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  #1  
Old 12-15-07, 02:01 PM
plongstacking plongstacking is offline
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Hi Everyone Do we all have ADD/ADHD

Hello Everyone !

I'm sure I am not the first to question definitions or even the validity of ADD or ADHD. As much info as I have gathered about these two human complications I can clearly see that "We all have it and there are likely no exceptions " The definitions , tests and validations conclude that ADD/ADHD is as human as the inability to spread our arms and fly like eagles "literally "...well we can't fly physically on our own , so we are aeordynamic science engineering dependant . Forum topics on issues of how we may have failed in life or how complicated our lives may be due to ADD/ADHD seems like a big muddling in excuses. I really don't mean to sound negative or in opposition to what all the articles say but there must be some true and concrete definition as to what ADD/ADHD is, in terms of disability and out of the norm in human characteristics... because what I have read thus far clearly puts everyone I know including myself with ADD/ADHD.
My wife is concerned that my middle son age 5 may have ADD . He's a bright boy , blurts out answers before the question is said , fidgets at his piano lessons , his attention span wanders but he can sit and concentrate on any given topic for hours . His kindergarten teacher claims he is a fine student with the exception of being a little wired and sometimes using his outside voice when he's in doors .... this is a breif description but all of these things are symptoms according to all I have read . I really don't see how a mental health provider or doctor can diagnose anyone with all the symptoms there are . I can see possibilities if there are symptoms which do not change at any given time day or night 24/7 but most diagnoses are based on ups and downs in character . Unless the characteristics are outlandish (significantly stand out )I just don't see this all to be much more than a soft liberal approach to labeling our personal problems for specific freedoms and rights , which is not necessarily a bad thing but just as well . I would like to know more about ADD/ADHD and what defines it . Thankyou for listening and I hope I don't sound too harsh or that I would be dismissing ADD/ADHD to being a ficticious disease but I really am more interested in true definition rather than sensless and endless possibilities as to what it is . Sorry for rambling I hope to hear from many of you .
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Old 12-15-07, 02:36 PM
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Re: Hi Everyone Do we all have ADD/ADHD

Hi, plongstacking. I can understand your confusion. My father is the same way about my little brother, age 15. He always says to my mom when they're going over the symptoms, "Well, if he has ADD then I must have it too because I do all this stuff!" He thinks this is an argument that my brother does not have ADD, but it's funny because we all know my dad definitely has it too--he's just in total denial! Not saying you have ADD, just agreeing that sometimes it can seem like the "symptoms" are in fact universal traits.

Sure, everyone can get a little distracted, a litle fidgety, a little overexcited...but for those of us with ADD these characteristics are so intense and constant that they really do interfere with our day to day lives. Schoolwork is not just boring, it is oftentimes impossible. Keeping track of our keys, our wallets, etc. is something we may never do well, no matter how many times someone tells us how "important" these things are. Talking out of turn is not just something we need to work on, it's something we actually need medication for.

I'm not sure how persuasive my argument is going to be here, but maybe I can just ask you to trust that for those of us with ADD life can be very, very difficult. If it wasn't, would we need a forum like this to support us?

Maybe your son doesn't have ADD at all, that is certainly a possibility. And I agree that ADD may be overdiagnosed. But not everybody has ADD. That's a fact.
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Old 12-15-07, 03:15 PM
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Re: Hi Everyone Do we all have ADD/ADHD

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/misunderstoo...ionbasics.html

Take the auditory and visual distraction experiences Very eye-opening stuff.
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Old 12-15-07, 03:31 PM
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Re: Hi Everyone Do we all have ADD/ADHD

I'm sure not everybody has AD/HD. I was like your son when I was 5 too, almost the same symptoms with the exception that I would speak a lot and too fast. I even spoke to the walls when I was punished because of speaking with the other kids because I finished my school work in record time and then I got bored. I've had difficulties in my life but I thought it was just my behavior and nothing else until some weeks ago when I realized zoning out to me was out of control I started looking into this. I was diagnozed with ADHD (combined type). Now I know the way I think is not "normal" compared to the others, and the relations I do between items in my head is not ordinary at all. My friends always told me they love that side of me so I guess that's why I like it, but now I have many assigments in college and I'm not able to finish them on time, so that's why it's giving me problems. I used to pass my courses just by the exams which I passed with no difficulties even without stydying at all. My worst difficulty has been my impulsiveness when talking. I don't think what I say; I think speaking. After I speak I think about what I say and realize how I messed up.

Oh, yeah, my symptoms are constant, since I can remember. You see, The symptoms are almost myself. I have talked to people who have known me for years about what it is and they told me I did things I wasn't aware of doing that are typical of ADHD.

About the debate of it's existence I can tell you it's really old and that the causes are now known. The differences with normal brains are even visible with a PET. Google it and you'll find a lot about it. The more you read the more you'll understand the behavior of an ADDer (just like I've done). But remember that a diagnosis can only be made by a specialist.
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Old 12-15-07, 03:42 PM
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Re: Hi Everyone Do we all have ADD/ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy~Feet
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/misunderstoo...ionbasics.html

Take the auditory and visual distraction experiences Very eye-opening stuff.
Oh my... WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, and one square on it's place.
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Old 12-15-07, 10:44 PM
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Re: Hi Everyone Do we all have ADD/ADHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by arkyle
Oh my... WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, and one square on it's place.
Well as interesting of a test as it was I failed the reading and game test with circles triangles and squares . I'm not sure if that was an example of what AD/HD persons suffer or meant for anyone to see where they stand on AD/HD . I failed for two reasons 1. the reading picture failed to allow me to read it and literally disappeared within 5 seconds and the audio instruction literally stopped to allow the interruption of the student to override the teachers instruction I believe her voice literally stopped .I doubt anyone could get those questions correct . Has anyone ever got those two examples correct ? I believe I understand now and thankyou for the examples but I stand firmly on those distractions being amplified in all areas of life because it really comes down to the fact that everyone really does have AD/HD , just to different degrees . A 100 metre sprinter can jump the gun because he or she anticipates by instinct rather than the actual sound of the starter pistol . Boredom or disinterest to follow instruction is a rather lame value to impose on a person as a diagnosis I hope these professionals can distinguish the difference between that and the abilty to pay attention . Listen / pay attention because you need to or because you want a person too ??? Darn it is such a vague feild ...I remember shortly after taking a sales management course I had twenty people ask me questions at precisely the same time and I answered every question individually to the correct person ...I had an amazing recall and they all looked at me dumbfounded at how that was possible lol but now I am older and don't hear as well nor care to hear as well sometimes I even wear ear plugs lol . Anyhow I think I'm going to hang around here to learn more and get a better understanding .I'm not stubborn or thickheaded and willing to learn more about AD/HD .Obviously there is alot of productive conversation going on here thanks for replying guys, Cheers .
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Old 12-15-07, 11:49 PM
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Re: Hi Everyone Do we all have ADD/ADHD

I'll bite. It sounds like you're really looking for reassurance that your son is OK - understandable, but trying to convince yourself and others that ADHD isn't real doesn't say much about your son at all. If he's not doing well, it'll be cold comfort to be able to say oh, at least he can't have ADHD, because ADHD is a myth.

The stories you read here may well sound like "muddling excuses" - they're not, but that's not the point. They aren't evidence of anything, nor a diagnostic tool. Using them to formulate some kind of rebuttal of ADHD can only be insulting to those who have all the "proof" they need and then some. And it doesn't help your son any.

In the nicest way I can say this, it sounds like you're so afraid your son might have ADHD that you're looking for any loophole to get you out of facing that fear: if ADHD is a sham, then there's no need to worry! But as a parent, you don't have the luxury of philosophical enquiries into the variations of human nature. If your son needs help, for whatever reason, it is up to you to help him - and combing the internet will only get you so far. Look, ADHD isn't a death sentence, nor does its existence necessarily mean your son has it. Consult a competent, responsible, experienced doctor who will be able to address your concerns.

Love, acceptance, and unconditional support of your son trumps anything else you can do for him, including "disproving" some psychological label. And da Nile isn't just a big river in Egypt..

Sincerely wish you the best.
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Old 12-16-07, 05:12 AM
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Re: Hi Everyone Do we all have ADD/ADHD

Okay , I'd like to think that maybe my son is safe from it but truth be know that my whole family including myself and wife has ADHD or at least what would be known as equivalent obstructions ...temporary but nonetheless . Am I in denial ? possibly but when I look around here I also see a few people who can't afford the price of Katrina influenced gas prices and their mortgages and land taxes and the cost of babysitting Bushes wars and reference it to personal fouls .I don't mean to sound harsh but I need to know the truth about what constitues an AD/HD diagnosis and not an occasional misfiring frontal lobe at the starting gate or untaught ettiquette and protocol . I have a freind whose daughter was diagnosed with ADHD ...the girl has been known to B-line (runaway) from the school mostly during math because she freezes up and needs an escape from a teacher who seems to be giving her a hard time anyhow one day I had to go pick her up and there was paper all over the hallway floor and the teacher on her hands and knees trying to gently coax the girl along to help sort out her school work . Well I felt out of place in the standing position so I squatted down more to her level and something just didn't seem right about this grade six girl who for the most part was dominating how the teacher responds to her .I asked the teacher what is it ? do you just not get along or what is it ? well she responded by saying that the girl just freezes , becomes confused , and evidently runs away very often . I discovered that the girl frequents the principals office sometimes for the entire day and the principal allows her to do nothing and in essence contributes to putting her behind in class . We walked together the entire length of the school hallway to meet my children and while walking the girl quickly quizzed me about whether her parents could afford to put her through a career in bone modeling .I thought that sounded like a good career but she continued speakng nervously ...saying its all computer work and there is no math in it .I had no choice but to disagree and corrected her that yes there is mathematics in it , anyhow to make a long story short"er" lol the mother told my wife that this girl (her daughter) was just diagnosed with ADHD so suddenly my wife is targeting our son simply because he is slower on fine motor skills but according to the teacher he is quickly coming around and catching up but is also a little hyper and excitable . I know ridlen(sp) and many psychiatric drugs have become a huge fad industry for the children of parents born in the 60s and 70s and yes psychiatry is a science but it is the least exact science of all the sciences.Medically speaking I found the old book "M.D.Doctors talk about themselves" by John Pekkanen very enlightening about doctors and especially psychiatric diagnosis . so far I am finding what constitutes ADHD extemely vague with little or no reliability to the diagnosis and dependant on differences of culture whether you are culturally different native american , shiite , Arab etc . It is likely this girl I spoke of truly does have ADHD because her problem stands out very predominantly but I still have my suspicions because she was not this way last year and we don't know if she will have the same troubles when taught by another teacher . I am not insulting any of you who have AD/HD but do any of you think that maybe we are talking about a human characteristic which comes to us in many levels and we should be recalled to our manufacturer due to defective wiring ? There is a significant difference in inability to concentrate and the occasional stupor... I'm certainly not questioning that . I have a feeling I will be doing some apologizing as I learn more and knock down a few of my walls but in the mean time bear with me someone has to throw red flags and it might as well be me .
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Old 12-16-07, 01:27 PM
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Re: Hi Everyone Do we all have ADD/ADHD

So, that are you waiting for exactly? It sounds as if you are just waiting for someone to tell you it's not real. I could only recommend you to take your kid to a good phychiatrist and then see if the answer convinces you or not. I'd not like another one to pass for what I'm going through; recently diagnosed, finally accepting myself and then being told that my hard behavior is just a bunch of symptoms, a family in denial driving me crazy, etc. (I'm 18 BTW)

About the difference. Tell me, is it normal to be thinking in many things at the same time, everytime, everyday? For me it was, until I found out that wasn't the case. Do you find yourself daydreaming and not being able to come back from it even in important situations? that's what ADHD is almost all about, the rest are just symptoms. You know, maybe you have AD/HD too...you're overthinking it way too much.
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Old 12-16-07, 07:11 PM
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Re: Hi Everyone Do we all have ADD/ADHD

ARKYLE

you know you could be right about everything ...I do understand it when someone such as yourself says that the situation is so bad you can barely function . I'm stuck on the sometimes and occasionally symptoms , Well today at church I asked the Gr 6 girls grandmother whether she was truly diagnosed with AD/HD and apparently it is too early to tell because she had some trouble but very little trouble in school last year ,and her problems are concentrated on mathematics . No I am not looking for anyone to say that it is all false ...I am learning that as I go .Regarding daydreaming no I don't have that problem and actually have to force myself to daydream concentrating is not a problem for me if anything my long term memory is excellent but not always my short term , freinds and family occsionally joke that I have oldshimers disease ...(its just an age thing) and deliberately shutting some things out .At least I now know that diagnosis is not simple when the problem does not occurr during the greater part of ones day or life . Being 18 is a time when the imagination and creative brain juices are really flowing so it could be a temporary thing too . At that age I sometimes didn't concentrate in some areas not becasue I couldn't but because I didn't want to (disinterest) . I remember hiring a sales rep once who was 18 and he pleaded that I do not have him work side by side with any of the girls because he couldn't concentrate (a raging hormone thing ) It wasn't funny and a serious problem for him and he did excellent when there was no members of the opposite sex around . Don't take offense I'm not trying to offend anyone .I've just always found that psychological issues are always questionable and it should be . Its far too easy to label people with psychological issues and it shouldn't be ...
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Old 12-17-07, 12:46 AM
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Re: Hi Everyone Do we all have ADD/ADHD



In the graph above, the dotted line represents 'normal' and the columns represent how much of a particular mental trait you have.
If we had a way to rank people on a graph we would find that:

1. Nobody is normal
2. No two people have exactly the same graph.

Now, pretend that the graph above is instead levels of particular neurotransmitters and hormones present in your nervous system. You would find that people's behaviors would be aligned towards gaining normalcy.

- Too much melatonin makes you want to sleep.
- Too little testosterone makes a man softer and less agressive.
- Too much testosterone makes a woman sexually super-charged.
- Too much cortisol and you're stressed.
etc.. etc...

There are hormones that control depression, fear, calm, attention, anxiety, sleep, obsession, focus, sex drive, etc...

Now, pretend again that the graph represents your traits, not the level of hormones. Now, instead of thinking of the traits as "depressed", "attentive", "angry" think of the traits as:
'efficacy of dopamine-producing glands'
'efficacy of adrenaline-producing glands'
'efficacy of serotonin-producing glands'
'efficacy of cortisol-producing glands'
etc..

The big question is, who's really in control? Do your thoughts and behaviors control the production of the hormones, or do the hormones control your thoughts and behaviors? Humans universally tend to think the former. That tells us that unless the latter has no bearing on human behaviors, then we're all much less in control than we really think.

We do have some control over our hormone levels. If you consciously take deep breaths and meditate, you will reduce your levels of cortisol. If you sleep, you will change the level of melatonin released. But then, what if for you, your level of cortisol replenishes very quickly? To counter this imbalance, you may find yourself making a decision to adopt a lifestyle that's far away from the hustle and bustle of life and find your place out in Flin Flon amongst nature instead of in the middle of downtown Toronto. So who's really in control? Did you really choose the country life, or did the country life choose you?

More interestingly, was your choice to adopt the country life to reduce your stress really just a form of self-medication?

For ADHD, the hormones at play are believed to be dopamine and norepinephrine. Turns out that the reason we tap our feet as adults and climb walls as kids is to counter our chronically insufficient release of these hormones. Fidgetting is self-medication. ADDers fidget to focus (and on a tangent, I recommend the book "fidget to focus"). Just like moving to the country isn't consciously self-medication, you don't consciously think that fidgetting also is. We tend to think of self-medication as substances.

But self-medication takes the form of behaviors much more than it takes the form of a pill or a 24 of Kokanee.

The question is thus, what is it that causes these hormonal imbalances? Who knows... our bodies are incredibly complex. Think of this.... look at the veins in people's hands, and compare them to yours. Does the vein go over your #3 metacarpal or does it parallel it? Does it go around the knuckle to the left or to the right? Or both? No two people has the same configuration, not even twins. Why not? is it hereditary? Is it what the pregnant mother ate at the time that it was time to create these pathways? And don't discount gravity either in shaping your body in the womb; we know it shapes your body outside the womb, hence the bra, another form of self-medication of sorts.

And so it is with ADHD, we have an imbalance that causes us to blink out of the subject of importance with seemingly little to no control over it. What do we do about it? Many of us adopt jobs and lifestyles that balances us out. Many of us turn to drugs, alcohol and a life of crime. Many of us take meds.

Is it real? Oh yes. Is it difficult to diagnose? yes. And the diagnostic criteria is somewhat subjective. (Search for "DSM IV diagnostic criteria for ADHD"). It is fuzzy because ADHD is not clearly definable. The symptoms are behaviors that occur as a result of an underlying cause. Everyone experiences ADHD differently, but there are some quasi-universal similarities, and that's what the DSM has focused on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plongstacking
...but I stand firmly on those distractions being amplified in all areas of life because it really comes down to the fact that everyone really does have AD/HD , just to different degrees.
And so, you've in fact answered your own question. It is absolutely a question of degree. And that's where the diagnostic is fuzzy. What exact degree makes you 'have' ADHD? Where do you draw the line? The diagnostic criteria for ADD is specific that it has to cause a clear and significant impairment. I'd love to say that it's up to the doctor to judge, but what do they know in what little time they spend with your child? Really it's up to the parent to judge it, and then get confirmation and tests done by a doctor. But be careful in judging your own child: parents are more apologetic about their child's behavior because they often see themselves in it. And people always judge their world based on the baseline of themselves. Hence just as it would be difficult to judge impairment in a clone of yourself, it is difficult to judge impairment in the part of your child that clones you.

btw, ADHD is specifically thought to be a dominant hereditary trait, meaning that anybody who are carriers of the (as yet unidentified) gene(s) also exhibit its characteristics. Meaning that if your child has ADHD, then you or your mate (or both) are carriers of and exhibit its characteristics. Congratulations, you might have ADHD!

There's lots more we can chat about, like how *underdiagnosed* it is (yes, I said it). It is underdiagnosed in people who are brought up in a highly-structured childhood, and in people who can successfully compensate for not paying attention in school with their intelligence. Also, ADDers have a gift for bouts of extreme focus known as hyperfocus. Note that attentivity and focus are different; sometimes people are inattentive because they're too busy hyperfocusing on something else. Because people equate focus and attentiveness, they think they can't have ADHD because they know they can be so good at focusing.

As a result of our poor capacity for self-diagnosing, I personally was not diagnosed until I was 29, but I managed quite well in certain aspects of my life, not so well in others. Is ADHD just an excuse for, say, my divorce, my interruptions, my impulsive-purchasing then? Hey, maybe it is, maybe it's not. But I certainly understand myself much better and ultimately the meds have completely turned my life around for the better. At the end of the day, if it's safe and it works, why must I question it?

And on the question of whether the meds work or not, I can guarantee you I couldn't have written this (or cared to) without them.

I've just flirted the issues. It's all much more complicated and both you, me and everyone on the forum still have lots to learn.

And with that,
welcome to the forums.
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Old 12-17-07, 10:11 PM
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Re: Hi Everyone Do we all have ADD/ADHD

pedalpounder

ahem yes that was quite an introduction and you certainly covered all the bases lol ...sometimes we do have to question the validity of psychiatric diagnosis because if we didn't we would be feeding an ugly lion which is very much so an inexact science . Of everything you mentioned I admire what you said about "if it works why question it"(medications) I have heart disease and have been clearly shown what happens when I stop specific medications , Its terrible that I have to be dependant on them because believe me it's not just one or two pills I take , it's literally a barrage of them daily . an example would be I was taken off of one med because of very dry throat well it kept my BP (blood pressure) at 114/62 to 120/80 and today it is 153/103 left arm and 147/97 right arm with a great blood oxygen of 98% and pulse of 73 so obviously I am relaxed but with a dangerous BP level . If you don't understand those nombers thats okay it just means I'm doing great with a very life threatening BP lol its not good but I'm okay I hope and I'm not horribly old being in my midforties , I could be younger than your folks or not much older . btw I like the name pedalpounder its one of the few things I can still do outside of basketball ...basketball I can only last about 20 minutes on the court and I speed ride so limbs fall asleep and I have to coast for 10 seconds or so before I can pedal again .
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Old 12-18-07, 01:17 AM
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Re: Hi Everyone Do we all have ADD/ADHD

btw, when I started on Strattera (an ADHD med, which although not categorized as a stimulant, is notorious for raising your BP and HR), my BP went from 130/90 to 110/70. Go figure. Turns out that anxiety is very common with ADHD, and Strattera had the nice effect of completely annhilating my anxiety/stress, which in turn I suspect is the direct cause of my lowered BP. (resting HR is up slightly though, from an almost-dead high 40's to low 60's) I always attributed the low HR to my cycling, but who knows, it could be something else.

Not really sure what my point is other than maybe if you have ADHD, it might be another pill to add to the cocktail
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Old 12-18-07, 09:18 AM
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Re: Hi Everyone Do we all have ADD/ADHD

This may be a shot in the dark, but it seems to me that Plong might have ADHD

It would appear you just zoomed to the test when linked to the distraction site, completely ignoring any side text on the distraction simulators, even though the idea was pretty simple (now that I go back and read over it, I was just struck by the familiarity of it after skipping straight to the test haha) Your writing also seems to drift from topic to topic, vaguely related but moreso to yourself. Probably just a sign of quickly writing because its the internet, or possibly just poor writing in general. Not to mention, if your kid has it, it probably doesnt hurt to look at yourself for it.

Maybe you think everyone has it, because you have it and consider yourself normal. If I was schizophrenic and constantly saw buses driving down deserted roads, I would hear other people talk about buses and consider myself normal!
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Old 12-19-07, 03:02 AM
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Re: Hi Everyone Do we all have ADD/ADHD

LazyPhilosipher

lol nice try but those words sound like an old record ... if I went back through life and time I believe there are times I could say I had symptoms or maybe even strong tendencies toward being both AD and HD but then I also had symptoms of:

[edit] B


[edit] D


[edit] E


[edit] F


[edit] G


[edit] H


[edit] I


[edit] J


[edit] K


[edit] L


[edit] M


[edit] N


[edit] O


[edit] P


[edit] R


[edit] S


[edit] T


...just to name a few.

I believe the whole purpose here is to make life function well with whatever means and methods necessary . I've never been on psychiatric drugs and don't ever see myself warming up to them .

PedalPounder

I know the heart heals after a heart attack but how much exactly is that ? I initially lost a little over one third of my heart (died)but like any muscle blood vessels reform and grow through and around the damaged area and sometimes it doesn't heal . I figure I am now running about 2/3 of the heart I once had and hope to get even better with time but thats just hope ,sooo I do everything I did before but not for very long and with close to the same intensity but that is not recommended for people with heart problems . You see I was sports sports and more sports and either jogged or ran up until age 26 , 75%of the time . I stopped and started doing more walking and alot less jogging , running and sport because I was hit by a car in a walk light while going to pay a home heating gas bill .If I had anything in life it would have been an overactive thyroid or something along that line but I never had trouble concentrating and always excelled in school .Concentrating may have been an issue in younger years but I grew out of that more and more with age.Do I have ADHD ? well I took a web test and of course I do , but then who doesn't...I know I won't ever memorize all the elements of the periodic table while in the middle of intercourse . I mean I could train myself to but why would I want to lol .
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