Multiply Janine’s story by a few million, toss in some variations, and soon you’re talking real money–at least $67 billion and maybe up to $116 billion. That’s the estimated U.S. workforce productivity loss due to ADHD, according to a 2004 survey* conducted by two of psychiatry’s most widely cited researchers: psychiatrist Joseph Biederman, professor of psychiatry at Harvard University and head of the adult ADHD program at Massachusetts General Hospital, and psychologist Stephen Faraone, director of medical genetics research and head of child and adolescent psychiatry research at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University.
“ADHD is one of the costliest medical conditions that we have,” Biederman told the American Medical Association in a media briefing for the survey. “The impact on quality of life is extraordinarily profound, from marriage to friendship to ability to make a living.”
I have ADHD. I was born this way. Apparently, I was also born with a predisposition for suffering depression and was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder 7 1/2 years ago.
Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder is a crappy name. Who wants to be called Disordered? Even if we are all disordered in some way! Here’s a better name: VAS—Variable Attention Syndrome. Continue reading Battling disorder
from The Rosie Project:
“ ‘Is Gene all right?’ [Julie] asked. It was obviously a variant on that most common of formulaic interaction, ‘How are you?’
“ ‘He’s fine, thank you,’ I said, adapting the conventional reply to the third-person form.
“ ‘Oh. I thought he was ill.’
“ ‘Gene is in excellent health except for being six kilograms overweight. We went for a run this morning. He has a date tonight, and wouldn’t be able to go out if he was ill.’
“Julie seemed unimpressed, and in reviewing the interaction later, I realized that Gene must have lied to her about his reason for not being present. This was presumably to protect Julie from feeling that her lecture was unimportant to Gene and to provide a justification for a less prestigious speaker being sent as a substitute. It seems hardly possible to analyze such a complex situation involving deceit and supposition of another person’s emotional response, and then prepare your own plausible lie, all while someone is waiting for you to reply to a question. Yet that is exactly what people expect you to be able to do.”
(The Rosie Project, p. 8)
Adapting those last lines to my life would read thus: It hardly seems possible to keep track of and complete in a timely, consistent manner all that needs to be accomplished daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Yet that is exactly what people expect you to do.