ADHD is not a real disease

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ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Spambot5546 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:19 pm UTC

Says this guy. It's outside my scope of knowledge to say if he's wrong, let alone why, but I definitely find the article sketchy...
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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:06 pm UTC

I think there's certainly good reason to believe that even if ADHD does exist as a real condition, there's definitively an established culture, particularly in the United States, of using ADHD as a catch-all diagnosis for behaviour problems in children, which probably leads to rather high rates of misdiagnosis. It says something, for example, that American children are 18 times more likely to get an ADHD diagnosis than French children, with the French system being more "holistic" in the manner that the OP article is describing.

It is also worth noting, perhaps, that Americans pay far more for prescription drugs than any other country in the world, so there's a much larger incentive for drug companies to, uh, encourage clinicians to diagnose children with fairly expensive drugs that they will have to keep taking for years.

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Brace » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:29 pm UTC

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby sardia » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:35 pm UTC

Is he claiming it's no longer a disease in the same way homosexuality is no longer a disease? Aka, the majority of psychologists voted it down?

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Brace » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:38 pm UTC

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:41 pm UTC

I think there is an easy way to tell if your little darling has ADHD. Is s/he capable of watching an entire episode on TV or play an hour of Xbox? If so, it's probably not ADHD.

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:47 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Is he claiming it's no longer a disease in the same way homosexuality is no longer a disease? Aka, the majority of psychologists voted it down?


No, quite the opposite. He's saying that the majority of ADHD symptoms can be explained by underlying dietary or other medical conditions ranging from easily treatable (eg. poor vision or hearing) to more serious (major depressive disorder). That is, ADHD is essentially being used in much the same way that female hysteria was back in the 1800s--a very broad definition that can encompass a large number of unrelated ailments with vaguely similar symptoms. That isn't to say that there isn't a condition that could be identified uniquely as ADHD, but that until other known ailments with similar symptoms are ruled out, you can't say definitively one way or the other.

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Angua » Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:58 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I think there is an easy way to tell if your little darling has ADHD. Is s/he capable of watching an entire episode on TV or play an hour of Xbox? If so, it's probably not ADHD.

Ah yes, here is someone who truly understands how ADHD works.
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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby apricity » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:47 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I think there is an easy way to tell if your little darling has ADHD. Is s/he capable of watching an entire episode on TV or play an hour of Xbox? If so, it's probably not ADHD.
I desperately want to make a sarcastic comment, but let me instead introduce the idea of hyperfocus.
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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Jplus » Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:19 am UTC

lanicita wrote:hyperfocus

Thanks for sharing that. It sounds like me!
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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby addams » Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:51 am UTC

Jplus wrote:
lanicita wrote:hyperfocus

Thanks for sharing that. It sounds like me!

oh dear God.
Out with ADHD and in with HyperFocus?

The article makes sense.
The whole of the US Population is a Special Needs Group.

I may write something much more harsh than what he wrote.
The article was kind. It did not Blame the Victim, much.

OverStimulated. Our people are over Stimulated and lacking Self Control.
Can't concentrate? Under what conditions? Concentration is a skill.

HyperFocus is a Gift. You can read during a battle? yeah. Me, too.
Well...I Could! I don't think I can do that, now. I outgrew it.
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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Sorillon » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:11 am UTC

Hyperfocus sounds a lot like what I actually do, rather than the look-a-bird portrayal most commonly presented. Although if I'm tired I will just literally start babbling from the stream of consciousness. It is very silly.

Also, I always find it very interesting that addams posts so prolifically but almost no one seeks to hold a conversation with them, almost like addams is like some kind of spectre-poet of the XKCD forum. Interesting indeed.

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:27 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I think there is an easy way to tell if your little darling has ADHD. Is s/he capable of watching an entire episode on TV or play an hour of Xbox? If so, it's probably not ADHD.


Truly you are on the cutting edge of neurological understanding, Doctor. You have developed a radical method of diagnosis for a disorder you made up, and it changes everything. But aren't you a bit worried about the fact that you've named it the same thing as an already-established and understood neurological disorder to which it bears only a cursory resemblance? I feel like that'll get confusing.
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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:33 pm UTC

wikipedia wrote:An individual with inattention may have some or all of the following symptoms:[26]
Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
Have difficulty maintaining focus on one task
Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless doing something enjoyable
Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new
Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
Not seem to listen when spoken to
Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others
Struggle to follow instructions
An individual with hyperactivity may have some or all of the following symptoms:[26]
Fidget and squirm in their seats
Talk nonstop
Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, doing homework, and story time
Be constantly in motion
Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities
An individual with impulsivity may have some or all of the following symptoms:[26]
Be very impatient
Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games
Often interrupts conversations or others' activities


Shiiiiit, I had or have at least half of those symptoms. But how many of those symptoms are indistinguishable from "poor discipline"? Seems to me that it might get a bit overdosed.

I mean, half those symptoms are almost normal.
Last edited by CorruptUser on Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:45 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby BlackSails » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:43 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
Shiiiiit, I had or have at least half of those symptoms. But how many of those symptoms are indistinguishable from "poor discipline"? Seems to me that it might get a bit overdosed.


This is why wikipedia is not a medical textbook

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:50 pm UTC

True, but like I said, it seems like it's way too easy to overdiagnose. 1 in 9 American kids have ADHD; at what point do we stop calling something a disorder and call it normal?

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby PolakoVoador » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:55 pm UTC

Jplus wrote:
lanicita wrote:hyperfocus

Thanks for sharing that. It sounds like me!


That was... weird. And I mean in the sense that the article described perfectly what happens to me. What is more curious is that the advices they give on how to proceed regarding kids with ADHD/Hyperfocus is exactly what my parents did with me when I was younger, and I know they did it "just" so I could be an organized person and stuff like that.

Now that I'm living on my own for some time, without someone helping me micromanage my schedule I'm increasingly feeling the effects described in the article.

"Today I have to pay some bills when I get home aaaannd I just spent 4h reading about Saturn's moons."

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Mutex » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:01 pm UTC

Glad it's not just me that felt a creepy feeling of "that's me" when reading the symptoms. Obviously I know better than to trust a self-diagnosis from a Wikipedia page, I am wondering how I'd go about getting properly tested though, do people just go to doctors and say "I think I might have ADHD because I read the Wikipedia page, test me please"? If so doctors must get tired of that.

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby BlackSails » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:05 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:True, but like I said, it seems like it's way too easy to overdiagnose. 1 in 9 American kids have ADHD; at what point do we stop calling something a disorder and call it normal?


About half of all people develop cancer. at what point do we stop calling something a disease and call it normal?

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:06 pm UTC

Because like most people who read a page out of the DSM without knowing what they're looking at, you're all ignoring the fact that every symptom comes with a suffix that runs something like "...enough to fuck up your life"

There is an argument that ADHD should be treated as a "normal" neurological variant, but treating it as such would require restructuring our society to actually incorporate their (our) strengths and weaknesses. Just saying "you're lazy and lack discipline" and then trying to shove them into the same box as everyone else doesn't count.
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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Grop » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:27 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:American children are 18 times more likely to get an ADHD diagnosis than French children


article wrote:In French families, as Druckerman describes them, parents are firmly in charge of their kids—instead of the American family style, in which the situation is all too often vice versa.


Funny article, but what is vice versa for parents being firmly in charge of their kids?

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Mutex » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:29 pm UTC

The kids being in charge of the parents?

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Brace » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:16 pm UTC

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:26 pm UTC

Condition X sounds a lot like homosexuality. Or being female in most societies and ever enjoying sex, especially with anyone other than a husband. Both of which were (and in some places still are) "cured" with genital mutilation or death.

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Whizbang » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:33 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Condition X sounds a lot like homosexuality. Or being female in most societies and ever enjoying sex, especially with anyone other than a husband. Both of which were (and in some places still are) "cured" with genital mutilation or death.


And what do you see when you look at this?
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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:35 pm UTC

The tension between "we have to change you to fit society" and "we have to change society to accommodate you" is a real one, and it's the one you're describing. It's also applicable to most neurological and physiological variations. And in almost all cases, it's a discussion worth having.

However, given those two sides, "these kids are normal, they just lack discipline" is also on the "we have to change you" side. It's just an ignorant, destructive, and counterproductive implementation.
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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:39 pm UTC

That looks like a monkey skull on top of a map of the Earth.

And yes Belial, I guess I'll agree with that statement.

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby omgryebread » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:46 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Because like most people who read a page out of the DSM without knowing what they're looking at, you're all ignoring the fact that every symptom comes with a suffix that runs something like "...enough to fuck up your life"

There is an argument that ADHD should be treated as a "normal" neurological variant, but treating it as such would require restructuring our society to actually incorporate their (our) strengths and weaknesses. Just saying "you're lazy and lack discipline" and then trying to shove them into the same box as everyone else doesn't count.
Thank you! Clinical psychiatry is a very different field of medicine, and it takes a great deal of training. Training that most of it's critics don't have. One of the requirements for diagnosis (admittedly, often overlooked) is ruling out all the various things this guy claims are REALLY ADHD.

I don't see how this guy is different from all the quacks that have come before claiming that psychiatry is a made up field. It's also worth noting that not in this article, nor any of the other clickbait articles he's been writing lately to promote his book, does he cite a single study. All of his "evidence" seems to come from his own practice.
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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:15 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:Thank you! Clinical psychiatry is a very different field of medicine, and it takes a great deal of training. Training that most of it's critics don't have. One of the requirements for diagnosis (admittedly, often overlooked) is ruling out all the various things this guy claims are REALLY ADHD.


Most ADHD diagnoses are typically done by primary care doctors, not clinical psychiatrists, so I'm guessing that the people who are making the diagnoses don't have all that training.

Anyway, my impression was that it went more like this:
Teacher: "Your son is constantly acting out in class. You need to get him medicated or he'll be removed from the school."
Principal: "Yup, that's totally legal. Also, ADHD is considered a disability, so we can get extra funding that we can use on our football team."
Parent: "The teacher says my son has ADHD and needs medication."
Doctor: "Sounds legit. Here's some pills. Also, I get a huge kickback from the drug company for selling them to you."

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:25 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
omgryebread wrote:Thank you! Clinical psychiatry is a very different field of medicine, and it takes a great deal of training. Training that most of it's critics don't have. One of the requirements for diagnosis (admittedly, often overlooked) is ruling out all the various things this guy claims are REALLY ADHD.


Most ADHD diagnoses are typically done by primary care doctors, not clinical psychiatrists, so I'm guessing that the people who are making the diagnoses don't have all that training.

Anyway, my impression was that it went more like this:
Teacher: "Your son is constantly acting out in class. You need to get him medicated or he'll be removed from the school."
Principal: "Yup, that's totally legal. Also, ADHD is considered a disability, so we can get extra funding that we can use on our football team."
Parent: "The teacher says my son has ADHD and needs medication."
Doctor: "Sounds legit. Here's some pills. Also, I get a huge kickback from the drug company for selling them to you."


I obviously can't say "this doesn't happen" but it definitely doesn't represent my diagnosis process or those of anyone I've met. In fact, I've switched neurologists several times over the course of my life (I've moved around a bit) and each one has basically demanded to see the stack of testing data (legitimately two inches thick) I got from the UVA psychiatry department before they stop treating me like a drugseeker and prescribe my meds. Like, "a previous neurologist prescribed me meds" isn't enough evidence to get me pills, so I can't imagine "the unqualified teacher said I have ADHD" would be. Likewise, while my GPs have been happy enough to prescribe refills once they have a neurologist's say-so, no GP has ever been willing to write the initial prescription for adderall without me first seeing a neurologist in the same network.

That said, if this does represent how it's working for anyone (as opposed to being an 'Oh me yarm welfare queens' style story), it's almost certainly because of a lack of resources in both the schools and the healthcare system. Attacking ADHD diagnoses separate from anything else would be silly and would deny needed treatment to a lot of people. The solution is to make both of those systems more robust until A) teaching problem children no longer strains the teachers to the breaking point and B) everyone can afford to get the testing and care they require.
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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby PolakoVoador » Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:38 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Because like most people who read a page out of the DSM without knowing what they're looking at, you're all ignoring the fact that every symptom comes with a suffix that runs something like "...enough to fuck up your life".


Of course I will not trust a self diagnosis from reading a random article, but this came up rather timely. I'm falling behind at work, I'm struggling to pay all my bills on time, even though I'm financially stable enough to pay everything, can't focus on anything important, etc. I was already worried with my health, but maybe now this realization will kick in strong enough to drag my ass to a specialist.

Actually, I'm not even sure what is the correct specialist I should go

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Xeio » Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:51 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:Most ADHD diagnoses are typically done by primary care doctors, not clinical psychiatrists, so I'm guessing that the people who are making the diagnoses don't have all that training.

Anyway, my impression was that it went more like this:
Teacher: "Your son is constantly acting out in class. You need to get him medicated or he'll be removed from the school."
Principal: "Yup, that's totally legal. Also, ADHD is considered a disability, so we can get extra funding that we can use on our football team."
Parent: "The teacher says my son has ADHD and needs medication."
Doctor: "Sounds legit. Here's some pills. Also, I get a huge kickback from the drug company for selling them to you."

I obviously can't say "this doesn't happen" but it definitely doesn't represent my diagnosis process or those of anyone I've met.
*waves*

Though in my case after about a week my parents said "fuck this" and took me off the meds because I was a zombie. Though I don't think there was a threat of removal from class in my case so I really hope that's hyperbole. Really.

Turns out I don't actually have ADHD either, who'd have thunk I was just bored in class as a second grader? :shock:

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Brace » Tue Mar 18, 2014 3:56 pm UTC

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:06 pm UTC

I think it's illegal for doctor to get kickbacks for prescribing drugs. If it isn't, it should be.

I was more under the impression that it's the parents pushing for it, rather than doctors.

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:09 pm UTC

Which is still not addressing the point he was making about over diagnoses being related to an over burdened medical and educational system.

I find cross country comparisons like this tend to be so unbearably fraught with handwavium and bullshit that they're useless. I want to point out that this author has no medical credentials, and we're all basically arguing one op-ed pieces validity. He has no medical related credentials.
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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Brace » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:17 pm UTC

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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Mar 18, 2014 4:39 pm UTC

That was totally my mistake; I accidentally clicked on the Hyperfocus link and thought it was the OP article. My mistake, complaint withdrawn.
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Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby addams » Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:44 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:
wikipedia wrote:An individual with inattention may have some or all of the following symptoms:[26]
Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
Have difficulty maintaining focus on one task
Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless doing something enjoyable
Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new
Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
Not seem to listen when spoken to
Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others
Struggle to follow instructions
An individual with hyperactivity may have some or all of the following symptoms:[26]
Fidget and squirm in their seats
Talk nonstop
Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, doing homework, and story time
Be constantly in motion
Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities
An individual with impulsivity may have some or all of the following symptoms:[26]
Be very impatient
Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games
Often interrupts conversations or others' activities


Shiiiiit, I had or have at least half of those symptoms. But how many of those symptoms are indistinguishable from "poor discipline"? Seems to me that it might get a bit overdosed.

I mean, half those symptoms are almost normal.

Yep. I see you have grasped the concept.

The DSM is a way to tell the insurance company something.
There are codes. ech. That is not why I read it.

Both the Insurance Companies and The Government use that Book.
That is a funny fucking book. Have you read it. I have! so funny.

There are standard statements in every profession.
Like the Peter Prinicple for business majors.

It's no secret. is it?
It is, kind of, best if said with a Forceful Voice.

"The DSM. If you can not find yourself in That Book, you're not looking hard enough!
I think it's funny. 5! It's a counting game! We are up to Five! Yeah!!

Is there a place with all Five Editions?
Have you ever seen a One?

What was Crazy in 1952?
Way back before the beginning of Time.

Female Hysteria became Putting up with Man's Shit. (PMS)
Same disorder. Men get it. Gender Equality and all.

ADHD? Attention Deficit HyperActivity Disorder.
OK. and coffee helps?

Almost all of those White People have that.
Coffee. Unreasonable and Weirder than usual, until they get their Coffee.

Some settle right down.
Others don't get any better.
Maybe a little worse. (shrug)

Who gives a fuck?
I may understand the Good Doctor's complaint.
It is the fucking Self Diagonsis.

Spoiler:
Sometimes I have days when as I move through The World, every public environment has a color screen that is more interesting that Reality.
I am considered Not Normal because I don't like the Darned things.

It sort of depends upon what is On.
Still; Is there a DSM code for apparently random episodes of TechnoPhobia?


Not only self diagnoses but using ADHD to justify poor behavior.
I met a man that has a list of Alphabet Soup he uses to justify his poor behavior.

It is so mush easier to learn the name of an excuse, than it is to behave like an adult.
How does an adult behave? ech. There are other Books.

Some have some pretty darned good descriptions of Sane.
A man that died. (more than... a long time 15 years ago? I am fricken older that Dirt. A lot older than some dirt. (fuck))

He wrote one of the sweetest definition of sane.
I wonder if I can remember it?

Spontaneous and Fully Alive.
Not a Lazy calculating Bastard. That's not sane.

Spontaneous and Fully Alive.
He wrote essays. Like Sagan wrote essays.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheldon_Kopp

Where were you?
Oh. You have ADHD?
Get in Line, Buddy.

What can you expect from your fellow man?
Are they are a bunch of distracted, undisciplined freaks?

A phone, a dog, a cat that is not as perfect as it looks, two teenagers, a small business, 18 Thousand Friends on FaceBook and not really into settling down and exhibiting HyperFocus behavior? We have a DSM 5 number for that.
Spoiler:
If you don't like her, you can call her Crazy. In 3D and on FaceBook.
You are safe. AssHole is not in the DSM 5.


Then you look in a different book for Treatment Options.
A Forced Retreat is a really weird thing to do to someone.
I believe with all my heart, Patient Centered Care and Patient Consent are important.

If they want to Treat themselves for HyperFocus, it's ok with me.
Once upon a time those people were called, 'Steady and Contemplative'.

That disorder fell under treatment and vector control.
Very little of that left.

A person that can not interact with 3D people because the 2D people are better, may need help.
Is that a Disorder?? I have that. How bad does it get? Is it fatal? Is it an excuse for poor behavior?

People that really have ADHA are miserable.
And; People that love them suffer.

People that use it as an excuse tend to be, sort of, Self Satisfied.
Pleased as Punch with themselves. "I'm an AssHole. And; I can not be Shamed."
(whiny voice sometimes used)"I have ADHD, PTSD, + a list of Other Real Disorders."

There is a difference between a using symptoms as an excuse and living with symptoms.
I think the man that wrote the article was generous and kind.

Sometimes I think, "yes. You are beyond taking responsibility for what an AssHole you are."
Self Diagnosis of Mental Disorders is a Fun Game.
If and only if you are willing to experiment with the Cure!

Spoiler:
You are not a NeoNatzi.
It been seventy-five years.
You're an AssHole.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

Derek
Posts: 2181
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:15 am UTC

Re: ADHD is not a real disease

Postby Derek » Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:36 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:*waves*

Though in my case after about a week my parents said "fuck this" and took me off the meds because I was a zombie. Though I don't think there was a threat of removal from class in my case so I really hope that's hyperbole. Really.

Turns out I don't actually have ADHD either, who'd have thunk I was just bored in class as a second grader? :shock:

I have a similar story. In second grade my parents applied for me to go to a private school, which required taking an academic test. I did fine on the test, but whoever administered it must have thought I had ADHD, because the school said they wouldn't accept me unless I went on meds. My parents gave them the finger. I was just bored because the test was so easy. (I remained in public schools through middle school, then in high school I moved to the same private school)


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