ADHD, struggling with decisions, and the myth of autonomy in academia. A conversation about mental health with Jef Delvaux (podcast)

ADHD, struggling with decisions, and the myth of autonomy in academia.
A conversation about mental health with Jef Delvaux (podcast)

This is the third installment of my still fairly new series Philosophical Chats. In this episode, I have a conversation with Jef Delvaux who is in the third year of his PhD programme in Philosophy at York University in Toronto. Although we had a number of themes lined up, we ended up focusing on what is called Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which despite an increasing attention to mental health in academia still seems to be flying somewhat under the radar. Jef addresses this issue not as a specialist, but from the perspective of someone affected by it. The aim is to provide an understanding of the condition and how it can be addressed (and perhaps ameliorated) in academic settings. One thing we discuss in particular is the difficulty of deliberating and making decisions. It’s a long conversation. So if you feel like skipping bits or want to focus on a specific topic, here is a rough overview:

  • Introduction   0:00
  • Mental health and ADHD   2:00
  • Belittling ADHD   4:00
  • What is it like to live with ADHD?   7:20
  • Teaching students with ADHD: buddy systems* and autonomy   12:20      
  • Decision paralysis with and without ADHD: what is the difference?   22:15
  • ADHD during the pandemic   1:02
  • “What if I could talk to my undergraduate self?”   1:08

______

* Regarding study buddy systems, I (Martin) state that Groningen has them for writing theses. But it turns out that we also offer them for BA and MA students generally.

4 thoughts on “ADHD, struggling with decisions, and the myth of autonomy in academia. A conversation about mental health with Jef Delvaux (podcast)

  1. I’m at the part where asking someone else is low cost and want to scream “lucky bastard” and curse your name, because I got punished either way. But I’ll keep listening because your descriptions are good

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi,
    just dropping a line to say “thank you” for this fantastic podcast. Especially the part on “decision paralysis” and both your shots at differentiating an everyday problem from a condition struck me as very conceivable and sophisticated at the same time.
    I also like the idea – and I think it prevails somehow throughout – that we, everybody, but academics and academic teachers in particular should share methods and create environments that make it easier and more comfortable for people to work with/in.
    There’s a lot more I would have to say, but I think it would be raising too many issues in a comment.
    Cheers to both of you, and “no regrets” to Jef, you did awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

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