Collin McCauley

Student, Saint John's University

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ADD and ADHD aren't becoming more common. It's our current and changing society that creates this perception.

Many of these cases appear to be diagnosed when a student is having trouble focusing in school or daily life, but our curriculums are stretching over more and more years while we have to wait longer and longer to begin actual application. Also, much of what we consider application these days in information-oriented fields has more to do with working with files on a computer screen than actual application, virtually no tactile or kinesthetic skills are needed. It's not surprising that more of us are finding it harder to concentrate. I'm not saying ADD and ADHD isn't a definable condition of the brain, but I'm more inclined to believe this problem is caused by our society moving in the wrong direction. These conditions describe personalities that don't run parallel with the way our society is structured. We seem to be diagnosing a set of individuals with a certain personality type, one that's undesirable in our society, giving it a name, and calling it a problem. In short, I believe our perception of the problem of ADD, ADHD, and other psychological disorders is the actual problem; our society structure needs to become more inclusive to different types of people, not try and change them.

  • Mar 21 2014: Take a child who had been use to playing where they want and doing what they want when they want and then put that same kid behind a desk for 6 hours and expect them to stayed focused? I think that would be very hard to do. The sad lack of other stimuli such as make believe and crafts etc, I somehow wonder if the loss of this has adversely affected us as well.
  • Mar 19 2014: I agree with you. I think our society has been moving in the wrong direction for decades.
    I don't believe add/ADHD people even need to be labeled. They are simply people who concentrate in different ways and need an education system geared to their method of concentration. We are currently trying to fit all types of people into mainstream education and expecting the same result. And if not all people/children behave in the same manner we need to find some sort of label that excuses the education system from achieving milestones with that particular child/person.

    With each new generation there is greater awareness and therefore people and children are no longer going to sit still and learn their lesson, they are going to rebel. Is this ADHD or another mechanism at play which is demanding a different system from the current one they are being suppressed by.

    Perhaps these children and adults are not attension deficit, but are demanding a different type of environment to give their attention to. Drugs are certainly not the answer, but wouldn't the gov love us all to be on compliance drugs just to make their control measures easier to implement.
  • Mar 20 2014: I believe ADD and ADHD are true conditions. We ignored it and/or it was under diagnosed. It became "popular"

    1. it was easy for doctors to put children under chemicals.
    2. It was easy for teachers to put children under chemicals rather than teach
    3. It was requested by parents (in some cases demanded) when schools started giving students with ADD/ADHD simpler test or more time for standardized tests to get better scores and grades with less work.
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      Mar 20 2014: Thanks for your input. I also believe that they are true conditions, just not necessarily problems in the way that we see them. I view them more as symptoms of problems within our society, though I would evaluate it on a case by case basis. In other words, I regard them as conditions just as much as I do someone with an aggressive, care-free, or quiet personality. People with these disorders simply have a personality that doesn't mesh with the society that we've constructed around them; and we're still moving in a direction that's contrary to the conditions that they would flourish under. I also don't think this discrepancy is unique to people with these diagnosed disorders; they are simply the individuals who are most observably out-of-step with the society that we've constructed.