ADD ADHD Terms and Definitions Controversy – ADD Tip o the Day 616

my mind  Joe recently posted on the net:


GratefulEnergy Health Guide September 09, 2013
  • Before His Death, Father of ADHD Admitted it Was An Over-Diagnosed Disease”

(well, anyway, i just came across it recently)

So, is it not an disease, or is it an over-diagnosed disease?

Starting from there, the article dives deeper into BS.  But what is a disease?  And what is ADD ADHD?

There’s a lot of confusion about terms.  There certainly is in my mind.  So I did a little research (a little).  Here are some of the results:


 any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of any body part, organ, or system that is manifested by a characteristic set of symptoms and signs and whose etiology, pathology, and prognosis may be known or unknown.


 a derangement or abnormality of function; a morbid physical or mental state.


 not normal; contrary to the usual structure, position, condition, behavior, or rule.


 management and care of a patient or the combating of disease or disorder.


I don’t find any of these definitions very satisfying.  How about you?

I don’t think medicine has any generally accepted definitions of these terms.  But most of us have our own favorite definitions; there’s just not a lot of agreement.

I think in order to be a disease or a disorder, it has to cause some kind of problem?

The DSM V calls it “Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder”.   That’s OK.  Personally I call it ADD ADHD and I call my personal version ADD.

The DSM V requires for the diagnosis that it “interferes with functioning or development.”  That’s good, tho I’m not sure what interferes with development means?

Then there are number of criteria that have to be present before the diagnosis can be made, including symptoms of hyperactivity and inattention.  Which cause problems.  You see what I’m saying?

A while back there were a bunch of posts about ADD ADHD being a “gift”.  Oh, my.  And of course there’s the group that says it’s just normal active kids.  Oh, my.  And the smaller group who say they have it but wouldn’t want the boring life of being normal. I have some good days, partly due to my Daytrana, and might get close to being “normal” for a little while.  I’ve never found it “boring”, just calm, productive and fulfilling.

But we’re all different, aren’t we?

I hope to address the issues of cause and treatment soon, if i can get a little more focused – a little closer to “normal”. “Boring” I think I could live with.


Puzzled Note O the Day:

I forgot the hashtags.  Here we go: #ADD #ADHD #YourLifeCanBeBetter . I don’t like the way they look in the title.  The video helped some but I’m still confused.

Quiz O the Day:

Did you notice that I’m fishing for your comments on these issues? 


Joe’s post

Lynne on exercise – Genuine good stuff. Read the comments.  Question – is exercise “treatment”?





About doug with ADHD

I am a psychiatric physician. I learned I have ADHD at age 64, and then wrote two ADHD books for adults, focusing on strategies for making your life better. I just published my first novel, Alma Means Soul. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at, or (for e books) Living Daily With Adult ADD or ADHD: 365 Tips O the Day ( e-book). This is one tip at a time, one page at a time, at your own pace. It's meant to last a year. As a child, I was a bully. Then there was a transformation. Now I am committed to helping people instead abusing them. The Bully was published in January, 2016. It's in print or e book, on Amazon.
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7 Responses to ADD ADHD Terms and Definitions Controversy – ADD Tip o the Day 616

  1. Pingback: Is ADHD A Disorder? — ADD Tip O the Day 647 | ADDadultstrategies

  2. betsydavenport says:

    “Interferes with development” refers to how the problems of ADD in childhood especially can make it hard or impossible for a youngster to develop on the same or similar schedule as peers. A child who can’t help whacking his mother each time she passes him in the kitchen is going to have a mother who has a hard time being close to him, and a lack of parental closeness affects development. A child who interrupts and talks too much is not going to have a normal social life and social experiences are key to social development. A daydreamy or disorganized child who is late to put her things away at recess gets outside after the game has started.

    This relates not to learning – which inarguably can be impaired when the brain function isn’t tuned up or tuned in properly; but to development, which is an inbuilt progression requiring certain life experiences in order to proceed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • betsy- great explanation. the symptoms of ADD ADHD get in the way of the social functioning and relationships that are necessary for normal development. Is that it?
      thank you for the clarification


      • betsydavenport says:

        That’s a much more succinct way to put it than my late night missive.

        Interfering with development is a criterion some doctors use for whether to prescribe medications for children. On Jul 17, 2015 10:16 AM, “ADDadultstrategies” wrote:

        > addadultstrategies commented: “betsy- great explanation. the symptoms > of ADD ADHD get in the way of the social functioning and relationships that > are necessary for normal development. Is that it? thank you for the > clarification doug”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dianne in th desert says:

    Maybe it is because I was raised in a “gentler” time. The “something is wrong” aspect was what caused the exploration into what might be affecting me. Minimal Brain Dysfunction was the early term for what is now ADD/ADHD. It was the diagnosing psychologist who let my parents know that, in reality, nothing was wrong with me, but that my mind certainly worked “differently” than was expected.

    I like that term and its connotations. The DSM calls it a disorder? So what! Thankfully, we are not made in cookie cutter fashion! What a boring world it would be.

    Today, some 60 years later, I still do not see myself as having something wrong with me. My mind works differently and more rapidly than the supposed “normal’ people. That suits me just fine. If anything, most of the people who have known me for any length of time think that I have superior intelligence (yes, I do) and am quick witted enough to come up with solutions while others are still trying to fully identify the problem…

    I like me just the way I am. Those who don’t like me that way have their own problems to deal with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • diane – good for you, you have made a good adjustment.
      I do appreciate my strengths and think some of them may be part of my “gift” from ADD ADHD, but Lord, the problems and frustrations just seem to out weigh them for me. would i be creative without the “disorder”? dont know.
      anyway, it is as it is, and our job is to learn how to cope with it, play the hand we’re dealt. sounds like you’re doing a good job of it.
      thank you for commenting


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