Adrian Chiles highlights an important issue by describing how he has been significantly helped by diagnosis and treatment for his attention deficit disorder (My treatment for ADD changed my life, so why can’t I stop worrying about it?, 30 September). Unfortunately, he then spoils the positive message by expressing feelings of guilt about having been helped by medication.
The positive message is that there must be many adults with undiagnosed ADD and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder who could be helped by diagnosis and treatment. ADHD is a well-understood medical condition. It affects up to 5% of boys and 3% of girls, and despite increasing recognition the majority of childhood cases remain unrecognised. Consequently, there must be large numbers of adults who remain undiagnosed, and these could well benefit from following in Chiles’ footsteps. His feelings of guilt are irrational. He would presumably not feel guilty about receiving insulin if he were diabetic.
Treatment for ADHD is safe and effective, and it can be regarded as a “normaliser” rather than a tranquilliser. It is to be hoped that any readers who think they might have ADHD will simply take the positive message from Chiles’ article.
Dr Nigel Speight