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Old 07-05-2007, 12:07 PM   #1
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ADHD is a Disorder

I leave everything about ADHD to individual circumstance and opinion except the fact that ADHD is a disorder. A mental, physical even mechanical disorder means something is not working correctly, that is, not operating within design parameters. Since us humans get hatched without documentation, we must determine "normal" by comparing ourselves with other humans. For example, an IQ of 60 is not normal. It is a disorder of the brain. Saying a disorder is not a disorder not only fixes nothing, it makes matters worse.

On the other hand, that gal, Callista, scares me. She makes me look stupid. And I ain't stupid. Because she has more brain power than I doesn't mean I have an IQ disorder. Truth be told, my IQ is on the high side, all horn blowing and chest thumping aside. In other words, my IQ falls into normal operating parameters. I do not have an IQ disorder even though there are lots of people with higher IQ's.

Why do some conclude that ADHD is not a disorder?

1. Misinformation. That misinformation includes "the medical community is divided on ADHD." Not so. Hate to tell you, this board is operated by *****. What is *****'s position? Look for yourself.

[url]http://www.*****.com/add-adhd/guide/Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity-Disorder-ADHD-Exams-and-Tests[/url]

2. Sensational unscrupulous marketing tactics, i.e. "Ritalin kills every other kid taking it. But if you are a concerned parent, you'll buy our all-natural ADHD remedy."

What is *****'s position? Look for yourself.

[url]http://www.*****.com/add-adhd/news/20070703/ritalin-side-effects-rare-in-long-run[/url]

3. Damage done by bozo doctors. Mean to say that not all doctors are good doctors? My mom worked in hospital administration and I'd hear her say, I wouldn't take [current dog's name] to [doctors name].

3b. Bozo doctors diagnosing ADHD for every childs lack of attention, implusivity and more energy than they can contain. Good thing "normal" kids don't run around like lunatics.

3c. Bozo doctors correctly diagnosing ADHD then over-prescribing powerful drugs when less powerful, less potentially harmful drugs will do. Frankly, I never experienced 3c maybe because I told every doctor I have a drug abuse history. I did that to protect myself. Getting the ADHD drugs I needed was like pulling hen's teeth.

***** has no bozo doctors and are too humble to admit it so you can't look for yourself on 3a,b,c. But you can and should do your own research. Learn as much about the disorder as you can. In this case, too much knowledge is almost enough.

Reasons 1 through 3c prove nothing other than some people are evil and others just plain stupid.

The conclusion reached because of reasons 1 to 3c is very dangerous because the cause is never addressed, the problem is never defined and hence the solution will never be found.

To put it another way, the root cause of my ADHD is a biological defect in my brain. It can be successfully managed if and only if the root problem is addressed. Don't take your ADHD kid to an exorcist, priest, clergy, etc. Don't blame your parenting or your parents. Don't blame shrinks for making a living doing what they do. And, if you are an adult, absolutely, positively don't blame yourself. I have no recollection of ordering a brain with a hardware defect. Do not blame any of those things because none of those reasons are the reason you or your child or teenager is SUFFERING from ADHD. That is not to say that our faith, or our parents, or our own self-esteem cannot help us cope with the disorder just as they can help us cope with cancer or heart disease or any other calamity that comes our way. They simply are not responsible for it. And they cannot cure it either.

So why the epic length dissertation?

Posts that state or imply that ADHD is not a disorder scare the heck out of me. I fear not for myself but for those of you just coming on board. Whether your problem is ADHD or something else, no one on this board can say. However, either explicitly or implicitly stating that ADHD is NOT a disorder is irresponsible and dangerous because it can prevent people from getting readily available medical treatment that will make their life exponentially more enjoyable and satisfying. Their families lives too. Ask my wife.

Bob
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Old 07-05-2007, 01:05 PM   #2
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Re: ADHD is a Disorder

I need to stay away from those threads....this is a very emotional subject for me. I know of two kids IRL that are not being medicated due to their parent's opinions...one's dad is so ADD'd it's sad...he told his daughter that he has the same problems, but "he controls it" Note: He does NOT!! This is the same dad that grounded her for 2 weeks for "being depressed."

What's worse is hearing people that DO acknowledge that it is a disorder, but are against medication.

These people stubbornly adhere to their anti-med stance and say that "we" are looking for an "excuse". No excuses are being made and we aren't at fault, but we have a responsbility to manage it....that goes with any disorder.

Interestingly, with diabetes, a hormonal imbalance can cause raging behavioral consequences. I couldn't imagine withholding insulin on the same grounds. As for "messing with the body chemistry," LOL...then let's just shut down all of the pharmacies..besides, better living through chemistry

There is a double standard when it comes to the brain. No, we don't have the same evidenced based means for diagnosis, so we are at a disadvantage...but just because a medication can be improperly perscribed, it does not invalidate the use of medication for ADD.

Plus, our bodies have serotonin, DA receptors in locations other than the brain...these chemicals are NOT just for ADD symptoms. Now, I'm not sure if the mechanisms for these drugs only operate in the brain....but my first sentence still stands

 
Old 07-06-2007, 08:18 AM   #3
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Re: ADHD is a Disorder

addprogrammer--

Excellent post. Declaring that we (the ones with ADD) could have handled our lives better if we had only had better teachers or better upbringing is not doing justice to those of us who have been struggling our whole lives with brain wiring that is truly different from the rest of the world. The lucky ones have indeed had lots of help as children to learn how to find outside structure to help them accomplish tasks, and the folks with parents who taught them how to make the best of their unique talents so that they can feel good about themselves instead of failures are fortunate indeed. And of course declaring that the pharmaceutical industry is the devil incarnate is not helpful to anyone.

Which brings me to kjrunner --

I can appreciate your feeling the need to stay away from these ADD topics, because there are too many reminders here of childhoods where the child was not cherished. Sometimes it's because the parents had bad childhood experiences themselves and have only bad things in them to pass on to their kids. Sometimes it's because the parents are well-meaning but baffled about what to do with children who simply don't act in the way that children are "supposed" to act. It's clear from several of the threads on this Board that even loving parents have no idea what to do with children who either act out (the hyperactive kids) or who don't seem to respond to instructions to do what ought to be simple tasks (the space-cadet kids).

You are carrying within you memories of being a helpless kid, and having bad things happen to you when you were too young to have the power to change the situation. I too have left situations and friendships and jobs that reminded me of being a helpless child. I identified too closely with outside events that reminded me of my helpless childhood -- just being around these people and circumstances brought up too much hurt for me to deal with.

I have spent a lot of time over the last few decades in official therapy as well as self-therapy trying very hard to come to grips with why I over-react to situations like this and have to leave. One of the legacies from my childhood is that I never developed a sense of "self" -- I had no idea who I was, so I also had no idea where "I" left off and someone else began. This is called "boundary recognition" (or lack thereof) in psychology jargon. Over time I have been able to say "this is me" and what is happening over there is not "me". I can now, more often than not, feel the pain of what is happening to someone else without at the same time feeling that it is happening to the helpless child that was me. I can recognise that I am not at this moment being threatened. When I was a child, threats of pain and even death were my constant companions. I am now an adult. A middle-aged adult. I have the power to protect myself which I did not as a child.

If you do decide to go away from these Boards for a while, may I suggest that you take with you some things to think about. First, you are welcome to come back here at any time, and we imperfect people will do our best to support you and learn from you. (We can be a rowdy bunch, but we mean well!) Second, you might want to think about the concept that I spoke about above. As a child you had no power. This is what you learned. As an adult you do have power. But if you didn't learn this fact from your family, then you need to find other places to learn it. This will not happen overnight. Once you are able to look at a situation and say "this is not a threat because I'm a big girl now and it's happening to someone else not me", then you are well on your way to be able to handle painful topics without losing your sense of power or self.

I'm babbling and I'm not very good at explaining all this, but I just wanted to let you know that I really relate to what you're saying.

I really hope that you stick around, but you're a big girl and can decide for yourself what's appropriate for you to do.

--Rheanna

 
Old 07-06-2007, 04:09 PM   #4
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Re: ADHD is a Disorder

I apologize for scaring you. I have good verbal skills, and when I write, I often seem much smarter than I am.

I think there needs to be a balance between ADHD as a disorder and ADHD as a trait. I do have trouble with ADHD: I miss appointments; I forget to do things; I get so confused that I stand in the middle of a room and stare at the wall, trying to figure out what I'm supposed to be doing. But there seem to be positive traits as well; creativity brought about by a mind that runs fast and connects everything to everything else; an ability to multitask.

ADHD is a problem; but one has to remember that differences are not always disorders. An IQ of 60 is not normal; neither is an IQ of 200. But only one of them can be called a "disorder". And difference does not mean defect unless that difference causes distress for the person who has it, puts him or others in danger, or keeps him from taking care of himself--work, school, daily life.

ADHD is a mix of positive and negative effects. Strange minds like ours need specialized education. Education is meant to help a child prepare for the world; and an ADHD mind needs preparation of a different nature than that of a child without ADHD. Medication, if it is needed, is there to make that education possible. Education can strengthen talents and help compensate for weaknesses; and for the ADHD mind this is even more important than it is for a typical child.

ADHD, a disorder? Yes, because it causes problems for the person who has it. It's caused a great deal of trouble for me including, I believe, two years of failing performance in college, followed by academic expulsion, from which I am only now recovering with the help of the disability assistance department at a new college.

But ADHD, exclusively negative? No. It has its benefits--strengths that can be trained; the possiblity that those strengths can lead to finding one's niche in society. The lightning-fast mind that makes connections with everything, no matter how nonsensical; the ability to notice anything and everything... Troublesome, yes; but with education, possibly beneficial.

For someone to have ADHD and not have a disorder is, I think, possible. With training and with medication, ADHD can be controlled to the point that only the positive effects remain. I have not yet reached this point; but one day, I will.

Last edited by Callista; 07-06-2007 at 04:11 PM.

 
Old 07-06-2007, 06:03 PM   #5
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Re: ADHD is a Disorder

Rheanna-
Thanks for your reply. I didn't mean outright leave, I'm just talking about the type of posts that addprogrammer alluded to. I get very angry--an emotionally angry--whether here or in real life. I very seldom respond to posts like this on the net..I gave frazzled response a rather rude reply to her original post. Later, I realized that most of my anger was directed at another poster in the thread.

For example, the friends that I mentioned..the next time I'm around one of those conversations about "psychsomatic" meds, I'm just going to excuse myself

 
Old 07-06-2007, 09:54 PM   #6
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Re: ADHD is a Disorder

Callista,

I am a businessman and a good one at that - don't mind saying so myself. I think anyone can be good at business by simply doing one thing: Never make emotional decisions.

A basic simplistic example: I "love" that $50K car. Cool, all I need to own it is a wrist, and a hand, and a pen in hand. I have all three. I'm gonna get it. You best believe I'm going to get it but not where I expect it.

If you have the cash for a 50K car up the car to a Bugatti. If you have cash for a Bugatti, you are a little twerp that has more than I ever will. I don't like you anymore.

I am talking about spending money we don't have. Why would anyone spend money they don't have? Simple. An emotion just crashed their ability to reason.

Let's multi-task illustrations. Incidentally, I use my actual life experiences to illustrate a lot of things. I also throw in a little hyperbole. I suspect that kyrunner knows that I didn't fit "thousands" of marginal notes on my ADHD form. I suspect she knows that that hyperbole means a lot of marginal notes, which is, accurate.

I am going to use a hyperbole that is almost literally true. Diagnostics is EVERYTHING. Literally true: I spent two weeks, management at the company I work for, spent two weeks trying to figure out why the interface between my component and the master program exhibited erratic behavior. Worked sometimes, not others. We nailed the son-gun finally. It took me ten seconds to fix it - LITERALLY. About 160 hours to find it. Ten seconds to fix it. Does that tell you something?

Another bug took me 53 years to find and about two years to fix to the degree that I feel I got it nailed. The first 53 years I spent enormous sums of mostly futile energy and mental resources on fixing laziness, irresponsibility, stupidity and a lot of other things that WERE NOT THE PROBLEM. The past two years I took prescription drugs and cognitive-behavioral therapy and they are working wonders.

what is the problem? ADHD personality type, disorder, trait? OCD? Call it what you will, there is something wrong with my brain. Brain problems are medical problems. We go to doctors when we have medical problems.

Let's return to emotional decisions. When I was diagnosed, I started looking for kindred spirits. Spirits such as kyrunner and Rheanna. Found them here. These kindred spirits never called me stupid, lazy, irresponsible. NEVER. I found a safe little cove here. I am trying so hard not to get extremely vulgar, calm down boy, but there are sharks in my safe haven. Telling me my medical problem isn't a medical problem is synonymous to calling me stupid, lazy, irresponsible. Do you understand why?

I want you to reread kyrunner's and Rheanna's post. I know you already know what they say. I want you to reread but this time FEEL what they are saying.

The sharks have a hidden agenda that is emotionally fueled. I knew what it is. It has to do with drug addiction. It's tough to fess up and say, "I am a drug addict." I know. Had to do it. I too wish I could have passed the buck on to a doctor.

I can't say anymore or I may get banned and I need my buddies.

Bob
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Old 07-07-2007, 07:26 AM   #7
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Re: ADHD is a Disorder

Quote:
Originally Posted by addprogrammer View Post
Let's return to emotional decisions. When I was diagnosed, I started looking for kindred spirits. Spirits such as kyrunner and Rheanna. Found them here. These kindred spirits never called me stupid, lazy, irresponsible. NEVER. I found a safe little cove here. I am trying so hard not to get extremely vulgar, calm down boy, but there are sharks in my safe haven. Telling me my medical problem isn't a medical problem is synonymous to calling me stupid, lazy, irresponsible. Do you understand why?
I wish their was a heart emoticon to express myself here! I would love a shark emoticon for appropriate times as well! I LOVE the shark analogy!

Last edited by kjrunner; 07-07-2007 at 07:26 AM. Reason: my first version was a little too snarky

 
Old 07-07-2007, 12:12 PM   #8
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Re: ADHD is a Disorder

Whoa, hold on!! I'm not saying it isn't a medical problem. Of course it is! Look at the brain scans of ADHD brains, look at the way they respond to stimulants differently, look at the studies... it's obvious.

I'm just saying that ADHD isn't all negative; that you can't hate your own brain because it's different and you have to find ways to work around it when it doesn't cooperate. I'm saying, that when you've got ADHD, the whole world's already telling you stuff like "underacheiver" and "lazy", and the way to react isn't, "I've got a medical condition, therefore I'm defective," it's "I've got a medical condition; therefore, I'm different."

Different means you have to find solutions, whether they're new strategies or new meds; but it doesn't mean that people who are "normal" are any better than you. ADHD is a disability; but that's nothing to be ashamed of; and anyway, it's got its good side.

Refusing to try to compensate--refusing to try meds or get help with organization--is about the worst strategy out there, whether people do it because they think they ought to be able to handle things on their own, or whether they're doing it because they think nothing can help their "defect".

It's just about as senseless as somebody with a broken leg refusing to use crutches... Not only won't he be able to walk very well, but the leg won't heal, either. It doesn't matter if he's doing it because he thinks he should be able to walk on his own or because he thinks the leg will never heal and he'd better deal with it... the results are the same.

"ADHD can't be controlled" hurts you just as badly as "ADHD is a character flaw". Either way, you sell yourself short. As far as your mind allows, you have the responsibility to take advantage of all the help you can get, to learn all you can. (Yes, that includes meds and counseling.) Because it isn't useless... You're different, not defective; and, ADHD or no ADHD, you can find a place in the world that's made just for you.

Differences and disabilities are not some horrible thing. They're just human flaws. Everyone's flawed--ADHD is just the flaw we happened to get.

Last edited by Callista; 07-07-2007 at 12:14 PM.

 
Old 07-07-2007, 12:18 PM   #9
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Re: ADHD is a Disorder

BTW, I should mention that with the broken leg analogy, I don't mean that ADHD can be "cured". Some people grow out of it, but if you have it when you're an adult, it's probably permanent. What I do think is that it's possible to adjust your life, learn skills, take meds, and basically live up to your potential despite ADHD. That takes time, of course. And hard work, and the guts to ask for help...

 
Old 07-07-2007, 01:30 PM   #10
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Re: ADHD is a Disorder

I don't disagree with you. I've done well with adapting. Neither addprogammer nor myself said that we are flawed. We are talking about the emotional fallout, particularly through our undiagnosed years and allowing the presence of the sharks to influence our emotions.

 
Old 07-07-2007, 05:26 PM   #11
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Re: ADHD is a Disorder

Callista,

I am so sorry.

My basic problem is generally referred to as "being a big baby." The rule-book says, full maturity at age 21. I missed the deadline. Just like I miss all other deadlines unless wife saves me.

I know you did not say ADHD is NOT a medical problem. The ugly truth be told, I agreed with everything you said. "Trouble" is, some of the truths you stated smelt like blood to my carnivorous fish friends. My attempts to deodorize the blood smell means I put my self in the same pool. I hate that pool and want out now.

Bob

 
Old 07-07-2007, 08:32 PM   #12
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Re: ADHD is a Disorder

I'm sorry, too. I didn't want to hurt anybody. Lord knows we get enough trouble from the rest of the world, without making problems for each other as well.

 
Old 07-09-2007, 06:43 PM   #13
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Re: ADHD is a Disorder

What bothers me is that we are STILL having to defend ADD as a disorder!

Back in 1991, a U.S. Department of Education memorandum very explicitly included ADD and ADHD as disorders that may qualify an individual for Special Education services (if the disorder is severe enough to significantly impair an individual's school performance) under IDEA {Individuals with Disabilities Education Act}.

While the "sharks" - great term, I love it! - may claim that an ADD diagnosis only serves to benefit the pharmaceutical industry, there isn't any way that broadening the scope of IDEA to include ADD can benefit our public education system. Oh, I suppose you could say that the pharmaceutical industry has bought off the US government and the Department of Education, but that seems far-fetched (ie "fishy"), doesn't it?

So, why exactly are we having to defend this diagnosis? Well, I guess Bob answered that pretty well in his original post.

Still, it's frustrating.

 
Old 07-10-2007, 05:46 AM   #14
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Re: ADHD is a Disorder

Thanks Index,

Rheanna explains it, I understand it, still can't control it. I'm wounded. Ever hit thumb with hammer? Same thumb goes on getting hurt by the slightest impacts because its so sensitive.

I can't control it. Not in person. Not on the boards. Best I can do is leave monitor, go into another room, vulgarize the sharks until I get it out.

At least in person because I am a fairly good sized guy, capable of "fire in the eyes" the wise know enough not to go there and foolish learn quickly.

Bob
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Old 07-10-2007, 08:07 AM   #15
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Re: ADHD is a Disorder

Just wanted to thank all you posters on this thread. All are very articulate and put into words an intelligent discussion on ADD/ADHD that I am just not capable of doing. Atleast not as well as all of you.

I'll probably save this one and refer to people who question ADD/ADHD.

Thanks for your insight, wisdom, experience and honesty!

 
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