Understanding your difference
ADHD research (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) has suffered from a lack of objectivity from the beginning. In any field of research as controversial as ADHD research a healthy scepticism is needed. There are subjective tests for ADHD, but there is no objective test for attention deficit or hyperactivity. The mere fact that they are researching something that cannot be objectively tested should light up the warning sign.
The causes of attention deficit and hyperactivity affect the brain in six different ways. This is most often ignored in ADHD research, because these researchers focus on symptom, not the causes of the problems. These six attention deficit and hyperactive brain patterns are:
- Two of these types are the ADHD gifted, creative individuals who do not have a disorder, but have difficulty finding themselves in a school system that is not suited to their personalities and thinking styles.
- The second group are people like the first group, but with anxiety and depression. The anxiety and/or depression can be either a disorder or a natural response to trying to fit into a lifestyle, suited to the majority, but not suitable for them.
- The third group are suffering from severe disorders, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) or Conduct Disorder (CO). They share symptoms with the other two groups, but the cause of their behavior problems are not the same.
The results obtained in research do not lie. However how the studies are designed, what is measured, how it is measured and how the results are interpreted can be disputed. True research attempts to test a hypothesis; bad science plans the study to prove a predetermined assumption. This is usually not done intentionally, at least below the professor level. By the time they become professors they should know better.
The core deficit in attention deficit research is that the study is designed around the presupposition instead of testing the hypothesis.
Unfortunately most ADHD research studies show a lack of understanding of how complex the brain is. Reading published research studies on attention deficit and hyperactivity there appears to be an over simplistic belief in dopamine, as if it is one simple chemical doing one job in the brain.
Weaknesses in ADHD Research
Some of these points are either ignored, or the ADHD researchers are unaware of them:
Dopamine Neurotransmitter Balance:
- There is an optimum dopamine neurotransmitter balance. Not too much or too little.
- Dopamine can be increased naturally allowing the body to set the optimum.
- Stimulant medication forces the body to artificially increase the available dopamine, preventing it adjusting to an optimum.
- Dopamine is found in dopamine systems.
- The dopamine systems need to be in balance with each other.
- The dopamine systems are part of a complex of neurotransmitter systems.
- If one of these dopamine, acetylcholine, norepinephrine or serotonin is out of balance, the others are out of balance as well.
- Increasing serotonin decreases dopamine.
- ADHD stimulant medication and SSRI antidepressants upsets this balance, which is one of the reasons why we have side effects when taking these drugs.
- The left brain and right brain are not the same. They have different functions.
- The amount of neurotransmitters is not the same in the two brain halves.
- There are many thinking styles.
- During creative moments the prefrontal cortex is less active, just like an ADHD child concentrating.
- We know twenty times more about how the brain function that was known in 1990, yet we still do not KNOW how creativity and intelligence processes arise.
- The samples in brain research are too few to make generalised assumptions.
- The variations in how we use our brains and in the different personality types makes generalisations as to how our brain should function to a large extent irrelevant.
- We have a logical/rational thinking conscious mind and a creative thinking subconscious mind.
- Scientific technology can study to a limited extent the conscious thinking mind, but cannot study the creative subconscious thought processes.
- If the statistical average functions in a certain way, this does not imply that an individual will necessarily function that way.
Tying to prove a predetermined assumption together with research funding from companies in the pharmaceutical industry are the main reasons for looking at mainstream ADHD research with a fair bit of scepticism.