Understanding your difference
ADHD Research Faulty Thinking
A recent national ADHD research study of 8–15 year-old school children found an 8.6% prevalence of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) with the main symptoms being inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
Is this really a disorder? Some of the greatest personalities in science, literature, music, art and philosophy were suffering from a disorder. The flipside of the disorder is talent, giftedness, enthusiasm and passion.
Medicate away the disorder and with it goes the talent. ADHD medication is great in making boring work interesting and fidgety schoolchildren sit still, but it blunts the soul. Natural alternative cures for ADHD take away the attention deficit, but keeps the zestful personality.
But what about the conventional consensus view of ADHD taught at most medical schools?
Scientific peer review articles on ADHD have tended to become a ritualistic mutual admiration society and there is a lack of desire to discover, rather a tendency to satisfy the status quo. A sense of adventure is missing from mainstream consensus science. If the article is published in a respected medical journal, and is reported in near reverential terms, most people tend to accept it as fact.
Hyperactive ADHD is also Enthusiasm and Passion
We live in an age where there is an inclination to believe almost everything scientists say, even when it flies in the face of common sense and our own observations. That is why I was surprised when I found I had a disorder I had been unaware I had for all these 60 years of my life. I was not aware I was suffering from a disorder. I thought it was normal that some people were scatterbrained daydreamers, like me. I was unaware that all people had to be average/normal. I thought people are different, as in people are individuals. My ADHD also is the source of my creativity, ingenuity and problem solving ability/talent.
As I started researching ADHD I found a basic error in most of the scientific studies. The researchers assumed ADHD was a disorder and attention deficit, hyperactivity and impulsivity were the main things to focus on. They then set out to study the disorder. The studies were designed to study those factors, the attention deficit, hyperactivity and impulsivity. They plan their research within their paradigm, while they should be testing their paradigm.
They missed two things:
- The researchers mixed apples and pears. Some children had other disorders with the same symptoms as ADHD children, but are not true ADHD people.
- The attention deficit is a part of creativity, talent and a gifted child, which are the flip side of the so-called disorder.
An attention deficit person has three modes where a normal person has one. A normal person has a normal attention span and ability to stay on task, even if it is boring, and a limited ability for concentrated focus.
An attention deficit person has that same mode as the normal person under certain circumstances. Then there is the attention deficit mode when in a boring situation. The third mode is very rarely mentioned in scientific studies; this is hyperfocussing. The attention deficit person is able to focus better than a normal individual when doing something that fascinates him or her.
I think of ADHD as standing for Attention Deficit Hyperfocussing Disposition. That describes us better than only concentrating on the negative. The hyperactivity has a positive side, which is enthusiasm, energetic, passion and entrepreneurship.
have you ever wonder how your child can be totally absorbed by some activity, yet unable to concentrate on the Social Science homework project? The problem is that ADHD people are unable to switch these modes on or off at will. They cannot decide that a boring task is interesting. When they get into a fascinating task they want to stay on task and can even get oblivious of the world around them. These switches are internal, not something that can be controlled from a source outside of the ADHD person’s own soul.
True ADHD is not a deficiency in the ability to think and focus, but the inability to carry out mundane tasks the person feels are boring. An ADHD person has the ability to hyperfocus when doing a stimulating task. That is how many people with ADHD succeed. ADHD can be seen as a boredom intolerance together with distractibility. It is not a question of willpower, but a real inability.
Where an attention deficit person struggles, is when the situation calls for the normal attention span type of focus and the task is unstimulating or unmotivating. These are situations where the normal individual plods along, and the attention deficit child’s brain desperately tries to find something to stimulate it. The hyperactive child moves, fidgets and becomes a disturbance. The child with the inattentive type ADHD starts to daydream.
I am the inattentive type. My hyperactivity is in my mind which is on the go all the time. I have learned to cope with it and adapt my life and lifestyle to suit my thinking patterns, instead of trying to adapt my brain to the way normal people expect me to be. I always thought variations within humanity to be normal, someone with a talent for mathematics, will find a career in engineering or computer science, while a talented artist will make a career in art, music or acting or whatever their talent may be. Scool is the most dificult time and place for anybody with attention deficit and/or hyperactivity.
Getting back to what science says, ADHD is variously described in the first paragraph of scientific peer review articles as: a disorder, an illness, a sickness, a disease, a genetic disorder, a psychopathology, some form of neurochemical, neurofunctional, or neuroanatomical brain abnormality, a neurological disorder, neuropsychological deficits, etc.
That is enough to get anybody depressed. You can lookup the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for ADHD or take the online ADHD test now and get a detailed performance report. But getting depressed about ADHD is not the way out. We have a history of successful people with ADD and ADHD who used the gifts and talents that came with their ADHD to succeed.
We who have ADHD should use our common sense and take control of our lives and be confident in ourselves. Trying to be like normal people will likely lead to failure, while developing our talents can lead to success. Most people, including the normal ones, have weak spots, and for these we need to develop coping skills and strategies.
Here’s to your hyperfocussing success.