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What do you know about Attention Deficit (Hyper) Disorder(ADD/ADHD) and what is your view on the issue?

I am curious to find out if this is a big issue. If so, then is this just a social construct for people who are lazy or is this an actual medical/psychological issue that needs attending to. I am looking for as many facts, observations, scientific knowledge, first hand stories, etc. about all of the issue. I need to expand my perspective on this issue. Hopefully with your help, I can figure out what I can personally conclude about my own diagnosis of ADHD and if it is all in my head or I have no control of certain things I do.

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  • Apr 13 2012: As a sufferer of ADHD, I can tell you from personal experience that the grading system is absolutely flawed in every respect. It has a tendency to reward individuals who demonstrate a capacity for discipline in repetitve activity rather than creative capcity. This systemic bias prefers those who follow orders rather than those who create new paradigms of thought, a consequence of the current (at least in the United States) educational system's ideological origins in the industrial revolution. Of particular trouble is how tedious and very trivial assignments compose a large faction of students' grades in a class that are nothing more than regurgitation.

    In high school my GPA was a 2.33, and in my University I am not currently performing much better.
  • Mar 18 2012: the only problem i face today is when i stop practicing the meditation, the symptoms start showing up again and my old habits would come back. as long as i practice it daily, i remain calm, confident and focussed. when i try to evaluate the damage caused by the disorders in my life, i think i never could perform upto my potential. but i am happy that atleast now I've found the solution.
  • Mar 17 2012: I'm diagnosed as having ADD (Introvert, Daydreamer)

    I've read up on ADD, it's all legit for most part. What I think is missing is the perspective of whole that for example Asperger Syndrome got to a much greater extent that attempts to acknowledge strengths and weaknesses at the same time. That makes it difficult for the ordinary person to take ADD/ADHD seriously, as anyone can be hyper, distracted etc. And I agree! The definition of ADD/ADHD is atrocious, it doesn't say squat aside from the very generic list of symptoms.

    www.TotallyADD.com got it right I think though, you're not diagnosed with cancer, you're just not normal by definition. But that does in no way mean that a person with ADD or ADHD for example never can become scientists. It's harder, but it's never impossible. Working with both strengths and weaknesses is important for everyone, it's just that ADD/ADHD is a different label, or as I view it, a different kind of personality that may or may not cause problem with today's society/school.

    To really get to the bottom of the issue I think that we have to start acknowledge ADD/ADHD as certain personality types gone wrong. From there we could probably do wonders I believe, but psychiatry is so focused on the negative aspects (as it's their job) that I think they are missing a key feature. An Aspie could potentially live her life just fine without a diagnose for example, and it's nothing wrong with that.

    Don't bother at all with views of ADD/ADHD as a disease it doesn't help you even the slightest, go look up things like writings by Thom Hartmann instead that provides more of a context.

    And I think previously we were contempt calling someone "artist" or maybe even "dancer" and just accepted fundamental differences in a very different way. We need to bring back the positive aspects of such a view and incorporate it to our current views of people. If we do, great things are bound to happen.
  • Mar 18 2012: last year when i studied about mental disorders in detail, i observed that that i had shown symptoms of many disorders in the past. ADHD was one of them. although i was good academically, i used to remain very agitated and reactive. i couldnt focus at the task at my hand for long if it wasnt interesting for me. luckily 2 years back i learned a meditation technique. i think it has helped me to focus better and changed my behaviour completely.
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      Mar 20 2012: Do you have a link or description of this meditation?
      • Mar 20 2012: Yes. The meditation technique I learned is known as "Vipassana". You can google it. It's a well known technique. This technique is more associated with Buddhist philosophy. The teachers claim that Vipassana is the same meditation technique which Gautam Budhha had originally invented. It's one of the rigorous of all the meditation techniques presently taught. During the course we have to spend 10 days at the meditation center without speaking with anyone and only required to observe oneself as per the instructions of teachers. You can read better description on their website. I found it to be a combination of psychoanalytical and cognitive psychotherapies. I've seen people successfully giving up their long term habits by following this technique. One may be required to attend more than one courses for better results. After going through their website, if you have any doubt please let me know.
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          Mar 20 2012: Thanks for the help and I will let you know. =)

          It is funny, you are both an atheist and a buddihst?
      • Mar 20 2012: By birth I am a Hindu, but by now I've developed strong belief in Buddhist principles. I dont believe in god. I believe that Gautam Buddha was a common man just like you and me. And he never believed in worshiping God too. It's an irony that his followers made him a god and created number of statues all around the world. The one thing I like about the Buddhism is, they only ask people to follow the Buddhist principles and not to change their original religion.
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          Mar 21 2012: Ahh....beautifully put Girish. I now have a deeper meaning of buddhism, they are more of a guiding light. I believe that all religions teach principles as well and I am facinated by that, but the spiritual aspect can sometimes be a daunting factor to fathom. Some religious extremist really boil my blood. =P
      • Mar 21 2012: I think, Extremist people are found in almost all religions. It's upto us what we want to take from them.
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          Mar 22 2012: Such is life. We should see all and take in all knowledge that comes our way, but one should know how to filter what makes ethical, logical, and practical sense. =)
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          Mar 22 2012: Oh, and by the way, I checked out "Vipassana". I am very interested in trying out one of their 10 day retreats. Thanks for letting me know about it. =)
      • Mar 26 2012: You are welcome Derek... I will just suggest you to attend this course with open mind without any preconceptions and be ready to take whatever you observe to be correct by your own experience...
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    Mar 18 2012: I recently decided I'd like to undertake my PGCE (UK graduate teaching qualification). Before enrolling you have to gain practical classroom experience, so I took a teaching assistant role in a primary school. I helped oneto-one with a dyslexic child in year 6 (that's 10 /11 year olds). Towards the end of the academic year, a friend of the boy I worked with sidled up to me and discloseed, as a matter of pride, that he’d just been diagnosed with ADHD. I was totally astonished as I'd never suspected his behaviour as been anything other than normal. There were several other children I would have put ahead of the queue for that label! I checked it out with the class teacher and she confirmed it. Are we too keen to label kids?
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      Mar 18 2012: I think people in general have a tendency to want to label everything. We have to put these labels to feel like things have a meaning, but it is the individual that is either affected or not affected by it. So possibly, we should learn to patiently observe before concluding things, but kids are usually subject to the parents views, beliefs, and values. We as the product of our parents must decode the very fabric of our being to be able to understand the reason for what is our own and what is from others, then we can decide whether that it is "this" or "that".

      Education is important, but schools and books aren't the only place where you can get educated, though it very much helps a lot in that aspect.
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    Mar 17 2012: From what I read I am forming the view that some children are diagnosed as having ADD / ADHD quite simply because they are by nature highly active, and they are being expected to conform to an extremely sedentary norm.

    That's not to say that the problem doesn't exist, but it is being used as a convenient label for those who find it dfficult to behave like one particular stereotype. The result is detrimental both to those who genuinely have the problem and to those who are incorrectly labelled.
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      Mar 17 2012: I have a similar notion, and I really dislike when someone minimizes the issue as a social issue or they use it as a crutch to get what they want in life.
  • Mar 17 2012: I have ADD and have been anything but lazy in my life, in fact I've been working since I was 12 years old. I have trouble concentrating, paying attention for a long period of time and keeping interested. Medication helps with ths but does not take it away. This is not the only mental health diagnosis I have and the others don't help, but ADD is definitely real. However, I feel that the medical profession is over diagnosing our children and medicating them needlessly.
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      Mar 17 2012: So how do you feel about yourself and the medication you take? Do you act or think different when you are off your medications, and if so, then how does it change?

      I heard that some medications they give to ADD/ADHD patients are addictive. Do you have that type of reliance if you are taking that specific medication?
      • Mar 18 2012: I feel quite good about myself and don't feel the least bit odd. My main diagnosis is schizophrenia, much more serious, but that hasn't held me back either. I own my own home, car and I am well employed working with other people with mental illness. I wrote 8 trainings that I give on how to cope and how to build a life for yourself. As for the medications I take, some are addicting some are not, it really doesn't matter to me if it takes my symptoms away. I never go off my medications, to do so would make me ill again, these are not illnesses to play around with. I guess I'm getting a little deeper than the question so I'll go now. But before I go I would say to you that if you have ADD/ADHD I would get treated for it.
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          Mar 18 2012: Thank You very much for sharing such personal aspects of your life. I don't mind deviations from the questions, as long as it comes full circle to the initial idea. I feel that depth is good. I am but a curious individual that asks a lot of questions and sometimes I experiment, but other things I can't experiment, so I ask others that are in a certain situation. I am glad to hear that your doing well, and my case has yet to be determined as super severe, but they said that as of now I am only moderately affected by ADD/ADHD according to the tests. They advised me to gain more skills through special courses at school and read up on ADD/ADHD. So, I guess this is me "reading up on ADD/ADHD", for now. =)
          Thanks Again!