‘It’s affecting me mental health, innit?’
A lad at the supermarket meat counter in Madison, Wisconsin, greeted me with his best Dick Van Dyke. I asked him (laughing) to please give me a break. He cheekily told me I should do the same. I was about to get formidable when it dawned on him that I'm actually British. He avoids me now.
What’s the collective noun for the frozen-out “thought criminals”. An arctic circle?
The first part of psychiatrist-blogger Scott Alexander's post on Adderall risks is worth a read: https://slatestarcodex.com/2017/12/28/adderall-risks-much-more-than-you-wanted-to-know/ He agrees with you that ADHD, insofar as it's a real thing and not just an arbitrary line drawn somewhere on the curve of normal human variation, is both over- and under-diagnosed. Which is what we'd expect from any medical test (Scott has an article on this exact point: https://slatestarcodex.com/2014/09/17/joint-over-and-underdiagnosis/), but the ADHD case is particularly cruel: any hoop you make people jump through to get a diagnosis will disproportionately impact those who actually have ADHD! Speaking for myself (diagnosed by an NHS specialist in my mid-30s), getting a diagnosis was a huge bureaucratic pain and the petty hurdles I need to jump to retain access to my meds seem almost wilfully ADHD-hostile. The meds themselves are somewhat helpful - I find it harder to cope with everyday things when I haven't taken them - but the diagnosis itself was a huge deal: I'm not just scatty and lazy and useless like I've been told all my life, I have a *medical condition* that is *not my fault*, and "just trying harder" won't cut it. Conversely, I now feel I have permission to adopt weird coping mechanisms if they help, because *I have a medical condition*.
I hate it when Owen Jones agrees with me.
Also this "In the Corbyn era, Labour could be accurately described as a loveless marriage between left and right: today, the left is permanently locked in the attic" is actually funny even though he may not have meant it to be. A good week for Owen!
People aren't really called Critter Fink and Brinton Parker, are they?
I'm enjoying the irreverent, and cutting short articles
I have named that entire syndrome the “Why don’t you just...?” thing. (Whether someone gets it or not depends on the rest of the conversation.)
It reminds me of when I was in Chipotle in Philadelphia and a couple of the staff commented on my "amazing British accent" - which was nice, as I'm Welsh 😀
A Times leader urging Labour to execute one of its flagship policies once in office? Owen Jones complaining voters like Starmer’s Labour too much? *Thhhiiinnngggs, can only get beeetttttteeerrr*
Love the idea of Matt Goodwin as the populist beat poet - the Allen Ginsberg of the small boats, the Jack Kerouac of the culture wars
Glad you raised the national...ism point. I had begun to think that I was the only one who noticed a certain pattern here, not to mention the Weimar-on-speed economic backdrop. Where to run?
This is such a good analysis of the ADHD over/under diagnosis. Particularly ADHD is such a divisive issue as there is so much pushback that it is "an excuse" for bad behaviour/lack of discipline in children from those who think that naughty children just need a clip round the ear. Private psychiatry is certainly a total Wild West situation, difficult for parents to navigate and needs a good tidy-up. There is a huge amount of judgment against parents who go private when they suspect ADHD or ASD in their child (the symptoms can be hard to unravel from each other) but I don't really blame them for doing whatever they can to get some answers as to why their children are suffering and, you're right, they really are
Matt Levine is wonderful. I highly recommend signing up for his free newsletter, even if you know or care little about finance (no Bloomberg subscription needed).