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Canadian Answers to Adult ADHD - An Authentic Condition

Updated on April 14, 2013
rick Green and Patrick McKenna of "The Red Green Show" and "ADD and Loving It!"
rick Green and Patrick McKenna of "The Red Green Show" and "ADD and Loving It!" | Source

PBS Consciousness Raising Tour

PBS television brings a lot of valuable programming into the home that is otherwise missed. Several times a week, I see something incredible in its programming here in the Midwest. Many of these offerings come out of Canada, where a pointed emphasis is made toward improving education - especially reading and writing - enhancing anti-bullying programs, and improving several other aspects of life. This is one of the many reasons that I enjoy Canada and Canadian broadcasts.

One night I flipped to a PBS program that appeared to be a telethon for ADD and ADHD, including a documentary film about recent breakthroughs. Two interesting guest speakers appeared with our local WOSU-TV hosts. Recognizing one gentleman immediately, I saw that he was the comedian Rick Green who played Bill on the Red Green Show produced in Toronto, Ontario. His "silent movie" skit segments were always humorous - climbing ladders to nowhere, falling out of trees, misapplying duct tape. all sorts of antics.

The second gentleman was on screen only briefly, when the show cut to additional footage from a documentary DVD the group was offering to the public to help in managing Adult ADD/ADHD.

In the recording, the second gentleman wore a beard and mustache, with no eyeglasses. But when he opened his eyes wide and began to gesture, I inwardly shouted, Harold Green is a middle-aged madman! -- I moved away from the screen.

Having seen Patrick McKenna in non-Harold roles in such series as Star Gate SG-1 and others, I still found this person on screen shocking with his well - developed deportment, focus, and erudition.

Rick Green had known for some time that he has ADD and found comedy a perfect match for him, but Patrick McKenna was diagnosed during the filming of the DVD program he produced with Rick. It changed his life. He can still apply the voice and mannerisms of Harold, but only when he wants to do so. He no longer runs around like Harold at home when he has lost his car keys - he no longer loses them.

The title of the documentary presented on PBS? - ADD and Loving it?!

Canadian ADD/ADHD Resources

We're All In This Together - Red Green: The Man Behind the Character and Vice Versa
We're All In This Together - Red Green: The Man Behind the Character and Vice Versa

I have this book and read it cover to cover without putting it down. Surprising, informative, and entertaining, with comments from the Red Green gang.


Authentic Conditions vs. Hype

Patrick McKenna mentioned that many people believe that ADD and ADHD are no authentic conditions, but that it is real and affects the brain in measurable ways.

In addition to this, my experience is that many people feel that the label ADD or ADHD is used as an excuse to justify bad behavior. In another development, Ohio was the first US State, in the 1980s, to award disability payments for this diagnosis and indeed, a few parents coached their kids to portray its symptoms in order to receive the payments.

One of our suburban school districts set up a contract to partner with a mental health agency that would test and diagnose children in K-5. However, at that time teachers were permitted to apply the diagnosis and entire classrooms of children were medicated through the contractual partnership. Later, many children were found to have been misdiagnosed in the rush to confront ADD/ADHD.

Many teachers here felt that children with the diagnosis should not be allowed to exercise, because it was a distraction. We know that the opposite is true and McKenna mentions the value of exercise in managing the adult condition. In my experience, the longer exericse sessions of my martial arts classes that include aerobic exercise have helped remarkably with management of the condition(s) in children K-12; provided that classes are attended at least 3 times per week. Daily exericise is likely the best choice.

Rick and Patrick have gathered a team of professionals from Canada and USA and have created a package of materials that can help adults manage ADD/ADHD. The change in McKenna himself is incredible, according to testimony by himself and his wife. He was diagnosed during the filming of the program and creating of their website Totally ADD (see link below),

Red Green Show set from October 2004 at the CBC building in Toronto.
Red Green Show set from October 2004 at the CBC building in Toronto. | Source

Patrick McKenna's DVD

5 stars for ADD and Loving It!

Documentary Outtakes

The web site is full of videos, interactive forums for Challenges, Games, and discussions; an online screening for ADD/ADHD; over two years of Blog posts; Webinars, and several other features. It's fun, even for people that have no symptoms of ADD/ADHD and may just want some tips for better organization. It's entertaining, no matter what your reason for visiting.

ADD/ADHD are indeed authentic, legitimate conditions. They can be misdiagnosed and symptoms of these conditions overlap with symptoms of some other conditions, so always consult a physician in the end to help you make a decision about the presence of the condition in yoruself, family members, or others.

The body of knowledge about ADD/ADHD is constantly increasing and the causes may not yet or every be fully catalogued. Nutrition is a factor in some cases, for example, and heredity is a factor. The list of known causes and exacerbating elements can be found below.

Totally ADD provides helpful tips and strategies for managing the condition in adults, with great success for many people.


Comments and Experiences

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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thanks for adding your postive experiences, laidbacklady. One doctor in the DVD reports that in North America, there are 9,000,000 adult ADDers, many undiagnosed.

    • laidbacklady profile image


      8 years ago from Plumsted Township, NJ

      Thanks for the informative post. It is nice to see people are becoming more open to the possibility that ADD is not all in the mind of the individuals who have been diagnosed.

      I have adult ADD myself and only just recently started taking Adderall to assist me with focus and concentration. My ability to do even one thing at a time was impaired, and my job requires continuous multi-tasking most days. While medication, especially amphetamines like this one, are not for everyone, it has made a tremendous difference in my ability to focus and concentrate. I went to my doctor, initially, fearing early onset dementia--which he thought I was kidding about because, at 45 that would be uncommon--that is when he said it sounded like adult ADD to him. I was ecstatic to be diagnosed as ADD instead of dementia! Yay, me!

      And as a mother of two sons, both of whom have been diagnosed with ADD w/Asperger symptomology (my youngest-12), and ADHD (my oldest-26 but diagnosed at age 7), it does my heart good to see this condition is getting more positive attention and a lot more understanding that at almost any point in recent history.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Yes, some don't want or need to change, now that you mention it - like Temple Grandin, animal researcher, who likes her place on the spectrum, because it makes her detail-oriented and clear in giving instruction and understanding reserch; and making the human -animal conenctions to help us all.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 

      8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      That's very interesting, he obviously got the right treatment at the right time. Although many aspies I have spoken to do not wish to be 'cured'. It all comes down to where they sit on the spectrum. The question here is the cost to parents to fund such long term treatments.

      As you say, it is a long, hard road.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      After continual treatment, self-management techniques that work, and family/congregation support from birth to age 19, our pastor's son no longer experiences Asperbers at all - documented by his physicians. It was a long road to be sure.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 

      8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Thanks Patty for a great article on ADD and ADHD in adults. Much emphasis is given to children with these conditions but it is good to see that now adults with ADD/ADHD don't have to think they are 'just crazy'.

      These conditions and others such as autism/aspergers do not go away once a child grows up, they are life-long conditions, something too many people just don't realise. There is a need for more government programs and initiatives into further research and funding into these conditions.

      It is a brave thing to publicly announce you have ADD when you have celebrity status, very brave of these two and great they are doing something positive.

    • citychick profile image


      8 years ago from Ulster County, New York

      Informational and entertaining! Of course, here in the US, there's, which offers information and parent support. Nicely done hub.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation


      Thanks for your wonderful comments and sharing your experiences. Yearly taxes are certainly a headache for many people, ADDers or not, and some of the tips even in just the website can help organization.

      Small routine tasks can seem a real bother to me some days, so I always put car keys in the same place, etc. etc. Really, I want to shave my head and wear black jumpsuits seven days a week. More time to write. LOL

    • susannah42 profile image


      8 years ago from Florida

      Voted, very entertaining. I have ADD in my family and it can be daunting.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 

      8 years ago

      Dearest Patty!

      GREAT Hub! I too, saw and recorded the PBS Special on ADD and Loving It!? It was a FANTASTIC look at Adult ADD and explained in such a humorous, entertaining and loving way how the mind works with this condition!

      For me, it came at a perfect time, as one of my dearest friends was driving me crazy with his antics! As it turns out, his antics were really clear signs of Adult ADD!

      We watched the program together; it took five tries over many weeks because he couldn't focus for more than a few minutes each time! He clearly saw himself! In snippets, but it was a start!

      His light-bulb moment was realizing he wasn't crazy - just wired differently! The part about doing yearly income taxes was especially poignant; I've been doing his taxes for years! He's an intelligent, generous, articulate, well-known public speaker and yet just the gathering of documents for me to do his taxes takes months and what I finally receive looks like a 3-year old scrambled them together!

      The documentary also reminded me that my frustration with him really needed to be replaced with compassion and understanding! Although I do not have any where near the capacity to be in her shoes I had such admiration for the wife in the documentary ~ her patience was inspiring!

      Thanks for starting the morning off with perfect reminders! (I'm working on a project with this friend the next two days!) You always hit a home run!

      Blessings always, Earth Angel!

    • fucsia profile image


      8 years ago

      Patty, thanks for this page. I not know well these disorders and I tend to think that they are overestimated by psychiatrists. But this argument is very interesting and thanks to your article I am beginning to change my mind.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you, Patty, for drawing the attention to such a serious condition.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Hi K9 - Glad you stopped by to read. I became a Red Green fan after the second episode I saw. Those outtakes with Rick and Patrick look pretty real to me too.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      8 years ago from Northern, California

      Patty, I enjoyed this article very much. Not only am I a huge fan of the old sit-com "The Red Green Show" but ADD has long been hanging around in my family life. The video of out-takes you offer is very funny, and yet so real. As always, a top-notch bit of work. Up and awesome.



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