Lose the Labels, Find ADHD Answers On Dr. Parker TV

Are you looking beyond the labels? Looking for answers on complex questions related to Adult ADHD?

Having ADHD in the 21st Century means we enjoy a burgeoning body of knowledge—with plenty of access to it.

From books to blogs, videos to podcasts, there’s something for every learning style. Perhaps no one has made information available through more media types than Dr. Charles Parker.

Here are some of my top picks from Dr. Parker’s YouTube Channel, with captions below each.

Why So Many Problems with Medication?

Why do so many people with ADHD experience problems with medication? One reason is not establishing targets before treating them.

But there’s more to it.


ADHD Subset #1: “Acting Without Thinking”

Many people think that impulsivity/hyperactivity is the only ADHD diagnosis and if the person is suffering from that, that’s a clear indication for medication.

But impulsivity/hyperactivity represents only about 20% of the presenting issues.

Moreover, it’s important to recognize that ADHD is a contextual challenge. When structure is good and variables are predictable, performance is better than when structure is poor and variables are unpredictable (think a structured workplace vs. home — just one of the reasons some people with ADHD become workaholics).

In other words, just because you can focus on a video game doesn’t mean you don’t have ADHD.


ADHD Subset #2: “Thinking without Acting”

This can look like OCD if you don’t know what’s underlying this outer appearance. This is cognitive anxiety, not affective anxiety (thinking anxiety vs. feeling anxiety).

You might not “feel” anxious but you might be overwhelmed with thinking. (This is often misdiagnosed as bi-polar disorder.)

These folks might abhor therapy because they’re asked to think even more. (No more questions! I don’t need more to think about; my head is already about to explode!)

ADHD Subset #3: “I’m not going to think or act; please go away.”

Key concepts about Avoidance of:

  • Self
  • Close relationships
  • People in general (Looks like “social anxiety disorder” but the core issues are inattention and distractibility),
  • Projects (too many unpredictable variables and lack of structure)


3 thoughts on “Lose the Labels, Find ADHD Answers On Dr. Parker TV”

  1. Dr Charles Parker

    Hey guys,
    Just back from a ‘completely distracting’ vacation and can’t tell you how much I appreciate you both! With colleagues like you folks, the entire ADHD community has a great deal to be thankful for!

    Thanks so much, Gina, for taking the time to help send out this message on the exceedingly limited value of making diagnosis and designing treatment strategies based upon appearances. Just because some meds work for whimsical superficial assessments doesn’t justify careless pharmacology and imprecise targets for the general population – kids or adults.

    In 2010 the available science does take us beyond superficial games and frivolous medication adventures. ADHD is serious, the treatment requires serious thought, and throwing stimulants at someone who is “hyper” is simple Paleolithic medicine.

    With thoughtful folks like you stepping up to the plate with attention to real science, the world will, hopefully, soon change.

    These videos provide an interesting perspective as some of my colleagues think I am too out-of-the-box, “too liberal” in my different thinking. My simple answer: I’m so conservative and so precise I only appear liberal!

  2. Jeffs ADD Mind

    These videos are great! Dr. Parker is opening up a whole new way of understanding ADHD and of understanding the mind/body interaction. (I’ll ignore, for now the philosophical questions concerning the existence of “the mind.) I’m sure many other areas of psychiatry could benefit from a similar comprehensive approach.

    1. I agree with you, Jeff. Too much of psychiatry is muddling through 20th Century and even 19th Century paradigms, and it short-changes lives.

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