Note: Sorry, I’ve not updated this blog for like a month, but life got in the way. Plus did I mention I have ADHD? I can’t promise I’ll update every week moving forward (only that I’ll try), but rest assured I will always find my way back to my blog readers.
So, I’ve been listening to a fantastic audible book by one of my favourite authors in the car on the school run. It’s the recently released ‘The Marriage Act by John Marrs’. Why do I mention this in my blog do you ask? Well, I was rather surprised and also delighted when one of the characters is mentioned to have ADHD and has a child with ADHD too.
It’s not too often you find positive representation in literature for ADHD, because it’s only become apparent in the last 30 years. Seeing people who struggle with many of the things we do is not only reassuring but it helps others to have more understanding. When was the last time you saw a TV show which identified someone as having ADHD, but did it in a really positive way? All the shows I’ve seen when characters are hinted to have ADHD, tends to perpetuate negative stereotypes such as they are loud, they talk a lot, they are disruptive.
Now I’m not saying there aren’t loud, talkative, disruptive people with ADHD, especially in educational settings, but that’s not all we are. We can also be creative, bubbly, friendly and think outside the box. It’s just frustrating that on the rare occasions we do pop up in books, TV shows and movies, it doesn’t show some of the positives as well (if anybody knows of any positive shows/ movies then do let me know in the comments or via email as I’d love to check them out).
Interestingly enough, in The Marriage Act, the person with ADHD is not a fan of medication for themselves (like myself) or for their child. They claim they didn’t like how it made them feel and it meant they weren’t as creative. Of course, this definitely isn’t the case for everybody, and some may need medication to navigate the difficulty of having ADHD.
I’ve got four hours to go of the book to go and there is talk of putting children with ADHD (or those who disrupt mainstream education) into special education camps, yikes! But if there is one thing I’ve learnt from reading John Marrs’ speculative thrillers books (which are set in the future) is that he almost writes with reverse psychology to drive home why these ideas are potentially quite dangerous and I’m looking forward to seeing where it all goes. One line in particular stood out; ‘There is a link between those who are failed by the education system and those who commit crimes’ which is rather depressing, but I’m afraid to say quite true. After all if you are constantly let down by the people around you while trying to learn at a young age, what else will you think you are good for?
I’m really hoping I manage to read more books where there is a representation of people with ADHD, because it’s such a misunderstood condition. The more characters we see with ADHD, in the media, the more people will come to realise that though we share some of the same struggles, that it impacts us all in massively different ways. The more viewers/ readers who realise this the better, because then they can see that we all deserve empathy, but more importantly we all deserve understanding.
By the way, if you want to read The Marriage Act, which I highly recommend, you can find it via Amazon in all different formats (the audible versions is particularly great in my opinion).