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Thread: ADHD: Not Just for Kids

  1. #1
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    Default ADHD: Not Just for Kids

    Hi everyone,
    A new documentary about ADHD and adults will be airing tonight at 8:00 pm (March 16, 2017) on CBC's The Nature of Things.
    The following is from the episode description on the CBC's website:

    It used to be just for kids, but not anymore. ADHD: Not Just For Kids aims to dispel the myths and stigmas about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a condition that many people, kids and adults alike, often live with for years, unrecognized or misdiagnosed.
    Samy Inayeh was diagnosed as an adult.

    It’s a neurobiological disorder that leads to inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Samy Inayeh, an award-winning cinematographer, struggled with symptoms for years until he was diagnosed. Suddenly things made sense for him and his fianc, Sarah.

    Dr. Ainslie Gray from Toronto’s Springboard Clinic and Doctors Russell Schachar and Jennifer Crosbie from SickKids Hospital explain how ADHD was long believed to be something adults outgrew, but it’s now understood that the symptoms can carry on into adulthood – often without ever being diagnosed.

    Studies by Dr. Jean Gehricke at UC Irvine reveal that nicotine mimics ADHD medications by raising dopamine levels. Symptom reductions can mask the condition, so smokers may never realize they have ADHD until they try to quit. At Florida State University, Professor Pradeep Bhide and researcher Deirdre McCarthy develop the first ADHD lab animals and learn how nicotine exposure during pregnancy can result in passing on ADHD to children, and even grandchildren.

    Dr. Lynn Stewart of Correctional Services Canada ran a study showing how 16-17% of male federal prison inmates have ADHD, with an additional 40% presenting moderate symptoms – much higher than the general population (5%). She says that ADHD’s lack of impulse control almost defines criminality.

    Hyperactive boys get noticed early, while girls tend to fly under the radar. Dr. Mayer Hoffer describes what he calls the classic case of ADHD - an undiagnosed bright young woman whose life falls apart once she leaves home for college. Medina Abdelkader had such problems in graduate school. Diagnosis changed everything for her.

    Susan Gottlieb is a successful investment banker who was misdiagnosed with depression in her 40s. Once properly diagnosed, and with help from ADHD coach Robert Pal, she is back to functioning better than ever.

    Stimulant medication has been the gold standard for treating ADHD for 50 years. Non-pharmaceutical therapies designed by Sick Children’s Hospital and Ehave, a software company founded by Scott Woodrow, are being tested. Fifty kids are regularly playing a cognitive training program that has been well disguised as an exciting video game.

    Pediatrician Dr. Laura Gerber knows ADHD well – she and her children have it. The condition is highly heritable and often parents, when bringing in their children for treatment, discover their own ADHD.

    This brings us back to Samy, Sarah and their two-year-old son Kahlil. Four months after our first meeting with them, Sarah gets tested and confirms what she and Samy have suspected. She too has ADHD. Sarah and Samy wonder what the future holds for Kahlil.

    People with ADHD are often the adventurers, the ones willing to take risks, and thus are an important part of our social fabric. ADHD: Not Just For Kids tries to show that children and adults alike can transform their ADHD from a functional shortfall into a strength. It just needs to be recognized in the first place.
    Last edited by Tina; March 16, 2017 at 08:39 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: ADHD: Not Just for Kids

    Here's a review of the documentary in the Globe and Mail:
    John Doyle: How television treats mental disorders, the good and bad
    The article begins with the bad television treatment (I have not included this part), and then talks about this documentary:

    Mental afflictions tend to be treated luridly, too. There are so many myths being ill-used, and inaccuracy abounds. This brings us to an exception, a plain-spoken, straightforward program airing this week.

    ADHD: Not Just for Kids (Thursday, CBC, 8 p.m. on The Nature of Things) explains calmly that some adults who often seem endlessly distracted or who procrastinate a lot are actually suffering from what is commonly associated with children – attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    Apparently there is a portion of the brain that deals with how we respond to stimulation and rewards. Thus, there is logic to what we do and we instinctively do things in a logical manner. We focus and concentrate. But for some brains there is a shortage of neurotransmitters and, it turns out, people we think of as daredevils or those in high-risk occupations are not simply high-energy risk-takers and show-offs but are people intuitively dealing with ADHD.

    There is a link between smoking and ADHD, we’re told. People with ADHD are much more likely to smoke because nicotine reduces ADHD symptoms and some people who continue to smoke are self-medicating.

    There is a wealth of information such as that nugget about smoking in the program. One assertion is that while we typically think of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder as something that is exhibited by young boys, the disorder also affects girls. It’s just that it is much less obvious. One expert says that a classic case of late-adolescent failure, that of the 19-year-old woman who goes away to university and struggles and then drops out, is often a matter of ADHD symptoms being exhibited. He also says that psychiatrists often fail to ask the correct questions of patients who fit into that category of young women who seem lost and unfocussed when starting third-level education.

    Considerable attention is paid to Samy Inayeh, an award-winning cinematographer who is mentally sturdy and calm when handling stressful job circumstances but struggles to be organized and attentive at home. He baffled himself and others for years until he was diagnosed.

    A lot of things suddenly make sense if you watch the program. In the general population about 5 per cent of people present the symptoms of ADHD. Among male federal prison inmates in Canada, it is 16-17 per cent of the population there. Perhaps the most significant nugget of information is the blunt dismissal of the myth that ADHD is something that adults outgrow. And there is an important assertion that some adults with ADHD – those who take creative risks – are actually a vital part of society.

    Sometimes when television attempts to grapple with medical or mental disorders, it’s all about exaggeration, in order to get the viewer’s attention. Every visual element turns into a stunt. That isn’t true of this, one of the most illuminating and sobering examinations of what afflicts those around us to come along in ages.
    Last edited by Tina; March 16, 2017 at 08:39 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: ADHD: Not Just for Kids

    And one more article, an interview with the filmmaker, Michael McNamara, who discovered he has ADHD as a result of making this film!

    CBC documentary explores ADHD in adults
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    Default Re: ADHD: Not Just for Kids

    Would it be possible to download the video and attach it to a post? When I go to your first link, Tina, I get the message "Episode available within Canada only."

  5. #5
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    Default Re: ADHD: Not Just for Kids

    I'll contact the filmmaker and see if there's a way to view or purchase the video in the U.S.
    I might not hear until business resumes next week, but when I have an answer I'll let you know.
    Cheers!
    Tina
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