ADD ADHD Rocks! Or Does It Suck? — ADD Tip O the Day 643

Does ADD ADHD rock or does it suck?  A controversy!

This is from my gifted buddy Ken (edited).  My comments are in italics.

Why ADHD rocks – surprising view of a freelancing expat
Date: September 2, 2015
Author: justin.light@bigpond.com

By Ken Powell – http://writeoutloudblog.com/
“…  If you could give me a pill to take it away – I wouldn’t touch it! I love my ADHD and wouldn’t be without it.
I’m blessed that my particular form of ADHD didn’t need medication and is something known as ‘twice exceptional’ – in other words I’ve never struggled with behaviour or concentration or any of the other negative things we often associate with it.        WOW!!
My ADHD has enabled me to do MORE, learn more, love more and help more.
In fact, there’s good reason to suggest that ADHD has never been the problem at all – it’s society that has the issue.”

Ken goes on to suggest that society is the cause of ADD ADHD.  He argues that if hyperactivity and hyperfocus gave our early ancestors an evolutionary advantage then the problem is that we are now expected to go to school.  But wouldn’t that mean that our ancestors had ADD ADHD but it wasn’t a problem until school?  So it wouldn’t be society that caused ADD ADHD, society just caused it to be a problem instead of the advantage it previously was.

…So really this condition was made by society changing. Girls can have ADHD too …but history seems to have made it so that most kids with ADHD are male. This is correct for ADHD but seems to minimize the problems that ADD inattentive type causes for girls.

There’s hundreds of attributes known to be typical of ADHD but no one has them all. To be diagnosed with ADHD you usually have to exhibit a significant number of these traits but not every one. Yes, except I would quibble about “usually”.

Here I want to share just a few reasons why ADHD, when harnessed well, is brilliant and not debilitating.   When harnessed well!!!!

My Top 9 Positive Points for ADHD

1. We have tons of energy – the trick is harnessing it!  Exactly!

2. We’re enthusiastic – we’re free thinkers and our enthusiasm is infectious. Can be, but a lot of times we just piss other people off.

3. We’re generally pretty nice people
We’re warm, loving, kind and have a great love of humor. We’re sensitive and compassionate. And we’re great with kids! In fact we’re very family-minded, love to volunteer to help others and love making new friends. I believe that Ken is a nice person and has these traits.  Sometimes I have some of them myself.  Sometimes. Much less so when I’m stressed by the problems my ADD ADHD causes or when I’m hyperfocused.

I don’t have any data about us being nice in general.

… they make great babysitters.  If we don’t drive off with the baby on top of the car or set the house afire or forget that we’re baby sitting or —.

4. We’re big-picture people.
We can see patterns in chaos, notice things more broadly and make connections easily. That does mean sometimes we see things differently, so differently you might wonder what planet we’re on, but on the whole we can give a fresh perspective on things.  I agree we have that tendency.

5. We hyper-focus on the stuff we find interesting. Yes, and we can be very productive. But I don’t have much control over when or what I hyperfocus on or when I unhyperfocus, so it can be a problem.

6. We live in the ‘now’.
We’re impulsive and don’t live too much for the future. Well, I have a lot of concern about the future and try to plan ahead but I have a hard time telling when the future is. Something I need to prepare for that’s next month seems like eons away.  It will sneak up on me.  That’s a problem.  

…that makes us good company.  Unless we’re being inappropriate and annoying and not doing what we’d said we’d do.

7. We need less sleep.  I can get by on less sleep sometimes because I have insomnia but I don’t  function as well.  I have no data that we need less sleep, just that we get less sleep.

8. We’re speedy thinkers
We’ve learned to think on our feet and adapt well to change. … That makes us good to have around in a crisis or when a quick decision needs making.  Sometimes a crisis triggers our hyperfocus and we do extremely well.  Sometimes.  I’m not sure it’s consistent.

9. We’re creative.

Brainstorming, thinking outside the box, creative solutions: That’s us!   We do seem to do this.  Yea, us!

This comment already from anon – so good I’m adding it here:

” I’m happy for those who don’t feel their ADHD is a problem, as long as they acknowledge that most of us actually suffer a great deal, and respect that. Though part of me wonders if anyone can be diagnosed with ADHD if they’re NOT suffering as a consequence of having it. And more than just with school. Isn’t that part of the DSM criteria? Significant impairment in multiple areas of life? I do enjoy my creativity (sometimes, when I can channel it – being creative without being able to accomplish anything meaningful for long periods of time is intensely depressing.)”

 

More Later.                                                            

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One of my ADD ADHD problems.


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My ADD ADHD brain works. Sometimes.  Someways. Where was I going with this?


 

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If this isn’t my ADD ADHD, what is it?


doug

Ken on ADHD Rocks!

Ken’s website on writing

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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. Your Life Can Be Better; strategies for adults with ADD/ADHD available at amazon.com, or smashwords.com (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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19 Responses to ADD ADHD Rocks! Or Does It Suck? — ADD Tip O the Day 643

  1. Pingback: Guest Post: 4 things I underestimated about china – Justin Light (Inky n the Brain) | kenthinksaloud

  2. rammkatze says:

    Hey, Doug! Love the post, adore your comments in italic 😉 I do however wonder about the disparity of my hyperactivity. The thing I remember most from my pre-medicated days were the awfull lagginess I felt right after breakfast and that lasted through the day. Also: feeling an imense rage at my boredom and inability to do something against it. But the funny thing is, I AM pretty restless. One hour is my limit of sitting on one place that is not on motion (cars and trains are fine), and that is on a good day. I’ll pace on every bus stop and fidget on my seat in a waiting room. Walking is fine, but I have too much time to think. I took up cycling – it makes me try harder to focus, leaves me feeling extremely at ease afterwards aaaaand…. well, I kind of had an accident because of an impulsive misjudgement but I won’t give up. Being obese, I’d hardly be considered energetic though.
    I’m also considered a creative person by my peers but I can only be creative when no one is around – I’m too anxious around people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ram – well, everyone is different. I do wonder if your pre medication state could have been depression.
      I’m restless too, and an hour is a long time to sit unless i’m absorbed (hyperfocused?)
      i think the meds dont directly affect the restlessness, but the ability to focus, and that can help the restlessness.
      part of my restlessness seems physical, and part the feeling that i have to be doing something.
      the exercise you do is great.
      thank you for your good comment
      doug

      Like

  3. D K Powell says:

    Doug, great post – loved the original text but your comments were cool too 😉
    I will give a greater response to this later. I might even do it as a blog post of my own in which case I’ll send the link here. We’ll see how much time I have and how well I can concentrate on pressing deadlines I have at the moment…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jeff says:

    Doug, I vote that ADD ADHD sucks. I mean REALLY SUCKS! I am absolutely certain that my life would have been so much better if I didn’t suffer from ADD. The signs are everywhere. It would have helped if I had recognized (or a doctor had) that I have ADD much earlier in my life – but that didn’t happen. Yes, it helps if you have a good attitude, and Ken certainly does. But not everyone is lucky enough to have many of the wonderful qualities that Ken thinks come as a part of his ADD. Many of the positive points for ADHD that he listed do not apply to ME. I wish they did. So I probably have it much tougher than he believes most ADHD sufferers have it.

    However, I DO have a good attitude. AND I am driven to overcome the many obstacles that ADD throws at me. But put me down for feeling that ADD really SUCKS! And thank you for writing your book, and your blog. Your many tips are very useful in helping me beat my ADD symptoms! Jeff

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff – I’m with you. I think Ken is an extreme case, although there are a lot of other people who write about the benefits of having ADD ADHD. guess i could too if i didnt spend so much of my time struggling to cope with mine.
      but i do believe we can cope and can use strategies to make our lives better. glad you’re doing it.
      thank you for commenting
      doug

      Like

  5. Anonymous says:

    Great post, Doug. Thank you. It’s tough for me to be happy about my ADHD, and I struggle to engage in being positive about the good stuff. It’s all still so very new to me, knowing what this struggle IS I’ve been fighting for so long. And I’m still far from understanding the ins and outs of my own personal ADHD. I’m happy for those who don’t feel their ADHD is a problem, as long as they acknowledge that most of us actually suffer a great deal, and respect that. Though part of me wonders if anyone can be diagnosed with ADHD if they’re NOT suffering as a consequence of having it. And more than just with school. Isn’t that part of the DSM criteria? Significant impairment in multiple areas of life? I do enjoy my creativity (sometimes, when I can channel it – being creative without being able to accomplish anything meaningful for long periods of time is intensely depressing. Nihilism producing depressing. Breakdown inducing depressing.). And I love being good with kids (until they grow into teenagers, and my brain is still the same and no longer amusing to them ;>). We had a “positive events” meeting at my IRL support group recently and that was good – we shared good stuff that happened, I the sense of times when strategies had worked for us recently. I think for me, for now, that’s as positive as I can get about my own ADHD. And maybe that’s just fine.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lynn – kind and diplomatic!
    thank you for commenting
    doug

    Like

  7. Wow! You hit the nail on the head with that list.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dianne in the desert says:

    In one word…. Exactly! My life with ADD has been terrific and most of the time, I celebrate it.

    Where the school issues are concerned, I think it is a matter of maturity and readiness. it is also the changes that are made in child discipline. “Recess” was a good thing for the kids and the teachers, why do we no longer have recess past the very lower grades? The kids with that excess energy had some time to “burn it off” and did better at not disrupting their classes.

    Rather than “rote performance” kids do better when they can develop their abstract reasoning abilities. It teaches their brains how to learn. While technology may work for some of the kids, it is not the best way for all kids to learn. In the end, it is the sum of knowledge that is tested anyway.

    For about 314 days of the year, I love my ADD. Those other days are the days when I do not need to be concerned about it…

    Liked by 2 people

    • dianne – like ken, you are one of the lucky ones. i certainly agree about recess. also music and art. don’t lets get me started about our educational system and teaching to the test or no rich child left behind, or our medical system.
      thank you for commenting
      doug

      Like

  9. Lynn says:

    Good article! I think you’re both right. Thanks for putting words to paper!

    Liked by 2 people

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