Million dollars question!
Thats Dr Saul’s statement. I cant say I agree with everything he says, but it might be an opportunity to question ourselves….
Ill quote a text from Dr Saul ” Every day my colleagues and I see more and more people coming in claiming they have trouble paying attention at school or work and diagnosing themselves with ADHD. And why shouldn’t they? If someone finds it difficult to pay attention or feels somewhat hyperactive, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder has those symptoms right there in its name. It’s an easy catchall phrase that saves time for doctors to boot. But can we really lump all these people together? What if there are other things causing people to feel distracted? ”
It would be VERY hard to prove ADHD does not exist.
Thankfully, as a neuropsychologist, my job is to try to understand WHY patients report feeling distracted or forgetful. I dont have to debate if ADHD exists or not. My job is to take on a quest to find the nature of the underlying problem, help the person see it and maybe accept it before we search for solutions.
Here is an illustration of a case :
Imagine Joe. Joe has born missing 1 toe on a foot. It really annoys him. He relates most of his difficulties to this missing toe : its hard for him to run errands, and to practice some sports, or to just go from point A to B. He feels a foot prosthesis would help him live a “normal” life.
Joe goes to see a Dr one day to inquire about solution for his missing toe.
After talking to the Dr and doing some exams, they discover Joe has severe knee problem. The missing toe is not actually affecting his locomotion, his knee is.
After they have identified the real nature of the problem, they are both able to address and fix the problem.
And a foot prosthesis would not have fixed the problem.
Thankfully, Joe and his Dr took the time to look for other possible explanations of the problem, so they were really able to fix it.
Does ADHD exist ?
I cant say it doesnt.
But I can say people come to my office for a reason.
So lets try to address these difficulties, beyond diagnosis.
Dr Genevieve Gagnon, PhD, CPsych