Carpe Diem is Not a Disability - Part 3

 me 1994
Two months after my first visit to the UBC Mood Disorders Clinic my family doctor finally received the notes and recommendations from the consulting psychiatrist. Her and I met earlier this week to discuss them. Formalities aside, her first comments were a little like this: Stace, I'm a little peeved....They wasted your time.... Psychiatric treatment in this city is terrible. You see, the consulting psychiatrist took no ownership or accountability in any diagnosis or treatment plan. She simply reiterated what my family doctor had sent me there for in the first place - possible bipolar affective disorder. However, she did  sprinkle a few more possibilities on top - possible adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and possible anxiety disorder.

At the close of my last interview with the UBC psychiatrist she told me that I had all the signs of adult ADHD, which she added is a recognized disability with the Canadian Revenue Agency, (I was curious as to why she added that bit). The diagnosis didn't surprise me because friends have been jokingly calling me ADHD since the early 90s. Over the course of the last two months the library has been my second home. I've been researching and reading on ADHD and, in my honest opinion, I believe that it is a made up term by psychiatrists to describe individuals with different patterns of learning and personality traits that are beyond average - or shall I say, not normal - whatever that is.

According to this terrible brainwashing book, Taking Charge of Adult ADHD, individuals with ADHD are more likely to drop out of school, live below the poverty line, commit crime and die young. Let's see, thinking back to my school years I always thought I was one of those gifted kids. I skipped grades, found school work too easy, never did homework, never studied and yet still achieved A's and B's, (except in math). I could have graduated from high school at age fifteen but my counselors failed to inform me until the start of the new term. I remember the day perfectly. Mr. Ponti, our high school counselor, spotted me in the hall and asked, 'Why are you still here? You should have graduated last year.'. Needless to say, I didn't do much for the rest of the year except skip out and go to thrift stores - which in turn led me to start my own business at fifteen. University wasn't difficult for me either - I'd write papers the night before they were due and still receive top marks, I was even accepted into an Ad hoc PhD program at McGill upon graduation. I thank my lucky stars that my elementary school teachers identified me as a gifted student and focused on enhancing my strengths and, unique ways of learning instead of labeling me as disabled and having me hooped up on mind numbing drugs so I could appear normal. As for living below the poverty line, committing crime and dying young? Well I'm still alive, I have a clean record and earn more than double the median income. Nothing has disabled me from achieving my potential.

So, what did the consulting UBC psychiatrist recommended for a treatment plan? She recommended I, (possible recommendations I may note), see two more psychiatrists and take a handful of stimulants and other drugs. The recommended stimulant, a Schedule III controlled substance in Canada, (same class as Vicodin, LSD, and shrooms), and a Schedule II controlled substance in the USA, (same class as opium, methadone and oxycodone).

My family doctor and I have decided that I will continue with the happy pills I currently take, (Wellbutrin), see a PMDD specialist at the BC Women's Hospital and start doing more puzzles to help me stand still and focus ;)

Carpe Diem is not a disability - it's a gift.

Read the whole story:
Part I
Part II

If you have any disconcerting thoughts running around in your head or friends/family have noticed a change in your behaviour please speak to someone. My situation is not yours and should not be applied to you. Seek professional help and find a doctor you can relate to and trust.

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