Po, thank you very much for sharing your story and information. You gave a couple of details that have really set me back and made me think.
My daughter is 12 going on 13. She has always had attentioin and focus problems, but I have resisted the idea that she has ADD because 1.) She is not hyperactive. 3.) She can focus intently on something that interests or engages her - spend hours meticulously completing an art project or read something she enjoys. Previously we've concentrated on coping strategies - keeping to a set schedule and routine for schoolwork; having music on to block on other distractions, etc. She's always done better in a smaller class and with some one on one.
However, this year it seems to be worse (puberty?) and she's really struggling in school. So your saying that the hyperactivity piece is more common with boys, and that chronic onset in girls is usally at puberty hit home.
The part about your complete inability to clean your room also really hit home. She is definitely a kid who is paralyzed/overwhelmed by large, complex tasks. She can only manage if I break it down into steps for her, and does better if I stay with her and encourage her.
I have never known how much of that is being a kid, and how much might be something else.
So I think it's time to consider testing. Thank you for sharing your story.
Now, on to the original topic.
I think the maker of the video loses any and all credibility by the "can't see it or touch it" argument. As other posters have explained eloquently, some of the biochemical processes of mental illness are well understood and well documented.
A more persuasive and credible video could have been made about over diagnosing and over prescribing. Situational depression is different than chronic chemical depression, and there's a whole range of mood disorders less severe than bipolar disorder. Situational depression and some of the lesser mood disorders do not necessarily require meds. And the control that Big Pharma has over the medical community is a large part of the overdiagnosing and overmedicating.
I saw counselors/therapists on and off for years for family issues and situational depression. Some of them were unhelpful, some were good, one was great. At one point the great one said "I think we're dealing with something else here. I want you to consult with a psychiatrist." I eventually ended up on meds, which probably saved my life. Certainly improved my quality of life. I believe that's the correct progression - I started with self help, then LCSWs and pyschologists with talk and cognitive therapy and went to see a shrink on their recommendation. Too many times patients go directly to the MD without trying other methods, and not surprisingly, they end up medicated.
However, just because there's overdiagnosing and overmedicating doesn't mean that there isn't real merit to some of the diagnosises and meds.