Say Hello to Black Jack Confronts Effects of Adult ADHD

posted on by Eric Stimson

Although ADHD — Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder — is often thought of as a disorder affecting exuberant kids, it can also affect adults, with disastrous results on their personal and professional lives. It can especially be severe if the disorder isn't recognized for what it is, leading the patients to blame themselves and possibly leading to social ostracism or other baleful consequences.

Mr. Takahashi's attention wanders.

The effects of adult ADHD were depicted in Shūhō Satō's manga Say Hello to Black Jack. In one story, a salaryman named Mr. Takahashi repeatedly forgets important assignments and objects, fidgets during meetings, and loses track of time while reading the newspaper in the morning. When a coworker scolds him for making mistakes on order forms, Takahashi gets distracted by a splotch on the wall. Matters come to a head when he goes home to find his wife distraught; he had forgotten their wedding anniversary. The manga's hero, Dr. Saitō, explains that he has adult ADHD and tells him to carry a notebook around with him and carefully keep track of his commitments and appointments. His coworkers and wife also treat him more patiently, acknowledging that he needs help.

Mrs. Takahashi makes sure her husband doesn't leave home without his "to-do" list.

In another case, Dr. Saitō helps a college student named Shun Nishi, who's a member of the film club. While he's the director of their latest project, he keeps forgetting important tasks, like finishing the script and procuring equipment, leading to a revolt among his crew and actress. He loses his job at a DVD store when a "quick" stop at a pachinko parlor stretches on over an hour. Walking home, he gets soaked, because he forgot his umbrella. Again, Dr. Saitō recognizes the symptoms of ADHD, and helps him cope with it. Thanks in part to a reminder app, he's able to keep track of his responsibilities, leading to a successfully completed film and renewed friendship.

Shun's boss catches him at a bad time.

Psychology is also the subject matter of the manga series Comical Psychosomatic Medicine, although it takes a more light-hearted approach.

[Via Kai-You]

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