View Full Version : Unfair portrayal of ADHD in my local paper

11-07-08, 08:58 AM
Here's an article that appeared in the Argus, Brighton's local newspaper, a few days ago:

WHY did they tell us that he has ADHD?! This information adds nothing of value or relevance to the story and only serves to take up space and further the myth that we're all denizens of society. (The ADHD bit isn't in the headline, so I don't even believe that they've done it to sell more papers.) The only positive angle is his wishing to apologise for his actions, but they could have mentioned that BEFORE the ADHD, surely! Because by the time the average reader gets to that bit, the damage has already been done.

I am writing to the paper to complain - something I've never done in my life as I am generally not that easily offended. Am I the only one who feels strongly on this issue?

11-07-08, 03:19 PM
I don't get it. What was offensive about mentioning that the youth has ADHD They also mention that he has one arm. Is that offensive to people with one arm?

johnny s.
11-07-08, 03:32 PM
no, I agree with vix

it would be like mentioning his parents were divorced or something out of no where.

it implies that it is somehow related to his problem.

11-07-08, 03:56 PM
Like it or not, it *is* related to his problem. It isn't by accident that studies suggest somewhere between 10% and 25% of any given prison population has ADHD. The fact that ADHD can leave people more prone to making high risk, dangerous, and undesirable choices is not exactly a secret.

I think you're both reading too much in to this. The comment was factual in nature, and was not made in a negative context. It's simply reporting the news. Quite likely, while interviewing the boy or his parents brought up the ADHD to try and explain why he is having difficulty with rehabilitation. If anything, the fact that this article mentions ADHD is likely a good thing. ADHD is a woefully under-treated condition in the UK which is not taken seriously by the medical establishment there. Untreated ADHD is a dangerous thing, and can easily destroy what might be a productive life. Raising awareness of what can happen when ADHD is not properly treated is a good thing. But I don't think this article is even suggesting that. It isn't suggesting anything.

11-07-08, 07:25 PM
Very well said roo!

11-08-08, 04:39 PM
Cheers for the response, guys. My issue, Roo, isn't with what the paper is ACTUALLY saying or trying to say, more that the way they've just mentioned the 'label' needlessly in such an article is likely to lead to even more misunderstanding of people with ADHD. People aren't on the whole going to read it and think, "Oh, poor him, he has ADHD, that must be why he's done these things." They're either going to think that ADHD = bad behaviour, or that it's 'just an excuse'. Of course, they may not think anything about it at all, but next time they hear it mentioned, they're likely to remember that article and whatever other media bull**** they've heard. And how wasn't the context negative? The article is about him threatening to stab someone. You're right, it isn't taken seriously over here, and this sort of thing doesn't do anything to change that.

I've written to the paper anyhow, so I've done what I can. No point being angry about it any longer. They'll either ignore my letter or do with it what they will.

Akko, not sure what your post added to the discussion, but thanks anyhow.

11-09-08, 08:49 PM
The most unfair articles are the ones about murderers that only mention the ADD, but fail to mention the antisocial personality disorder, psychopathy, and other sicko disorders.

11-13-08, 10:09 AM
Thanks Krazy - that does raise an interesting question about possible comorbid disorders that might be the real root of this lad's problems.

11-13-08, 03:29 PM
Why can't ADHD be the real root of his problem?

11-13-08, 08:35 PM
Why can't ADHD be the real root of his problem?
I'm no psychiatrist, but it looks like Antisocial Personality Disorder is the real root of his problem.

Antisocial Personality Disorder Diagnostic Criteria

Three or more of the following are required:<sup id="cite_ref-dsmiv_0-2" class="reference"></sup>

Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead;
Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
Reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.

11-14-08, 12:25 PM
Why can't ADHD be the real root of his problem?

It could be. Who knows? The main issue was that this wasn't specified one way or the other, and the way the information was placed was likely to lead the reader to believe that this was the cause, when in fact it might not be.

I know it's unlikely to happen, but I would actually really like to hear Joe Draper's (the boy in question) point of view on this!

11-15-08, 10:18 PM
Here's my take on this.

It 's difficult to tell if that was included as "extra" info or to be disrespectful.

I guess I read it as "extra" info.

The other element that came to mind was from Russ Barkley's 40 page presentation from the summer of 2000.

It's available @

On either page 27 or 28 ( can't remember which), he addresses ADHD & Accountability.

As a world renown ADHD scientist/researcher, he's probably been approached many times for expert testimony on behalf of the defense.

What'll you'll read ( and I hope you do), is that ADHD individuals need MORE accountability in addressing behavior problems,etc.

This is an interesting thread and I thank you for posting it.




11-16-08, 11:12 PM
Yeah, he is what neurologists and child psychiatrists call an "FLK". (Funny looking kid.)

sometimes you really can see dysfunction in a facial presentation (dysmorphic is another term for "looks weird").

Obviously this kid seems to likely have conduct disorder [CD] IN ADDITION to the ADHD.

CD is often the precursor in young males of ASPD (antisocial personality disorder). It is my understanding that about 75% of adult males inmates have ASPD.

Too bad the author fails to mention CD.

The author likely does not understand that there are also lots of anxious, introverted, withdrawn kids with ADD or ADHD too, who would never think of hurting a person or animal or vandalizing things or making threats.

The author must not understand 'co mor

11-17-08, 02:15 AM
How about someone create a special website dedicated to fighting the bad press that ADD/ADHD gets???????? I'm seriously thinking about it and will need support on it.

If you think this is a great idea then please contact me.