Is there really "nothing positive" about ADD?

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Is there really "nothing positive" about ADD? 2011-08-06T16:07:12+00:00

The Forums Forums Ask The Community Is there really "nothing positive" about ADD?

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  • #106943
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    caper
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    Post count: 179

    billd: I can only speak for myself; I like my normal distractable self when I’m not around anyone that can trigger my

    frustration/anger. I don’t take concerta when I’m alone because I miss out on discovering all kinds of interesting things in the world.

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    #106944
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    billd
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    having never been treated or had any meds that WORKED, I can’t compare – but CAN look back at all the meetings with management, all the folks I’ve p#[email protected]%d off, lost time, lost time with family, UNfinished projects, MONEY lost, DEALS lost, things lost or forgotten, people hurt, you name it.

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    #106945
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    Bibliophile
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    @Pete-Puma do not rely on anecdotal cases that you have not seen the diagnosis of personally. You don’t know HOW SEVERE Phelp’s ADHD is or was. His ability to excel relied upon doing the same thing over and over again until he got better than anyone else at it. This is NOT an ADHD trait at all. Perhaps you are arguing that he perseverated on his practices and muscle building activities? If he was not double jointed, broad shouldered, tall, would he have still been an Olympic athlete. Exactly, normal people don’t win 16 times. People with physical gifts DO, not necessarily mental impairments to their ability to monitor time, self motivate, stay on task, and regulate their emotional state.

    Ty Pennington claims to have ADHD. Is his success luck? How much media celebrity is actually the result of dumb luck over skill?

    I agree with you on the non-linear thinking. However, this does not come into play in most workplaces 90% of the time. Cooking for example is only artistic the first time you make the plate. Thereafter it is repeat that plate exactly each time with NO variation. In a library, innovation is great for designing an ILS the first time or solving a problem, but horrible for the routine tasks that make up the majority of the work. Even an ILS vendor will spend most of the time setting up and tweaking their design, with the bulk of the creativity part only at the beginning.

    ADHD people make great starters, we just need someone to pick up from their and we have to move on to the next thing to start.

    Have you read (or listened since we are ADHD after all) to Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers: The Story of Success. It offers a very different perspective on how we master tasks, the amount of time required, and the problems that giftedness can lead to.

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    #106946
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    Bibliophile
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    It should also be added that anecdotal evidence could be provided for a good number of the prison population by some psychiatrists/psychologists accounts.

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    #106947
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    Anonymous
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    Well here we are again……the wonderful debate………poison/medicine…………gift/impairment……….heads/tails…..chicken/rooster???? I do enjoy these posts, I find them stimulating. I’m a “Gifty” (no apology)…….I am pleased with myself and my brain, and how I process things in my world…. and the wonderful in-site my brain has provided me. I was not fired 20 times in my life…..I was successful in my career, and promoted due to my ability to see out of the box and how things would unfold in the future, and the path to get there. True….there were many times when it was touch and go…because many people were afraid of me in business and had problems with my vision, execution and my tendency to be out-spoken, but when the Executive needed a solution and to drive change in the corporation they sought me out. As for staying the course (focus)….I took on huge corporate directional change projects with ridiculous time frames that nobody would touch. I brought my work in on time and well delivered. …soooo???? That’s me……and that where this debate kinda gets thin. That’s me that’s “My Gift”….I know for others that not true….in fact some folks struggle and struggle in ways that only they can comprehend …..that does not negate my story, or belittle theirs in any way. We are different as snow flakes…us in the visionary, non-linear, random world. You see……even my description is different than “chaos”……. distracted. This is “my world” it is different from so many………I get that.

    I have found, so called professionals or experts (and god knows there are so many)….tend to write about what they know, or better yet, what they can prove….they want credibility and to protect that notion….they aspire to be know as “experts in their field”!!! They have an agenda that they are trying fulfill. Fact is you can find people, doctors, scientists, people from all walks of life out there who will agree with almost any position you can think of, and have written very factual, evidence based books on the subject(s). I have found if you look, you can also find the same number of “experts” who contradict that initial position…..sooooo what??? Step in any time Dr. J…..you can probably add to this.

    For instance…..I’m married almost 40 years same partner……almost everyone of my linear friends are divorced, some two and three times….they are not ADD so what….what can one extrapolate from that??? Maybe the in-ability to have long lasting relationships is not exclusively an ADD trait…..maybe (and I agree) as Pete says there are so many things (chemistry, nature, nurture, circumstance, luck) that enter into the human make-up mix…….. that ever to make all encompassing “truth” statements is…. in it’s self fallacy?????

    Yes, I struggle with things that others do as easy as pie. I’ve never balanced a bank book, I’ve burnt supper when I’ve gotten distracted playing my guitar…..oh well. The list of what I cannot do as well as the next guy is endless….so what? I am pleased with those things I do amazingly well and I don’t give a shit if others are not amazed, I am…….screw the rest!!!! I am actually supposed to be doing something else right now but…….I’ll get to it, in my own time. Is it sitting nagging in the back of my head….yes….but, it’s competing for space with a lot of other shit too…….

    Finally, I also believe we are not the norm in society…..we are a step apart, some folks are many steps apart. We (random/visionaries) struggle endlessly to fit in the compartmentalized linear world….I believe that is all true, but….. it’s just what I believe!!! They rule, I believe that too……we are the anomaly, they own the administriva of the world that we struggle with. It does not make us/me less……….only different…..never less. Maybe the sooner we get comfortable with that notion the better we will be…I don’t know? What I do know…… I know what I’ve communicated is true for me……..maybe not for you …but it was/is for me, at least for today.

    toofat

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    #106948
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    Anonymous
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    @librarian_chef hyperfocus is an ADHD trait, as is an enhanced emotional drive. You’re right I don’t know anything about his diagnosis, but that’s not what is relevant. Maybe Phelps invented a new way to train; maybe he was passionate about swimming and that passion drove him further than a normal person can go; maybe his hyperactivity was channeled into swimming at an early age.

    My point is that there are two choices: (A) he won 14 gold and 2 bronze medals because of his ADHD or (B) in spite of his ADHD. If it’s (B), then you would have to agree he would have done more without ADHD. So how much more? 16 Gold? 20? How would that be possible when the next best person in the history of the Olympics has 9. In my opinion, to say that he would have done better with a normal dopamine uptake brain is less plausible than saying he was able to leverage ADHD traits to accomplish something amazing.

    I agree that the plural of anecdote is not data. I was not attempting to draw broad conclusions from a few examples. Ignoring scores of positive examples of successful people with ADHD, however, and dismissing their ADHD by saying that they did what they did in spite of it is not rational.

    I agree completely that ADHD is not good for repetition or consistency, which is why ADHD people are 3x more likely to be entrepreneurs. No day is the same as the next, and building a company requires a skill set that lends itself to solving new problems, not repeating the old ones. I’m sure Michael Phelps didn’t have to fill out TPS reports, set corporate objectives or sit quietly in algebra. He was a stand out, and was encouraged to live a non-standard life and excelled because of that. To @caper‘s original point, there are positives about ADHD in certain circumstances. It’s not all good, and it’s not all bad.

    If we want to make the world better for ourselves, in addition to focusing on medication, meditation, exercise and sleep (all good things), we need to figure out why some of us are able to do great things beyond the reach of normal people; what environments help us to succeed; and then establish and maintain those healthy environments for ourselves. Maybe there is no answer. Maybe it’s a crap shoot, but maybe we can make the flop come up QQ7 every time. Simply throwing up our hands and saying that ADHD is a burden, you can only succeed in spite of it, and we’re all doomed is no more productive than saying it’s a gift and people are just using it wrong.

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    #106949
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    billd
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    no offense toofat but from several of your posts – this one especially included – you don’t seem to exhibit symptoms that I’ve been studying this past week.

    How’s your driving record?

    You mention consistency in work, that flies in the face of what’s “typical” ADHD as their work is historically INconsistent.

    You met deadlines? WOW, that’s a huge problem with everyone I know diagnosed ADD/ADHD, including my son, and myself.

    You mention drive and decision making – also not consistent from the ADD support sites I’ve visited this week.

    From the very intense studying I’ve done the past week working on a paper for work, (they asked me to put together a paper on ADHD and impact on work here) you don’t fit the criteria each of these sites and organizations spell out that are required for a diagnosis – except 1 – you really blasted in with your take as the correct one, blasting almost all professionals who are trained and often spend their lives studying hundreds of cases over many years, it’s a gift and anyone who says otherwise is wrong….. ;-) Now THAT sounds like ME!

    Are they ALL wrong?

    This is direct from caddac:

    Many people with ADHD can be highly intelligent and creative, although these can be great gifts, they occur along with the symptoms of ADHD and are not caused by the ADHD. Many people with ADHD do feel that they are able to think ‘outside the box’ and do credit this skill to their ADHD (but is that proof – proof it would not otherwise exist?)

    Some ADHD traits that can be perceived as positive or negative:

    * A high energy level / hyperactivity

    * Being able to hyperfocus / unable to change focus (the latter being more correct most of the time)

    * Orientated to action / impatient

    * Persistent / stubborn, obsessive

    * Daring / drawn to high risk

    * Entertaining / class clown

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    #106950
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    billd
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    Post count: 913

    >>ADHD people make great starters, we just need someone to pick up from their and we have to move on to the next thing to start.<<

    That’s more typical of those I know – including me, my son, my mother, etc.

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    #106951
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    billd
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    hey toofat – a thought for you (or anyone) does any of this remind you of or seem to parallel X-Men?

    Think about it………….. and them and their history, the characters, etc.

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    #106952
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    @billd glad to hear you’re researching it! The Kelly/Ramundo book is really helpful (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743264487/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0684815311&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0Q958SN6R8E3DR3VJ799)

    One of the issues with ADHD is that people have very different coping mechanisms, which is why some experts feel it is under diagnosed. I’ve always been a solid performer at school and at work, but my personal life (mostly my health and weight) suffered. I’ve made careless mistakes, but never blew anything big, and was forgiven my errors because I kept hitting home runs. Now that I’m getting older and have more responsibilities (and more bureaucracy), my ADD is surfacing more and more at work.

    People have different coping mechanisms, and sometimes they over adjust. You can have ADD and meet deadlines consistently but it’s not the same as normal people meeting deadlines. It’s a panicked, emotional, they’re going to fire me, irrational need to meet the deadline that drives you. These people appear to be workaholics, but it’s a form of ADD. Kelly & Ramundo talk about this in their personality type section.

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    #106953
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    billd
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    I”ve requested a couple of reasonable accommodations at work.

    One is a flexed schedule (start earlier) and the other is different criteria or expectations for my continued training or learning at work. For example, I can’t sit in a “boot camp” style class that’s 5 day week, 8 to 6pm with few breaks. I’d be a basket case, get nothing out of it and cause all sort of problems. So I’m requesting CBT (computer based training) or self-training (my degree is in automotive and I work IT security – all self-taught!) or shorter classes instead of all day or all week.

    I’ve literally scoured many dozens of sites, PDF files, studies, youtube videos and spent a lot of hours at home and work on this for days now.

    Luckily when I’m very interested, my desires kick in and bypass ADHD and allow my IQ and ability to absorb to come into play (get me interested, show me a picture and I’ll be explaining skyscraper engineering to you in a matter of hours – but bore me and I won’t even remember the subject title.)

    This is fascinating and if I was a young person – and had ADHD controlled, I could see myself going to school and getting a degree and working in this area. I did take a lot of psychology in school (as did my little brother) and was fascinated by it. Expert – no!

    gee brother puma – this sounds just like ME:

    >>Now that I’m getting older and have more responsibilities (and more bureaucracy), my ADD is surfacing more and more at work. <<

    Seriously – that’s one reason for the RA requests – and the intense study – to see what I can do to avert disaster at my advance age, and learn and cope…..

    Thanks for the added link.

    Now I need to find something that quantifies the issues ADHD ADULTS have learning or going to school or taking long classes and justify my request to have it broken up or changed – need to quantify and not put in “I feel” or “in my opinion” or “this would help me” – I need to show the science, and what others do.

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    #106954
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    caper
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    Post count: 179

    pete-puma: sorry to poke at your argument, but there is a third possiblity. ADHD may have had no tangible net impact on Phelps’ performance.

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    #106955
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    @caper fair point. It could also be that they each have one or the same comorbidity that helps them somehow.

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    #106956
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    Bibliophile
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    Post count: 169

    Or Phelps was so gifted athletically, it didn’t matter. Lionel Messi is one the best football players in the world and had to be treated for a growth hormone deficiency. Terry Fox ran across Canada on one leg having lost the other to cancer. Rick Hanson traversed the world in a wheel chair. People do amazing things in spite of their handicaps all the time. Why can you not accept that Phelps is just incredibly gifted at swimming? Why does he have to have a comorbidity instead of a natural affinity for swimming? Not everything is psychological. Lance Armstrong is a fantastic bicyclist. Richard Branson has a great nose for making money and lucks into stuff. I am with Caper on this one. The ADHD might have had NO effect on their abilities to succeed, positive or negative, because other gifts trump it.

    Try not to mention historical figures though as diagnosing them posthumously is meaningless. For example, Einstein fits the character type of Aspergers, much more than ADHD. Benjamin Franklin might have been ADHD, but who knows, it could have been a whole slew of other psychological things.

    I agree with you bild in that I see few ADHD traits in how TooFat describes himself either. If I remember, he classifies himself as inattentive type though so maybe it is a question of severity.

    In my own life, I feel the effects of ADHD every day, not just when I am in a crisis or when I am overly stressed. When I drive, when I have to get the kids ready for school/camp, when I have to plan my day, when I have to get myself motivated to work, etc. I have always had this. It is not a new discovery. Coping has always been HARD. Failures related to poor emotional regulation, time management, self motivation, prioritizing, abound. You just keep going on. Keep trying.

    Just because you say that is a deficit or a brain abnormality, does not mean that it cannot be addressed or compensated for. It does not mean that some people with it will not excel. It just means that it will be hard and severity, coping mechanisms, luck, and other factors will play a huge role in the outcome.

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    #106957
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Well…..interesting as always. I gotta say billd that your list also describes me to a T!!! I’m not sure what the point is though???

    * A high energy level / hyperactivity

    * Being able to hyperfocus / unable to change focus (the latter being more correct most of the time)

    * Orientated to action / impatient

    * Persistent / stubborn, obsessive

    * Daring / drawn to high risk

    * Entertaining / class clown

    I have to say…..all those things that you may perceive as positives in my life (out of ADD scope) came with a price, but it would take a book to explain it. Nights waking in a sweat over a project, sitting up in the middle of the night hyperventilating thinking “holy shit”…..I must be insane for taking this project on, it’s gonna crash!!!!! All true!! So, nope don’t get me wrong billd those accomplishments were no cake-walk, but what is, and what does that change???. As for inability to change direction….yup….many times I have been accused of not being able to “let go of the banana”. Stubborn obsessive behavior is what got me through a lot of that crazyness…… yes…more like Pete-P’s description. So I’m a crisis junkie…….I also don’t respond well to “it can’t be done”…….oh well.

    As for my comments on professionals and opinions…..my experience has been for every “professional” opinion and study, there is a “professional” opinion that contradicts it. That can’t be a surprise to anybody??? Watch the news, read the paper it’s all contradiction. Simple example is religion….. there are religion based academics out there that preach the bible and Adam & Eve and there a equally well schooled scientists who preach evolution…..what??? Maybe not the best example but it makes the point!!! I’m sure with very little effort we could come up with hundreds of examples of contradiction from scholars, or experts!!! As long as there are two people on earth there will be at least two opinions, with evidence to back up both sides…..that’s all I’m saying. Doctors are great (I believe that) but….they are afflicted with all the same idiosyncrasies as we mortals. So I always look on both sides of the coin before I develop my own belief….to do less I believe is dangerous for me.

    As I said previously, circumstance can be critcal to ADDers…..my environment (workplace) played a great role in my success!!! I moved to a different job, department, or position, aprox. every two to three years. Lingering over three years in any one position may well have been not so swell for me (for all the reasons you know and speak to)…..but I didn’t (that’s the point), and it worked well for my ADD brain. I sold myself at the top of my game, not on the slide. Many folks on this site have stated they were a “star” for a time as well but……….eventually fell from grace……..I moved on before the fall. Not a bad strategy for ADDers maybe????

    You yourself say when interested you can do amazing things….but yet you split the hair about pushing ADD aside??? Are you sure??? Finally all of this “good stuff” that you judge, did not come cheap, self-help, counseling, studying Psych for years at University, group, project management courses etc .etc……I worked at it with a win attitude ( I only have one, no compromise) and worked damn hard at it!!!! So at the tender age of 61, I’m an overnight success.

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