Archives for Myths
In our ongoing series of posts that, although not advertised as such, are aimed at debunking myths associated with ADHD, a decision has been made to address the discrepancy in ADHD diagnoses in North America and Europe.
Those who are in the camp that suggests that ADHD is made up, will point out that there is no ADHD in many European countries.
Well, you got me. That's pretty much true, as far as it goes. But they don't say why that is.
They don't mention that is that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, is not commonly used for diagnosis there. Instead, they are more likely to use a reference work produced by the World Health Organization (WHO) called the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, or ICD.
You know what? I've had enough of this damned ADHD.
Yeah, I know I can't cure it. I know I can't change it. I know that ADHD symptoms are going to be with me for life.
I can compensate for them, but that need to compensate will always be there. ADHD is here for life, my life, my entire life.
There are conflicting descriptions of ADHD, and there is a great deal of misinformation still being shared about it as well.
There are many things that ADHD is that are surprising to some, and many more things that it isn't.
These misconceptions make life more difficult for those with ADHD. They allow for erroneous stereotyping and stigmatizing, they allow ADHD's detriments to be dismissed rather than attended to, and they rob people of the best possible life they otherwise might have managed to have.
But these misconceptions cannot work on their own, they need willing ears to hear them and willing tongues to spread them. They need closed minds and empty hearts to spread their damaging and destructive lies and deceits. Will you be that closed mind, that empty heart, that willing participant in the spread of misinformation, or will you read on and educate yourself, and subsequently others?
A million years ago, when I was a computer programmer and then a technician, I used to see the world of technology as being at three distinct levels of advancement.
Basically, there were systems on the third level, in homes and offices where mundane jobs were performed. Then there were systems that were highly functional by comparison. They were being used for specialized things almost exclusively in industry, like advanced research and development.
Then there were systems that were being developed and deployed simply for the purpose of developing new systems. They were the ones that were pushing the envelope, making advances that would be studied and would dictate what the next generation of systems would be capable of.
I used to refer to these levels as “state of the art,” “state of the industry,” and “state of the basement.”
I know there's lots of information out there about ADHD. And there seems to be three distinct groups, according to social networks and news outlets.
Those three groups differ greatly in their approach to the validity of ADHD.
And then, to complicate things, there is a bisection of these three groups. Each of these three groups is made up of people who don't have ADHD … and people who do have ADHD.
So, you've been hearing so called experts say that there is no such thing as ADHD. Well, I'd buy that, I guess, although, I still think I have some doubts that tell me it's real.
Let's start with the argument that it has been made up by pharmaceutical companies. That makes sense, I suppose. I mean, if I could make a ton of money by inventing a drug and then inventing a disorder to use that drug as a treatment for … well, sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me.
But wait, there have been documented descriptions of psychological case studies that describe the symptoms of ADHD long before it was treated with stimulants. How does that fit in to this theory?
I've been doing some writing about ADHD the last five days or so. No, not this blog. Well, not just this blog.
I've been engaged to write a few articles on the subject.
And I'm learning some things, relearning some things, and remembering some things.
I've been reminded of how young this disorder is and yet how far back in history you can go and still find descriptions of it.
I know some of you are determined to view ADHD as a gift. And I'm not going to argue with you.
I've also heard from some folks who say thinking of ADHD as a gift is being delusional. I can't really argue with that either.
But the truth, as far as I'm concerned, is very different. I look at it like this. This quirky, far ranging, rapid firing, often absent, wickedly misbehaving, thrill seeking, bicycle on a bobsled track without brakes brain of mine is what I get to work with.
There are people who say that having ADHD makes you creative. And there are those who say that that hasn't been proven. And there are those who say that ADHD creativity is a myth.
I say that creativity is a matter of creating. And creating requires you to be able to concentrate on the process. And concentration on a single process is what is known as focus.
Having ADHD is pretty much the opposite of being able to focus, at least on things that you choose to focus on. “But we have hyperfocus.” I hear you saying. And yes, there are times when we can zone in on something But Dr. Charles Barkley suggests that “hyperfocus” is the wrong name for that.
On Monday we had a little talk about a friend of mine who has a local business and told me about how much he valued the strengths that an employee with ADHD could bring to the table.
I asked him if he had to do anything differently to make the value evident, and he offered the following suggestions.
He suggested that lists were a bad thing. I looked at him kind of oddly, and he clarified by explaining that if a person makes a list of things they need to do, that's fine. It's their list, they're invested in it. But if they are handed a list, it will get lost.