Only if you are rich and privileged—and not so severely impaired by ADHD that you end up broke, addicted, and in jail.

Ah, but no, Schwarzenegger did avail herself of a stimulant.

—By the first year of high school, Schwarzenegger was taking Adderall

She is careful to stipulate: This happened “only after extensive testing.”

Then onto college, where she discovered the “Adderall epidemic.”  She attended the highly competitive and costly Georgetown University. Was that the best choice for someone who had a long history of struggling in school? Who was allegedly a “creative learner”?

—Christina reports a hard time “getting off” of Adderall

Schwarzenegger reports trouble functioning after stopping the medication. Shriver views that as proof of stimulants’ addictiveness.

But wait. As one friend with ADHD points out, “Well, duh, when you stop the medication, ADHD symptoms return. Maybe you forgot what that was like!”

For a vivid example of an unplanned medication “holiday,” check out Katy Rollins’ essay, ADHD Drug Holiday—Or Horror?

I just have to wonder why, with all their money and access, the Schwarzenegger-Shrivers settled for Adderall, that most problematic of stimulants. It works best for a minority of people. But for most, it causes more problems than it solves.  Did the family do no research? Sure seems that way.

He Watched It So You Don’t Have To

Christopher Campbell is a freelance film editor and critic and the founder of the documentary review site Nonfics.

At The Thrillist website, he opens his incisive review of Take Your Pills (Side Effects of Netflix’s New Doc “Take Your Pills” Include Rage and Misinformation) this way:

One of my favorite jokes is about a man goes to the doctor seeking “smart pills,” only to walk out with a sample of what turns out to be rabbit droppings.

When he returns to the doc and points out that the “pills” are actually poop, the doc says, “See, you’re getting smarter already!” 

Netflix’s new documentary Take Your Pills is the 90-minute equivalent of the “smart pills.”

This From A Reformed ADHD Skeptic

32 thoughts on “Netflix’s “Take Your Pills”: Anti-Science—and Mean”

  1. Dear Gina,

    I am finding your blog after watching my husband take a steady downward spiral on Adderall. At first, it helped him “concentrate a little better” at work and increased his motivation overall, although it was not the miracle cure he expected as far as productivity, memory, organization, or intelligence as he had hoped. The big problem was that when he “came down” toward the end of the day, he was a different person – angry, belittling, and judgmental toward our son and me. If he did not take his daily dose, he was impossible to get along with, snapping at everyone constantly, and tired all day. Eventually, he figured that he was on too low of a dose, so he started taking an afternoon “booster” after his doctor’s (a primary care physician) approval.

    After being married for 23 years, together for 25, he decided one day that he was done, he had enough of being married and is now violently angry. He moved out of the family home after I asked him to leave because of his behavior, and he cannot communicate with my son or with me without yelling, screaming, demeaning, and sometimes growling. In fact, he is demeaning and rude to most people now, and finds it difficult to get along with his colleagues at work. This is not the man I married. He is scary to the point that our teenage son describes him as “possessed”. However, if I happen to speak to him first thing in the morning after taking his a.m. dose of Adderall, this is the one time of day that he is pleasant, happy, and easy to talk to.

    I have tried in earnest to suggest that his anger might have something to do with the med because I have noticed an enormous difference, and this makes him even angrier. I will not deny that as with every marriage, we have had our share of issues. I am also fully aware of the effects of disorders that can cause anger, such as depression. But violence? Irrational behavior? He has always been calm, eager to work through issues, and adamant that we were soul mates – never to part. Now divorce?

    Am I saying that Adderall changed my husband and destroyed my marriage? I don’t know. As a woman who just lost her husband and is still in shock and grief, I am grasping. However, the timeline and behavior connection is compelling and has led me to begin research.

    While in therapy recently, I let my counselor listen to a couple of my husband’s voicemail messages saved on my cell phone. To say she was shocked is an understatement. When she compared the man she had spoken to just months ago during marital therapy and the man she heard on the phone, she said that although she could not diagnose in such a manner, it was as if he had bipolar disorder and was having a manic episode on the messages. All I can say is that the person who left our home is not the man that I married 23 years ago, nor the man I knew prior to Adderall. This roller-coaster, violent behavior was never a factor before the med, and the “improvement” or “benefit” certainly does not outweigh the risks.

  2. Hi Gina,

    I honestly think you should consider producing a documentary in contrast to ‘Take Your Pills’ that sheds light on the reality of ADHD and the treatments available and how those treatments/medication impact those with ADHD. Showing the truth behind medication for those with ADHD in contrast with those who ‘abuse’ it (like those college students in that Netflix film) would illustrate the differences.

    As I was watching the film, I could understand the stigmas associated with adderall, and the dismissal of ADHD, but it disheartened me to witness these interviews that never highlighted the daily struggles of those with ADHD. They only focused on the medication and it’s effects. I have been taking medication for almost a decade for ADHD and have gone through a majority of the struggles associated with the side effects in correlation to its effect on my symptoms. I could go on about my experiences, but that’s not the point of this response.

    I believe everyone should be educated about ADHD. While I understand the stigma of it, and how people can come to that conclusion, they cannot dismiss it because they have never endured the adversities caused from it. If I was born with a ‘neurotypical’ brain and did not have to take medication, I would absolutely do it. I have to work ten times as hard to adjust to a society my brain is not equipped for.

    There are so many subsets of adhd and the best way it was described in a book I recently read is that we were born with a brain that functions a little differently, but given an owners manual to a ‘neurotypical’ brain. There is absolutely no way we are accustomed to our societies current standards, and unfortunately, since we cannot change those values, we just have to adjust to it. Adderall or any ADHD medication does not guarantee an easy way out. It is still hard work. But it contributes to our ability to ‘fit in’ and live up to our community’s standards. I am a huge proponent of the medication, since I have seen drastic improvements in my life. Yes, I have experienced all the negative side effects mentioned in that Netflix film, but those interviews seem to come from a place of naïveté and personal issues. I have effectively worked out all the kinks of my side effects and those mentioned in the film and am still a work in progress, but i can confidently say my life has evolved to a place that i am happy and confident with. The dilemma of the issue at hand is that for some, it is a stimulant that enhances performance, so people with mild ADHD or without tend to abuse it. It is very unfair to those suffering with ADHD, but at least there is an open dialogue, which will hopefully progress to a more solidified, fair solution.

    I know Netflix is always open to allowing two sides of an issue shown on their platform. It would be truly beneficial if you would take on such a project and in essence, stick up for the ADHD community, with your vast knowledge on the subject and your extensive experience. It was actually your book that was my first purchase regarding ADHD. Actually, my mom had bought two—one for me and a translated version for herself.

    I would love to hear back from you because I would love to be a part of the community that advocates for ADHD. There is so much I would love to discuss with you and get the proper, unbiased knowledge out there for everyone to accept and understand.

    Thank you for your time!!

    1. Dear Jen,

      Thank you so much for your well-articulated comment.

      I am thrilled that you are benefiting from new “operating instructions” and medication. I want that opportunity for everyone who has ADHD, and that’s what I’ve worked toward for 20 years.

      Thanks for your faith in me. I surely have the accumulated knowledge. 😉

      I would love to be able to produce a documentary. Unfortunately, I do not have the Kennedy/Schwarzeneggar’s money or influence. And, think about it: A documentary where people’s lives are changed for the better, thanks to Big Pharma? I’m afraid it wouldn’t be a box-office smash hit. 🙂

      I think my friends Ava and Rick Green did a great job with “ADD & Loving It?!” Have you seen it? http://www.TotallyADD.com

      I hope that you continue your own advocacy on a person-to-person basis. I’ve found that really has the most powerful and lasting effect. I saw a huge shift in the online “discourse” on ADHD when more adults with ADHD started writing blogs or leaving comments to news stories on ADHD. They were powerful, powerful advocates. And they helped to turn the tide of public sentiment.

      By contrast, when I started blogging, there was ONE adult with ADHD writing a blog about it. Jeff at JeffsADDMind.com (no longer online).

      You know, millions of Americans alone with undiagnosed ADHD+ are out there angry at the world that demands so much of them. They blame “society’s current standards,” as you point out, for their unhappiness. Or the ex-wife or their parents or some politician or the government or ….. Some become so angry they might resort to violence. Mostly, they suffer alone. They do not know that they have ADHD and that there are strategies that might help them live happier, more productive, more self-directed lives. And, lacking insight as to their condition, they blame others. Blaming others is a very common “poor coping response” among people with poorly managed ADHD.

      Certainly, few sane people would argue that today’s version of capitalism has run amok and run over decent people everywhere. That is too true. But it is also the natural consequences of ADHD, left untreated, that contributes to personal misery. Even on a desert island. Even in a small village. ADHD symptoms can take their toll.

      With diagnosis and, in some cases, medical treatment, individuals with ADHD gain more autonomy, more agency. They are less likely to feel like victims and more likely to make the most of their lives.

      So, I am not one to promote a divide among people with ADHD and people without. There is no ADHD trait that is foreign to most humans. ADHD traits are human traits. It is only their number and extremity that make the diagnosis. Generally speaking, what’s good for people with ADHD is good for humans.

      Rather than “neurotypicals,” I find the worst enemy of people with ADHD to be other people with ADHD plus narcissism and “denial”. They are the ones who most publicly deny the condition and who produce anti-ADHD screeds and “documentaries.” I’ve observed this for a long time. Their blaming of others and perhaps a penchant for self-medicating with provocation is behind much of the anti-ADHD efforts.

      I make the point in this post that Ms. Schwarzeneggar herself was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and took medication up through college. It was only after, when presumably she was looking for something to do, that she and her mother (perhaps also with unacknowledged ADHD, which seems quite common among the Kennedy clan) cooked up this harmful project. They could afford to do it because they are multi-millionaires. It brought them attention, too. How much nicer to think that one is “artistic” instead of having ADHD. One can pretend to be “artistic” when one is a millionnaire taken care of and protected from consequences.

      Keep up your advocacy!

      Gina

  3. This is the biggest load of horse shit I have ever read on the internet. If you really think they are shaming people with ADD and ADHD, then you missed the point completely. This documentary is about awareness and about people who take it who don’t have ADD or ADHD. Yes it is also about the dangers of it. If you really think your not taking micro doses of Meth, your in serious denial. Your body reacts to it in exactly the same way and does damage it exactly the same way.

    I was diagnosed with ADD somewhere around 5. My mom put me on ritelin but took me off of it (thankfully) when my seizures stopped. I sometimes wonder if it was the cause of me seizures but I don’t remember that far back. I have lived most of my life with ADD without medication and I feel empowered by that! Do I drink coffee (which I am well aware is a stimulant), Yes I do. I also put peppermint oil in my water which helps with concentration. But I believe in managing my ADD in the most natural way possible. I’m always on the lookout for new natural ideas to add in. I’m not ok with the possibility of addiction, with the potential liver and heart damage, with sleep irregularities, with the increase dosage over time, panic attacks, seizures, the list goes on and on. Or how about the fact that this is the same shit they were selling us in the 1930’s just rebranded to “help us.” What you do with your body is your business. But how dare you criticize the awareness and the fact that not all of us believe this is the right thing to put in our bodies. That is the real shaming right there!!!

    1. Hi Amanda,

      No, I didn’t miss the point. I saw all the points. Including the fact that most of those people claiming to not have ADHD actually did have it. Their denial systems allows them to “abuse” a drug, but to take it for a legitimate condition? Not so much.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Gina

  4. Depressed and cynical

    We are among those who have trouble finding help for whatever we have. It is all about money. Our oldest son has had the most treatment for his ADHD but tried to go off his medication as an adult. He finally went back on and found a therapist. I would call his treatment adequate.

    Our youngest son was not diagnosed and treated until late teens as ADD by which time he had developed too many bad coping strategies. We couldn’t afford treatment for him. Finally, after getting one of the those SSI lawyers, he got SSI and Medicaid but they persecute disabled people and it is very hard to comply with their demands. It is also hard to get treatment. He gets his prescriptions through a general practitioner. I would call his treatment inadequate. He is not getting any therapy which he badly needs.

    When oldest son was diagnosed back in the 90s, we were told ADHD is hereditary. My control freak husband loudly said that it is my fault, he got it from me. I thought then, and still do, that he has ADHD, and is in denial, especially on reading books on the subject recently in an effort to figure out how to help my sons. My husbands two brothers have ADHD and don’t have access to treatment.

    Maybe I do have it too, but for us, who have no health insurance (we live in a toxic state that doesn’t believe in health care for all but only for those who can afford it), there is not much likely hood that I could get treated. We simply cannot afford treatment. I have suffered from depression off and on over my life and found out a couple of years ago that it runs in my family and so does ADD. I have been to therapy, taken anti-depressants, to no avail.

    ADD has ruined our lives. I am completely without hope. I have no future.

    1. Dear depressed and cynical,

      Your story saddens me greatly. It’s not that I am ever NOT acutely aware of your circumstances being those for millions of Americans. But you really drive home the feelings of isolation and abandonment. I find it truly criminal in 21st Century USA, and I’m sorry you and your family are in this situation.

      I hope that you can find a way to carve out some peace and pleasure in your life. An anti-depressant is not going to compensate for all you describe. Still, if you try again to find a medication that works, it might be that you find yourself feeling less hopeless.

      take care,
      Gina

  5. I was diagnosed with ADHD in my mid 20’s. I had dropped out of university 3 times and my father asked me to visit a psychologist who specialized in adult ADHD.

    Turns out that I was considered to have a severe case of ADHD that was affecting almost all the facets of my life.

    I have been on Ritalin for 11 years now and in that time I was able to work full time at a national retailer at a management level, complete my accounting degree and an advanced diploma in forensic accounting, take over the accounting department for a local company, and am now starting my own business.

    I know, deep down, that I couldn’t have accomplished that without medication, and with the support of my family and wife I have moved past being embarrassed or ashamed of that fact.

    That being said, I still get the reactions from people who find out about my diagnosis that we all see – rolled eyes, deep sighs, the look of “really?”.

    I haven’t watched this documentary yet, and while I get the idea that watching it simply shows companies like Netflix that people want more of that type of “documentary”, I will watch it. Why? Because I know I will encounter people who did watch it.

    I know that they will use it to belittle what I go through on a daily basis. And I refuse to be as ignorant as them and speak to something that I haven’t seen or experienced.
    I don’t usually post on forums, but I’ve recently become more involved in speaking about my experience with people.

    I hope this wasn’t too long for people.

    1. Hi Allen,

      Not too long at all. And thank you for speaking up!

      I was an ADHD advocate online for many years before there was “critical mass” among adults with ADHD. Their blogs and Tweets have really provided a strong counter to the anti-psychiatry nonsense, not to mention the garden-variety nonsensical views on ADHD.

      Of course, you are welcome to watch the “documentary.”

      My long experience says that it’s not worth arguing with the people who think it’s great. Many of them have ADHD themselves but the “in denial” type. And, from what I’ve heard, that is evidenced throughout the movie.

      I find it more time-effective to come up with a clever retort. Sometimes, mine is, “Oh, you think your brain and organs are perfect? How about you smash your glasses?” Usually stops ’em. 🙂

      Good luck, but it doesn’t sound like you need it. Kudos to that psychologist!

      g

  6. Just the interview in the article pissed me off. The woman in the sunglasses is a f*ckwit of the highest order. When she said “why does a teen need executive function?” I turned the air blue and then stopped watching. Jeebus. Ann.

  7. Hey, Just start filming my family and go back to all the shit that has happened, and anyone disputing the reality must have ADHD themselves.

  8. HOLD ON here, folks! I

    have had ADHD all my life…but was afraid of the drugs.

    I went to college, received a professional degree and masters, worked 25 years in a demanding job, raised three children, without medication…and I STRUGGLED to keep it under control all my life.

    To what degree I had no idea. Until now.

    When I turned 60 I was talking with my doctor about what was going on, and explained what I was going thru…and he suggested Adderall.

    Within a week, it changed my life. Why did I wait so long?

  9. I hope this terrible documentary does not have impact.

    NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR DISCRIMINATION!

    I’ve faced so much discrimination. This documentary just makes me cry.

    I can’t believe it.

    I feel like crying now.

  10. This documentary suggests that everyone who takes Adderall is using Meth or speed.

    Without stimulant MEDICATION, children who actually have significant ADHD could not function.

    This documentary is skewed and irresponsible! It hurts kids with disabilities.

  11. “Take your pills” didn’t show enough on the people the medication is truly intended for.

    Though I agree there is a lot of mis-use of the medication, it can be a life changing godsnd to people with the neurological dysfunction.

    And it is a neurological disorder that shows extreme difference in how the brain works. Look at some brain scans. It’s hug

  12. My young adult son greatly benefits from Adderal, both at school and at his part time job.

    He simply can’t focus without it. Why struggle when there is a solution to a problem!

  13. Agree!

    I’m a school psychologist (also have ADHD as do 2 of my 4 kids)..

    The misinformation parents come to the table with can be infuriating. And when they refuse to treat these poor children suffer so much.

    Thanks for the work you do in sharing and explaining evidence based information. It really makes a difference

  14. Hi there Gina.

    I’m kind of confused. I was considered ADD all my life, and when I was younger my parents put me on Ritalin. I was numb, so after 2 months they took me off.

    Fast forward 50 years later, where I have struggled everyday with ADHD, and my doctors put me on Adderall.

    I am so relaxed, and feel better than I have in years.

    At first I took it at night, because I felt so relaxed and at ease.

    Then I started taking it in the morning, according to my doctor, and felt great all day. I can slow my thoughts down so I do not have four or five ideas going at the same time..

    WHAT ARE THESE KIDS DOING? How does it make them feel so energized?

    Am I taking the same Adderal that they are? I’m on 30mg and it has changed my life.

    Does it really work like that with the rest of the population?

    I’m concerned I’m the freak of nature. But you know what, I feel great…and I can sleep soundly!!! Finally.

  15. Wait a hot minute!

    You mean to tell me that someone diagnosed with ADHD stopped receiving treatment and then hyper focused on a poorly researched pet project without any forethought for the negative effects thereof?

  16. Hi D –

    1967. Bless your heart.

    I hope your son comes around soon. Sometimes we can make it easier. Sometimes not.

    take care of yourself,
    g

  17. Thank you Gina! I’m sure a lot of my ADHD clients will watch this film, and I am going to send anyone who asks about it to this blog post. As for me, you saved me some time so I can watch something more scientific!

  18. Dorothy Margraf

    Films like this, physicians and counselors who say they know about ADHD and really know nothing, make life very difficult for those who live with a family member or members who are in denial. They not only hurt the affected individuals but everyone around them. It’s times like that when I wish I could believe in karma.

    Why are so many people in denial about their own ignorance about so many things. It isn’t that hard to do some searching for additional information. What could be said about a person who went to a plumber and said, “I am deathly sick. I read an article about toenail fungus so I know it’s not cancer. What else could it be?” The plumber might answer, “Fix your bathroom sink.” Sometimes I think that’s where the minds of people are these days.

    1. Hi Dorothy,

      Thank you so much for commenting.

      I love your plumber story. It made me laugh. For a minute.

      Cognitive scientists tell us that humans don’t like to think. It’s much easier to latch onto preconceptions and “shiny”—and tell ourselves we are seeing a situation accurately.

      ADHD is one of those topics that demands immense intelligence and empathy. The general population contains neither in surplus, imho.

      Thank you!

  19. “Privilege”

    That interview reeked of privilege!

    Oh? You (Christina) didn’t do so well whilst off meds at your high school, you say?

    Well, we’ll just pull you out and enroll you in an “arts” school; they’ll know how to reach you.

    But wait? Things were more difficult at Georgetown than your “creative” school, so you relied on medication then?!

    Gosh- sounds to me like you encountered the real world and your very real disability!!!

    My favorite part was when the interviewer in that video said (wait- I have 2 favorites from her….paraphrasing)

    1. “Executive function? Why do we need executive function at (that) age?”

    2. “If it were up to me, my kids would not have gone to school at all but their dad felt otherwise.”

    PRIVILEGE!

    If my kids don’t go to school or if they avoid demanding schools via an “arts” school, they won’t be able to support themselves as adults.

    These sheltered trust-fund babes have no worries about supporting themselves and have the privilege to skip the lessons involving self-sufficiency.

    Maria Shriver and her daughter have nothing in common with families struggling to raise a child with ADHD and should *not* be speaking out about the disorder.

    It’s irresponsible and reminiscent of the Jenny McCarthy vaccine days!

    Our family used to live near a very wealthy enclave, and I had a taste of that privilege with my children’s friends. They had drivers, multiple nannies, cooks, and housekeepers. Their parents were seriously naive to the needs of families like mine, but were still my friends. I opened their eyes as much as they opened mine!

    That’s why I think it’s irresponsible; I believe they know not the damage they are inflicting!

  20. THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS!! I’m a Psychologist who specializes in ADHD, and I hear about this movie FAR TOO OFTEN. Now I have a rebuttal to the misinformation. This movie trivializes the struggle that ADHD’ers face having to function in a neurotypical society… We need more GOOD information out there about what ADHD actually is, because the market is already saturated with the BAD INFORMATION. I feel bad for the Shriver daughter. Her life could likely be better with some education surrounding her brain, and knowledge about ADHD… This movie makes me so angry, but I’m happy you’re speaking out.

    1. Thank you, Alison! I’m grateful that you find this long post useful.

      It’s so hard to know where to begin in countering this toxic nonsense. It’s so all-encompassing.

      Thank you!
      g

  21. Thanks so much for the warning. I would have otherwise watched it – and it would have put me back into the anger and shame spiral. Until my diagnosis and meds, I self-medicated – just like every other non-medicated ADHD person I’ve ever encountered. I’m living proof that meds are a whole lot better than non-stop caffeine, drug binges, and daily doses of alcohol. I can actually be a contributing member of society. I’m proud of myself – and I can’t understand why so many people want to strip that away.

    And yes, I agree that shamers are far more likely to be denying their destiny. It’s an important message that you alone seem to understand.

    1. Hi Mari,

      Thank you so much for understanding.

      I’m outraged that these people use their money, access, and privilege for cruelty—and that too many in the public see them as performing a public service!

      It’s like a bad Twilight Zone episode.

      I’m glad you didn’t let the message affect.

      Thanks so much for writing.

      Gina

    1. Thanks, Liz!

      You always do a great job, too. I’m sure would have an interesting and effective personal take on this “film.” Go for it!

      Gina

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay in Touch!
Ride the ADHD Roller Coaster
Without Getting Whiplash!
Receive Gina Pera's award-winning blog posts and news of webinars and workshops.
P.S. Your time and privacy—Respected.
No e-mail bombardment—Promised.
No Thanks!
close-link