The New York Times Untangles the Myth of A.D.H.D., Makes it More Confusing

A.D.H.D. is not a metaphor. It is not the restlessness and rambunctiousness that happen when grade-schoolers are deprived of recess, or the distraction of socially minded teenagers in the smartphone era. Nor is it the reason your colleagues check their e-mail in meetings and even (spare me!) conversations.

I was diagnosed with A.D.H.D. in 5th grade after not turning in a homework assignment. My excuse was I lost it. Furious, my middle-aged, Southern, Christian, conservative, 5th period history teacher made me dump the contents of my backpack out in front of the entire class. The phantom homework wasn’t there so she demanded I search the trashcan.

Her name was Mrs. Wilson, h8 you Mrs. Wilson.

After the incident she insisted, to both the principle and my parents, that I be tested for A.D.H.D. Mrs. Wilson was ‘interviewed’ by my pediatrician. I was interviewed and subsequently ‘failed’ a bunch of tests. I was prescribed Ritalin. To take three times a day. My mother refused to fill the prescription. I had a happy, stimulate free childhood.

My only symptom was suffering “the restlessness and rambunctiousness that happen when grade-schoolers are deprived of recess.

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