“For Me, ‘Normality’ is Not Normal”: Rethinking Medical and Cultural Ideals of Midlife ADHD Diagnosis

Lior Tal*, Yehuda C. Goodman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

According to psychiatry, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition beginning in early life. Psychiatry advocates for early diagnosis to prevent comorbidities that may emerge in untreated cases. “Late”-diagnosis is associated with various hazards that might harm patients’ lives and society. Drawing on fieldwork in Israel, we found that ‘midlife-ADHDers,’ as our informants refer to themselves, express diverse experiences including some advantages of being diagnosed as adults rather than as children. They share what it means to experience “otherness” without an ADHD diagnosis and articulate how being diagnosed “late” detached them from medical and social expectations and allowed some to nurture a unique ill-subjectivity, develop personal knowledge, and invent therapeutic interventions. The timeframe that psychiatry conceives as harmful has been, for some, a springboard to find their own way. This case allows us to rethink ‘experiential time’—the meanings of timing and time when psychiatric discourse and subjective narratives intertwine.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalCulture, Medicine and Psychiatry
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • Ill subjectivity
  • Israel
  • Midlife diagnosis
  • Time of diagnosis

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