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Minimal Brain Dysfunction

May Be, D’oh!

That really doesn’t sound so bad, does it? I mean, it’s brain dysfunction, supposedly, but it’s minimal.

And it has the added bonus of being something everyone could claim.

Every time someone forgets something or makes a mistake in calculations, they could say, “Well, obviously my brain wasn’t functioning quite right or I’d not have done that. But it’s only minimal, ’cause I got so many other things right. I got to work today, I actually did the calculation, even if I did it wrong … I’m wearing pants.”

Minimal Brain Dysfunction (MBD) was what ADHD was called some fifty years ago, you know, when I was a child.

Nope, not me

I was not diagnosed with that. I wasn’t diagnosed with anything until I was fifty. That’s not quite ten years ago.

But I kind of like the idea of bringing that diagnosis back.


Nope, not for us.

For the people who say, “I must have a little bit of ADHD, I left my car keys in the fridge last week.”

For the people who claim, 99 percent of the time, to be neuro-typical, and one percent of the time to have ADHD.

So, from now on …

When you hear someone say they must have a bit of ADHD because they like to dance, tell them they have MBD.

When someone says they have a little OCD because they like to keep their apartment tidy, tell them they have MBD.

When you hear someone say they’re suffering from depression because they’re sad about the loss of someone … maybe just smile and nod, let’s not try to piss everyone off.

So, what’s the point?

The point is that we aren’t abnormal in the sense that our symptoms, and indeed many of the symptoms of any mental health disorder, are unique to the cadre of people with that disorder.

The point is that the symptoms of OCD and Depression and ADHD occur in the general population, and therefore in each of us.

So why a diagnosis at all?

Now we’re getting to it.

The diagnosis is not that we have these symptoms, it is the extent to which we suffer from them, the intensity and the frequency of them and, in the final analysis, the negative impact that the frequency and intensity visits on the person being diagnosed.

If …

If you walk into a room and say, “Oh, I’ve forgotten what I came in here for.” You don’t have ADHD.

If you walk into a room and say, “Jumpin’ Jeoseph Murphy, This Is The 35th Fecking Time I’ve walked into this room in the last seven minutes and I still don’t remember why!!!” …

Yeah, now we’re starting to understand.

And in truth

If you walk into a room and can’t remember what you went there for, you don’t really have Minimal Brain Dysfunction either

But if, after reading this, you walk into a room and say, “Oh, I’ve forgotten what I came in here for. I must have a little ADHD.” then yes, you may have MBD.


Minimal Brain Dysfunction

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2018). Minimal Brain Dysfunction. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 24, 2019, from


Last updated: 20 Jul 2018
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