Understanding your difference
This article continues from: Why is ADHD a Disorder?
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) also called Hyperkinetic Disorder and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) are defined in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition Text Revision), but the DSM-IV diagnosis criteria for ADHD creates an illusion of a disorder, but does not define the word “disorder”. In the introduction (page xxxi) the DSM-IV refers to the word “disorder” and then waffles over different words, to finally state, “… different situations call for different definitions.” This means each academic, each doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist and patient is left to fill the blank. The result is people using similar words but meaning different concepts.
This is why ADHD has been described in scientific peer review journals as a disease and a sickness. Both of these are wrong descriptions of the true ADD or ADHD. These words are correct if used for the diseases and sicknesses that cause ADHD-like symptoms.
To put things in perspective, the same authority (DSM) that makes ADHD a “disorder” made homosexuality a diagnosable mental disorder until 1974 and continued until 1986 with the label “Ego-Dystonic Homosexuality.” Whatever one’s opinion of homosexuality may be, it is not a mental disorder, nor was it while the DSM defined gayness as a mental disorder.
If you or your child has one of the 100 disorders that causes attention deficit or hyperactive symptoms, then that disorder needs to be treated.
If you or your child has the real thing, then you need to take back your life from being a label. There are natural cures, treatments and brain training exercises to help you regain that focus. Then there are lifestyle choices aimed at helping us function better, and coping skills to help calm emotions and be able to do those difficult chores. We might be scatterbrained, have no sense of time and lack the ability to concentrate on boring tasks, but we have talents which are the flip side of the attention deficit-yet-hyperfocusing personality.
As an example, I have an adult attention deficit-hyperfocussing personality. I worked for decades in managerial positions, with either my own office or an office together with my supervisors. I had no difficulty focussing on the interesting aspects of my work and delegated the jobs I found difficult, but others found easy, like monthly stock taking. I did not know I had adult ADD and had to learn my coping skills by myself, and it worked … until!
The last company I worked for moved to a modern newly built building, where there was an open plan office. Open plan offices are not a good idea for an attention deficit person to work in. My efficiency spiralled down. My energy was spent on concentrating on concentrating, instead of concentrating on my tasks, as I had done all the previous years of my working life. I became oversensitive to distractions. Finally I had a nervous breakdown.
The people who tried to help me with rehabilitation did everything wrong. They did not see my problem as distractibility, putting me in situations I could not manage. This ended in causing me to have yet another nervous breakdown before I had recovered from the first.
It was after the second nervous breakdown that I discovered I was an adult attention deficit-hyperfocussing person. I have now changed my lifestyle, career, my life, to fit who I am and now I am on the road to recovery. I have a wonderfully supportive wife and children, which helps enormously. Knowing that I am an attention deficit-hyperfocussing individual helps me to make better day-to-day decisions.
The label attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a handicap. It is a negative description of the negative side, but without acknowledging the positive aspects and talents. As long as we think of this as a disorder, we are handicapped. By accepting we are different we can start to control our lives.
The History of ADHD
New ADHD Treatment
Is ADHD a Disorder?
ADD-ADHD Two Disorders?
ADHD Diagnosis Disorder
ADHD Differential Diagnosis
ADHD DSM-5 Diagnosis
ADHD DSM-IV Diagnosis
The ADHD Gene
ADHD & Comorbidity
Why is ADHD a Disorder?
ADHD & Homosexuality
Non Stimulant Medication