Under-emphasising the negative, again*

 

When the comedian Rory Bremner talked about his possible ADHD in May this year, it attracted a lot of media attention. But I was uneasy, feeling that the half-hour BBC radio programme appeared to risk trivialising his problems: nearly forgetting his lines on stage, losing things, being a bit disorganised. Hardly a definite case for treatment in someone who is, after all, a very succesful entertainer.

There was no mention of his own past history of anxiety and depression (2), conditions which are well-documented as being linked to ADD / ADHD. In my experience, ADD / ADHD is often a direct cause of anxiety and depression, not least because disorganisation and impulsivity lead to negative life events. 

A couple of weeks ago the mental health charity SANE launched its “Black Dog” campaign, to re-raise awareness of depression (3). Despite Bremner being a prominent part of SANE’s campaign, it attracted nowhere near the same media coverage nationally.

I have no idea whether Rory Bremner’s past problems with anxiety and depression had any link with ADHD. But it does seem worrying that the May BBC radio programme did not explore the possible harmful consequences of undertreatment.

 

 

*See The Gift of ADHD?, below at: https://drnmblog.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/the-gift-of-adhd/

(1) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011c0nn 

(2) http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/features/Rory-Bremner-interview-When-satire.5362191.jp

(3) http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jul/24/mental-health-black-dog-sculpture-campaign

Drafted by 5th August 2011, published at DrNMblog.wordpress.com  on 6th October 2011

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About Dr Neil MacFarlane MRCPsych

Independent Psychiatrist providing culturally informed mental health opinion, advice, and a few new facts. Based near London, UK. Main qualifications: BA MBBS MA MRCPsych.

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