A new video “ADHD – Shine a Light” helps adults better understand the condition

“I feel like a universe, stuffed within a shoebox” – this is how Bryn Travers describes what it’s like to have Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). On 31 October 2018 the video ‘Shine a light – understanding ADHD’ is released: a short documentary about what ADHD is, both from a personal and clinical perspective. The video was created through the collaboration between 4 EU-funded, international consortia of researchers that investigate ADHD and its origins: MiND, Aggressotype, CoCA and Eat2BeNICE.

This video is aimed at helping young people and adults diagnosed with ADHD, or who suspect they have ADHD, as well as their family and friends, to understand the condition better. The video is in English, with subtitles in English, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian and Swedish.

The video can be viewed here.

The release of this video co-occurs with the last day of October’s international ADHD awareness month. This initiative of the international ADHD patient organisations aims to raise awareness about ADHD, and funding for more research to better understand ADHD. Knowing more about ADHD and spreading awareness helps people better understand (people with) ADHD, thus reducing stigma and (self) blame.

In this mini-documentary, people with ADHD discuss what it is like to have ADHD, the challenges, and the things they like about ADHD. Clinicians and researchers working with ADHD add their perspective and explain more about the origins of the disorder, what they have learned from their experience working with patients, and the main questions research is trying to answer about ADHD.

Many children, adolescents and adults suffer from ADHD- approximately 5% worldwide (1 in 20). ADHD is a complex disorder that affects people differently, with people experiencing problems in daily life, especially with respect to controlling attention, impulses and emotions. At the same time, people with ADHD enjoy their creativity and positive energy. Medication is effective for many people with ADHD, but not for all. A downside of the medication is that it needs to be taken every day, and it does not cure someone from the disorder. Other types of treatment should therefore also be offered and investigated.

The video features four of the most well-known researchers in the field of ADHD: Dr. Eric Taylor is Emeritus Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at King’s College London, Dr. Philip Asherson is professor of Molecular Psychiatry at King’s College London, Dr. Barbara Franke is professor of Molecular Psychiatry at Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, in The Netherlands, and Dr. Corina Greven is a psychologist and behavioural geneticist at Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen. Next to these scientists and psychiatrists, we see three people with ADHD (Bryn Travers, Evie Travers and Aziz), Andrea Bilbow, president of patient organisation ‘ADHD Europe’ and mother of two children with ADHD, and Dr. Kai Syng Tan, researcher and artist at King’s College London, who also has an ADHD diagnosis.

In the video, they talk about what ADHD is and what it is like to have ADHD, about the pro’s and con’s of ADHD medication and why other types of treatment should also be developed, about stigma and misconceptions and why education is so important, and about the positive aspects of ADHD.

More information

This video was created through the collaboration between four EU-funded, international consortia of researchers that investigate ADHD and its origins. The idea came from two junior scientists, Laura Ghirardi and Dr. Nicoletta Adamo. They were supported in creating the video through the MiND Training program and by the other junior scientists from MiND.

MiND (ADHD and ASD research)

Aggressotype (origins of aggression in psychiatric disorders, such as ADHD)

CoCA (origins of comorbid disorders with ADHD in adolescents and adults)

The video was recorded by 4QUARTER FILMS.

The public can learn more about ADHD here.