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Attention Deficit Science Disorder

Can we trust science On ADHD? Yes … and no.

To be more specific, does science have any definite answers to our problems with ADHD? If the answer were “yes” then there would be no need for any further research. That leaves the answer as definitely, unequivocally a resounding NO! ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is complex and children have different combinations and severity of symptoms, as well as the behavior problems being caused by many factors with ADHD.

In the last ten years science has made HUGE leaps in our understanding of how the brain functions. What science has shown us with these discoveries is how little we understand about this organ, which has been described as the most complex organ in the universe.

There is a general rule, that if we know very little about a subject, we should not make authoritative and over generalized statements on that subject.

There are two sources of knowledge we can use. One is the official academic peer review journals material; the second is educated, knowledgeable experts with insight outside the academic sphere who write helpful books, or researchers like Dr Daniel Aman who is an alternative thinker. It is an individual choice who’s advice we prefer to follow. It is an individual choice if who we prefer to follow. To be labeled a victim, a broken person who needs drugs to cope, or take control of our own lives. It is a choice and we need to look at ADHD from all perspectives to choose what is best for us personally. What works for one soul may not work for another. Everyone must find his or her own solution to their ADHD walk through life.

Peer Review

The peer review system has checks and balances to ensure that rubbish does not get published. However it is a rigid system, stifling creativity to keep the status quo. This rigidity has three negative results:

  • Consensus science is usually lagging behind creative free spirits outside the confines of the academic ivory towers, by protecting the established paradigm.
  • Consensus science tends to follow fashions. Some theory will dominate a subject field, until another theory becomes dominant. There is then the tendency to forget some of the past wisdom in the pursuit of future knowledge.
  • Scientists read articles in their field in which they specialize. Other scientists writing in other fields discover things the first group is unaware of as they are so deep digging a hole in their particular niche. This is the problem with ADHD research. The ADHD consensus opinion researchers are suffering from paradigm blindness.

Educated and Knowledgeable Experts

Educated and knowledgeable experts with insight writing books outside the academic world can be as scientific, or sometimes even more scientific than the academics. Here the peer review process is the response from people in the general public who can relate to their writing and use common sense in judging the advice and insights in these books.

These writers often have a broader overview than the careerist academics who are so digging a hole for themselves in their niche they tend to oversimplify complex problems. An example is serotonin in depression and dopamine in ADHD.

The strength and weakness with peer reviews are reliance on statistics and referring to some abstract “norms.” We who have a problem to solve are flesh and blood unique individuals and not statistical averages. This is where the non-academic experts are better, as they deal with real life problems and can give solutions without being restricted by statistics and narrow-minded niche specific paradigm blindness.

Ten years ago it was widely believed the adult brain does not generate new brain cells. It was also believed the adult brain does not develop. Many, outside the confines of academic institutions, understood that this was wrong. If it were true then there would not be any point in learning new skills as an adult.

Now academic science has become aware of this fact and says that an adult brain can generate new brain cells, and our brains continue to develop until middle age. This late development explains why supposedly mature adults sometimes behave like teenagers. Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah Winfrey’s couch is an example of this.

Among the ADHD theories, there are some that have been widely accepted, in spite of being founded on wonky science. That some theory is accepted by “consensus science” does not imply that it is supported by good science.

This article continues with faults with DSM ADHD testing.

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