By Jeff Emmerson
My second post this morning (since I have the time) is about the staggering costs of adult ADHD on society, as well as the sobering numbers when it comes to the population and this condition. Numbers like 9 million adults with ADHD in the United States, 85% who are still undiagnosed, and adult ADHD costing Canadians 6 to 11 billion dollars per year in missed work days and other costs! 21-45% of Canadian prisoners have adult ADHD (research), and so on. I could go on and on about drug abuse and ADHD, or the fact that about 70% of those with ADHD will also have a second mental health condition!
Is it hitting home yet? These are all researched statistics, and I’m just starting to see it for what it is – an epidemic of sorts on our healthcare, criminal justice and economic realms. That’s what our politicians need to open their eyes to, since it affects their bottom line as well. I hate to make this about money, but you know how society works. Once enough tragedy or financial bleeding has occurred, then something will be done about it, as with school shootings, terrorism, and other causes that affect all of us very intensely.
Earlier this morning, I shared the breaking news about pregnant women taking Tylenol, and the 40% higher risk that the child will develop ADHD. I’m sure there will be other discoveries like this as time passes, and we have researchers and research funding to thank for that! Heck – I will be only too happy to advertise for those who assist in funding for research as this blog gradually explodes in popularity through the work I’m putting in to build it! After all – there has to be a win-win in most business relationships, and I’m willing to work with those who do the right thing. God knows that people are in a dark place with adult ADHD out there! People are suffering without even knowing why, since they don’t have a diagnosis, or maybe they do know the monster they are facing, but it’s very hard to find the right type of therapy, or medication, or to keep from “getting in their own way” through the damn racing of their minds. For those with the inattentive type of ADHD, distraction and disarray gradually wear them down, and self-doubt can be a terrible source of self-sabotage. I’m sure that I’m a combined-type, but whichever type someone is, it feels like living in a prison in your head a lot of the time. Adult ADHD is a constant, life-long battle to understanding, managing, and forgiving our symptoms, remembering to be gentle on ourselves. We can be our own worst enemies.
5% of the world’s population might sound small, but when you calculate the numbers, you’re in for one hell of a sobering realization. Just imagine the cost, and at the same time, the potential for that many people to live better lives. We do have gifts, and if we could learn to live in a way more conducive to success, I firmly believe we could have such a wonderful impact on society, instead of being in jails, self-medicating to cope with this world, and living in self-torture very regularly.
It’s time. I have decided it’s time due to my story and the climax of my suffering in 2011. Now, I share my cards with the world, and see what happens. What a blessing to be able to help after being so shy for so long. I’m finally starting to figure this life out, at least my “corner” of the world through my experience. That jail cell could never hold me for long….but then again, how many people have walked our streets who could have changed things if they only had the support I did, combined with the sheer will to speak out, but are dead now?
Just think about it. I’m lucky, and I don’t forget that for a minute.