Jul 11, 2023Liked by Jesse Meadows

Oh, Russell Barkley. The man who helped me understand why people dislike libertarians.

The man waits 6 years to write an essay about his brother’s death. He begins with a somber “ I lost my brother to ADHD” (1). Poor, disabled, untreated, nearly homeless, breaking the law brother who was about to get his shit together at 56, when ADHD strikes.

Ronald Foster Barkley is also a father of three, a gifted musician, a composer, a short-stories writer, a leather craftsman, a hiker, a fisher, an animal lover, employed at the time of his passing as a chef. Two weeks before that he was working for several years as a delivery driver, and stayed a musician for hire throughout his life. Ron was in his third marriage, kicked out of the house and was court ordered into treatment for abusing drugs by the time he realised (I assume, that his brother's right about him and ADHD). Initially he agreed to a treatment but later refused to continue. (3-5)

The man who then 4 years after publishes a book (6), where he discloses medical and personal history of another adult relative, a nearly 30 year old nephew. As the man has three other siblings, he needs to clarify that it’s the dead brother’s son. ADHD made him take his own life.

Next year the man rewrites the title of his essay to “My Brother Died in a Car Crash Because of His ADHD” (2).

And now I had to sit and comb through the web just to make sure his tactic of saving us is deliberate (5). Two years ago it worked. Listened to an episode of Ologies (7) and within a month paid for my assessment.

No matter which year, what source, who asks, it's the same: "You have no control, without prescription you’re fucked. Be medicated or live 12 years less. If you don’t take your pills, your brain will kill you. Get on meds or die. By the way, how bad are your teeth? Have you lost all your friends? How poor is your credit rating? Why are you so hostile? Can you stop throwing a temper tantrum?"

Apparently, Dr. Russell Barkley believes he’s immune to any state of cognitive dissonance. But what do I want from a man who forces a mental disorder onto his dead brother because he lost an argument somewhere around 1995. Rejection sensitive much?

(1) https://web.archive.org/web/20120828010719/http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/9673.htm

(2) https://web.archive.org/web/20171230172643/https://www.additudemag.com/car-accidents-personal-essay-adult-adhd/

(3) https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/legacyremembers/ronald-barkley-obituary?id=29618054

(4) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhIO-utZLI0&t=3135s

(5) https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/06/health/adhd-medication-adult/index.html

(6) https://www.apa.org/pubs/books/When-an-Adult-You-Love-ADHD-Ch-1-Sample.pdf

(I am going to respect privacy (lol) of said relative and won't cite the first edition where he's mentioned by name)



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omg i love that this comment has FOOTNOTES

thank you for all this extra context, I did not realize Ron was his twin brother?? I am so curious about how his family feels about all this, i'm sure there's another side to the story. it's really so fucked up the way he talks about ADHDers, it always comes off as really paternalistic and condescending to me and I do not get why so many people love him, but maybe I'm just "defiant", as he says in that CNN article about ADHD kids who stop taking their meds when they grow up. (lol me)

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Ugh, what a cruel moron. Thanks, sincerely, for resisting years of med pep talk, and I'm sorry for butting in with my own beef, lol

so I've met an "export" version of executive dysfunction narrative… for context, moved to Germany three years ago, all german content was hard to read and.. here we are. Truth is, in Germany he’s kinda eh barkley who. Here they’ve got enough of their own wild amphetamine stories, including a version for those who didn't live through the reality of "diagnosed as a kid".


Last poke tho:

- “Fraternal twin” is right there on his wiki, which adds a bit of weight to one side of “nature vs nurture” debates. Especially when you hear it after “so I returned from Vietnam war, and kinda wandered into ADHD kids in a lab” intro (same podcast). Dad’s army, brother’s army, twin dropped out of school at 16, DSM-II with hyperkinetic stuff comes out three years later, and next year the other twin stumbles upon adhd research. Neat story.

- now that adhd and autistics got to talk and discover the joy of validation without dad’s approval.. I’m not saying someone’s about to be the ultimate self-diagnosed guy, but he’s gonna stick his nose in autism research, right? cause THE LEGACY must liiiiiiiive

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Feb 25, 2022Liked by Jesse Meadows

The types of topics and questions you discuss and the way you articulate them deeply resonates with me as someone who has had similar perspectives and “questions”.

You’re very skilled/talented (not sure the most fitting word, I mean to be complimentary!!) at writing and I’ve been loving seeing your articles. I saw that this seems to make you more fulfilled than posting short form content and I am very happy for you 😁

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thank you!! it does feel alot more satisfying indeed

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I am researching the creation of "Sluggish Cognitive Tempo" illness and have come across Russell. I noticed he also cites his own research often and that most of his work is published by him in the ADHD Report. If you have any leads on where else to look I would appreciate it. I am a psych student on a mission.

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My mother shared an NYT article with me about how ADHD can get in the way of couples helping each other with household chores, and guess who they cited? Mr. Barkley, obvi. And of course they claimed the only hope for such couples is to "seek [medical] help." My mother and I both laughed.

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oooh i saw that article, been working on some writing about this actually. "ADHD makes people hard to love" is such a shitty narrative!

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Do you ever listen to Ologies? They released an episode on ADHD just this morning and I was disappointed to see he was the expert they had chosen to interview.

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noooooo i love ologies! sadness

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oh no!!!! that makes me so sad too but i also love ologies

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