World Broadcast Premiere on CBC’s The Nature of Things
Thursday, March 16, 2017 – 8PM (8:30PM NT)
“I’ve found that no matter what side of the scientific debate people are on, everyone agrees ADHD is undergoing a massive re-think. It became my personal mission to take our audience to the frontlines – from neuro-behaviourists, researchers and doctors, to the patients and their friends and families. We looked at barriers, stigmas and coping mechanisms, and the kind of relief one can find if you are diagnosed.” – Michael McNamara, director
Markham Street Films is pleased to announce the world broadcast premiere of their new documentary, ADHD: Not Just For Kids. Written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Michael McNamara (Once An Immigrant, Celtic Soul), ADHD: Not Just For Kids can be seen on CBC’s The Nature of Things on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 8PM.
What do Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Alexander Graham Bell, Benjamin Franklin, Vincent Van Gogh, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, US Presidents Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Dwight D. Eisenhower, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush all have in common?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, better known as ADD, or ADHD. Chances are that you or someone close to you was also diagnosed as a kid with this neurobiological disorder that leads to inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
ADHD is the #1 psychological disorder in young people. 11% of children in the USA are diagnosed with it (7% worldwide). And the vast majority of those kids continue to have ADHD into adulthood.
ADHD used to be thought of as just for kids, but not anymore. An early myth about ADHD was that kids outgrow it. But they don’t, and not all kids with ADHD are properly diagnosed, and continue to suffer undiagnosed as adults. ADHD: Not Just For Kids dispels the myths about this syndrome, a condition that children and adults often live with unrecognized for years. Women especially tend to be ignored or misdiagnosed with anxiety and depression.
So what is life like for an adult with ADHD? What are the costs to society and the individual? And does the stigma of ADHD prevent those who are struggling unnecessarily from finding the answers they need?
Director Michael McNamara is in a unique position to explore these questions in his film, with the empathy of someone with firsthand experience of an ADHD diagnosis later in life. “I’d been researching and working on the film for 18 months. And it became clear to me in the first few months that all the symptoms sounded very familiar. My partner at Markham Street Films and in life, Judy Holm, and I both did the Self-Report questionnaire published by the World Health Organization. I “passed it” with full marks. Judy did not. A specialist confirmed the results – I have ADHD. We were skeptical at first, but we both see a complete change in the way I function and work since my diagnosis and treatments.”
ADHD: Not Just For Kids introduces the viewer to specialists and researchers who provide insight on current science and treatment. As well, successful adults share stories of attempting to cope for years with a condition they never knew they had, instead blaming underperformance and struggles with day-to-day functions, frustrated career ambitions, and problems with relationships, on laziness, lack of discipline or even lack of ability.
These include psychiatrist Dr. Mayer Hoffer, pediatrician Dr. Laura Gerber, who was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult (along with her three children), ADHD coach Robert Pal, specialist Dr. Ainslie Gray, and Dr. Jennifer Crosbie and Dr. Russell Schachar of SickKids Hospital.
Also Dr. Jean Gehricke of UC Irvine, Deirdre McCarthy & Dr. Pradeep Bhide of FSU, Dr. Ainslie Gray from Toronto’s Springboard Clinic & Doctors Russell Schachar and Jennifer Crosbie from SickKids Hospital, Dr. Lynn Stewart of Correctional Services Canada and more.
People with ADHD are often the adventurers, the ones willing to take risks, and thus are an important part of our social fabric. One out of every 20 children have ADHD, and most of them will carry it into adulthood. ADHD: Not Just For Kids shows how it can be a recipe for failure and disaster, or a source of strength and creativity. It just has to be recognized in the first place.
Please visit ADHD: Not Just For Kids – The Nature of Thing’s episode website for more info.