Actor's tragedy shows power of ADHD issue

newsroom@islandpacket.comMarch 1, 2014 

I was saddened to read of the death of the gifted actor, Phillip Seymour Hoffman. When I read that officials found prescription medication for ADHD, anxiety and depression, his untimely death made more sense.

ADHD with accompanying anxiety and depression is a very serious mental health disorder that too often goes undiagnosed and untreated. Too often these people "self-medicate," which complicates their lives further.

As a community, we must bring this mental illness into the open and discuss ways to address it. Schools, churches, government officials and the judicial system are impacted by the problem and share a responsibility to the families and the community as a whole.

Our prisons are full of young and older inmates who suffer from this particular mental health disorder and who rarely receive treatment. The money used to support one inmate for one year would have a huge impact on our community if used to treat an individual diagnosed with this illness before victimizing the community, and before the individual becomes a victim of his own illness.

Information on this disease is available through the National Institute on Mental Health and other groups.

Andrea Hood


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