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-   -   Adult ADD/ADHD vs. ABF (Alternative Brain Function) (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11832)

MovingOn 10-18-04 06:43 PM

Adult ADD/ADHD vs. ABF (Alternative Brain Function)
 
As I read these forums the diversity of symptoms and the numbers of people being diagnosed as ADD/ADHD is causing me to think more and more that what we are all referring to could be called something else that has less social stigma and could actually be viewed as an asset for certain careers. Hallowell addressed the subject in his books. We have an Alternative Brain Function. Some of us are able to pass thru life unscathed and successful while others drift in the wind seeming to never find land. Let a clinical depression set in and what was once manageable quirkiness becomes life altering excesses.

I myself avoided getting the correct help for 5 years because I had only my nephew's ADHD to compare my ADD symptoms to. Whereas had my nephew's therapist suggested I might be checked for ABF, I can guarantee that I would have looked that up on line right away, not 5 years later when my life was in a shambles! Also maybe this would force those lazy doctors that want to say ADD/ADHD in adults doesn't exist to wake up and study a new finding or two!!

Am I really off-base or does anyone else understand what I'm trying to say? And maybe you can say it better!

SB_UK 10-19-04 02:13 AM

Hi,

I understand exactly what you've written and especially after a discussion with one of the members of our site on this forum, I myself now accept that ADD is not a disorder, but in fact quite the opposite.
All that's important to me, is that I understand what my ADD will allow me to do and what it will prevent me from doing -- and so by employing crutches to assist me in organization and time-keeping .... ie a PDA :-) ... and by taking real steps to minimize stress ... too many to mention :-) ... I am freed to enjoy the many advantages that ADD offers and there really are **many**.

I no longer take stimulant medication and like ADDlife!

Hyperfocus is my best friend, a need to minimize boring tasks.. a great drive to finish them quickly,racing thoughts....a boon in conversations and drive to learn, zoning out in day-to-day life .... daily meditation etc....

There's always a flipside to a coin - it's just a case of looking :-)

So ... alternative brain function is a better description of ADD than 'ADD', but not only because it lacks the pejorative undertones of a term which contains the word 'deficit'.

SB.

symbol 10-19-04 06:31 AM

i like alternative brain function, though it is a rather broad term and could be applied to many different conditions that could also be considered alternative brain functionings. The term ADD and ADHD hardly describes the condition that i have had all my life...I dont think there is an attention problem at all..nor have i ever been hyperactive except perhaps in my mind. I think it is high time that the term ADD/ADHD be reclassified in the way that leprosy was renamed hansen's disease due to the stigma attatched. I dont think that ADD is a mental disease, its not as though we are crazy, though we would never be mainstream.. I am trying to think of a groovy alternative that would sound good but my daughter is talking to me begging me to come out with her so i will try to think of one later...maybe we should start a new thread with possible alternatives! I always think of mine as Amphetamine Deficiency Disease but what about the people who are taking other meds...so that one doesnt count.

Trooper Keith 10-19-04 07:46 AM

I am taking the counter-opinion here...I strongly disagree with any advocacy of changing the names of disorders or diseases. Much like "mental retardation" has gone through, and will continue to go through, many changes in names, ADD is at risk of doing. We cannot allow this kind of discrepancy to occur.

Changing terms, especially to ambiguous ones such as "ABF," is risky. Alternatie Brain Function, what does that mean? It means the brain functions atypically, correct? That applies to every single psychopathology there is. That's the DEFINITION of psychopathologies.

ADHD is a disorder wherein an individual suffers deficits in their attentional skills, and it is often accompanied with hyperactivity. I think not one of us here can say that they don't suffer deficits in their attentional abilities in their daily lives.

I don't understand why it is that people are offended and feel it necessary to change names of things to fit things. While it is unfortunate, we must admit that we do have a disorder. Our brains function abnormally, in such a way as to impair us and give the advantage to other people. As such, we have a disorder. Unfortunate though that may be, it is true.

Looking to change the name to something else will not change the fact. There will be a stigma attached eventually, because the stigma is attached to the concept, not to the words. We must learn, therefore, to deal with our disorder, rather than excuse it as a "difference."

Thanks for this thread, because posting this allowed me to get warmed up for the persuasive speech I am giving in under an hour on this very topic. :)

charlie 10-19-04 08:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KMiller
.

Thanks for this thread, because posting this allowed me to get warmed up for the persuasive speech I am giving in under an hour on this very topic. :)

Hey check back in after your speech and let us know how it went, ok?!

Trooper Keith 10-19-04 09:46 AM

Speech went well, I went on for 13 minutes about it...which is longer than I should have, but shorter than my last one, so I'm getting better at that. I was less organized, and I'm pretty sure I'll get a lower grade than on my last one, but it's ok. I was at least enthused and energetic. Thanks for caring! :)

symbol 10-19-04 09:52 AM

ahhh im back, two glasses of absinthe later....and still i have no new name for ADD/ADHD, im wondering how kmillers lecture went. ahhh okADDhmmmm *thinking* association of divergent dilemmmas...erm, ok without the acronym, um 'the people not to be underestimated" yupp that one is what i am thinking TPoLNTBU...i know its a lotta letters but i hate the ADD/ADHD stereotype...i really dont run around like a chook with its head cut off and thats the lable ADD/ADHD has here in australia. Maybe not in the medical community but certainly in the wider community where stereotpyes are created to provide order in peoples lives. Not sure about the USofA. I dont know about brains functioning abnormally, what if its a normal variation...i mean, it doesnt kill us and can be beneficial under certain circumstances so is it a 'disorder"?.
I think about this story i heard about these moths in england...most of them were white, but there were some grey/black ones which were of lesser numbers but still existed...when the industrial revolution happened, a lot of soot from coal was released into the atmosphere..the white moths became more visible to predators and they soon were devoured but the darker coloured ones suddenly thrived....no moth was genetically superior, and eventually it was environmental factors...not genetic superiority that made the darker moths more sucessful. The black moths, though fewer to begin with were not suffering an affliction, just not in their element. The white moths when not in their element did not suddenly become less efficiet, only more visible. Yes im rambling forgive me but there are too many variables in the ADD/ADHD paradigm and i dont think a label helps in the understanding of the condition.

Alex 10-19-04 12:23 PM

IMHO, this won't help anything. All that will happen is that, in two years (or less), the exact same stigma that once was attached to ADD will be attached to the new term ABF. The stigma is there because of the societal opinion of the condition, not because of the term.

Compare to kids, and insults. (Do not take offense to the following, I list them only as my recollection of the terms and not meaning them in any way to any individual, real or theoretical)
It started off with you being called stupid. And kids called each other stupid to insult each other. Then, they thought that was harsh, so they started calling them slow. And kids started calling each other slow, as insults. Then they moved to retarded, which is really a fancy way of saying slow. And again, kids started calling each other retarded. So it was changed to special or special needs. And I can still recall kids calling each other "special" with that mocking tone of insult. And so on, through challenged, to whatever the current paradigm is.

The problem isn't the term. The term is meaningless except as it describes something. And the insult is implying that the other person is that something. So regardless of how you change the term, it will very quickly earn the exact same stigma and aura of insult as any previous term held. Go ahead, find out what the current term-of-the-day is, and go call a coworker it. Bet you get punched. Regardless of how supposedly neutral and nonconfrontational the term may be.

Same deal here. The stigma isn't the three or four letters. It's the massive upswelling of diagnosis combined with a very real fear of overmedicating kids who don't need it. Now, the reality is this has likely always been here, or is suffering an upswing for the same kind of unknown reasons as asthma has been lately. But because it's less dangerous and obvious as asthma (I haven't heard of anyone dying from ADD yet, not directly), and because it's being targeted heavily at kids, there's growing suspicion and fear in the general population regarding the condition. Changing the term to ABF just means that the exisiting suspicion and fear will be directed at ABF sufferers, and nobody but historians will mention the ADD term again.

notnow 10-19-04 12:51 PM

As an outsider to ADHD until about a month ago, I would vote for some kind of change in terminology or in a MASSIVE public education drive. Up until a month ago, I thought ADHD only happened in children and that they outgrew it. I thought that its main symptom was a kid who couldn't sit still in his chair and was always getting in trouble for disrupting the class. I had NO IDEA that it could occur in adults and I am sure that is the opinion held by the majority of the population.

Just imagine how many people there are out there still that are affected by ADHD and do not know the reason they feel so bad? I just happened across an article about ADHD in adults on MSNBC last month. Where would I be if I had not seen that article? What if I could have seen something similar 10 years ago? What if college professors knew enough about its symptoms to recognize it in their students? Too many people are falling through the cracks to maintain the status quo.

SB_UK 10-19-04 02:30 PM

Hi,

With many disorders/conditions there are strict guidelines regarding diagnosis, with 'hard' or 'harder' biochemical tests forming a component. ADD is far more difficult to categorically diagnose than eg RA. At some point and probably soon, we'll get more of a clue into the pathogenesis of ADD and the various sub-types which exist under the ADD umbrella. If we were to find that all ADDers shared a dopamine insensitivity...and that this always and only precedes the spectrum of effects we associate with ADD - including attention, focus, concentration problems .. then I wouldn't have any problem with a name change to eg dopamine insensitivity syndrome. It doesn't bother me excesively - but why only use the attention deficit component of ADD to label the disease?...there are many other accepted components ... some considered negative and others positive by the general population. Also, although some diseases are named based on a Greek or Latin description of the end effect of the disease, I personally don't much like disorders named in English and especially, where the English has a common parlance meaning. The problem that I have with this is, that the disorder/condition can be devalued by people who can then make statements like ... 'I think I've got Attention Deficit Disorder because I can't concentrate on lectures after lunch.' You don't have these misuse problems with disease like ankylosing spondylitis :-)
So - I guess I'm not too worried about it really, but I'd like to see a lovely medically accurate complex Greek term for the condition ... but then again ... :-)

SB.

SB.

Trooper Keith 10-19-04 03:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex
IMHO, this won't help anything. All that will happen is that, in two years (or less), the exact same stigma that once was attached to ADD will be attached to the new term ABF. The stigma is there because of the societal opinion of the condition, not because of the term.

Thank you Alex, that was the gist of my speech today, with the same example you used. :)

Alex 10-19-04 11:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KMiller
Thank you Alex, that was the gist of my speech today, with the same example you used. :)

I am firmly convinced that Orwell was right, and "political correctness" is Newspeak.

MovingOn 10-27-04 01:54 PM

I guess in my original suggestion, I wasn't trying to be politically correct, only that I don't think of it as a disorder and I don't believe that anyone should. It is obvious that the world benefits greatly from our problem solving skills, etc. Its just that due to the fact that our brains process info a bit differently in order to provide superior problem solving skills for instance, when we are confronted with depression for example, things begin to go haywire in a way different from the other brain types.

I also benefit greatly from being able to hyperfocus, therefore saying that I am attention defecit doesn't make any sense and doesn't accurately describe my abilities.

Basically, I DESPISE political correctness!!!

SB_UK 10-27-04 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MovingOn
, when we are confronted with depression for example, things begin to go haywire in a way different from the other brain types.

Some of the problem aspects of ADD - are similar to problems caused by depression and anxiety - eg poor short term memory/concentration problems/thought incoherence etc...
I agree with you, and think we suffer from particular problems when ADD and anxiety/depression co-exist because of this - ie our thought processes are being disrupted by 2 conditions assailing the same processes... a double whammy, I guess.

SB.

bunnystar 10-27-04 02:41 PM

I completely agree with you KMiller. Although I would like to look at it as a good thing, logically I just accept it for what it is.

Quote:

Originally Posted by KMiller
I am taking the counter-opinion here...I strongly disagree with any advocacy of changing the names of disorders or diseases. Much like "mental retardation" has gone through, and will continue to go through, many changes in names, ADD is at risk of doing. We cannot allow this kind of discrepancy to occur.

Changing terms, especially to ambiguous ones such as "ABF," is risky. Alternatie Brain Function, what does that mean? It means the brain functions atypically, correct? That applies to every single psychopathology there is. That's the DEFINITION of psychopathologies.

ADHD is a disorder wherein an individual suffers deficits in their attentional skills, and it is often accompanied with hyperactivity. I think not one of us here can say that they don't suffer deficits in their attentional abilities in their daily lives.

I don't understand why it is that people are offended and feel it necessary to change names of things to fit things. While it is unfortunate, we must admit that we do have a disorder. Our brains function abnormally, in such a way as to impair us and give the advantage to other people. As such, we have a disorder. Unfortunate though that may be, it is true.

Looking to change the name to something else will not change the fact. There will be a stigma attached eventually, because the stigma is attached to the concept, not to the words. We must learn, therefore, to deal with our disorder, rather than excuse it as a "difference."

Thanks for this thread, because posting this allowed me to get warmed up for the persuasive speech I am giving in under an hour on this very topic. :)



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