I am very curious to see how many of you can relate to my experience.
I remember being in school as a kid and having the teachers recommend to my parents that I be tested for ADHD.
Even into my high school days, I would often find myself daydreaming, or my mind would be on a completely different subject than what the teacher was talking about. I’d be off in my own thoughts about something, and then I’d hear or see the rest of the class do something such as turning the page in the textbook, or take out a paper we were supposed to refer to, and I’d snap out of it and scramble to catch up with the rest of the class because I didn’t hear the teacher’s most recent instruction. That’s how school was for me basically from 1st grade all the way up until graduation.
When I was in 6th grade, my mom did finally have me “tested” for ADHD by a child psychologist. I’ll never forget his diagnosis and how he summed it up to my mother: “He doesn’t have ADHD. He pays attention when he wants to. He can turn it off and turn it on whenever he wants.”
And that’s the thing – it wasn’t that I couldn’t pay attention, it’s that I didn’t fucking CARE what the fuck the teacher was talking about, because I couldn’t see why it was important to give a shit about most of the meaningless bullshit that was being taught.
On the other hand, put me in a class that I actually CARED about, and I’d get straight A’s. My Spanish class, for example, was a class that I felt would actually benefit me. So what did I do? I paid attention and got straight A’s, and years later I became fluent in that language.
Even to this day, I’m very passionate when I talk about this sort of thing, because I feel so strongly that so many kids are thrown into classes that are so fucking meaningless in the grand scheme of life. And then just because they don’t pay attention in class, we think they have an attention problem, or just because a kid has a lot of energy it means he’s hyperactive.
Are you kidding me? It’s called BEING A KID.
It reminds me of a John Lennon quote: “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
I’m no psychologist. I don’t have a degree in psychology or neuroscience. But I am a firm believer that ADHD is a made-up disorder that we assign to our children because they recognize how much bullshit we’re throwing at them, and they’re much smarter than we give them credit for. They understand that a lot of the material taught in school is meaningless. I give credit to those who were able to just float along with everyone else through school and do your assignments and classwork like a good little boy or girl and not question why you’re doing them. But as for myself and many others I know, my mind was simply too curious about the world to care about what was being written on the board or how I’m supposed to summarize a century-old novel that’s boring as hell.
Has anyone else had the same or similar experience? Do you feel ADHD is a real disorder?
As someone who has studied ADHD through the lens of Psychology education at a University, I would say it is absolutely bull shit. As are many other mental disorders. The pharmaceutical industry is an evil genius, capable of creating “legitimate disorders” through the supposed “scientific method,” and then stating that these disorders require medication. Your analysis is the tip of the ice burg. I’m glad people like you can see through the shit.
They want to put everything in a pill. Ex. Marinol is a capsule/pill form of thc, and is classified as a schedule 3 substance. How can marijuana, whose active ingredient is thc(and other cannabinoids, also available in capsules) be classified as schedule 1? Cocaine is schedule 2 btw
I can completely relate. As a child, I had very specific interests and really could care less about anything else. My mother and her team of psychiatrists were convinced at different points that I had either ADHD, a depressive disorder, Asperger’s, an anxiety disorder or something yet undiscovered. Increasingly I’m of the opinion that these disorders are nearly all bullshit. The variety of mental faculties should instead display the amazing diversity of our species. Why should we order people to see “the world” through a different lense. I mean neurotypical? What does that even mean?
You are right. Mental illness does not exist. Mental “illnesses” such as ADHD, authoritative defiance disorder, depression, and others have shown NO BIOLOGICAL OR GENETIC LINKS. Standard medical practice is to gather a list of symptoms to determine exactly what condition you have, then prescribe a medication used to treat the condition. This works great for real, physical illnesses. However, mental illness is a bunch of labels we’ve given to people who are varying degrees of fucked up; therefore, a structured environment is the best “cure”, OR, if medication is necessary, why not just treat the symptoms? FOR EXAMPLE, if i am often depressed, with manic outbursts, then i would be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but how can that be distinguished from someone with depression and anger management issues. The doctor would prescribe anti-psychotic medication for the bipolar, because I would fit the description of bipolar best. If the doctor examined my symptoms, then the logical course of action would be to prescribe anti-depressants(gonna write another post on this one) and recommend therapy for anger management. I realize this was actually a poor example, but you get the point, that’s my rant for you.
I concur. Plus, claiming that someone has an inability to relax is only going to fuel their temper, it’s a well known human trait. It’s like every stressed person never experienced a difficulty to relax, because their environment was so nice and peaceful and that wasn’t expected at all. This is always seriously doubtful. It’s total bullshit, and especially school rules that make kids think alike, of course there will be kids that won’t be interested in their shitty environment. That’s actually being sane in my opinion. Also, if I wasn’t “excessively” running and climbing as a kid then I must have had the dullest childhood and never developing a sense of adventure. Damn, right – “It’s called BEING A KID.” Substance use may lead to mood disorders though, just by looking at the physiological effects they have on people. But “behavioral disorders” seem only like an attempt to control.
I actually had this discussion on a game before. Unfortunately, on comes a guy who quite likes his ADHD label and did not at all like me saying it doesn’t exist… turns out he and his alliance repeatedly attacked me until I had nothing left because of it but that’s not the point. The point is, not only do people believe it exists, but they also cling to it. They defend a disease they’ve been diagnosed with, despite the fact it doesn’t exist. I find it extremely interesting.
Interesting point. I think that some people like being labelled as “mentally ill”, since there are a lot of benefits to being considered ill by society, and viewing yourself as ill. This means that you can continue to behave in unsociable ways without being blamed for it, since it is due to your “illness” and not just bad character of lack of self-control. You can also be pitied and pampered, getting extra attention for being ill. Furthermore, when you consider yourself “chronically mentally ill” (whether this be ADHD, Depression, or whatever label you fancy), you take on narrative that this is just something that happened to you, bad genes, toxins, bad luck, anything but your own doing. And in my experience, a lot of people love blaming external causes for their state, rather than admitting that they are in control and responsible of their own life.
Good to know I wasn’t the only one.
@chodebalm, What comes to mind when we’re talking about if ADHD is real or not is the medicine that’s given to those who have been “diagnosed”. Take Ritalin, I’ve heard that it only works on those with ADHD. It has a calming effect on those with ADHD and it has the opposite effect on those who don’t have it. I know that it can be quite fun to use recreationally because some of my friends do it sometimes; they get energized and focused.
Any thoughts on this?
Yeah, it’s total bullshit. There are real mental and physical ailments, but a nebulous collection of symptoms that are part of human heterogeneity is hardly a disease. That you may be highly intelligent, couldn’t give a rat’s ass about most things said to be important and exhibit characteristics that are deemed “weird” is no reason to dull the mind with medication.
The DSM of Mental Disorders is just another money making book. Now that I think of it, much like the Bible.
There is such a thing as hyperactivity, which is not the same thing as ADHD as defined in the DSM-III (the last one I was familiar with) Deciding a class of diagnosis is bullshit without some pretty careful and extensive investigation is a dangerous thing to do.
With that qualifier though, I will say I am highly suspicious of the ADHD classification; however, and this is a very big however, there is an identifiable problem(s) upon which this ADHD label has been hung. This is the danger is just pronouncing something as bullshit without very carefully looking at it, or allowing the emotional reaction to the very real problem of big pharma and its’ perversion of modern medicine, to cause you to miss something. Believe me I am not defending the state of psychopharmacology I can “flame on”, over the state of affairs there, only slightly easier than I can over the majority of what currently passes as the practice of psychology in general. ,
To be clear, I am fairly convinced that ADHD is an erroneous diagnosis, in that the constellation of symptoms that is being grouped together, and identified as stemming from a single causative pathology is invalid.
First there is the problem that hyperactivity does exist, and drugs like Ritalin do actually treat this problem, and treat it very well. They do not by the way have the same effect on people who do not have the problem, they may appear to at the behavioral level, but, for very different reasons. I also strenuously object to the practice of prescribing psychoactive substances to children, we have no idea of the long term effects of these substances on the development of an individuals fine neural architecture. This is another place where big pharma really pisses me off. Utilizing different behavioral strategies in the education of these individuals, could reduce the reliance on medications drastically. The problem here is that it is more costly, more time consuming, and the profiteering, self serving capitalists are more than happy to take advantage of this, by providing an easy solution.
The other big problem is, even if ADHD were a real thing, it is horrendously over-diagnosed, and for all kinds of reasons, The most common environment out of which an evaluation for ADHD is instigate is the educational system. The profound stupidity of this is staggering. We are using a system that is known to be, well wait,,, himmm, well yes it is known to be profoundly broken, but that is not really well known, and what’s more is actively covered up. We have known for over 50 years that there were at least two types of learning styles, visual and auditory, and that attempting to teach people with one, using the other, does not work very well at all. Later it was discovered that certain differences in personality, specifically introversion/extroversion, not only have very different attention characteristics, but their entire basis for motivation is different, drastically so. Our educational system still does not take these things into consideration, and so any kid who is out near the tails of the distribution on these individual differences is identified as having an attention disorder. Monumental stupidity.
So yes, there is plenty of outrage to go around, and for very good reason, but be careful what you dismiss out of hand, for you may be missing something.
@chodebalm, ADHD is totally bullshit! I have been diagnosed with “ADD” (NoT AdHd, TheErE iS a DiFFeRenCe) haha like 20 times. I have been on meds for this disorder for YEARS. and I just recently realized “hey, wait a second..my brain does NOT work the way it used to!” I have lost my ability to write well, to concentrate (how IRONIC! haha) and I have such bad anxiety problems its very difficult for me to leave the house. as someone mentioned, the pharmaceutical industry really is all about money.
this story about a boy given prescription medicine for his “ADHD/ADD” is very similar to the delusional thinking I experience unless I fervently fight it (working out, eating right, sleeping well, which involves drinking alcohol)
even though this story describes a guy who obviously abuses his ADD medicine, doctors who prescribe it are setting their patients up to become addicts, because they are addictive drugs. if a kid takes more than prescribed ONE TIME, his chances of overdosing more frequently go up dramatically.
“I realize that my interest in and resulting dependence on speed started when I was prescribed Ritalin. At first it was every weekend, then it was every day.
“I began to get hallucinations of birds flying overhead, feelings of people in the same room as me when I was alone, and the beginnings of paranoia. I used up [my friend’s] entire Dexedrine prescription within a week. Then I went back to my Ritalin and went on from there.
“I don’t remember much of twelfth grade. But I do remember overwhelming depression and an inability to understand what exactly was the reason I was doing worse than ever in school. I barely graduated, and made absolutely no college plans.
“At the last minute I enrolled in the local college. I was able to stay clean for about seventeen days before the need for speed overcame all. I attended class for one week, and failed miserably.” —Sam
Agree with epiphileon.
I would say that there are natural differences in brain chemistry/wiring due to the neuroplasticity of the brain. These lead to natural differences between individuals.
The need to classify people who behave different than most as ‘not normal’ is so ingrained in western culture. This cookie cutter approach is in my humble opinion a terrible burden on society.
The wide diagnosis spectrum of most psychological disorders is definitely a big pharma move. ADHD/ADD have ridiculous number of symptoms, of which you will only need a few (slightly exaggerated by your overprotective parents) for a physician to lead you straight to the pharmacy.
I like Jason Silva’s saying that “Today if you don’t have ADD, you’re not paying attention.”,
because attention is a limited resource when things are changing so fast. While you’re in a classroom, somewhere else the technology is changing, new researches are being made, scientific truths are being disproved and it’s hypocritical to believe someone’s behavior somehow has any effect. So even if you pay attention, the surest thing to learn is the rate of things that are changing. And it makes sense, because if you want to be somehow “in the now”, you’ll easily get your mind blown if you start self-educating yourself. It’s also not as easy to predict how the world will look like, like it was before we had global access to information, it’s just not yet common to use it “for educational purposes only”.
Half of the “mental disorders” are only used for the lack of better education where people get diagnosed. For the lack of a suitable environment for certain people.
The way I see it, the categorizations being made by the study books are not as different as the social mentality that labels what they’re not used to. And if people get used to things only from experience, how the fuck can anyone claim people cannot train their cognitive abilities? That’s the worst type of teaching.
I’m haven’t studied into the psychology of ADD, but from personal experience I think I have to maintain that ADD has a kernel of truth to it. My whole life I’ve had an extremely difficult time focusing, and when I was a child I obviously thought this was just me daydreaming. When I came into high school-present, it became very frustrating that despite how intelligent I became, I felt that there was a physical barrier keeping me from focusing for more than a minute or two.
It’s not like I haven’t pushed myself. I’ve competed in world class marching percussion competitions across the US which requires EXTREME levels of focus to be successful at, read many books, taken high level classes, etc… I understand everything I’m doing, but there’s always a barrier that I can’t seem to break through that would allow me to fully focus. The first time I ever took Methylphenidate was the first time I was able to focus like a normal student. I sat through 2/3 classes without being distracted and was almost brought to tears that this was possible.
Still to this day, no matter how hard I work to improve my attention, intelligence, etc I always a completely physical barrier keeping me from giving things my full focus for any significant length of time.
Hi there… I am a Mother and I took my son out of school because he was diagnosed with ADHD… It is an absolute bullshit story!!! the symptoms for ADHD are the same as a genius child… if you want more information…..
Look on you tube for a video called RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms
Also look up the Thoery of Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner which shows how children cant all learn in the same way…
Ritalin is a schedule 2 drug listed with morphine and opium, it is highly addictive and can easily cause psychological and physical dependance….
I will definitely concede that there are some children that have trouble focusing, and like to be active, sometimes these children learn better by actually physically doing something practical, building a model of what they are learning for example.. Some small children have certain things in their diet that cause them to act differently, their small bodies consume so much sugar, msg, preservatives and aspartame etc. However there has over the past 20 years become an epidemic of ADHD with ludicrous amounts of younger and younger children drugged just to keep them sat at a desk. It is madness that we still use the same system of schooling that we used 100 years ago when it is clearly failing our children so badly that we are actually okay with drugging them so they can learn?? given that children are naturally super curious and pick up everything so fast this seems so cruel and blind!
I’ve been diagnosed with adult ADD. As do many others, I suspect that as a human, a raptorial toolmaking ape, I am like other predators in not having been designed by evolution to sit still and look in one direction while doing one thing for hours at a time, but instead to be on the move, looking in all directions, up, down, beneath and over. Consequently, I do not do well in an industrial civilization requiring that people “do jobs” in the manner of cattle grazing on pasturage, but prefer instead the Pleistocene mode of wandering about finding cool stuff. .
Interestingly, though, the drug I’m prescribed, methylphenidate, does indeed permit me to remain patient while completing otherwise onerous tasks requiring complete concentration. As a result, I do take the drug when society requires me to, for example, “make money” by performing certain complex sequences of actions. Once I have the money, though, my tendency is to drop the drug and return to my natural state of maximal curiousity.
In the end, I suspect that ADD or whatever acronym you prefer is merely the natural state of a human, and that the drugs are provided to permit us to adapt to the unnatural conditions of industrial life, however temporarily. I accept my place in the tree of life as a predatory primate, but occasionally “domesticate” my behavior to “make money.”