A Personal History of ADHD

Book - 2014
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"Hyper: A Personal History of ADHD is Timothy Denevi's memoir of growing up as a hyperactive child, intertwined with his even-handed and thorough reporting on the history of the diagnosis and its treatment. Beginning with the moment he first started having severe emotional fits, his book traces his compelling and moving journey through fifteen years of diagnosis and treatment as he illuminates the medical and psychological theories and practices that shape our understanding of this controversial diagnosis. In the 1980s, mental disorders were just beginning to be seen as biological in origin; hyperactivity was being medicated with a variety of stimulants. In Timothy's first week on Ritalin at the age of six, the medication triggered a psychotic reaction. He ran into the kitchen, grabbed a knife, and threatened to kill himself in front of his mother. Doctors prescribed behavior therapy, then antidepressants. Nothing worked. The reader never stops caring for Timothy as he makes is way through grade school and high school, knowing he is a problem for those who love him, longing to be able to be good and fit in, hanging out with boys who have similar symptoms but meet quite different ends, and finally realizing he must come to grips with his disorder before his life spins completely out of control. Simultaneously, the author traces our understanding of the origins of the condition, from the late 19th and early 20th centuries when hyperactivity was atributed to defective moral conscience, demons, or head trauma, through the twentieth century when food additives, bad parenting, and even government conspiracies were blamed, to the most recent genetic research"--
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2014
Edition: First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781476702575
Branch Call Number: Health & Wellness 616.858 DEN


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Jul 20, 2015

(pg.222)..."the biological approach of general medicine was broadly applied to the field of mental illness, a shift that has caused 'psychiatry to focus so exclusively on the brain as an organ that the experience of the patient as a person has receded below the horizon of our vision.' <Eisenberg> The results are what we're seeing now: misdiagnosis and over-diagnosis, and a reliance on drug therapy as the primary line of defense against disorders that, because of their nature, demand a multifaceted approach."

Jul 20, 2015

(pg.196).."if ADHD doesn't determine you, it does tend to limit your second chances---a reality that, at the very least, places a premium on the moments in which you're conscious of deciding what happens next."

Jul 09, 2015

(pg.169) Sometimes I like to think of ADHD - as a space that exists between desire and reality. This space is largest when you're younger and tends to diminish as the years pass. But does it close up entirely?


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Jul 06, 2015

pg. 159 " ...Which is one of the problems with a medication meant to address that point where personality and biology meet: if the drug really does work, its benefit can feel unmerited; and if it fails, well, your fate is confirmed--there's something so deep and irreversible at the heart of you that even a pill can't reach it. Either way you're struggling to distinguish the things you can change from all those you can't."

JCLLisaJ Mar 09, 2015

A well written, easy to read, journey of one man’s experience living with ADHD and the history of the disorder. Parents may see their child in Denevi’s story and adults may see themselves in the childhood stories that are shared here.


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