View Full Version : Why diagnosis is on the rise, and why it will get higher.


ronball
03-27-17, 01:34 AM
There's a lot of skepticism about ADHD, even though there's plenty of evidence surrounding it.

There's also a lot of social stigma that's incredibly damaging to people actually impaired by the disorder. I was one of those people, and actually gained confidence with my diagnosis through confirmation bias; specifically this community about 8 years ago.

That said, it's actually became clear to me as a reason why ADHD diagnosis are increasing....as the naysayers are so concerned with that fact.

No, it doesn't have anything to do with vaccines or food choices [although food choices can reduce symptoms-for me, with ketosis diets]. It's something much more basic, and tied to a shift in culture and society itself.

I'm 32 years old now, was a surveyor for the past 7 years in Alberta's oil patch. The hits from 2015 on has kept me unemployed...and me being me, I can't work an un-stimulating job. So I went back to school. Specifically, electrical engineering technology.

In one of my classes, I had an instructor who seemed to have such a wide variety of experiences within our field. He was experienced in just about everything. He talked a lot...to the point where he'd get in the way of our work. He was always happy to help, would stick around after classes if people had questions...and was very easy to throw in a tangent. It was almost impossible to make any sort of discussion with him, because he was just so over committed to getting his own thoughts out. This guy was shouting out all of the classic symptoms of ADHD.

I talked to him more and more about my own shortcomings, and struggles, but it seemed distant to the struggles he had himself. We lived in completely different worlds, even though our symptoms were linked. I heard so many stories from the different fields he was in...it got me thinking to my own self, and how I differed from him.

I too was very experienced in my own field as a Surveyor. I've worked on the tundra, and up in the Yukon. I've done legal, construction, industrial construction, mineral claims, jobs in such remote locations where I've needed an ATV for 80% of the work [or on snowmobiles]. I've had jobs where I've been flown in by helicopters or float planes...I've had the joyous experiences of almost killing myself cutting down trees-seriously, that's a rush-. Vast amounts of experience that I required to keep me interested. I've worked in more than half the provinces in so many roles that you'd never know I only got out of school in 2006-2007.


His work experience seemed similar to mine in terms of diversity, but there was one underlying condition that kept us both moving: boredom. Once we learned everything there was, we needed something to keep us going.

The difference between us lies in the times of our generations. I have so many more things available to me to distract me. I can accurately state that since I was born before computers became rampant. Being raised in the late 80's an early 90's gave me a perspective that maybe modern kids don't have. It's almost like the late 90's was the period where things transitioned into the modern time of technology that we all enjoy today.

What's different now, is that people had to go out to socialize back then. They didn't have all these distractions at home [or even phones] that pull us away that we do today.

I don't go out to socialize too often because of my introvert nature. But that's only because I can find adequate stimulation at home. I can learn about anything with the internet, get bogged down with videogames. I can download books to read within minutes. It requires significantly less effort for me to get my ''boredom mind'' to shut up then it would have taken a generation before me. I have a dedicated group of friends that I play games with. My attention may bounce all over the place, but my home gives me the environment I need to cater to my whims.

He didn't have that luxury. He had to go out and find things to keep him busy and interested. He had to socialize, and he'd much rather be in a less-than-optimal social setting than being completely driven to madness with boredom at home. It lead him to a variety of experiences that modern ADHDer's can't see today...because that comfort mechanism we have prevents us from gaining new experiences like he did.

I mean think about it this way: If my boredom threshold is as low as it is, I'd be more likely to approach strangers, take on more dangerous work, and explore even more than I do already. But I have the choice to NOT do that. Why go out with new people, if I know I can be stimulated at home watching cartoons, chatting on forums, and jumping onto a videogame? The certainty of accommodating my boredom exists there....it isn't guaranteed in new experiences.

It's not surprising he didn't need medication to normalize. He was fortunate enough to have a stable household while growing up to pursue his interests, and the intellect to back him up. Not everyone is afforded with that luxury.

Modern ADHDer's like myself, are all too aware of the stimulation we can get from modern tech. Phones, the internet, videogames all these things pull us away from experiencing things, because its much easier to rely on the pull of technology, then the hit-or-miss stimulation you get from being with others.

Eventually, that will have a toll on our generation, and people like myself. If I resided in a day where I didn't have that safety net to fall back on, I would have most likely been driven to find my own stimulation through outside sources while interacting with society. It's possible that I may not have required medication.

As time increases the people who are like me and rely on technology to satiate boredom, the more likely the ''drive'' that exists in ADHD will be repressed. As that ''drive'' is repressed, the more likely other co-morbid conditions will start to have an impact on our lives. Things like depression.

The way society is structured right now, will only leave people like me feeling that hole of our ''drive'' being suppressed, and will absolutely lead to more diagnosis's. ADHD'ers live and thrive in risky situations...but modern ADHDer's don't have to make the choice between risk and boredom anymore. We've got technology that removes our need to have to choose between two undesirable things. It's a double edged sword though, because the less risk we expose ourselves to, in the long run...the more damaging it can be for us. [Unless you're one of those miracle ADHDers who can stay passionate about something...how I envy you]

Even people that have much more milder forms of ADHD [or even normal people] are most likely feeling a similar strain that I do as a veteran ADHDer. It's something that society as a whole faces, but it's something that is amplified in ADHDers.

I think it's important to recognize any of the counter-points to what the naysayers do say; just as much as it is important to recognize and acknowledge their points that may be valid for each specific case.

What I don't like to see, is so many people jumping on this bandwagon trying to dismiss the legitimate struggles people with ADHD have, and stop trying to blame it on drug fishing.

The social stigma had me second guessing my diagnosis for so long that it lead me down an extremely harmful path. That confirmation bias I got through this community helped me accept my diagnosis [and I hope it does the same for anyone on the fence] and slowly pull away the bad habits that have held me back. That growth is what helped me recognize what I'm explaining in this thread. Don't believe everything the naysayers say...because they haven't put themselves in our shoes to be able to understand where the answers to such questions come in the first place.

Pilgrim
03-27-17, 11:31 AM
I always knew I was different from the norm but just tried to grow from it. I think modern technology can be a real distraction that wastes time and something adders have to comprehend.

One thing that really troubles me personally is that I didn't strike out more and this is terminal. Maybe you right in regard to why more people are being diagnosed these days.
This teacher you mention I wish I was more his generation because I think society wasn't so rigid. I feel sorry for the youth of today.

Cyllya
03-27-17, 11:44 PM
I'm having trouble following your post, but after some pondering, I think your train of thought is this:
Since some ADHD medications are called "stimulants," anything that can be considered "stimulating" will help with ADHD symptoms.
Extroverted activities are more stimulating than introverted activities, so being an introvert makes ADHD symptoms more severe.
Modern technology has increased the availability of introverted entertainment activities. This has caused people to become more introverted because, in the past, people had to resort to extroverted activities to stave off boredom.

Am I understanding correctly?

I gotta say I vehemently disagree with every part of that.

I agree that the people are ignorant snots if they think ADHD is some kind of fake condition we pretend to have so we can get inappropriate benefits from prescription drugs. But a lot of those ignorant snots scapegoat technology too.

dvdnvwls
03-28-17, 12:13 AM
I don't believe that any "drive" exists within ADHD, except the hyperactive need to continue moving. I don't think treating hyperactivity is at all equal to suppressing our "drive".

sarahsweets
03-28-17, 01:44 AM
What's different now, is that people had to go out to socialize back then. They didn't have all these distractions at home [or even phones] that pull us away that we do today.
I think this is an issue that has exploded in the last 5 year. With social media and everything being a Tweet away, it does seem like there is a great divide between the adhd'rs of the 21st century and the 20th century.


He didn't have that luxury. He had to go out and find things to keep him busy and interested. He had to socialize, and he'd much rather be in a less-than-optimal social setting than being completely driven to madness with boredom at home. It lead him to a variety of experiences that modern ADHDer's can't see today...because that comfort mechanism we have prevents us from gaining new experiences like he did. I was born in 75 and remember the playing outside thing and not coming home until the street lamps were on. I think a lot of people now have issues with self soothing and being comfortable with themselves because of this.


It's not surprising he didn't need medication to normalize. He was fortunate enough to have a stable household while growing up to pursue his interests, and the intellect to back him up. Not everyone is afforded with that luxury.

I dont think you can say that he didnt need medication. I know I did but I was in a situation that my parents didnt know about adhd so even though I had a diagnosis,its did little in the way of treatment.



Eventually, that will have a toll on our generation, and people like myself. If I resided in a day where I didn't have that safety net to fall back on, I would have most likely been driven to find my own stimulation through outside sources while interacting with society. It's possible that I may not have required medication.

I think the benefits of meds are there no matter how your childhood was or how the present is. I think we all could have benefited from meds.


The way society is structured right now, will only leave people like me feeling that hole of our ''drive'' being suppressed, and will absolutely lead to more diagnosis's. ADHD'ers live and thrive in risky situations...but modern ADHDer's don't have to make the choice between risk and boredom anymore. We've got technology that removes our need to have to choose between two undesirable things. It's a double edged sword though, because the less risk we expose ourselves to, in the long run...the more damaging it can be for us. [Unless you're one of those miracle ADHDers who can stay passionate about something...how I envy you]

mildadhd
03-31-17, 10:16 PM
Are statistics on the rise where you live?







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