Did you know that the founder of BuzzFeed predicted that we'd all be yelling at each other about ADHD 25 years ago (kinda)?
bud this one was so good
this has perfectly encapsulated my feelings about mental illness/neurodivergence and capitalism. thank you!
I really appreciate and agree with this. but I think there needs to be some grace for people who literally have nothing else besides this dxs to help themselves precisely because of the society we live in. just dismissing people as too into idpol isn't super helpful. again, I agree with you and the sentiment of this blog in general, I just think folks can get defensive because they are often told what they experience is not real. like our normal, capitalist society already tells people that there actually isn't anything wrong with them and they just need to wake up earlier and learn to code and meditate harder. without good, materialist analysis, critical psych can go from "this is society's fault" to "this is your fault and you're actually a pussy for being on meds, just go touch some grass."
hello! i am new here and just read this piece - wow. i love how you have described a relationship between capitalism, the internet, identity, community and diagnosis. i work as a trauma therapist and so many of my clients identify with an ADHD diagnosis. i believe it's an experience, but not a "disorder". > my vague theory of ADHD is that it is a way of dealing with anxiety that is caused by early (often non-obvious) and unresolved trauma. but i love how you have added the layers of identity, community and the influence of capitalism. i'd burn every copy of the DSM if i could, but i also see how my clients get excited about their ADHD label, and who am i to burst their balloon... it's complicated. anyway. i just love that you wrote this, it has expanded my mind. thank you. - beccy
I'm very grateful, and will share.
I appreciate the work here, especially the push against rigidity, but I feel there are some missing pieces here. I'm not sure that seeing different mental conditions or traits as static keeps people from finding solidarity—I can't imagine it being a larger barrier than unconscious bias due to race. Gabor Mate has been writing on capitalism's role in trauma, and trauma's role in ADHD, addiction, and nearby designations for a long time now, so I hope you can check out his work. His work on addiction includes personal stories (with consent) from his patients who suffer severe addiction.
I hope we can foster a world where these categories exist to help us forgive each other's obtrusive behaviors and understand our core needs in a less fractured way.
I believe a therapeutic approach to discoursing online can be learned, but most people don't learn and many young people lack the experience to really exercise it.
Erich Fromm wrote this seventy years ago in “The Fear of Freedom” and “The Sane Society”
"We’ve learned that gender is changeable, that sexuality is fluid, and yet more and more we’re chained to the idea that mental health is inherent and forever." This itself is a tremendous burden to bear. Yes, I've had ADHD my whole life—even with medication, I have all of the symptoms, every day. They only hold me back because I have to overcome them in a capitalist setting.
Yet no matter how many funny ADHD memes I see, no matter how many community members I can talk to at any given time on the internet, I feel guilty about how my symptoms affect others within a capitalist setting. My own forgetfulness and limited focus hinders me from going through on my plans to help my mother cancel her subscriptions and send her new remote jobs when she's overworked. My tendency to interrupt and talk at 100 mph about topics that intrigue me distract my partner from his work, causing him to tune me out, me to get sad that he "doesn't care to listen for 1 minute," him to feel guilty, and us trying to make sense of how to improve it all.
The problem isn't ADHD. It's capitalism.
Hey is OP deleting comments from marginalized voices? There were more comments earlier about them silencing disabled people, but they're mysteriously gone. I wonder what happened...
I knew we were in trouble when people started posting their diagnostics under their soc media handles like it was part of their identity. Reading the essay above (very thoughtful and well written by the way) I was amused and slightly disgusted to realize people are now calling ADHD a disability? As if to say that having the attention span of a squirrel is somehow comparable to being born deaf or blind. Absurd. And to point out that postmodern media and society are effectively designed to exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD is somehow ableist... spare me, please. And before you call me an asshole, I worked in psych for a decade. I've been diagnosed at various times with ADHD, bipolar, and PTSD.. none of them are disabilities, to my mind. They just are. Part of the package. I mean you might as well say that being shorter than average or having red hair and easily sunburned is a disability.
This is so reflective of how I feel regarding the subject of how people talk about mental health diagnoses currently that it makes me want to cry. Thank you. It is truly lamentable that this reasonable perspective triggered the furor of 10,000 twitter users who are unable to define themselves without resorting to pathologization.