About this item
The first book of its kind about what it’s like to be a child with ADHD, Hyper is a “haunting narrative that explores the world’s most scrutinized childhood condition from the inside out” (Nature) that also illuminates the history of how we came to medicate more than four million children today.Among the first generation of boys prescribed medication for ADHD in the 1980s, Timothy Denevi took Ritalin at the age of six and suffered a psychotic reaction. Thus began his long odyssey through a variety of treatments. InHyper, Denevi describes how he made his way to adulthood, knowing he was a problem for those who loved him, longing to be able to be good and fit in, and finally realizing he had to come to grips with his disorder before his life spun out of control. Using these experiences as a springboard, Denevi also traces our understanding and treatment of ADHD from the nineteenth century, when bad parenting and even government conspiracies were blamed, through the twentieth century and drug treatments like Benzedrine, Ritalin, and antidepressants. His insightful history shows how drugs became the treatment of choice for ADHD, rather than individually crafted treatments like the one that saved his life.Thought provoking and deeply intelligent, this is a remarkable book both for its sensitive portrait of a child’s experience as well as for its thorough exploration of a remarkably complex and controversial mental condition and its treatment. “There’s much to be learned in Hyper, about pushing boundaries and respecting them, about parenting, and about the special kind of triumph that can come as a result of hard-earned self-knowledge. Denevi has written a book about a condition that has been studied for a long time, but, truly, it hasn’t been talked about like this” (BookPage).
"Hyper: A Personal History of ADHD is Timothy Denevi's memoir of growing up as a hyperactive child, intertwined with his even-handed and thorough reporting on the history of the diagnosis and its treatment. Beginning with the moment he first started having severe emotional fits, his book traces his compelling and moving journey through fifteen years of diagnosis and treatment as he illuminates the medical and psychological theories and practices that shape our understanding of this controversial diagnosis. In the 1980s, mental disorders were just beginning to be seen as biological in origin; hyperactivity was being medicated with a variety of stimulants. In Timothy's first week on Ritalin at the age of six, the medication triggered a psychotic reaction. He ran into the kitchen, grabbed a knife, and threatened to kill himself in front of his mother. Doctors prescribed behavior therapy, then antidepressants. Nothing worked. The reader never stops caring for Timothy as he makes is way through grade school and high school, knowing he is a problem for those who love him, longing to be able to be good and fit in, hanging out with boys who have similar symptoms but meet quite different ends, and finally realizing he must come to grips with his disorder before his life spins completely out of control. Simultaneously, the author traces our understanding of the origins of the condition, from the late 19th and early 20th centuries when hyperactivity was atributed to defective moral conscience, demons, or head trauma, through the twentieth century when food additives, bad parenting, and even government conspiracies were blamed, to the most recent genetic research"--
Number of Pages: 274
Genre: Psychology, Biography + Autobiography
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Author: Timothy Denevi
Street Date: September 22, 2015
Item Number (DPCI): 247-45-8316
If the item details above aren’t accurate or complete, we want to know about it. Report incorrect product info.