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    Old 02-28-2005, 09:19 PM   #1
    pakemuumama
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    Has anyone ever considered that "ADD" could simply be a personality type??

    I am a little bit taken aback by how many people never seem to question the fact that there doesn't appear to be any empirical evidence to back up that ADD/ADHD is so-called "disorder". Here is a condition whose criteria is centered around what is essentially a personality test performed by "professionals" who basically have about four years of school under thier belts. And then people allow themselves or thier children (whose cells are still forming!) to be put on dangerous and addictive psychotropic medications without even the least bit of question (read: SPEED. Which essentially ANYBODY is going to feel better and more focused on. Coffee drinkers raise your hands?).

    Does anyone ever wonder why it seems that most of the people and children diagnosed with this "disorder" are artistic/creative or entreprenurial types? Perhaps these "disabled" individuals just don't learn the way other linear-thinking types do. Perhaps it helps that type to be focused differently in order to create. Perhaps the innate ability to multitask is a key function in the careers of those individuals who ended up finding a career to match thier particular type.

    There are many many ways that one can find ways of functioning in the world that work for them, through experimentation. Not all things work for everyone, and that goes for education, too. Try different things. If a dry, intellectual approach doesn't work, try learning/teaching through the body, or the emotion. Try colors. Try visuals.

    Has anyone ever read Thom Hartmann's books? Before making assumptions about "ADD", you really should.

    Katie

    Last edited by pakemuumama; 03-02-2005 at 02:21 PM. Reason: grammar

     
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    Old 02-28-2005, 11:49 PM   #2
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    Re: Has anyone ever considered that "ADD" could simply be a personality type??

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pakemuumama
    Has anyone ever read Thom Formann's books? Before making assumptions about "ADD", you really should.
    Katie
    Katie, Could you supply some specific book titles (they are legal on this website, just no webaddresses)? I have searched online for various spellings of Thom Formann (including Tom, Thomas, Forman) and can find no information about such an author who might be writing about something other than gardens or something like that. I would be interested in learning more.

    I agree with much of what you say, that ADD can be thought of as a personality type just like any other, but I DID find it a tremendous relief to have a label for why I have never fit in with "normal" ways of doing things. It's all well and good to say that all types of people should be accomodated in classrooms and jobs according to their personality types, but I don't think it's ever going to happen (little ol' pessimist me! ). As an adult I'm struggling to figure out how to function as a totally disorganized but occasionally very creative person. I've found "Scattered" by Gabor Mate to be helpful.

    --Rheanna

     
    Old 03-01-2005, 01:49 AM   #3
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    Re: Has anyone ever considered that "ADD" could simply be a personality type??

    Pakemuumama,

    Absolutely, without question, ADD is a personality type. So are schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc. Very few people in the population are without some symptoms of some disorder.

    It's a matter of degree.

    My 14yo has ADHD to the extent that he cannot function in a classroom without assistance. Without the stigma of the label, he would not be able to receive the services that enable his learning. Without help, he would still be in elementary school. That's not the worst of it. He is so hyper - without medication - that other kids cannot stand to be around him. He has been shunned all of his life. That's not the worst of it.

    Neither his inability to learn nor his social isolation were enough to convince us to try medication. Trust me, it was a heartwrenching decision. It was one that we wrestled with for years.

    It wasn't until he started calling himself "weird" and saying that "it would be better to be dead" that we decided we were doing him an injustice by not trying every avenue available to us. At that point, all that was left to try was medication. We had already done counseling, behavior mod, dietary modification, supplements, tutoring, a multi-modal approach to education, etc, etc, etc.

    We did not put him on medication *without question* nor do we continue him on medication *without question*. It is a decision that we wrestle with daily. However, for the first time in his life, he has kids that he can call "friends". He no longer sits alone in the school cafeteria. He no longer talks about wishing he could "just die".

    Perhaps it is a personality disorder on my part, but I cannot help but feel defensive when YOU assume that WE have made assumptions about his disorder and put him on medication without thought. You have absolutely no idea what we've been through.

    Last edited by index.html; 06-06-2005 at 03:11 AM. Reason: typo

     
    Old 03-01-2005, 07:45 AM   #4
    TheMattFact
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    Re: Has anyone ever considered that "ADD" could simply be a personality type??

    index.html nailed it!

    pakemuumama, you make me feel like a wounded horse. Just put a bullet in him! He has no use for us now.

    I dropped out of high school because I could not concentrate. I have troubles with everyday activities because of ADD. When I take my medicine it makes things easier!

    What about people who need glasses to see? Should we just say “oh they were born with this, so they just need to adapt!” Benjamin Franklin was just a crock when he invented bifocals! We don't need to FIX eyesight! NOOOOO! Just stick them in their own continent and let them stumble around like buffoons!

    Same thing with people with ADD! Give them the state of Texas to live in! We won’t help them concentrate! We will just stick them with a bunch of people just like them, so nobody will get upset that their life just never seems to work out because everybody has the same problem!

    Ignorance is bliss!

     
    Old 03-01-2005, 11:43 AM   #5
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    Re: Has anyone ever considered that "ADD" could simply be a personality type??

    Rheanna~I made a little boo-boo. It's Thom Hartmann, not Thom Formann.

    One point of clarity--I was in no way suggesting that jobs should be modified to personality types. That would be silly. This is the real world. We adapt. And so, many of us (I fit the DSM IV but there is no way I will ever let someone diagnose me and pigeonhole me into a psychological disorder classification, for many reasons) find avenues of making a living that not only work for us, but that we excel at to a degree that no linear thinker could ever hope to achieve. I DO believe, however, that schools and teachers need to try harder, or differently to relate to ALL human beings and not only a select segment that they themselves relate to. But even within this limited system, discovery is possible.

    As for labels, I am quite happy with Bohemian, thank you!

    To everyone else, this is in no way an attack on you and your particular struggles. This is an attack on the laziness of so-called professionals and the absolute inability for linear thinkers to understand the peculiarities of non-linear thinkers. And perhaps then, my anger is misguided, because it is simply sheer ignorance on thier part.

    I especially sympathize with you and your child's struggle, index.html. I can identify. Though my struggle was not identical to your son's (I am a so-called inattentive type rather than hyperactive), I was an outcast too, and then I gradually taught myself (and am still learning) how to relate to other people.

    What I am saying is that there are so many other things to try. I thank GOD that there was no such classification of "ADD" when I was a child, or I may never have gone through the struggles I did to find out who I am and what works for me, and how to relate. And I am still discovering. Don't give up!

    Katie

     
    Old 03-01-2005, 03:40 PM   #6
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    Re: Has anyone ever considered that "ADD" could simply be a personality type??

    That's definitely one perspective, Katie, and it may well be a valid one. In psychology, a disorder is a mental condition that affects your life in a negative way. Basically, until it messes up your life, it's just a benign personality trait.

    I have two college degrees and can't keep a job at a bagel shop. That's when it's time for meds. Until I figure out what kind of job suits me, I have to live.

     
    Old 03-01-2005, 09:31 PM   #7
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    Re: Has anyone ever considered that "ADD" could simply be a personality type??

    I am so sorry for your struggles, Blue. I never could keep a straight job, myself, either. At the time I felt like a horrible failure, but looking back on it now, I realize it was just too boring. Luckily for me, I had an entreprneurial father who taught me the ropes of discovering an alternative type of career, which turned out to be freelance work as a decorative painter, in which I was always in a different location and doing something different practically every day. Things got even better when I started working on my own jobs more and less for other people. Then I discovered the film industry (set painting), and that was a great thing to add to what I do because not only do I work in a different location all the time but I also get to have a high degree of stimulation, many times doing several different tasks simultaneously. I can't tell you what freedom it has been to finally stop trying to be like other "normal" people and just learn to be comfortable being myself!

    There are other things I am still figuring out though. Paying bills on time is one I am trying to work with right now. The way I am doing it obviously doesn't work. Getting to places on time is always a learning process and takes lots of practice. I try to make a habit of leaving 1/2 hour early and that way, if I am "late", I am still on time. I did figure out how to find a bit of structure in my day by trying to keep a list I've made the night before and giving different items on the list high, medium and low priorities. However, it takes a lot of practice and dioscipline to keep it going. I also figured out that date books as they are structured usually do not work for me because I need to see what is happening in the weeks previous and ahead in order to have a more wholistic view of my schedule, so I got a cheap-o date book that has the whole month on one page. When working on absorbing tasks, I've heard it helps to set a timer 15 minutes before it is time to do the next task. I am going to have to try that too.

    As for the fogginess, I went to a nutritionist at my doctor's recommendation when I was having wheeziness, and found out through elimination diet testing that I had a gluten allergy. This cleared the fog for the most part. My clarity of thought has been significantly improved through meditation and exercises working with different types of attention as part of a metaphysical study I am involved with. This part of my search changed my life, and through this I am discovering more and more over the years about who I am and am not, and am learning something about different types of relaxation, which is a significant help in many ways.

    I would never suggest going off of meds if they enable you to keep food on your table, for the moment! Use them until you need them, but one day, you may find a way to live in which you don't need to medicate yourself. I truly wish that for you! Remember that somehow, you managed to get yourself two college degrees! I couldn't even do that--I was an art school dropout. I have thought about going back to school (academic, rather. I am already going back for fine arts at the moment) and quite honestly the idea of it strikes terror through my heart. So bravo to you!

    Katie

     
    Old 03-02-2005, 12:09 AM   #8
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    Re: Has anyone ever considered that "ADD" could simply be a personality type??

    Katie,

    Thanks for clarifying the author's name -- I frequently pull words from the jumble in my brain thinking (hoping) that they're the right ones and getting blank stares from people who are not hearing the ones that are in my head. Sigh. But my friends are patient with me anyway.

    I looked up Thom Hartmann, and the reference to hunters and gatherers in the description sounds like a book I had for a while and then "lent" out to another ADDer which means that I haven't seen it in years. I remember thinking how nice it was that this guy kept trying to put both men AND women into the hunter-gatherer categories, but I was really frustrated when he described the hunters as ONLY men -- not a single woman went out on that hunt with the guys. So, I was left hanging patiently (NOT an ADD trait!) around the campfire waiting for my man to come home with dinner so I could do all the BORING tasks of cleaning the carcass (do you know how many cuts I have on my fingers from using a knife in the kitchen???), putting body parts into piles (ORGANIZING???), tending to the fire (very dangerous for someone who can't pay attention for long!) and cooking dinner. My thought at the time is that he had some woman in his life who had tried to make him into a "new-age sensitive guy", so he thought he would try real hard and remember that woman make up at least half of the world's population and probably half of the ADD population, but he forgot to go the rest of the way and complete his theory by mentioning how prehistoric women became ADDers by being descended from hunters. Very frustrating.

    I'm glad you found a job that suits you. I used to have a couple of jobs like that in the computer industry many years ago, but here in Germany I'm job-free and floundering without an external structure.

    --Rheanna

     
    Old 03-02-2005, 10:55 AM   #9
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    Re: Has anyone ever considered that "ADD" could simply be a personality type??

    Katie, I don't disagree with you at all. It's all just one big journey of self discovery for everybody... I think it's great that you've learned to get around the obstacles.

    Maybe, given time, I will learn more about ADD (if that's really what I have) and be able to do the same.

    Till then, I might try the meds.... but if they mess with my personality, I'm gonna drop 'em, and go get a PAYING job giving psychological advice to people (that's funny if you are familiar with my habit of posting on Healthboards).

    Heh...


     
    Old 03-02-2005, 12:49 PM   #10
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    Re: Has anyone ever considered that "ADD" could simply be a personality type??

    Wow - great thread, great issue. I went on meds for ADD about 3 months ago, after years of struggling with the issue.

    On the one hand - your state of mind, your personality, your brain - this is what makes you 'you'. I am good at some things, I am bad at others. I have a full spectrum of moods that help guide my actions. Depressed? Something needs to change. Happy? I guess I'm doing something right. The notion of medicating ADD doesn't fit in this philosophy - why screw with the path of life that is being presented to me? If school and and office jobs don't suit me, and in fact present a gigantic struggle to me, shouldn't I simply take the cue and look elsewhere? Some other field where I may excel, and be happier?

    But then fast forward to the reality of modern day living. Evolution. The notion of someone with ADD being an explorer or an adventurer may not be so valuable today. Maybe I want a family and a wife and kids, and I want to be able to support them and I want to hold down a job for more than a year. Maybe I want to pursue an interest that requires additional education. Education, academia, computer work, organizational skills, people skills, time management skills - these are things that will help me reach my goals.

    I think, in the context of today's society, ADD IS a disorder, is in fact a disease that can be cured. That kernel of information that is typically blurry to me, all of a sudden is totally clear. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't tried meds, but it's true. The dreams I was unable to pursue - because I couldn't hack the education behind it, because I couldn't make the money to support it - All of a sudden they are achievable.

    My notion of meds is this: it's worth a try. Aside from desecrating a principle you may hold, there aren't many other downsides. Don't like it? Go off'em.

    This is totally ignoring another train of thought: namely that ADD is a chemical disorder in your brain. In 'Driven to Distraction', the analogy is constantly repeated of medicating ADD to getting glasses for bad eyesight. Sure, you could work around your bad vision, struggle with it and try to improve it; or you could simply buy some glasses.

    Give the glasses a shot!

    PS - Katie: have you considered the possibility that you don't have ADD?

    Last edited by vin43075; 03-02-2005 at 12:51 PM.

     
    Old 03-02-2005, 03:03 PM   #11
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    Re: Has anyone ever considered that "ADD" could simply be a personality type??

    "But then fast forward to the reality of modern day living. Evolution. The notion of someone with ADD being an explorer or an adventurer may not be so valuable today. Maybe I want a family and a wife and kids, and I want to be able to support them and I want to hold down a job for more than a year. Maybe I want to pursue an interest that requires additional education. Education, academia, computer work, organizational skills, people skills, time management skills - these are things that will help me reach my goals"

    ________________________________________ ______________________



    What is an explorer/adventurer in today's world? An entrepreneur. An inventor. Freelancer. Creator. Many "ADD'ers" own thier own businesses, and happily. Let the boring tasks such as organizing, scheduling, etc. be handled by your secretary. Have her/him let you know when your appointments are approaching. That's what they exist for. Not everyone is made to do all tasks!

    A freind of mine started his business from nothing, and I mean zippo (he also fits the DSM V criteria), as a real estate broker. He had to borrow from friends as he had gotten fired from his job. Now he hires three people who handle his day to day drek while he goes out and 'hunts'. He is extremely successful and dynamic, and very good at what he does.

    Another buddy of mine is a computer genius and has started several companies, one of which turned into a million dollar venture. His mind is excellent, and he has a very holistic way of thinking.

    I think many "ADDers" are excellent at startups. Too bored to continue the business? Many of these "ADDers" just sell it and start another.

    The other striking thing about these two is thier capacity to let thier right brain functioning go on trips, eventually circling back around to make it possible to turn thier ideas into a concrete form. Of course, some of these never come to pass, but that's the way it is. Both are fantastic inventors, as am I.

    The only thing holding most of these people back is that they get stuck in thinking that they need to fit into a mold they are not suited for, or they do not trust thier intuitions, thier abilities and thier imaginations. They don't trust who they are.

    ________________________________________ ___________________


    "My notion of meds is this: it's worth a try. Aside from desecrating a principle you may hold, there aren't many other downsides. Don't like it? Go off'em."


    ________________________________________ ____________________


    Well, there are many reasons NOT to do this, IMO. One of which is that you will have a record for the rest of your life if you are categorized as a class whatever (can't remember the # at the mo) drug user, which could possibly come back to bite you in the rear one day. Another reason is that these drugs can be very dangerous and some are quite addictive. I can dig up some info on specifics, but look, if you really want to know you will do some research yourself. (Check out Thom Hartmann's message board. Lots of useful info on this type of thing crops up there.)

    Have I ever considered that I am not ADD? Certainly. (In fact I don't even think the disorder exists!) But then I fit into the DSM V classification, so a professional might not think so. I found out about this so-called disorder from a psychologist I was seeing a few years back, who thought I fit too.

     
    Old 03-03-2005, 12:35 AM   #12
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    Re: Has anyone ever considered that "ADD" could simply be a personality type??

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by index.html
    Pakemuumama,

    Absolutely, without question, ADD is a personality type. So are schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc. Very few people in the population are without some symptoms of some disorder.

    It's a matter of degree.

    My 14yo has ADHD to the extent that he cannot function in a classroom without assistance. Without the stigma of the label, he would not be able to receive the services that enable his learning. ithout help, he would still be in elementary school. That's not the worst of it. He is so hyper - without medication - that other kids cannot stand to be around him. He has been shunned all of his life. That's not the worst of it.

    Neither his inability to learn nor his social isolation were enough to convince us to try medication. Trust me, it was a heartwrenching decision. It was one that we wrestled with for years.

    It wasn't until he started calling himself "weird" and saying that "it would be better to be dead" that we decided we were doing him an injustice by not trying every avenue available to us. At that point, all that was left to try was medication. We had already done counseling, behavior mod, dietary modification, supplements, tutoring, a multi-modal approach to education, etc, etc, etc.

    We did not put him on medication *without question* nor do we continue him on medication *without question*. It is a decision that we wrestle with daily. However, for the first time in his life, he has kids that he can call "friends". He no longer sits alone in the school cafeteria. He no longer talks about wishing he could "just die".

    Perhaps it is a personality disorder on my part, but I cannot help but feel defensive when YOU assume that WE have made assumptions about his disorder and put him on medication without thought. You have absolutely no idea what we've been through.
    You do realize you are contradicting what most of us have been told by numerous doctors and professionals, that ADD is not a personality disorder but a biological illness almost exactly like diabetes and cancer.

    Glad your son is doing well, however!

     
    Old 03-03-2005, 12:53 AM   #13
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    Re: Has anyone ever considered that "ADD" could simply be a personality type??

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pakemuumama
    I am a little bit taken aback by how many people never seem to question the fact that there doesn't appear to be any empirical evidence to back up that ADD/ADHD is so-called "disorder". Here is a condition whose criteria is centered around what is essentially a personality test performed by "professionals" who basically have about four years of school under thier belts. And then people allow themselves or thier children (whose cells are still forming!) to be put on dangerous and addictive psychotropic medications without even the least bit of question (read: SPEED. Which essentially ANYBODY is going to feel better and more focused on. Coffee drinkers raise your hands?).

    Does anyone ever wonder why it seems that most of the people and children diagnosed with this "disorder" are artistic/creative or entreprenurial types? Perhaps these "disabled" individuals just don't learn the way other linear-thinking types do. Perhaps it helps that type to be focused differently in order to create. Perhaps the innate ability to multitask is a key function in the careers of those individuals who ended up finding a career to match thier particular type.

    There are many many ways that one can find ways of functioning in the world that work for them, through experimentation. Not all things work for everyone, and that goes for education, too. Try different things. If a dry, intellectual approach doesn't work, try learning/teaching through the body, or the emotion. Try colors. Try visuals.

    Has anyone ever read Thom Hartmann's books? Before making assumptions about "ADD", you really should.

    Katie
    THere's another theory that ADDers' are actually just visual-spatial learners. I think there is alot more to this all than what people are lead to believe by the psychiatric community.

     
    Old 03-03-2005, 01:01 AM   #14
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    Re: Has anyone ever considered that "ADD" could simply be a personality type??

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheMattFact
    index.html nailed it!

    pakemuumama, you make me feel like a wounded horse. Just put a bullet in him! He has no use for us now.

    I dropped out of high school because I could not concentrate. I have troubles with everyday activities because of ADD. When I take my medicine it makes things easier!

    What about people who need glasses to see? Should we just say “oh they were born with this, so they just need to adapt!” Benjamin Franklin was just a crock when he invented bifocals! We don't need to FIX eyesight! NOOOOO! Just stick them in their own continent and let them stumble around like buffoons!

    Same thing with people with ADD! Give them the state of Texas to live in! We won’t help them concentrate! We will just stick them with a bunch of people just like them, so nobody will get upset that their life just never seems to work out because everybody has the same problem!

    Ignorance is bliss!
    Usually there is a physical manifestation of most conditions, unlike ADD which doesn't seem to have any. Usually, for example as you gave, people who need glasses have an eyeball too short(farsighted) or too long(nearsighted), or have eye muscle control problems such as amblyopia, or lazy eye.

    I'm thinking eye problems are not as based in theory like ADD is....

     
    Old 03-03-2005, 02:03 AM   #15
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    Re: Has anyone ever considered that "ADD" could simply be a personality type??

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jennita
    Usually there is a physical manifestation of most conditions, unlike ADD which doesn't seem to have any....
    No physical manifestations??? ROTFL!!!

    I'd *love* for you to spend 24 hours with my son, Jennita. You'd see enough physical manifestations to last you a lifetime! LOL!

    Seriously, Jennita, you know as well as I do that ADHD brains look different on scans than do "normal" brains. How can you not call that a physical manifestation?

     
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