• darachduffy


Imagine a world in a far far galaxy. There are aliens just like us, plants, animals and even Pret a Manger. The world is troubled with war, disease, famine, rioting and poverty. In this world however, 5-10 percent of the aliens have a brain disorder. A particular type of disorder that exacerbates many other mental health issues like addiction, depression, chronic anxiety, and obesity to name a few.

Some of these aliens don't believe the disorder exists. Some believe it’s just a silly name for unruly little boys. Some believe it is largely a drug company fabrication designed to serve and validate the latest pharmaceutical product to make money for big corporate organisations.

Some aliens believe the disorder is laziness and that the aliens who 'have it' need some good old-fashioned discipline

However, the clinical data is out, and it tells them pure and simple that this disorder exists. Not only that but compared to other killers from a public health standpoint, it's very bad. Smoking, for example reduces life expectancy by 2-4 years, and if you smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day, you're down about 6.5 years. For diabetes and obesity, it’s a couple of years. This brain disorder is worse than the top 5 killers in the US and UK combined. Having this disorder costs a person nearly thirteen years of life, on average. And that’s on top of all the findings of a greater risk of accidental injury and suicide. About two thirds of people have a life expectancy reduced by up to 21 years.[OW1]

Ok. I’m not talking about another galaxy with aliens. I'm talking about earth and the disorder is ADHD.

The good news is ADHD is the most treatable disorder in psychiatry, bar none. We have medications with larger effect sizes, greater response rates and more delivery systems that change people's lives more than any other disorder.

Of course, like everything ADHD is on a scale. Some suffer more than others.

I was diagnosed at 31. After trying to take my own life, visiting 4 rehabs for alcohol addiction, being banged up in a Thai Jail cell for being drunk, getting fired from jobs that destroyed my self-confidence, self-identity, and my soul.

I’m 33 now. I don't drink. I’m doing a master’s in psychology and have a YouTube channel and Podcast that is growing every day. It is all about ADHD.[OW2]

More than 25% of people in Alcoholics Anonymous have ADHD. Most of them have no idea. More than 30% of prisoners have ADHD. Most of them don't know it. A huge proportion of people with obesity have ADHD. Most don't know.

To be as clear as possible. ADHD is genetic and heritable. You can't get it any other way unless there was some really devastating pregnancy events, but they are rare.

Having been to rehab and talked to patients and staff, they are completely oblivious to the fact that ADHD might be causing the problems. The neuroscience is complicated, however if we just say that the body/brain of someone with ADHD does not produce enough dopamine. They therefore go looking for that dopamine in other ways. Dopamine is the motivation molecule. Without this being pumped throughout your brain you can't do anything.

Some lucky people either find a passion that they love, and it provides them with the dopamine they need. These are the people we hear about. Rory Bremner, Joe Wicks, Jamie Oliver, and Justin Timberlake. THEY ARE ANOMOLIES!!!!

It is more likely that people with untreated ADHD take part in risky behaviours like smoking, drinking alcohol, eating sugary food, being reckless in cars, taking cocaine, heroin etc etc. All these things are done to get the dopamine that neurotypical people take for granted. They then get addicted to these things, as dopamine is the most addictive thing on the planet.

The naughty ADHD kid at school did not have enough dopamine. This made them distracted and lack focus. It is all down to the brain and its chemistry and not the morality of the child or their parents.[OW3]

I remember being naughty at school and being forces to face a wall during lunch time. I could hear all my friends running and playing behind me. I wasn’t allowed to look a way from the wall for the full hour. I needed to run around. To get endorphins, who’s by product is dopamine. How backwards was this. I hope things have changed in schools. From what I hear and read. They haven’t.

Once I was diagnosed and found the right medication my life has done a U turn. I’m sober, passionate, driven, purposeful, hardworking and want to make the world a better place by getting the message of ADHD out to the masses AND the people who can influence change. I want the stigma to be taken away. It is like having diabetes of the brain. If it goes untreated...families break apart, jail, addiction, constant anxiety and depression and suicide comes eventually.

We need more from the NHS. They did nothing for me. In fact, the NHS facilitated the issues. they were compliant. They were worse than useless. I know they are underfunded, but the treatment I received was despicable. I had to pay for a private psychiatrist. Most people who suffer with ADHD cannot afford a private psychiatrist. I am incredibly lucky it makes me tear up.[OW4]

Medication isn't the silver bullet. Sleep, exercise, purpose and meaning, nutrition, connection with people, self-reflection and taking action, all play a part. But, from my experience and many others who I have spoken to, I know that 5-10% of the population are living in hell and barely anyone seems to care or try to understand.

- If you think you might have ADHD or one of your family members has it, look out for the following things before it’s too late

- Unexplained underachievement

- A wandering mind

- Trouble organizing and planning

- A high degree of creativity and imagination, but the inability to finish things.

- Trouble with time management, and a tendency to procrastinate

- Strong will, stubbornness, and a refusal of help

- Generosity (excessively)

- Restlessness

- Excessive sensitivity to criticism or rejection

- impulsiveness and impatience

- high energy and low energy

- Susceptibility to addictions and compulsive behaviours of all kinds

- Transparency, to the point of being honest to a fault

- Distorted negative self-image

- Depression, suicidal thoughts, and social anxiety

Follow my YouTube channel ADHDDARA. My website is ADHDDARA.COM. My Instagram is ADHDDARA and so is my Twitter. I interview experts in the field and make funny and informative videos about ADHD bi-weekly. Let’s change the way we look at ADHD. PLEASE! It's the most treatable disorder, but barely anyone is treated, especially those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

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