By now you have probably read or heard about the tragic suicide of Megan Meier who was only 13 years old. It is reported that Megan suffered from Depression and ADHD, a deadly, yet not so uncommon combination.
Due to Megan’s suicide a lot of people are taking notice and are darn right angry! They should be, but perhaps a bit too late? Dare I say Megan deserved better? So far it seems that neighboring adults had a hand in Megan’s fate by contacting her via MySpace and writing mean, hateful messages. That in of its self is very disturbing and not simply shameful, but evil, if it is true. Having been an ADD child I know what it is like to be different and misunderstood and I had some scruffs with my peers over my behavior, but had an adult taken upon him or herself to deliberately take advantage and mess with my mind – who knows what would have happened or what damage could have been done?
All the news about Megan Meier is being reported in more detail elsewhere, but there is a glaring omission which I find even more threatening to young Adders everywhere! I have written about it several times and I will write about it even more in the future. I will probably never stop writing about it:
The denial and general disbelief that ADD ADHD exists at all. Family, friends, peers and a large part of society in general do not believe that ADD ADHD exists. Not only do they not believe it exists, many take it upon themselves to give it another name: Excuse. That’s the name many give it or the way they refer to ADD and ADHD: as an excuse. Or maybe a despicable misleading excuse.
Since I have openly admitted that I have ADD I have heard and been told directly so many “real truths” – such as: “It’s a lie, don’t tell anyone or you will be hated, I don’t believe it, I don’t see it, I think the diagnosis is wrong, you just want sympathy and on and on and on, oh, poor Bryan…” The thing is, I am 38 years old and I can handle these comments. Yes, they still hurt and are wrong, but I understand the nature of people not to want to believe in such a condition as ADD and ADHD or if they believe it, they don’t believe you have it.
I write my blog to help spread awareness about ADD ADHD. I wrote my forthcoming book to help people understand what a child goes through—especially in my case as undiagnosed. I have been criticized for writing both and I have received threats for doing so. Sure it’s ridiculous, but that is the way it is and nothing is going to change that! Maybe the law will – actually, the law is getting more serious about how people with such disorders or treated by others. It’s a shame something like this must be protected by the law, but it’s a necessity. Think about that for a moment – it is a necessity.
This brings me back to what I originally wanted to say: What if people realize that ADD ADHD exists and it causes problems for the person afflicted? They don’t have to understand it completely, but instead of being in denial and then using that denial as a catalyst to be mean and contradictory, they could simply leave the person with ADD ADHD alone—if not a parent, teacher or directly involved or related in some manner. Those directly involved or related have an obligation to put aside their personal beliefs and get educated with reality and scientific findings. Other Persons Personal beliefs have no reason to be a part of anyone’s well being. If you can’t accept the reality and you refuse to believe that a scientifically based and doctor diagnosed disorder exists and is valid, then know that if you are involved you could be causing more harm than the disorder itself! That is what I believe. ADD and ADHD is not the product of depression; however, depression can be the product of ADD and ADHD. A major reason for that is how a person with ADD and ADHD is misunderstood and negatively treated by others. We have enough problems on our own and don’t want and especially don’t need other’s disbelieving opinions and negative actions.
What if, before this tragedy, Megan had been accepted by everyone and those who did not understand her and her disorders just left her alone, so she could be helped properly by those who do understand, believe and care?
Why did it take her death to wake people up? And those that have awoken and taken a stand against the accused—where were they and/or where are they for those countless still suffering from Depression and ADD ADHD?