For those who may not know, I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in January of 2017.
Whilst ADHD as a condition, especially in the USA, is one of the most widely-funded and well-researched neurobiological conditions around, awareness of the condition, it's drawbacks, and the hurdles that people have faced when trying to get a diagnosis is still lower than it should be in the UK.
The perception of many is that it's an excuse for bad behaviour. 'Naughty little b*stards' syndrome. The reality is quite different: I can tell you for a fact that it is not about being a naughty little bastard. It is being unable to focus, having the memory of a goldfish, being unable to focus (see what I did there), struggling to stay in gainful employment, feeling as if you are not as 'up to speed' with life as others, struggling with anxiety and emotional regulation as well as feeling stupid because you don't pick things up as quickly as others not because of your ability, but because of a chemical imabalance in your brain. Looking back, I didn't realise quite how much it effected me in my day-to-day life. I just thought that I wasn't as good as everybody else. There are millions like me, diagnosed and undiagnosed. They need support, they need answers, and they need to be heard.
For a full overview of ADHD Symptoms, here is the excellent Jessica McCabe of How to ADHD to explain what ADHD is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx13a2-unjE
I'm running the Hackney Half Marathon this year on behalf of ADHD Action because I want to help. I want to live in a country where:
- Everyone knows and understands what ADHD is and how it affects individuals
- There to be no stigma or ignorance about the existence of the condition or any treatment, including medication
- Everyone to be aware that 5% of children and 2.5% of adults are affected by the common neuro-diverse condition, which is highly hereditable
- The following in society to be instructed by government to make provisions for ADHD people, to follow statutory guidelines, and have mandatory training across:
- Education Health (including mental, sexual and addiction support)
- Criminal justice (police, prisons, probation)
- Work and benefits
- Employers through employment law
- Local authorities (e.g. social services, homelessness)
- Media (for responsible reporting)
- That assessment and treatment for ADHD is provided to all persons who require it by mental health professionals, with a maximum wait time
- That awareness is raised about hereditary ADHD, and access to screening for family members if one is diagnosed if they so wish
- Training and accurate information on ADHD to be readily available for anyone working in the above areas
- Accurate information to be readily available to those who may seek a diagnosis for themselves or others
- Accurate information to be readily available to those newly diagnosed or their families/partners, tailored appropriately
Your donation will help us achieve that. This is my second half-marathon. I didn't shit myself on my first one, and I'm hoping to continue that streak in Hackney this May.
Please help if you can!
Thank you, Ben Hernandez-Stroud, Ben Hernandez-Stroud's Brain