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ADHD me!
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ADHD me!

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Posted by schrips ( on August 04, 2003 at 20:04:55:

In Reply to: I have suspected ADD for a long time.... posted by emoot ( on August 04, 2003 at 12:20:09:

I was diagnosed with ADHD about five years ago after my freshman year at college. The hyperactive bit was added because I'm so fidgety, constantly bouncing my legs, playing with my hair, changing my position when sitting, etc. I'm not hyperactive in the typical sense of crazed kids running around the room (and never was). I'm most definitely a daydreamer.

I absolutely HATE that doctors are drugging children to get them to fit into a classroom. Ritalin (and all the other related drugs) has never been shown to improve a child's learning (short- nor long-term). Additionally, consistent long-term use (over a couple years) has been shown to cause permanent brain damage. Just think of your friendly neighborhood tweaker to get an idea (ritalin is basically speed). Obviously, drug treatments are there only to benefit the teachers by getting ADDers to sit down and shut up.

While I don't agree that ADD/ADHD should be labeled "disorders" I do believe there is a distinction between typical childhood hyperactivity and what is now labeled ADD. One ADD researcher (and ADDer) came up with the metaphor of a "hunter in a farmer's world" to describe ADDers. He has a website somewhere.... The basic idea is that ADD type thinking: constantly scanning the environment, mental flexibility, impulsivity, etc. were all beneficial traits for our hunting ancestors. Surely they could not be so focused on doing the laundry (or some other humdrum task) not to notice the signs that some kind of prey was nearby. However, the world was taken over by agriculturalists. The ability to focus on one thing for extended periods of time (plow the ground, pick the fruit, water the plants) day in and day out became benificial. Even though most people today aren't farmers, you can see how the typical 9 to 5 workday is based on their model.

One more interesting idea about why ADDers typically don't do well in standard education is learning style (visual, auditory, kinesthetic). Some psychologists have hypothesized that the vast majority of people with ADD are kinesthetic learners, the learning style least served by our current educational system. IE: listen to someone lecture (auditory) or, if you are lucky, look at some slides or an overhead of the lecture (visual). I know this is true for me...I'm kinesthetic with visual a close second, but my auditory learning skills are at the absolute bottom of the barrel (in one ear and out the other). I always learned ten times as much on a project involving making models, acting, etc. If the class consisted of just a lecture, I had to constantly keep my pencil moving, whether I was taking down notes or even doodling, just to keep my brain in the room.

I don't know if certain MBTI or e-types match up with this kind of ADD/hunter/global learner mindframe. I'm INTP, 4w5. I did well in school, though elementary school teachers did say I looked out the window too much and didn't play well with others. I was a co-valedictorian of my HS class, also scored the highest on the SATs. However, I always had to spend much more time on homework than most because my mind was somewhere else for most of it. Did good, but not great, in college. I always got As in classes I enjoyed (or ones with professors that held my attention) but Cs in ones that bored me. (Am I the only oddball 4 that is good at math? I actually thought about majoring in it for about a week. But, alas, I have the skills but not the passion.) I can never finish any of my projects (I have 4 or 5 books, 7 or 8 knitting projects, a couple half done websites...the list goes on and on). Luckily, my family is understanding, so when I interupt a conversation or say "sorry, but I just missed the last 3 minutes of what you were saying. Can you repeat it?" they don't take it personally. I think some people think I'm kind of an asshole for those two characteristics. BTW, ADDers are typically of above average intelligence, so tell your mom that she might be able to get away with calling them lazy, but not stupid. ;) Although even then I don't like the idea that thinking about things (which ADDers do an inordinate amount of) doesn't count as "doing" something. Does a mindless automaton get props for their work ethic then?

> You know, I bought the book "Driven to Distraction"- two years ago- because I was beginning to recognize some signs of ADD in my life(And as you might suspect, for perhaps too obvious of a reason or too much irony.... I have not finished it yet) I always have a least four or five books that I am trying to read at any given time. I rarely finish a book, but I read constantly.

> When I was in school no one had ever heard of ADD/ADHD. Some of my teachers recognized my creativity but that gift was easily canceled out by my inability to "do math". I could do it, though, but it was boring and I didn't like it very much. My IQ tested in the gifted range, but my grades fluctuated between As, Bs and Cs......

> I always felt like I was smarter than I was performing but because my grades didn't reflect it ... I spent much time thinking that I might be not so smart. Occasionally, I would blow the top out of some standardized test and it would cause notice but my teacher's would tell me that I was not applying myself on a consistent basis. In other words....they were telling me that I was lazy.

> So of course, I internalized it and it only added to my already poor self image. When I got to college, I was much happier..... I performed much better in college.... it was more interesting and challenging.

> It seems to me that ADD has not been clearly defined yet. It looks to me that there are two factions. One which thinks it is a total learning disorder and needs to be remedied with drug treatment, and another which thinks that very many people who have been diagnosed with it are just global learners.

> Break that down into personality types.... the global learners are ENTPs, INTPs, INFPs and ENFPs, right? Where is our attention?

> N = Listening to inner voice. Paying attention to our mind's eye and our mind's ear.....introspecting. (daydreaming, making inferences, imagining, musing, or wondering about things not in our presence.)
> Jung said that we cannot observe what is going on around us while we are engaged in our own intropective thoughts. When we observe what is going on around us we cannot at the same time observe what's going on within us.) So the concrete world around Ns seems merely a problem to be solved. Absorbed in our inner idealistic thoughts... we can miss concrete details and facts right in front of us. The tendency looks like absent mindedness. It is a natural disinterest in the concrete world around us and a natural pleasure for inner thoughts.

> Put that N preference into a S preference run classroom and you've got conflict. Largely Schools are organizations set up and run....by ESFJ/ TJ mentality. Rules and rote learning- (even the words are boring)..... Everything is scheduled and organized. Not much room for creativity.

> P = A preference for openess, new information, flexibility and opportunity. (Learning, perhaps best, through exploration)

> It is no wonder that NPs have a difficult time making themselves fit into school and perform well..... when they have almost a natural point to point conflict with how school is taught and set up. (not that it is anybody's fault.... it is just the way that it is)

> In other words.... I know how much I live in my head....95% of the time it seems. It takes a lot of energy for me to focus on the nitty gritty details of daily life. But I sqeeze myself to do it(because it is unavoidably necessary for life).... but it is never comfortable.

> Then I think of the SJs. Those that are in their natural comfort zone in the real world most of the time. Where schedules, rules, details and rote learning cater to their natural tendencies.

> Because SJs types are more prevalent in population and education is set up on SJ organization.... they must thrive in that atmosphere of learning. But then I think, that NPs struggle at best in that kind of pond.....but manage to compensate for it by being smart enough to halfway do something and still get a decent grade.

> I often wonder what it would be like if it was the other way around. Would SJ types struggle in a educational system set up for NPs? Where exploratory learning was encouraged and creativity stressed. Would SJs be labeled with a learing disorder.....CDD- Creative Deficeit Disorder?

> I think.... what would school be like if a type of teaching could cater to the natural tendencies of intuitive perceivers?

> I guess, all in all, I go with the notion that many ADDers are just NP, creative types who have been misunderstood....schoolastically speaking.. Also, I think that it is something that will get called a fault or disorder.... but that doesn't make it a fair call. Plus I think these overt misunderstandings only compound the problems that NPs face. I mean when a kid has a different learning style and gets called lazy for thinking the way he is naturally geared....does that not do something emotionally to him?

> I think the reality of it is..... that if you have an NP preference.... you will struggle in the real world because it will never be where your natural tendency is. However I think that there is a way to help NPs assimilate better through a different type of learning technique.

> It would be neat to have a school to encourage creativity and explorative learning while at the same time molding those kids to assimilate into the concrete world by teaching them tecniques to deal with and strengthen their sensory sides. So at least they could function more easily and be more productive with their innovative ideas.

> I don't know to what extent this type of thing is even recognized in today's educational realm. (it seems that with all the info out there that somebody must be making the link that NP/creative personalities resemble ADD but are in fact not disordered, but merely need a different learning atmosphere. From what I know from my ESFJ educator mom in law.... a lot of kids are still lumped under the heading of ADD... she's convinced that these aren't smart kids.

> That kind of scares me.... when I think of what else I know and my own experience.

> Does anybody else have any ideas on this?

> emoot(:

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