How far we’ve come since 1994 in our nation’s collective awareness of ADHD. But how far we have yet to go!
I think it’s deserved for us all to pat ourselves on the back a bit for joining together to educate the public about ADHD. But the timing is also propitious to sound the alert as to how much more there is to be done.
Stigma still retards progress.
Factions still prevent the unified efforts that would bring greatest success. Children still suffer in schools unnecessarily, and millions of adults who have ADHD still don’t know they have it. New non-medication treatments are emerging, but we need more research to validate them and develop new ones.
Still, we have come a long way since that book came out. Back then, when I went on talk shows, the first question I was asked was, “How do you know ADHD is real? Isn’t it just a fancy excuse to get out of doing work?”
I am never asked that questions today. True, some uninformed people still wonder about it, but the science is so solid that no informed person has any doubt but that ADHD is real.
Now the great task is to educate this country–and the world–as to how best to identify ADHD and how best to deal with it.
With your help, we will do this work, and we will do it sooner than later. We must, because millions of lives will suffer without it, while millions will thrive once they get the right kind of help.
Read more about Changing the Shame and Stigma of Mental Illness.
VAST (SM) Variable Attention Stimulus Trait
To that end, John Ratey and I will publish a new book, the third in the Distraction series, in November of 2020. In this new book we unveil a new term for ADHD. Our new term is VAST (SM), which stands for Variable Attention Stimulus Trait. It’s time to move past the deficit-disorder model and see the condition as a trait composed of positives and negatives. ADHD conveys shame and stigma. VAST conveys a truer picture, that this condition can be a great asset in life if it is managed properly.
In addition, Nancy and Tim Armstrong are funding the making of a feature-length documentary about ADHD/VAST (SM) rooted in the strength-based approach I’ve been championing for many years. This film should also help to dismantle stigma promote the hope and positive outcomes we need to aim for and achieve.
It is a time to feel grateful, but also to rededicate out efforts. I intend to keep working hard on behalf of this cause. I hope you all do, as well.
If you think you or a loved one might have ADHD, learn about the Symptoms of ADHD and Getting a Diagnosis.
Learn about ADHD and Addiction here.
Learn about ADHD and Hope here.
Upcoming ADHD Awareness Events
Register for free and raise your ADHD awareness!
October 1st – October 31st – The ADHD Awareness Expo is a unique and innovative FREE online event! This is THE place to find the Help and Support YOU need to understand and treat ADHD. You will also have the opportunity make life changing connections with members of the ADHD Community. Dr. Hallowell and other Special Guests will be joining us by video to share tips and strategies. REGISTER FOR FREE NOW!
If you’re not available to attend on 11/21, you can sign up and ADDitude will send you the replay to watch at your convenience. RESERVE YOUR FREE SPOT – REGISTER NOW!