My patient sat with her head down, looking morose. I asked her why. “I’m defective,” she answered.” Just defective.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I have anxiety disorder and phobias. I’m just defective.
I tried reassurance. “You’re not defective; you just have some problems.”
“Well, those are psychiatric problems. They’re diagnoses. So I’m defective.”
I took a chance. “Well, I have ADHD. Does that mean I’m defective?”
She thought a moment. “No, you’re not defective.”
“Because you’ve mastered it.”
“No, I don’t think I’ve mastered it. I think I’ve just learned to cope with it.”
“Well, you’re a lot more successful than I am.”
“I guess that’s true. At least so far. But if I’m not defective, neither are you.”
She sat and looked at the floor, morose as ever.
Later, I reflected. I hadn’t come up with any brilliant answers. It didn’t seem like I’d been any help. Then I realized, she is defective. And so am I. And if you’ll pardon me for saying, so are you, aren’t you?
Who is perfect? Isn’t that what defective means, not perfect? I’ll try this line next time we meet. Although to be honest, I’m not that optimistic. It’s not easy to change peoples’ thinking.
But ADHD is an official disorder. A psychiatric diagnosis. A malfunction of our brains. Not just a difference, but since it so much interferes with our functioning in life, a malfunction.
We are all defective. We need to learn how to cope. Strategies. And for most of us, medication helps. So let’s just embrace our defectiveness and move on.
Quote O the Day:
You pee on a jellyfish sting, not on a jelly stain.
My apologies to the the waitress the Waffle House.