I’m on a mission to change the way we think about ADHD.
What follows is a collection of my favourite books, blogs, podcasts, videos and people who shape my thinking and guide my experimentation on ADHD.
Antifragile: I have Nassim Taleb to thank, more than any other person, for my worldview. His masterpiece, Antifragile, helped me come to terms with my ADHD diagnosis. In particular his writing on naive intervensionism and iatrogenics taught me the danger of medicating anyone who does not absolutely need it for their survival. Iatrogenics means “caused by the heeler”. The first principle of iatrogenics is as follows: we do not need evidence of harm to claim that a drug or an unnatural medical procedure is dangerous. We should not take risks with near-healthy people; but we should take a lot more risks with those deemed in danger. Visa vie, we should not give drugs to anyone other than the most severely affected ADHD sufferers. Taylor Pearson’s summary of Antifragile is one of the best. Read this AFTER reading the book.
Harm caused by the heeler is obvious with ADHD. The medical narrative is that drugs help people with ADHD focus. Ignoring that the drugs help anyone focus. And, crucially, ignoring that the drugs cause harm: particularly to cognition.
Skin in the Game: Nassim Taleb’s fifth book sums up my principles for my work. Only recommend what I’ve done myself. All my advice is autobiographical and your mileage may vary. Every Roman engineer needed to spend some time under the bridge they built – they had ‘skin in the game’. Today, doctors, financial planners, journalists, and other so-called ‘experts’ happily prescribe advice they don’t, and would not, take themselves. As Taleb says, every opinion maker needs to have ‘skin in the game’.
Do your f*cking work: Ido Portal, of Movement Culture, slaps us in the face in this short video. He talks about being a craftsperson and shuns the idea of success. To him (and I agree) success is a dirty word. My favourite line in the video: “I practice like a madman but with complete detachment from the outcome”.
The Wim Hof Method: I do breathwork and cold exposure everyday. I learned everything I know from Wim Hof. His technique helps me focus, stay calm and fight illness. Other people have cured autoimmune diseases, removed diabetes and fixed long-term injuries following this method. This is an essential tool for anyone with ADHD.
Tony Riddle: The Natural Lifestyleist – his mission is to help us all live naturally. I first learned about Tony on Rich Roll’s podcast. He was teaching Rich to barefoot run. He ran the length of the UK, barefoot. So he knows his stuff. Outside of barefoot running, Tony coaches people to reconnect with our natural, wild human behaviours.
Scientific literature on the cause of ADHD: it’s not what we’ve all been told. This research shows clear evidence that ADHD is not so much a disorder. But an evolutionary mismatch to the modern, technologically obsessed and fragile world we’ve constructed. This heavily guides my work, writing on this site and approach to dealing with my own ADHD.
The Doctor who gave up drugs: Chris van Tulleken, a British doctor, went on a mission to reduce the use of medication for moderate illness. Part one of this series explores the use of ADHD medication and how mindfulness meditation is a better, and significantly safer, alternative. “Between 2000 – 2015, we’ve seen an 800% increase in ADHD medication prescriptions”.
Insane Medicine: Doctor Sami Timimi has extremely strong arguments, based on solid science, about ADHD, autism and wider issues with diagnosis. Where I’m most interested is his argument against the use of medication to treat ADHD. He believes ADHD is nothing to do with nature and everything to do with modern culture. It’s a fascinating read.