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
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.)”