!-- Thanks, Ettina! And double-thanks for your Newtonian anecdote. Definitely resonates. I just answered a thread on ADD and "relationships"(Hi
Sodawater! I see you chimed in on this, too). The symptom I was 'focusing' on there was how thought-speeding, esp. with a co-ADDer, can impact relationships negatively, and that the term "ADD 'relationship'" is kindof an oxymoron, since people tend to flee from a relationship which is characterized to a significant degree by negative interactions resulting from this kind of problem. And here's a couple of other classical ADD symptoms: bananaical "forgetfulness" (like, aphasia or amnesia?) and Newtonian "hyperfocus" (like seriously dis-attentive! Wow, Newton really had it bad, huh?). These are nails in the social 'coffin' of ADD relationships and dis-ability, so to speak. [OK, the connotation of 'coffin' is bad, but it's a common metaphor; maybe 'basket', as in social 'basket case', would be better.]
Note: the rest is pretty long, but I think 'diff-'erentiating these is pretty complex, so my apologies in advance... (but we DO spring ahead an hour tonite, so I'm thinking that I need to make up for 'lost time', you know. ARGH!
But, to the 'diff' between 'dis-' vs. 'diff-' ability, maybe looking at this in terms of the term 'dys-' might help (well, maybe not, but I'm gonna try...). By definition, 'dys-' can imipily both 'bad' and/or 'difficult'. Unfortunately for definition (or in medicine, diagnosis), 'bad' can be good, depending on relative or absolute perspective, e.g. as a political analogy: in WWII, the Allies were 'bad' from Hitler's perspective, but he was 'bad' to the Allies', yet, the Soviets (technically, one of the Allies) were 'bad' to the non-communist Allies. So 'bad' or 'dys-' needs to be carefully evaluated, especially in a clinical sense. To do that, 'objective' evidence is needed, and, what is 'good' in this sense is what is overwhelmingly agreed to across the [very well-educated and experienced] medical community over many many years and peoples.
So, in a medical sense, 'bad' usually means something more like: has validatable evidence of causing significant and ongoing dysfunction, either of the part [e.g. organ] of the person who has the dysfunction, or to other parts, or eventually to the person in general, and through that person to other persons. [Fortunately, dis-abilities don't seem to be contagious, but unfortunately, they seem to be often inherited, as seems to be the case with ADD.]
'Dis-' implies the lack or impairment of an ability. So, I think that hearing loss is a clear dis-ability in the clinical and probably legal sense, although it can be and is increasingly mitigated through technology advances, social contextual improvements (non-discrimination re: disabilities), behavioral modification (learning lip-reading, signing, etc.), etc.-- which makes the disability less dysfunctional but I think still a disability. And to the extent that the society does not routinely and pervasively offer migitations to [partally] deaf people, it can be an incredibly and sometimes tragically, debilitating disability. It's a matter of degree AND a matter of what is 'good'/'bad', AND a matter of mitigation, too-- it is complex.
Hopefully, not to overdo the point but to try to establish what "good"/"bad" are in the more clinical/medical sense, here's some common examples. 'Good' is your heart NOT having ventricular-septal or valve 'defects', myocardial infarctions ("nectotic" parts, as results from heart attacks), etc.. "Good" is your brain NOT having significant nervous system pathologies, resulting in recurring electrical storms aka 'seizures' or littler, aperiodic ones aka 'tics'. [There is a second-or-third 'cousin' of behavior that results in people not remembering for a couple of minutes that they did something-- hopefully NOT like but sometimes actually robbing a bank-- and of course there's another cousing involving narcoleptic or seriously 'bad' insomniacal behavior aka sleepwalking that can be pretty disabling (like NOT being awake enough to prevent falling down stairs and breaking your hip 'bad'-- and, 'worse', several times). These are pretty severe forms, true; but I hope they make the point that there are behaviors like the ones in this context that are a matter of degree, recurrence, and pretty clear and significant 'deviations' from 'norm', especially 'objective', like an Xray or MRI, or visually seeing the broken bone or hearing the heart's arrhythmia, that can reasonably be considered to be 'dis-abilities'.
I think it's just that psychological things are often not as well-validatable by objective, physiological/anatomical evidence, i.e. are mostly validatable by 'behavioral' observation, and so, pretty tricky to establish, especially given the significant variations in people, in the degree of affliction, in the 'co-morbid' relationships (e.g. bipolar, etc.), etc.
In going through ADD diagnosis, it was stressed to me that ADD is thought to be a heritable problem (that is, probably inherited, but also could be congenital, ie occuring around birth) and a significant part of 'adult ADD' is to establish ADD-associated symptoms/evidence in the person's childhood and through his/her life. Things like racing thoughts, blurting, hyperfocus, perhaps fidgeting (the classical hyper-active kid not yet on ritalin who disrupts the class, acts out/maybe even 'hits'/'strikes' out at people or his/her environment), that happen all the time to people are often sufficient 'validatable evidence' that a significant deviation ("diff-erence) from 'norm' exists and that if there is similar evidence that resulting behavior negatively affects the individual or society, and that it is significantly 'unremediable', then there's a case for a 'dis-ability'.
Well, certainly "diff-'erent! (like, WAY, sometimes). So are, by definition, 'dys'-function and 'dis-ability', but in the sense that I've just related, 'dis-'ability is something more and probably something that can be validated clinically relative to human physiological/psychological 'norm'.
So, given this, it's probably not surprising to you that I think ADD (or anything analogous, bi-polar eg.) can be disabling to some degree. And despite the fact that it can be remediated or moderated to some degree by various therapies, e.g. meds, or even, analogous to hearing aids, EST (hunoz
!). But hopefully self-awareness, behavioral/clinical theapies, meds, etc., will be a sufficient Rx for a sufficiently large part of those afflicted that people and society will not be chronically dis-abled re: ADD (or anything else analogous to it).
But if you're thinking/talking "LEGAL" dis-ability, then that's BEYOND clinically diagnose-able dis-ability, probably because there's $$ involved, and, you know, SOMEbody's gotta pay! ["Follow the money", Deep Throat, was known to say...).
Though ADD is not as 'objectively' diagnosable as, say, inoperable or incurable cancer or paralysis of some degree, it might still be a form of dis-ability, just maybe not meeting 'legal' criteria. And maybe even, depending on the diagnostician, say a given psychiatrist (but maybe NOT to another), the dis-ability might NOT meet 'clinical' "standards" clearly enough to be clinically diagnosable as "AD[H]D (adult; inattentive)", or whatever, AND be defensible by both 'peer'review and results from established therapies established through significant practice, observation, and validation, both in the general population and with individuals of a given diagnosis.
But, paradoxically, or maybe oxymoronically, like Newton, it (ADD) or a chief symptom (hyper-focus) can be somewhat dys-functional as well as profoundly self-beneficial, AND, simultaneously!! is what really confounding to me, I will tell YOU!
["And I am OUTAHERE", as Dennis Miller used to say.]
So, definitely 'diff-'erent, likely clearly and chronically and sometimes acutely 'dys-'functional, and ergo 'dis-'abling, and so, if chronically and 'badly' enough: a dis-ability. Alas...
But, there's knowledge in power, you know. Wait! [Am I sometimes 'dyslexic', too??
Maybe I have a 'complex'!
] So, thanks be to Healthboards and all its networking cousins, everywhere!