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ADHD can be beaten by hardwork
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Oldmiddie18 posted:
I am 81 years old, have been married to the same woman for 58 years, have had a successful career and have all the symptoms of ADHD. However, I learned at an early age that if I worked hard--harder than many of my friends, I could succeed. I got through high school only one semester late despite having had to move frequently because my Father was in the Coast Guard and transferred often. I took a competetive exam for the US Naval Academy and did well enough to be admitted. I graduated in 1953 and was married the day after graduation. I spent three years in the USAF and resigned to go back to college to qualify for medical school. We spent one year at UVA and was accepted for the MD/PhD program at what is now Case Western Reserve U in Cleveland, OH. After graduation in 1963 I worked as a faculty member and research scientist at Vanderbilt University, UMass, and the University of Texas in Houston as Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. My wife and I have raised three very successful children.
I have written all this to argue that ADD/ADHD need not be crippling if only one works hard enough. I have all of the symptoms, including a brain that wanders wildly and never shuts down, temper problems, problems with math, misplaced items, forgetfulness, sadnesses that may develope into depression. I am fortunate in that I don't need a lot of sleep and am up until 2 or 3AM most nights. I believe that the only reason I have had a successful life is because I have worked very hard and have created systems to help me stay on course. I have never taken any medications of a psychiatric nature, nor any of the ADD/ADHD medicines because the long term effects of them are complex and unknown. My advice would be that hard work and discipline can overcome the worst parts of this very nebulous condition and that it should not be allowed to make people accomplish less than their very best.
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Gina Pera responded:
How wonderful for you, that you feel you have had a successful life despite ADHD symptoms.

If you are indeed a physician, you know that a few symptoms does not a diagnosis make. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the actual diagnostic criteria for ADHD.

I would also wonder about the quality of life of those around you. Do you think that it's easy to live with someone who is forgetful, misplaces things, has temper problems, and chronic sadness, not to mention insomnia?

I do find it strange that a physician would have so little compassion for people who might not have had the opportunities or resources that you have enjoyed.


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