My Fellow Distractoids,
One main attribute of an unreconstructed Distractoid is frequent payment of the “ADHD Tax.” Masters of Distraction (MODS), on the other hand, rarely have to pony up to “The Man.”
At this point you might ask, “What the hell is the ADHD tax?” Answer: it’s the price you pay for costly mistakes due to symptoms of ADHD. Some obvious examples are parking and traffic tickets, late fees, high interest debt (i.e. credit cards), and low credit score (leading to higher interest debt, inability to get loans, problems renting apartments and buying cars, etc.). Sound familiar?
But get this: those are only perhaps the most common examples. The hidden ADHD Tax can be much much higher. In fact the hidden ADHD Tax is not measured in dollars: it’s measured in wasted time, physical well being, mental health, personal freedom (vs. incarceration), and — yes — years on your life.
Here’s a statistic that got my attention: People with ADHD have a lifespan that’s up to thirteen years shorter than people who don’t have ADHD.* Given that perhaps 5% of the population in the US has ADHD, this constitutes a national health crisis.
Why is this the case? Part of the answer is a higher prevalence of accidents, like fatal car crashes and workplace mishaps. But another reason is long-term behavior that people with under-treated and untreated ADHD are prone to: poor diet, poor sleep, lack of exercise, neglect of health and dental care, and so on. This population has higher rates of diabetes, obesity, smoking, use of drugs and alcohol, and so on. I don’t know for sure, but I’m making an educated guess that ADDers also pay consequences for things like neglecting preventive care — timely colonoscopy and Pap smears, for instance — and failure to take important medications to prevent things like heart disease and stroke.
When looked at from this perspective, it’s clear that ADHD is a much, much more profoundly destructive condition than generally understood. Let me say it another way: ADHD is a killer.
So, I say know the price of remaining a Distractoid. Know that the ADHD Tax is no laughing matter. The ADHD Tax is very high indeed.
It’s beyond the scope of this post to go into all the ways of living ADHD Tax-free. For now, take a few steps to avoid the really harsh versions of the ADHD Tax. Be sure you are current with doctor and dental appointments. Address any minor health problems that have the potential of growing into something much worse. Remember, the ADHD brain favors what is interesting and urgent over what is important. And what’s more important than your health?
And as always …