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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  • #106958
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    @librarian_chef it’s funny how you object to my (admitted) conjecture of historic figures or celebrities, but you seem eager to say someone on this site doesn’t have ADD. People’s ADD surfaces in different ways, and just because someone with ADD has met deadlines or been successful in life, doesn’t mean they don’t have ADD or their ADD is mild. Saying so is insulting, hurtful and ignorant. It’s no different than someone telling you that ADHD is a myth and you just need to work harder.

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    #106959
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    Bibliophile
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    Post count: 169

    I never said anyone doesn’t have ADHD. I just implied that there may be a difference in the severity of the symptoms as well as their mental deficits. Only they and their physicians know if they have ADHD, and I cannot make that statement. I can say that what they describe does not reflect most professionally described accounts of typical ADHD symptoms or outcomes.

    What I actually said was “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.” Never anything about not being ADHD.

    Saying someone is mild is not the same as ADHD is a myth. Someone claiming they have ADHD and did so many non-ADHD activities is indeed remarkable and I would love to hear their coping strategies, how they stayed on task, how they were able to keep friends and repair the damage of impulsive behaviour. This is why I want to participate in the forum, not to denounce milder cases or those who have managed to cope extremely well as not suffering from the disorder. I want to repair my own life and improve it.

    There is also the flip side of your argument that it is hurtful. You must try and understand that to those who are moderate-severe, someone claiming to do something that has been absolutely unattainable without explaining how they did it is the equivalent of someone saying “just try harder and, see, you can succeed like me.”

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    #106960
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    caper
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    Post count: 179

    pete-puma: it seems like you’ve jumped from the floor of the courtroom to behind the bench. “Saying so is insulting, hurtful and ignorant”

    I’m sure you are just expressing your opinion, rather than trying to express some psychological fact, so people should keep that in mind or else they are likely to get the impression that you think you are the judge of acceptable behavior.

    I have yet to see anything written in these forums that I think was intentionally hurtful. I’ve seen some things written in what seems to be frustration or anger that could be hurtful. I’ve also seen some boasting that could be interpreted as condescending.

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    #106961
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    @LC and @caper: apologies if I misinterpreted lc’s remarks or came off too strong. I am frustrated with people telling me (and others) that our ADD must be mild or we can’t possibly have ADD because we are successful in some parts of our lives, so it’s a sore spot. It’s hard enough trying to juggle daily life with ADD, having someone doubt you or the severity of the condition just makes it worse.

    It’s true that I’m a star at work and was an A student. Everyone wants to work with me and I always deliver results beyond expectations. I make stupid mistakes sometimes, but the home runs outweigh them. For now. But my ADD has seriously screwed up my health to the point where no life insurance company will insure me. To the actuaries, I’m already dead. I can’t have children because of chronic health problems and had I not discovered my ADD, I know for a fact I would be headed for a heart attack and an early death. I’m not sure I can avoid it even now. Sure, I can meet deadlines and move mountains at work, but it’s literally costing me my life.

    I agree with toofat that for people like us, who are good at coping professionally, it might seem easy or successful on the outside, but I’m just as full of self doubt as anyone else. Deadlines are only met because panic and emotion drive me. As I’ve gotten older and wiser, I realize the cake is a lie. Deadlines are artificial and flexible, and now it’s harder and harder to meet them. I’m like a racing dog that caught the fake rabbit–I just don’t want to run the race anymore.

    To quote Phil from Better off Ted: “I don’t know where the magic comes from and am terrified that one day I will wake up and I’ll be alone living with my brother in his basement with his trains.”

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    #106962
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    caper
    Member
    Post count: 179

    Here’s an article on the evidence of genetic selection of one gene mutation associated with ADHD.

    http://www.gunjansinha.com/popsci_caveman.html

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    #106963
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    Anonymous
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    Woooooo……we got a hot one here boys and girls!!!! Never so stimulated as when things are contested…..puurrrrfect! I used to be up for a good round or two but now I’m too lazy, and really I don’t seem to give a shit, I’ve slain enough dragons in my day!! However, maybe just this one thing…. P-P and I seem (at least in this context) on very similar paths…….and different from some others completely. It makes for wonderful debate, full of emotion…….is there any other kind???

    As I a read and respond to this thread…. I call my partner to read our posts (from time to time)……she says (hahhahaha) if he doesn’t think your ADD or that it is mild…..let me post a reply…. I’ll tell him just what it’s been like living with you for 40 years!!! Now…..whoa kiddies, don’t get offended she did it with a bit of a giggle too.

    What this all really goes to show is, this is really a poor communication tool…..90% of communication is non-verbal and all of those non-verbal Q’s are missing, leaving raw text open to others interpretation. Also to share the total of a life experience, education and lifetime of character building in 2/3 paragraphs is impossible….CAN’T HAPPEN. We share what we can….yes…and back manage the misinterpretation as best we can.

    Anyway….yup, P-P and I it seems are/were career stars…..so what? Was it easy….not on your f*%@#kin’ life!!! P-P I get it, I retired early ( it was a great package)……..I burnt my candle real real bright too….I understand your fear of dying in the harness Ok…Yes, to another point… I was diagnosed years and years and years ago by a Dr. an MD….. and yes, Obama has an American birth certificate……that’s kinda what this feels like……not that I care really, I’m just sayin’. Next, I’m not sever hyper, but a constant tapper, I spontaneously jump up and dance around my house and the office (in the past)… for no reason than for the joy of it. At times I dance when I walk, or when I am just standing, or burst into two bars of “Oklahoma” …so what. As for interrupting or blurting out, I learned to be mindful of others when conversing. I also took courses and trained myself to be an “Active Listener”(my ADD likes busy)…. it took a long time to get over speaking mechanically, until I absorbed it into my persona and speech patterns. I still am a little outspoken and my language is harsh but…….I learned to temper my rudeness with humour….people expect it from me, everywhere, all situations appropriate and otherwise, and they find me a funny guy fun to be around…they find it endearing actually. Not that my partner would always agree…hahahahhahaha. So there, I’m a social creature if they don’t like me “screw em’….. but I did learn to listen, trained myself to listen, and manage my compulsive outbursts and offensiveness. Watch Robin Williams, ADD in action, inappropriate, rude, interrupting, but he makes it work for him he’s made millions being ADD!!!!!

    Further to the above points….severity is interesting and hard describe by degrees it is so subjective. P-P and I were career success’s….Pete was an A student…….me it took SIX….6…..1,2,3,4,5,6 read em, 6 years to complete high school, couldn’t comprehend Algebra or Physics..AT ALL. My last year, the school phoned me at home, I got 50 in Physics and 51 in Algebra, I know they were gimmies, they didn’t want me back for seven years….BUT…once in University….I flew…..but gave up full time study because of the anxiety of trying to write papers. Couldn’t do it, could speak in class, debate with my Profs….they loved me, were amazed but always asked……. what happened???? I expected so much more from your paper!! Duh…ADD, can’t put a fine point on written things…

    My office at work looked like an exploded paper factory, our office receptionist would just throw my mail on the floor of my office as she walked by…..cause it just didn’t matter, it was wild. But……I could clearly see problems and the future of the industry (instantly), I knew the company failings…..I knew how to change it…..I could speak that all day long…..but as in University, I could not write it!!! So………????????

    I learned how to make presentations simple one or two line statements….followed by 4 to six bullets of evidence or process or what ever. I could speak to audiences (small or large on my feet) and keep my train of thought via the presentation format. I hired writers as part of my project team, they (one in particular ) over the years taught me how to write in “Information Mapping’ and analyze what

    I read and wrote into fine points, using the same tool. It’s a simple process that kind of emulates presentation slides. So I learned to write too…wooohoooo!!!! Another good tool for ADDers, maybe???

    I guess I could go on and on but really……I gotta go wash my motorcycle, I was planning on getting that done this afternoon.!!! oh ya…..they don’t actually say ADD tools on the box or the course write ups….but if one is driven, they are out there.

    You know…….if folks want info, they just have to ask, but asking somebody who will just tell them that they are broken toys probably isn’ the best source……….I’m just sayin’.

    toofat

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    #106964
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    Anonymous
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    This is so sad. I am certainly feeling like there is nothing positive about ADD.

    I have worked really hard and instead of getting encouragement I would be told that I was lucky that anybody tolerated me.

    I’m having a really bad day/week/decade. Two days ago while visiting my hospitalized mother she asked if I had done anything about the clutter in my house.

    I like having a quick mind and I like being creative but it has gotten me NOTHING. I am middle-aged and on the verge of poverty. I live in fear of things getting worse. And despite getting diagnosed, getting medication, reading the ADD books, I still can’t read body language, I am still too trusting, and I still need but never get encouragement.

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    #106965
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Hi Bobbie40N…..your having a tough go, I hear that, I do. Not everybody has the same issues or challenges going on, we are all different, as different as you can imagine. There is no standard ADD list, that is obvious, and comparison, in my mind, doesn’t do anybody any good. We are who we are, individuals all of us!!! We have some common threads in the way our brain process(s) information, that’s all. I don’t claim to know what will work for you……I do know here are more things under the sun than ADD…some of my best…..aahh haaaa moments came from sources other than ADD sources. That’s just me though……

    Also, there are so many threads on the site…… folks having varying degrees of success with a multitude of different aids….I can only encourage you to check out as many threads as you can and investigate not where folks have failed but, where they have met with some success. It’s common to find folks who have had a great deal of success with diet plus exercise, plus counseling, plus reading self help and awareness books (not ADD specific reading either), group, and meds….meds maybe not being the answer in themselves alone, but meds in concert with those other things. But meds certainly can, and do, assist others in getting that much needed leg up. As I say, the combination of things seems to provide many people a more manageable life. Bobbie it really takes patience and time, there is no magic feather…..and, this really is a good spot for support and assistance.

    Good support from folks with good hearts….like yourself.

    toofat

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    #106966
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    billd
    Member
    Post count: 913

    @caper…. >>pete-puma: it seems like you’ve jumped from the floor of the courtroom to behind the bench. “Saying so is insulting, hurtful and ignorant”

    I’m sure you are just expressing your opinion, rather than trying to express some psychological fact, so people should keep that in mind or else they are likely to get the impression that you think you are the judge of acceptable behavior.

    I have yet to see anything written in these forums that I think was intentionally hurtful. I’ve seen some things written in what seems to be frustration or anger that could be hurtful. I’ve also seen some boasting that could be interpreted as condescending. <<

    Thanks for saying some of what I was thinking.

    In my “complaining” to friends (I do have a couple still, amazing) and colleagues, I’ve had two actually respond “what’s up with this, we view you are VERY successful and accomplished”

    If they only knew what I COULD have done………. but wasn’t able to…… it’s like Patrick in his deal about starting to respond to an email and hours later has done all these others things he thought needed doing while he was on his way to do the email – and he never got the email done. That’s ME. Everything is 11th hour – or later, if at all. I’ve got a whole shelf full of alternators and starters to restore for folks – some have been there 3 months now. Why are they not done? Folks say my restoration work is second to none………. I think it’s second rate myself, but they keep coming to me. And I’m really slow.

    We owned a business – for a while it was recognized world-wide among quilters, and we couldn’t go to a quilt show in the US without someone knowing about our store in Iowa.

    It could still be around and even bigger and better had I done what needed to be done WHEN it needed to be done.

    Our bills get paid only because of my wife.

    If it was just me, alone, etc. – I’d be poor, in debt in a shabby run-down apartment unemployed.

    No “aids” help me. One company I was with paid for and sent us to classes on things like the Franklin Planner, etc. – it went into a drawer.

    I’m trying to keep a journal at work of all things that happen. Guess what – I’ll get caught up with it some day – maybe if I think of it or FEEL LIKE doing it.

    Get me working on one of my cars – I’ll go none-stop for a whole weekend. But interrupt me, and she’s done for the day.

    How does that translate into my job? I”m ok if I decide to get started on something, but interrupt me and it’s on the shelf for another month undone.

    Again, no offense – but I agree with this quote from above……

    >>There is also the flip side of your argument that it is hurtful. You must try and understand that to those who are moderate-severe, someone claiming to do something that has been absolutely unattainable without explaining how they did it is the equivalent of someone saying “just try harder and, see, you can succeed like me.” <<

    Consider me VERY severe, I’m *lucky to be alive* – and you have no idea how STRONGLY I’m saying that. The fonts don’t go that large. I should have been shot, killed, died in a car crash, bled to death from a table saw tangle, you name it.

    Someone must believe it’s not my time. or they have something else they want me to do. Yeah, add it to my list, I might get to it! …if I feel like it :-(

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    #106967
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    Anonymous
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    @toofat, I feel like we’re in Fight Club and you’re my Tyler Durden! Or vice versa. I was very, very lucky in school. I could have very easily slipped under the radar, but I had two things going for me: I loved my dad and would have rather stood in front of a speeding freight train than disappoint him. He was dyslexic and called stupid his whole life, so I set out to prove the world wrong for both of us.

    Second, I had really, really good teachers. Some of them were harsh, others were just cut from the same cloth–funny when they had to be, angry when the needed to be. Knowing about my ADD helps me understand why I can be so damn tough sometimes and be the guy who baby talks to my dog other times. Throws my wife for a loop!

    Maybe this is why I have a more positive outlook on ADD. The passion that drives me, the humor and wit that comes with it and the quick connections I can make have all been huge factors in my success. The impulsive eating, though, that’s not helping.

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    #106968
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    Anonymous
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    toofat, thank you for your kind words. You’re a gem.

    P.S. Change your handle. I’m sure you’re adorable. In fact, I know you are because you are kind.

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    #106969
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    Anonymous
    Post count: 14412

    Hahahahahahha….that’s good Pete, thanks for the giggle!! I know what you mean..really. It could have all gone so very badly, so very easily. I also credit my Pop and my Nazi English Stepmonster for holding me to the bar so I couldn’t fall between the cracks. I had to fly right or there would be hell to pay!! I hated it but……

    But…I can’t agree more Pete…. great in-site into issues and solutions or quick connections as you call them drove my success, that and my “can so do it’ attitude or passion to “do and do exceptionally”!!!! Fact is Pete, I am not well educated never finished my Psych degree… yet all of my departmental colleagues were Phd’s and CMA’s, but, I was the “furturist” in the group, me my ADD and my “Street Creds”…..hmmmmm????

    Impulsive behavior is a double bladed axe Pete………you know that and I know that. Don’t lose sight of the fact, you are “masterful” at working and winning with what you got!!! That’s who you are!!

    Thanks Pete-P…..

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    #106970
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    Anonymous
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    Your funny Bobbie40N…….I have to be honest though, “too fat” is no reflection on me or who I am. Well, not in the way one might think. It’s actually related to my motorcycle (too lengthy to explain)…..hahahaha true!!! It’s just a term that I can recall without any effort. Thanks for your generous words though…..it kinda felt like a cyber hug, and there’s nothing wrong with that!!!

    toofat

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    #106971
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    Wgreen
    Participant
    Post count: 445

    Haven’t we had this discussion before?

    The human personality is a palimpsest. ADD is but one layer. Depending on severity, it can have a fairly subtle impact on one’s personality or a dramatic one. I think we all agree on that.

    Most of us with a severe disability present similar symptoms. We know what they are. I’m sure there are outliers—there always are—but that shouldn’t cause the rest of us to throw up our hands or recalibrate the consensus of highly credentialed researchers.

    Those of us in the Russell Barkley camp (he asserts there is absolutely no upside to ADD) don’t pitch our tents with him because of an innate fatalism, we do it because 1) he is a widely acknowledged expert in his field, 2) he speaks compellingly to laymen (people who are not mental-health clinicians), and 3) we nod our heads every time he says something—i.e., what he says consistently rings true. If eventually new research proves Dr. Barkley to be wrong, then he and those of us who are votaries will have to reassess our positions. Certainly, If somebody could tell me how my ADD has been a blessing, I’d be all ears.

    It is well-documented that ADD has crippled or ruined countless lives. As far as Dr. Barkley and his colleagues can determine, with perhaps a few notable exceptions (Robin Williams, for example), there’s no proof ADD actually has contributed in any consequential way to the success of well-known “allegedly” dopamine-challenged luminaries, much less many others who have done reasonably well. But there isn’t a control. Nor can there be. And how do we even know who really has ADD? Some website? I hear the rumors, but I rarely hear corroborating evidence. (I recently saw an allegation that Bill Clinton has “the affliction” despite the fact he was a Rhodes Scholar. But I’ve never heard the former U.S. president say, ” Hello, my name is Bill, and I have ADD.”) In any event, anecdotal stories rarely have any real materiality. If they did, I would assert categorically that ADD is a curse. Period. But I understand I am part of a much larger universe. That’s why I defer to people like Dr. Barkley and his colleagues who work over decades with statistically significant samples. As their understanding continues to improve, we all should benefit.

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    #106972
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    billd
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    Post count: 913

    Bill Clinton’s thoughts are too well organized, and he can speak so well without a teleprompter….. thinks on his feet, makes decisions, I doubt add.

    Like said – for all those claiming mr xx and mrs yy are add – where’s the diagnosis? Where’s their medical report? OR, are you speculating and stating that because they are hyper and successful that they MUST be add? They exhibit it on stage and screen – but elsewhere?

    So far I see all this name dropping, but no facts, no supporting evidence. Maybe it’s just their personality??

    Show me how it’s been an up in my life- and prove to me it was the ADHD, and not my IQ and skills I inherited, skills that my family has possessed for hundreds of years. MY brothers are in so many ways MORE successful, but don’t have ADD – so, how has it benefited me?

    If it was such a benefit to the majority of us, then why would so many of us want out from under that weight and get treatment?

    If nearly getting killed every few years a benefit? Is very poor grades and negative comments in school reports a benefit?

    If getting into trouble at work every few weeks, not being able to complete tasks a benefit?

    However, with treatment, or not even having ADHD at all – I suspect I’d actually be farther, I’d be really wowing them because I’d have accomplished so much.

    I do not agree with everything any of the doctors you’ve been discussing say – not a one of them is 100% IMO. Barkley is, however, the closest to describing me and my deepest feelings and the history of my life of anyone.

    Can anyone prove that your getting things done, your outside the box thinking, the big picture thing – can you state beyond doubt it would NOT be there without ADD? I know a lot of non-ADD folks who can do the exact same things you say you do with it – so that sort of wipes out anything that says it’s due to ADD and not in spite of ADD.

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