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Neurotypical Zombies, Myth Busters

Posted 04-26-14 at 03:16 PM by meadd823
Oh freak and frack I just read another thread about neurotypical zombies and a few others who so want to be non-ADD or what even thier paticulr problem is

I have several friends who are "neurotypical" - The first myth I wish to dispel is the notion they are zombies and any form or fashion. The second is that their life is "problem free".

Yeah they can stick to task they find boring as crap but they struggle with focusing on such tasks too - The huge difference between the unmedicated me and them is they can consciously focus their attention for a much longer period of time. They do not have unlimited ability to focus and they too must have a self referencing motivation for maintaining focus on some thing the find boring but they can consciously "will their attention span to remain on the task regardless of it's lack of personal stimulation.

A boring task can be a life or death thing for me but unmedicated my brain refuses to cooperate with my "conscious will" to focus. Medication gives me a bit more control over conscious control of what i pay attention to and for how long. IN other words medication makes me "more NT" by giving me more conscious control over my direction of focus and length of attention span in the absence of external stimulation but I still require more external stimulation that a non-ADDer.

The other difference is non-ADDers know when they are becoming distracted the moment they do so My unmedicalted self won't know I have become distracted until some time after the fact. Medication allows me to have normal function in this area and it ia one of two areas where medication actually gives me the same level of function as a non-ADDer

Redirecting their attention span after a brief break from a boring task or getting back to a project after a break is easier for them as well Based upon my observations and discussions with many "NTrs" it is because the "will to focus" is much less mentally tiring to the non-ADDer as compared to the unmedicated ADDer, even medication does not fully relieve forced focus mental fatigue but does offer some improvement in my ability to "will myself' to return my attention to a task after a brief break.

This brings me to the last difference I have noticed between ADDers and NTers and it is one of the major difference is the concept of time. NTers seem to have a internal sense of absolute time and can more easily gauge how much as passed regardless of activity. My unmedicated self has no freaking concept of time passage in an absolute sense as to me time is relative - The passage of time is relative to the level of stimulation. Even among those who deny having ADD I have noticed they struggle with time perception -

Addicted to watch wearing constantly looking at an external time piece or memorizing specific external indicators such a train schedules, bus routes, or the sound of traffic flow. At my house traffic picks up noticeable at 6:30 am on week-days as I Live out in the country and this is the time most who commune to the city leave.

Many "time challenged" folks have been doing this so long they do not even realize they are doing it but it is still an external way of being aware of time passage because the internal mechanism that is suppose to track time is missing or broken.

For my money I believe ADD behaviors will eventually be tied into the portion of our brains dealing with time perception hence the difficulty many of us have with sleeping, shifting gears, socializing, procrastination ect ect

Medication give me a better access to the ability to be aware of absolute time but even then it must be a conscious things because it still is not natural for me.

While forgetfulness and impulsive actions can be the problem with some if not all ADDs they both relate to conscious choice of direction of our attention and length of said focus.

Attention difficulties are not just limited to the external expression but also include the internal attention span.

We must be able to "will" our attention span in a specific direction when it comes to our thought process as well in order to fully process thoughts and ideas. We must be able to focus long enough to dismiss one idea, elaborate upon another, and decide whether or not to express the ideas to others.

I loose my car all the time but have discovered if I want to I can actually remember where I parked my car The trick is to remember to remember, it also helps if I remember to remember which car I drove as remembering where I parked the wrong car isn't very helpful either. NTers do this automatically most of the time -however it may be worth noting they too fail to remember where they parked. If this did not happen to NTers they never would have designed those panic buttons on electronic keys. While ADDer may forget most of the time every one forgets often enough for the panic button to be included on most auto electronic locking devices.

The last myth I wish to bust here is the silly notion that NTers some how have fewer problems than ADDers - While they may have different problems they still have problems and weak areas to over come - The reason their problems seem so much easier to deal with than our own is simple , their problems are not ours.

This is the root of NTer dismissive attitudes when it comes to ADD struggles as well as ADDers desire to be non-ADD.

It should be noted that minimizing problems we do not experience or have been lucky enough to over come easily is a human thing not specifically a NTer or ADD thing.

Problem that are not ours to solve or those we have already resolved are easier then the ones we have to face or we find particularly difficult to over come. This is the arena where as humans we have more in common than we do different.

NTers make stupid choices in life. Contrary to many of the myths circulating around this site not all NTers can hold down jobs, not all have good relationships with spouses or children, some NTers suck at school work. The point is while some problems are harder for ADDer to over come when compared to non-ADDers NOT all of our problem are related to being ADD. BY and large most problems occur because we are alive in this dimensional plane called physical existence.

If ADD were the sole reason for bad choices only ADDers would make bad choices and this simply isn't the case. Plenty of non-ADDers make stupid choices, say hurtful things unaware and fail miserably at being "perfect" in social situations.

This is the thing I have against Barkley He blames way to much on ADD and not enough on life as a human being. Prime example is the death of his brother who was killed when he rolled his vehicle. Barkley claims it was his ADD that killed him, I call cow flop . . . . he was drinking and driving. If you drink and drive you are more likely than some one who isn't intoxicated to cause harm to your self and others irregardless of ADD or the lack there of.

Blaming ADD for things that are not related prevents us from being able to address the actual problem - In Barkely's brothers case it would be alcohol and operation of a motor vehicle. There are NTers choose to drink and drive, and they will cause the same problems as ADDer who drink and drive

While many think of Barkley as some variety of objective expert on ADD one must realize when reading his work he is far from objective. In my personal opinion he places to much of the wrong stuff at the feet of a diagnosis called ADD thus avoiding the struggles faced by ADDers as humans with a specific set of inherent weaknesses that are defined as weakness by our enviroment and current social expectations.

Those who tend to subscribe to hiding behind the ADD label tend to be seen as using their ADD as an excuse . . to an extent you are. Yes ADD prevents us from being able to do some of the things non-ADDers can but it is up to us as adults to carve out an existence that is "us" friendly.

Bad decisions can and do harm other people regardless of whether said decision or behavior was made due to having an ADD diagnosis or qualifying for it. Ugly comments hurt feelings of NTer and ADDers alike.

Medication can help some of us over come some of the weakness such as time awareness or ability to focus on things we find stupid but in the long run meds only offer us awareness of the problem It is up to us as members of a society to take personal responsibility for screw ups and look for ways to circumvent our weakens and find use of our strengths.

Despite our ADD traits or diagnosis we as adults must learn the art of cohabitation with in our society and figure out how to function in our specific communities.

MY husband whom I find frustrating is an ADDer living in the river of denial - He can not hold down a job working for another so he invented his own without the assistance a label or the medication that comes with it. . . For a long time I saw him doing it all wrong but over the years have come to accept this as his choice of being. It is right for him.

I have chosen to acquire the ADD diagnostic label and use the medication made available because of it - He encourages me to take my meds because he functions better when I do - irony at it's finest.

The biggest value was learning there is no right way or wrong way of being - there is however a degree of choice when it comes to deciding what is right for us as individuals.

If it works don't fix it, if it's broken take it apart lose half the pieces and devise a different approach.
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