I Want to Be French…

Apparently, I need to become French. There are several reasons for this.

  1. French women don’t get fat. If you have any doubts about this, read the book or visit the author’s website for a explanation of why your whole life would be better if you were French.
  2. My name is Claire, which is French. Actually it’s the French version of “Clara.”
  3. French kids don’t have ADHD!

Clearly I should move to France! Hi. I’m Claire and I have ADHD. (As you may have surmised from the title of this blog.) I’ll try to keep this humorous, but I have strong feelings on this subject, so please accept my sincere apologies, if I rant a bit here and there.

French kids don’t have ADHD. Marilyn Wedge, Ph.D. says so in her blog, Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD on Psychology Today’s website. Her basic premise is that there is no concrete evidence that ADHD is a biological condition, and that ADHD symptoms are caused by a combination of poor nutrition, creativity-stifling learning environments, lack of parental structure and discipline, and other contributing outside factors such as childhood trauma or stress. If you’ve read that article, chances are you agree with it. ADHD is over-diagnosed, overly medicated, and used as an excuse by people who are too lazy to discipline their kids! Bad parents!

Right? Well…sort of. Over-diagnosed and overly medicated? Well…duh! Of course it is! This is because (in my opinion) it’s often diagnosed and medicated by pediatricians not psychiatrists.

As for a lack of biological evidence, she’s right. There isn’t really much concrete evidence for ADHD. But there’s also not a lot of concrete evidence for other “mental disorders” either. I dare all you doubters out there to live with an ADHDer for six months and then tell me that ADHD doesn’t exist.

Let’s talk about those “outside factors” for a moment. Food allergies are certainly an issue for some and you probably shouldn’t feed your hyperactive child a ton of sugar and red dye…. Couldn’t hurt to unplug them from the TV either. However…I didn’t eat sugar for the first 16 years of my life, my family was often vegan, I was creatively home schooled in a structured environment, and we didn’t own a TV until I was 5.* Yeah…still ADHD.

Now to be fair, Wedge is only talking about children. Perhaps she views adult ADHD differently. If you would like more information on what it’s like to be an ADHD adult I would highly recommend You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?! That title pretty much sums up how it feels to be diagnosed with adult ADHD. “You mean there’s a reason I do that?” To say that ADHD doesn’t really exist is to tell those of us with ADHD that, well, sorry, but you really are lazy, crazy or stupid after all.

Hi. I’m Claire and I have ADHD. I’m a librarian, a lay youth-minister, and an amateur musician. And I take daily medication for ADHD.

*When we did get a TV it didn’t do me any good as I wasn’t allowed to watch any TV after I stomped around the house growling, “Me want cookies!” after an episode of Sesame Street.

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