Medication For ADHD – Stupid Diagnostic Questions

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ADHD Medications Prescribed Based On Ridiculous Questions

“If you can't describe what you're doing as a process, you don't know what you are doing.”
Peter Drucker, Management Consultant – Quoted in New ADHD Medication Rules


Condemn Stupidity – by stevechihos via Flickr

No, readers, this post is not a rant, and the topic really isn't that funny. Rather, the abundance of stupid questions used to diagnose ADHD is a sad, black humor, – a theater of the absurd statement about the state of pervasive non-science with ADHD treatment in common practice today. Far too many who suffer with ADHD are involved in an unknowing, paradoxical black comedy – but the joke's on them.

And their ADHD treatment future with medical imprecision and misinformation is not funny at all. And so many really smart people use stupid questions that it appears on many levels to have become the Stealth Standard of Care for ADHD.

The many stupid questions are driven by built-in imprecise thinking, and an almost anti-intellectual approach to ADHD meds.  Non-science is nonsense.  Denial too often replaces useful perceptions of real data.

Cowboy Quick Draw – Non-science Impulsivity

Too many write for ADHD medications and shoot from the hip, take a gunslinger shots at that flashy bottle on the fence, and shoot with no earthly idea about the shooting process – either the targets or the weapons. Some use a 105 Howitzer for an ant crawling across the floor, others just throw buckshot at a maybe-deer from a moving car on a drive-by shoot up. Many in the innocence-of-denial completely miss the suicidal hints hiding in the bushes – and blast away with no strategy that covers serious medical comorbidity or drug interactions.

Remember: Suicidal thinking is enhanced with stimulants if not treated simultaneously for depression.

Good News?

This brings to mind the sarcastic announcement from the airline pilot: “The good news is we're traveling 600 mph, and the plane is running just fine… – the bad news, we have no idea where we are.”

Shooting at appearances, shooting at diagnostic maybes, without knowing if you're using a .22 or a .357 magnum is simply no longer acceptable medical practice.

This Pandemonium Really Isn't Funny

Where does this remarkable information about stupid ADHD diagnostic questions come from? Where else but from my busy office practice and my patients –  yes, everyday. Too many new patients bring in stories about failed treatment started with ridiculously stupid questions – and failed treatments were encouraged/required, not for months, but for years.

I'm both laughing – and I'm a bit fed up. I've heard far too many stupid questions that serve as frivolous ADHD diagnostic hallmarks for complex human beings. As I said, theater of the absurd. These superficial questions do direct treatments everywhere – from Possum Hollow to LA – and now bring a sad, self-reflective laugh when we clearly identify the actual medical condition. Someone wryly suggested: you really should write these down! 😕

So What Do We Do About This Sorry Mess? Out The Stupid Questions!

Now it's time for you step up and chime in. If we collectively out those ridiculous questions we may, through working this exercise together, improve the process of paying attention to the meds for paying attention. This isn't personal, it's about misinformation – real data, real solutions.

If you have ADHD, or know someone with ADHD, now is the time to step up and report, without names, your favorite stupid question – that left you wondering: Just what in the heck were they thinking when they made that non-science treatment decision? No, I won't publish your name, that would defeat the purpose and close off dialogue. We would miss the opportunity to hear about that specific stupid question you got asked years ago – or yesterday.

Fresh Farmer's Market Examples

“Do you swing your leg like that all the time?” “Do you twirl your hair?” “What do your friends think?” “Do you lose your keys?”

Drop Your Question Here

With your email I will keep you posted through our CorePsych News about the answers – and we can all put these current troubled times of diagnostic innocence, thinking that hearsay and appearances work diagnostically, behind us.

Let's see what YOU think is stupid..



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  1. Lorreann – Madelyn does a fantastic job of describing what we see so often in the office: if you’re suffering with Attention Abundance Disorder there simply is no room for more stuff, except in the moment – to get thru the pressure of that next test!

  2. FYI – I just back-linked this page to “Occupy ADD” on my ADD-focused WordPress blog.
    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, SCAC, MCC – (blogging at ADDandSoMuchMore and on ADDerWorld – dot com!)

    • This post does parallel your even more complete take on the pervasive misunderstandings associated with ADHD… I say we get rid of the ‘deficit’ as it only throws a negative without talking about function 😉

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  5. Mads,
    My favorite response a quick assessment tool in this memory regard is the response, when I get to the school history: “Doc I have no idea what happened to me in school, and barely remember college!” – Not completely confirmatory of ADHD, but darn close!

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