Crusades, ADHD, Hyperfocus,Too Many Projects – Is it all a waste of time? — ADD Tip O the Day 692

Is This Hyperfocus, or What?

I get caught up in crusades.  They seem worthy, but are they worthwhile? Do the politicians listen to us? Is anyone’s mind ever changed?

Confirmatory bias is universal. We emotionally reach a decision or take a position, then we collect any information that supports it and ignore or dismiss any that doesn’t, and then we think we’re being logical.

(I’m about to offer some of my opinions, based on  data I have so far.)

Here’s my recent crusades. Do other people do this?


I get very frustrated with the misinformation. It’s not about mental health, although God knows our health system needs reform. The mass shooters, with one exception, have been frustrated, unhappy, screwed up people, mostly seeking  notoriety, but they are not technically mentally ill.  

The media promotes this phenomena.

They have not been criminals, not before.

The mass killings catch our attention, but the bigger problem with guns is the daily suicides, accidents, misidentifications, homicides.  Research shows that those who have guns to “protect” themselves and their families suffer these problems more often than they ever successfully “defend” themselves. (And do you really want to kill a 16-year-old kid who is trying to steal your TV? Really?)

Thus, laws to prevent criminals, domestic abusers, and mentally ill from acquiring guns are all very worthwhile, but have nothing to do the mass killings.  The NRA (Not Rationally Armed) is delighted to see us focus our attention on these distractions and red herrings, while missing the real problem – guns, large clips, multiple clips, specialty ammunition.


The net is recently flooded with misinformation and propaganda against vaccinations. This is dangerous. I have lived through polio epidemics, seen children with whooping cough, and seen the aftermath of measles. If it were not for people refusing vaccinations, polio would have been eradicated years ago. Vaccinations can cause complications, usually mild. There can be serious complications. These are so rare that it cannot be determined if they were caused by the vaccination or by coincidence.

For example,vaccinations can cause fevers, and in young children fevers can cause seizures, and seizures can cause  brain damage.  If an uncommon occurrence (high fever) uncommonly causes something (seizures), which uncommonly causes something (damage), that last something is going to be rare. (.o1 x .01 x .o1 = .000001) People who protect their children from these extremely small risks are endangering all children.  

The claim that vaccines cause autism, just for one example, has been totally discredited.

Drunk Driving

This blog is already too long, maybe next time.


  1. This post originally contained a rant against the red herring of banning assault weapons, which I thought referred to automatic weapons, but in fact are the semi- automatic version of assault rifles.  I was wrong. Confirmatory bias was at work.

2. The Bully is published.  Now it takes an enormous amount of time, especially with ADHD, to do all the blogs, and links, and posts, to advertise it. And most everything I do takes more time than I could have imagined. Do I have time for crusades?

3. There is no point in trying to have a discussion with a drunk, a conspiracy theorist, a gun nut, or an ADHD denier. That is truly a waste of time.

Question O the Day

Do you get caught in crusades?  What do you think about these ideas?


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No one is more certain in their views than the one who has no idea what they’re talking about.

assault weapons


confirmation bias

The Bully  paperback

The Bully  kindle

@addstrategies  #adhd  #add  @dougmkpdp  @thebullyonline #bully #bullying #thebullyonline





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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16 Responses to Crusades, ADHD, Hyperfocus,Too Many Projects – Is it all a waste of time? — ADD Tip O the Day 692

  1. Pingback: A Woodworker’s Approach to ADHD (mostly) | ADDadultstrategies

  2. stevoplex says:

    I tend to hyperfocus at times, sometimes working on something without eating, sleeping or taking a break for 24 hours or more. Sometimes it is on a complex, tedious, worthwhile task that would never get done any other way. Other times it is on a completely useless activity. Either way, it is a Compulsion that I cannot stop doing, even if I know better. My free will is paralyzed during these episodes. It sometimes helps to have an onerous but important task clearly defined, with a clear starting point, even though it may be impossible to begin at the time. When the hyperfocus starts, immediately begin the first, easiest steps of the important task. Otherwise, it’s easy to impulsively get sucked into useless efforts which you have lost the ability to stop.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Bully says:

      stevo- maybe you were following the ADHD blog. Hope you will find it useful and enjoyable. And thank you for already contributing comments. I love comments.
      If I understand, you can have a task scheduled so that if you realize that you are on a dead-end project , you can switch? And you try to catch it early. That sounds like a good strategy, but are you suggesting it doesn’t work well for you?
      Again, thank you for joining and for contributing.
      Best wishes


  3. rammkatze says:

    I’m affraid I’m bad a crusadings, which often makes me feel sad and inferior. I’m getting good at pushing these thoughts aside, but it’s hard for me to listen to people crusading about things that I know are wrong (like being anti-vaccine because it causes autism) or things that they might not habe thought through (like believing that companies purposedly make bad quality products so peple will have to buy more). I get very frustrated and angry (irritability, hello ADHD) and can’t make coherent sentences and refute things that I know are not well thought. I have two sisters in education, one in the oil branch (controversy), one is a pharmacist (more controversy and conspiracy theories), my brother is a journalist (although specialized in sports, media, brainwashing, etc), my best friend studied physics and applies it to the optical aspects like solar panelling (renewable and non-renewable energies, MORE controversy), a friend I met through her also studied physics and is doing research applied to the physics of medical-use machinery (MORE controversy)… I am surrounded with too much direct information, presented to me much better than any journalist could, and I can’t make good arguments, because I boil. So I shut up, I don’t crusade and feel bad. 😦 But if I could overcome this, I’d be right out there crusading with you! The passion is there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Bully says:

      ram – yes, there are crusade and controversy opportunities all around us. I have a good strategy for dealing with some of those situations – ask questions, ask more questions, then summarize – “so if I understand, you’re telling me that the world is totally controlled, including all the governments and all the big companies, by six men in Switzerland, and you know this because you read it on a blog, but you don’t know who wrote the blog. Is that correct?”
      Sometimes the more questions you ask, the more they unravel. There are many ways to end this – “so, what do you plan to do tomorrow?” Or “well, how has the skiing been this year?”, Etc. Or you can say “really???” Or “well, I don’t agree.”, But those two keep the conversation open, which you don’t want.
      Unfortunately, I don’t remember to use this good strategy very often. But the one I sometimes remember to use is a better strategy “Goodbye.”

      If you are dealing with a conspiracy nut, they will have done research, using confirmatory bias, and can come out with all kinds of “facts” to prove their case. And they are totally wedded to it, because being one of the few elite privileged to this secret knowledge makes them important. You are not equipped with many facts, because you haven’t spent the time on that subject, and your opinion is based on commonsense, common knowledge, and your own confirmatory bias. Thus, you are at a disadvantage in an argument, which would be totally pointless and a waste of time anyway.

      “You can’t win, you can’t break even, and you can’t get out of the game.”
      But in fact, you can get out of the game.
      As always, thank you for your good contributions,

      Liked by 1 person

    • The Bully says:

      ram – but I think I missed your main point? Are you sure that not being good at crusading is a bad thing?
      Best wishes

      Liked by 1 person

      • rammkatze says:

        Thank you doug, I laughed out loud 🙂 I feel like it’s a bad thing because I’m surrounded with it, sometimes I feel. And I always feel myself pushing myself out of social situations, although I carve the contact with othr people. I always thought it was a “vanilla thing”, but last week I went to a friendly ADHD-Forum meeting and was flabbergasted at how they all talked about the same things and in the same way as vanillas, and at a time, there were 3 different groups at the table and I was with none of the groups. The real big difference was, luckily, they knew what was going in my head and gave me enough room and occasional support to snap out of it by myself. But I am actually inspired to look up on some of the pieces of misinformation he was spreading – about the big bad pharmacy industry. He seems like a nice guy otherwise, and I’m intrigued as to why someone who is obviously an extremely laid back human being would rather believe that he’s being made a fool of by the majority and enlightened by a couple of…. well, “nuts” is not what he’d call them, but it is what I call them 😛

        Liked by 1 person

        • The Bully says:

          RAM – great! Glad you found the support group. I’m ambivalent about pharmacy, there are two sides to that story. The worst is that Congress won’t let us buy elsewhere or negotiate prices.

          Liked by 1 person

          • rammkatze says:

            I hear ya! I think some things might even be worse in the USA – like that young CEO who bought the most used medication for the treatment of AIDS and then jacked up the prices. But the conspiracy theorists here shower us with the silly notion that “if there’s a cheap cure for cancer, it will be/is kept a secret because it’s not profitable”. Good heavens! The people who shout the loudest about greed are the ones who underestimates it the most, it seems. If there WAS such a miracle cure, someone would make a profit from it, I have no doubts about it 😉

            Liked by 1 person

  4. holdthatthought says:

    Interesting post, I liked reading your opinions and largely agreed with them.
    I engage in crusades as well, though they’re usually conversational. Day-to-day I’m mostly struggling to keep afloat and don’t often find myself with the time or energy to take them on in any meaningful fashion.

    It never really helps that I frequemtly get distracted–taking on new, exciting projects and drop everything else because this new idea/project is more important than anything else I could be doing in the universe. I think we’ve all been there.

    Anyway, great post. Bought the kindle version of the bully, really looking forward to reading it. It’s on the “to read” cue, hopefully I don’t get distracted again before I can get to it 😉

    P.S. Taking on bullying is a very noble crusade.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Bully says:

      hold-boy, i know about that exciting new project thing. usually a trap, but sometimes pays off. thank you for getting the book, hope you enjoy it, it’s not pleasant and i’m not really taking on bullying exactly. would be interested in learning your thoughts
      thank you for contributing


  5. Jo says:

    Yes! Crusades. We get very worked up and convinced we are right. Sometimes something comes along which suggests we weren’t and we get switch sides.
    Re vaccinations. Speaking as a person who has vaccinated her children and believes it was the right choice (herd immunity etc). It is important to clarify that some experts eg Dr Natasha Campbell McBride, neurologist with a masters in nutrition, believe that children who have pre-existing auto immune problems and other conditions of which she includes autism and adhd, can have their conditions worsened by vaccinations. These children often can’t handle the assault on the immune system or the toxins included in the injections (eg heavy metals). She believes these children should be excluded and as long as the majority vaccinate, they will be protected by herd immunity. The problem is parents who avoid vaccinating their perfectly healthy children thereby putting less healthy children at risk.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Bully says:

      jo – thank you for your helpful, interesting, and well informed comments. I genuinely appreciate all comments, but particularly those that are well informed. I can’t totally agree with your doctor about the autism and ADHD, but certainly about the immune problems. Are there really heavy metals or other toxins in the vaccines? Of course, the herd immunity is one of the key points. I’m afraid I’m going to have to have more to say on the vaccine question.
      Thank you for contributing


  6. Me says:

    You definitely do. Although, not sure of your credentials. Maybe here goes mine…. For someone who doesn’t find Crusades beneficial, you surely spent some time on this one…. (multiple subjects 🙂 Yet, you negated your points via your point ….of bias. Canceled out your post and wasted time? Although, I have ADD… I am capable of deductive reasoning, mostly regarding others. My inductive reasoning kicks in at about the time I consider myself and my tasks thus, hyper focus. People are responsible for themselves first. We hear “you can’t control other people” …. that’s what rides… it’s universal…. even under bias. Don’t steal tv’s … character has to count for somthing…. defending foundational principals of right vs. Wrong is innate for those of us who are aware the line exists. …. if that was done at go…. variable results would deminish. If I have a gun… it’s irrelevant until someone violates my earnest life’s work… if they can put effort into stealing I get to put effort into protection mode. If it is just a tv… why steal it…. gotta run w foundational things. Wrong doers skirt by…. under no consequence, thus the resulting behavior. Teach the theives to ask for my tv and they’d get it, instead of a bullet. Foundational. Wether or not someone pulls the trigger in the moment is on them not the NRA. A universal characteristic among add/adhd’ers (identified/diagnosed) is we try, we put in effort… even if the effort is malfocused or hyper.. we try. We see the problems and it causes our stagnation, procrastination, anxiety etc. We consider, troubleshoot, we seek information, solutions…. the problem is not the guns …. rather it’s identifying the solution to preventing tv stealing…. write about how to do that next time maybe… it’s survival of the fittest out here, like it or not…. Theives aren’t fit, thus jails and prisons. My background is in television /news…. and I concur w your point here…. especially when it perpetuates provlems and no solutions …. it conveys false information that snowballs into narrowmindedness , and the imposing of ideas and opinions, and resulting beliefs. Then, the uneducated adopt others ideas and run with them. … again ( effort is at play). I have abandoned everything news … including mass anythings…. and for now I’ll leave vaccinations alone. Lol. Wayward, easily swayed anything doesn’t work… I’d say a gun is pretty definitive…. since one knows what to expect… their choices will change. .. it’s the indecisiveness that causes theivery. …. ps communications herein are in healthy passing around of ideas…. soooo I hope no one TAKES offense. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Bully says:

      Me – I appreciate your thoughts. i dont have to agree with all of them, nor you with mine, and no offense at all.
      the root cause of most of these problems is poverty (i carefully said “most”.)
      my main point about the media is that it provides the mass shooters with the publicity and notoriety that they want, even when they’re dead, and thus the potential mass shooters are motivated to carry out their ideas. even recently, the TV is still showing pictures and naming names of the prior ones. Instant fame, if you don’t have what it takes to be a rock star.
      Thank you for contributing.


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