Tuesday, December 20, 2005

AD/HD: Speaking without Thinking

I would like to thank Blogger for selecting my column as a Blog of Note.

I am thrilled to find so many like minded individuals making the comments section an intellectual treat. Curse you! I haven't been able to get anything done for a whole week.

One of the comments from last week's column was a terse reprimand by a woman (I assume) who urged me to not think so much and do instead. Ignoring the fact that her short comment judged my life by only the words of a humorous column I write each week, she also showed a lack of understanding of the AD/HD mind. Not think so much? If there is any one defining aspect of AD/HD it is the lack of contemplative thought before action is taken. We are masters of the instantaneous impulse. Take today's subject matter for an example.

There you are, grieving family members around you, the organ plays in the background, and you've got this really funny joke to tell. Happen to you? No, me neither, but I do know a guy who apparently has that problem.

The fifth symptom in Hallowell and Ratey's Diagnostic Criteria for Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults is foot-in-mouth disease.

5. Tendency to say what comes to mind without necessarily considering the timing or appropriateness of the remark.Like the child with ADD in the classroom, the adult with ADD gets carried away in enthusiasm. An idea comes and it must be spoken—tact or guile yielding to childlike exuberance.

My dalliances with gaucherie usually involve sexual matters. Not sure why. I get these amazing insights/tidbits/anecdotes/wordplays that are just bustin' to be shared. I'm the intellectual knucklehead. Thankfully, I have been fearful enough in polite company to not let that particular foot get moving at high velocity towards my mouth, but I can't say the same when in the presence of friends and family. I'm more relaxed then and they pay the price.

These painful moments stand out in complete contrast to my usual gentlemanly decorum. There was this time I stood up in front of my anime fan club and described the more alarming contents of a certain catalogue that somebody mailed to me as a prank. Not sure to this day why I didn't just shut up and sit down, but off I went, lips a flappin' in front of a bug eyed audience. That was over fifteen years ago and I'm still embarrassed about it. I wish I could say I've improved, but then I'd have to not tell you about the French AIDS PSA I shared with my friends two weeks ago. Seemed like a good idea at the time to show the cultural difference in attitudes about sexual matters and cavalier treatment of STDs. Besides it was animated, but then as I watched them squirm and squiggle in their seats I realized perhaps it wasn't such a good idea after all. I asked myself, "What were you thinking?"

That's the problem. I wasn't! Most people learn over time to suppress these anti-social urges, but adults with AD/HD tend to have the occasional misfire, some more so than others.

It seems there are three driving forces behind foot-in-mouth disease. One is general cluelessness—a complete lack of awareness or sensitivity to the ebb and flow of conversation around us. Another is a fear that the idea will be forgotten in as quick an instant as it was born if it is not blurted out or jotted down at that moment. The third is simple selfishness. We share this in common with everybody from time to time, but the first two forces are usually the culprits for the AD/HD mind. Both betray a complete lack of control over impulses. Both are born of intensity. The thought is delivered to the mouth with the pressure of a fireman's hose and spoken at such velocity that all those in the room had better duck for cover or be bowled over. Things usually get awkward after that.

There is only one way to fight it: practice. First, you need friends, associates, or loved ones who can gently remind you with a two by four to stop discussing during the office meeting that really cool web site you found... to wait a week or two before letting your new boss know everything he's doing that is wrong and how he can fix it... or to stop changing the subject while your mother-in-law discusses the family vacation. Second, learn to jot down your ideas without interrupting the conversation. Third, with or without external intervention, you are on your own. They don't call it the School of Hard Knocks for nothing. Embarrassment is a cruel but effective teacher. The trick is to learn from your mistakes without hating yourself. Don't buy into the excuses, either. Don't push this off on a diagnosis. Nobody's going to smile patiently after the third time you shanghai the conversation and take it off in an unrelated tangent just because you have Adult ADD. Nobody really appreciates your non sequitur jokes during Sunday School. You need to reign this in. Save your pride some bumps and bruises and save everybody else's sanity.

Once you can control it, however, you can use your free firing neurons to your advantage. Random thoughts and inspirations are a godsend to problem solving, humor, and creativity. Who knows? You might even find yourself being relevant and witty. You just need a bit of effort, a lot of tact, and a truckload of premeditative thinking.


done said...

I don't know much about what you have, Adult ADD, but I do know some kids with this problem. I myself deal with anxiety and panic attacks, and I got help with buying a program made for my symtoms. My daughter has bi-polar, and we got help for her, and we are dealing with her issues daily. I agree with you that you need the support, love, humor, all the positives from family, friends, and people who understands what you are going through. Take care, Elisa:)

Douglas Cootey said...

Thank you, Elisa. Good luck with your family. What program do you use, btw?

The_Lady_Eve said...

Hey, I really like your blog--and I agree with your position on ADHD. I work in mental health, and I've seen a lot of attention deficit disorder, both medicated and unmedicated. Many of our clients lack social and financial support, and that deficit has a huge impact and makes their illness that much more pronounced. Most people do not realize how debilitating it can be when it's not addressed. Once it is, however, it can be countered with, as you say, practice and support.

Slain said...

I oft make irrelevant jokes and statements too.

Sometimes it can be downright hilarious, other times disturbing to those who don't know me well.

Truth is, haven't yet learned to reign it in effectively..but I discoevered that sugar and high-glycemic carbohydrates tend to make things worse.

Unless of course theres a party w/close friends and they don't mind the occasional 'insane' remarks. ;)

done said...

Hey Douglas,
TY! I do need some luck:), and the program is called attacking anxiety & depression, by: Miswest Center. Take care, Elisa

Douglas Cootey said...

The Lady Eve - Unfortunately, there is no magic pill to make all our troubles go away. Medications can take the bite off of neurological ailments, but we still need to develop methods of functioning day to day. So as boring and old fashioned as it sounds, practice and support are still the most effective methods of working a change in our lives.

Sol - With the right friends this "flaw" isn't an issue. I have developed a niche for myself with my friends at the movies by perfecting the art of the funny non sequitur. Sometimes the jokes work, sometimes they don't, and sometimes they feel inclined to pummel me with whatever objects they can get their hands on, but at the least I am entertaining. ;)

Lack of sleep makes my control less than effective. And sickness. We have a rule in my home: no joking if I'm sick. They always fall flat. :)

Elisa - Thanks for getting back to me. I'll look into it. It's piqued my curiosity.

Douglas Cootey said...

For those interested in the program Elisa is using: http://www.stresscenter.com/cts/21347842 - Midwest Center for Stress and Anxiety, Inc.

Bogart said...

"Ahhhh, to turn off my ever thinking brain"

Melissa said...

Hello again! I too suffer from foot in mouth syndrome! I am smack in the middle of a manic high swing that will probably bottom out sometime after my six year old's operation tomorrow morning.Its operation number 12 for us and I'm just buzzing with nervous energy... Can't get the voices to shut up so I can sleep and be fresh at the hospital tomorrow so I checked your blog. You are great! Do you ever have two or more songs bouncing through your brain at the same time? Don't you hate it when they clash? Sorry... random abstract... I will shut up now... bye!

Geo said...

Hey, do you remember me? This is Georgia, first introduced to you as Doe's frined back when you worked at the Golden Arches, and then later known to you as your fellow ward member and your wifey's visiting teacher.

Doug, I find this incredible and funny, but . . . in an insomniac moment I stumbled into your page via the Blogs of Note list, and plunged headlong into today's post without so much as glancing at your header. II had no idea this was your blog but as I read today's post, you came to my mind. It was only as I began reading your comments that i realized that you were the mastermind at work here. I feel dumb and delighted all at once! Anyway, it's fun to have found this. I'll be back to read more after I've checked in with Slumberland and found my way back again. Take care.

Say hi to Robyn for me.

R said...

On occasions when my mouth blabbers on without consulting my brain I find that shutting up simply begets an awful silence only remedied by more blabbering. Hence a vicious cycle painfully relived whilst trying to fall asleep later on that night.

done said...

Hello Doug:) I just saw your site "Scrapbook Splash", and my daughter wants to start scrapbooking, so I should just get the stuff from You:) Take care, Elisa

Suzanne said...

Cool, you're a blog o' note! Go Doug go!

Either I have a very similar sense of humor, or I've never been present when the Stream-of-Consciousness Joke Alarm went off at your place.

chuck said...

My mouth seems to need its exercise...

Douglas Cootey said...

Melissa - I read your comments out loud really fast to try to recreate the manic energy I felt from your post. You're cute. Thanks for the comments. I can honestly say I've never had more than two songs bouncing around my brain. There isn't any room for them because of all the bouncing thoughts. :) I hope your child's operation goes well. Good luck with that.

Geo - Georgia, of course I remember you. I was just thinking about you the other day, believe it or not. I was wondering how you were doing.

I have to admit, I am a little alarmed that you thought of me while reading this blog before you realized I was writing this blog. What on earth did I say or do that would recall me to mind when reading about foot-in-mouth disease. It would have to be memorable to come to mind ten years later. Do I dare ask?

R - Dang. You play back your worst moments at the end of day, too? I hate that DVR. I'd like to pull it's plug...

Elisa - My scrapbook papers are available internationally. Visit the Scenic Route Paper Company dealer list to find a local merchant who carries our paper. You can ask them to special order my papers if they don't carry them in stock. I have some links at my site. Glad you found it.

Suzannne - LOL Well, I was exaggerating a tiny bit when I wrote my column. I'm not THAT bad. (He says feeling awkward now that people who actually know him are reading about his dirty secrets) I may have been on my best behavior when you and Curtis were around. Or maybe you just got lucky! :) Ask Georgia. Apparently, I've made quite the impression on her where foot-in-mouth disease is concerned. (-_-);

serenedawn said...

My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was around 13 - but I chose against medication. I feared the risks after doing a lot of research on what was perscribed. I wonder if that was the right decision today (he is almost 17). He finally quit school, and I have to wonder how different it would have been had I chosen to let him take the medication?

Douglas Cootey said...

Lavendermist - You weren't wrong for fearing the side-effects of medications for AD/HD. I took Desoxyn and Zoloft and ended up worse - both of which combined produced Chronic Motor Tic Disorder in me. If I thought I was depressed before... I wish I had NOT taken those medications. For years my life was ruined. I disagree with your son's decision to quit school. That isn't a smart move, even if school is a boring pain in the butt. My recommendation would be to get him to see a Cognitive Behavior Therapist. They work with AD/HD patients without medication and help the patient develop coping strategies to handle their neurological shortcomings. It's a very positive experience - perhaps the only positive therapy I have ever had. I have also heard that ADD coaches can be helpful, though I have never used one.

Don't beat yourself up. There is hope. He's only 17. His entire life is still ahead of him.

Ritsumei said...

This makes me think of my brothers - all 4 of them have ADHD, and as they grow up they cope & compensate - sometimes with & sometimes without meds. Maybe because of being around it so much, I find that I prefer the intense kids to the "normal" (dull?) ones, and that I suffer from my own variety of Foot in Mouth Disease. I recently came across a Dr. Seuss quote that I love:

"Say what you think because those who matter don't mind and those that mind don't matter."

Like all absoulte rules, it's got its exceptions, but by and large, that philosophy has served me well!

clumsy-of-me said...

My family uses other more "acceptable" words to describe my foot in mouth disease. I am zany, quirky or just plain silly. But, it all boils down to what I thought was a compulsion. Sometimes my thoughts become projectiles that shoot out of my mouth before they've even warned my brain of their intentions. I'm usually one of the stunned people looking around trying to figure out who the idiot is that would say something so innapropriate at that moment? The disbelieving, shocked stares aimed at me are my first clue. I have just recently been diagnosed with ADD but, I hope this doesn't totally go away. It's what makes me unique and I really related to what you were saying about it helping with innovative or alternative ways to look at things. It's also the main source of my creativity. Thank you so much for this blog. Being the only person in a very large, conservative, up-tight family with ADD has been difficult. No one undertands or takes this diagnosis seriously. But, they do like the fact that I always stir things up and keep it interesting. Good times, good times...

clumsy-of-me said...

Goodness, I'm terribly sorry to be repetitive but I was just reading your archives and man, this blog is so wonderful! I feel like I am getting answers for the first time in 32 years. By knowing why I am the way I am, it's almost like getting to meet a whole new person. Thank you so, so much. I hope that you are able to embody the magnitude of how many people you are helping and feel our gratitude. Thank you Douglas.

Heidi the Hick said...

Is it just me or are there a lot of confused people who need therapy?? Oh, that's funny, is it just me. Just got that. Geez. Anybody have any ideas as to what is going on that so many of us have depression, anxiety (me) AD/HD (possibly me and maybe the name of my next metal band, haha) and all kinds of other problems? did this stuff exist 400 years ago? And when will I stop questioning everything????? ( I bookmarked you Douglas.)

Sam said...

I am just "blogging" and found yours, your artwork are very good...

done said...

Did it:) thanks Doug:) Merry Christmas! Elisa:)

Min said...

Hi Doug;

I came across your blog on the "blogs of note" section - it's like Scientology's worst nightmare. An entire forum for people to talk about their psychological problems and how to overcome them without the help of drinking cooking oil and taking steam baths. The wonders of modern science ;) But I digress; thanks for actually having an intellectually stimulating blog and maintaining a sense of humor.

El Duderino said...

Great blog, thanks for the creativity.

Poetwoman said...

I can so relate! I just put my foot into my mouth on Monday and watched people's mouths drop at a speccial luncheon. See my Neurological poetry at criplife2@blogger.blogspot.com

jeanjeanie said...

I think with the absence of hyperactivity and the presence of shyness combined with my introverted personality, foot-in-mouth disease hasn't been such a problem for me, especially since I've reached adulthood. For me it tends to manifest itself as big, brilliant ideas that must be acted upon NOW DAMMIT without really taking the time to think them through or consider the consequences or worry about what I'm neglecting in the process. Which has also managed to piss off and alienate a fair number of people, which, sadly, always comes as a surprise, because it never occurs to me that what I'm about to do has any potential to upset anybody. I've learned how to reign in these impulses somewhat over the years, but they still come around to bite me in the ass on occasion.

Great blog. Nice to see a humorous approach to this stuff. Oh, and to Lavendarmist: I took methylphenidate for a couple of years after I first got diagnosed, but I didn't care for the side effects so I eventually quit taking meds altogether and have been managing with supplements the last few years. I recently discovered Mega Mind, the closest thing for adults that I could find to the Attentive Child suplements I'd been taking: http://www.vitacost.com/Store/Products/ProductDescription.cfm?SKUNumber=021078002499 . Of course, I don't have hyperactivity, so I don't know how it would affect that, but it helps a lot with my focus problems. Doesn't eliminate them, mind, but it certainly makes them more manageable.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being so candid about everything. I have been struggling with all these things for a long time and it really helps to read about someone who has a take on it.

Wendy C. said...

I think it's funny (ironic) that a person with ADD can write a nine paragraph article!
(not to be taken seriously...it was a great article!)

Thanks for sharing so candidly!
Take care!

J.V. said...

I find it interesting you refer to these 'outbursts' as anti-social behvaiour. With the caveat that I am only an expert by proxy on mental health, I would argue that the urge to speak one's mind is perhaps one of the most social activities available to us. What most people do (keep thoughts in check, avoid confrontation or embarassment, or chide oneself for 'inappropriate' thoughts or behaviour) is, as far as I can see, far more repressive and anti-social.

Geo said...

Hey! Two-way remembrance--nice!

Now, now, don't let your feelers be hurt in the slightest by my previous comment. (Now who's foot is in her mouth? My husband has been telling me for a long time that he thinks he and I both have ADD.) I wasn't alluding to any specific memory or even a general impression of you. (On the other hand, I do remember a conversation I had with you once in a hallway at church . . . .) Heck, I think you're swell. I dunno, maybe it was the mention of ADHD, anime, and Sunday School all in one intelligently written post. Who knows? Maybe I'm just incredibly perceptive. Yeah, I'm sure that's it.

As for feeling awkward, skip it. Those "dirty little secrets" of yours weren't so hair-raising as all that. I can go away if you'd rather maintain your anonymity. (Never mind that the entire world can read what you have to say. MIght be a good idea to collect a few friends here.)

Take care! I'll be lurking about unless you shoo me away . . . .

Geo said...

I promise one day I'll start proofreading my comments for spelling and grammar. Ecch!

Douglas Cootey said...

Ritsumei - Ha! We've ruined you. :) Love the quote.

clumsy-of-me - Thank you. I'm really glad you've found my blog useful. I loved your foot-in-mouth example. I think you nailed it better than I was able to. I, too, have that "out of body" experience from time to time–like watching myself from a distance and being powerless to stop the train wreck from happening... Fortunately, I have gotten much better at keeping my foot on the ground where it belongs. Maybe because I've had so much practice.

Heidi the Hick - It's a crazy mixed up world, babe. And information comes at us fast, fragmenting our attention. But some theorize that ADD has been around a long time. In fact, the current theory as to why America seems to have a higher percentage of ADD adults versus other countries is that those with ADD tend to be explorers and first adopters. Racing to the new world to take risks would be right up an Adult with ADD's alley.

Min - Drinking cooking oil and taking steam baths!?! That was so wacky I googled it. Lookee what I found: http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/celebrity/77022004.htm More Tom Cruise strangeness. Is there any empirical evidence that proves guzzling cooking oil counters the effects of smoke inhalation? Does the rabbit hole go any deeper? Very funny stuff. Thanks for sharing.

Jean Marie Cousins - I'm not as hyperactive now as I used to be so I imagine that has had some positive effect. I can definitely relate to the delightful affect your ADD has had on people around you. I have a graveyard of relationships almost as full as unfinished projects.

Thanks for commenting!

Anon - Just learn to laugh at yourself. This has been my secret to success. I started to like myself. It took years and years of practice. LOL

Douglas Cootey said...

Wendy C. - :) You made me smile. I have spent years learning to write cohesively. Part of the way I succeed here is to a) begin with the end in mind, b) have one premise and delete tangents (ooooh, so many tangents!), c) keep my columns under 900 words, and d) try to write them under two hours. I think the race helps boost my focus. At any rate, glad you like what you read. Thanks for commenting.

Joel - I think you misunderstand. This isn't a constructive urge. This isn't "They're serving shrimp? Maybe I should mention I'm deathly allergic to shellfish." or "Hey, he can't speak that way to me!" This is more like blurting out during dinner "Wow! My hemorrhoids are killing me! Do you like the pads or the paste? I hate the paste. Gets all over my fingers... What?!" Trust me. It's anti-social.

Georgia - Oh, oh. Two people in a row that misunderstand. That means I'm messing up! LOL No, you forgot to read my comments with your tongue pushed up against your cheek. :) I was just kidding around. I do that a lot around here. My feelings aren't hurt, and I am not seeking anonymity. Heck, my name's plastered all over the top of the page! LOL A little too late now for secrecy. But you have to admit, having a friend from my out of control past show up like a skeleton out of my closet when I'm talking about embarrassing social situations does give the imagination a jolt. Then you go and actually bring up a situation. Dang! And in church, too. I don't even want to know what I said. I prefer to remain ignorant in my bliss. :)

Don't lurk. I'd love to have you make comments. I'm actually interested to know if I have changed as much as I think I have.

Min said...

Yeah...cooking oil. And Thetans and Xenu and whatever else. Who knew L. Ron was such a nut-job? A creative one, at that.


ScarletSphinx said...

I'm so glad I found your blog. I will be linking it and comparing your hijinx to my own!

Dustin Wagner said...

Think too much huh. LOL opinions. How do you think to much? My esteemed protege Troy says that, "you cannot quantify thought". There is no thinking "limit" and if there was I would call that limit "ignorance". As long as the one doing the thinking is ok with him or herself its ok. Otherwise its only a matter of the perceptions of the opinionater and not a matter of fact. Anyways I'm bipolar and on the manic side of the disease I could pass for a adult with adhd and I always find that i seem to be better prepared and less shocked by lifes little twists and turns. And buddha himself said "Ignorance is the root of all evil". Anyways I find this blog quite interesting and I shall read it regularly and think about it "too much" and maybe I'll solve a problem or two along the way. Couldn't hurt its only thought and not rocks thrown by the villagers.

J.E. said...

Great post. Ugh, this is me. As you said, sometimes it can lend to wit... sometimes, not. I like that Dr. Seuss quote, though... next time one of my friends politely tells me to shut up, maybe I'll quote it.

Geo said...

You'll have to take my comments in the same cheeky spirit then, Doug, 'cause I wasn't as serious as all that. You've obviously burnt the bridge to anonymity, and now that I'm onto your blog the chances of my not reading over your shoulder are slim to none. G'head--just try to shoo me!

: D


S.R. Deardorff said...

perhaps i have adhd and this is inappropriate:

your blog disgusts me, as do most contemporary theories of psychology...

you wrote:

"This is more like blurting out during dinner "Wow! My hemorrhoids are killing me! Do you like the pads or the paste? I hate the paste. Gets all over my fingers... What?!" Trust me. It's anti-social."

here's my beef, in this, and all areas which seek to define "acceptable" behavior:

1. EVERYTHING changes-->>get over it and accept the fact, stop trying to force people into the belief that ADHD is a disease; here's my theory-->>ADD/ADHD is biological evolution occurring before our very eyes: the prescription of medicines to control people with these behaviors is an ignorant effort to force conformity..

2. if anyone is uncomfortable talking about hemhroids, perhaps they should blow their brains out and cease being human: your suggestion that people SHOULD talk about this there and SHOULD NOT do this there or speak of this then is nothing but self-righteous fascism in disguise...through all of history, people with way too much self pride and ego have used any number of ways to change others' behavior...they're all fascist freedom haters...

3. you're doing this for money; not to help people with ADD, hence the reason you link as often as possible to the amazon website which you are no doubt an affiliate of...your arguments have an ulterior motive and you cannot be trusted...

4. read up on thomas szasz, the man who's psych theory has been the thorn in the side of fascist nazi's like you for over 3 decades, the man who's theory basically states:

"all psychological/behavioral disorders are a result of personal, political, and social influence..."

it's a sword that cuts 2 ways, it implies that your choices and actions have an impact on my choices and actions...and, it implies that people will use language to conjure up false diagnosis in order to justify forced conformity to what is BELIEVED to be "disordered" behavior...

EVERYONE is different, and all society and psychology should be begging for forgiveness at the feet of those who will forever be imprisoned and oppressed by lazy intellectuals too fearful of examining both sides of the equation...

the fact is that ADD/ADHD only exists as a set of "undesirable" behaviors defined by people who seek to judge and control everybody but themselves, even if it means drugging them up as an experiment to see if it eliminates certain behaviors...

how do you feel about the fact that you've now contracted a very real, very negative physical side effect because you were some ignorant scientist's guinea pig?

i'm sorry....not sorry for what i've said...sorry that you gave up your very spirit and sold out your own personality just because someone told you that they were better than you; better yet, someone told you that they were born better than you...

your problem isn't a disorder, your problem is a society full of individuals who have severe neurosis and an insatiable desire to damn anything they believe to be "evil."

peace out n whatnot,


don't take it from some random blogger...check out science:


The Mayor said...

"There you are, grieving family members around you, the organ plays in the background, and you've got this really funny joke to tell. Happen to you? No, me neither, but I do know a guy who apparently has that problem."

I don't do this, but I have an uncontrollable urge to giggle at funerals...weird, I know, I swear I'm not heartless and cruel, it must be a nerves thing!

from SG....racist **** off said...

lol, sadistic!! i do that simetimes too. and i get so many stares!!! at least my brother has got it worse than me.. haha!! sry bout any grammar errors, im juz a fourteeny. =D

Douglas Cootey said...

Dang, Sean. You sure are long winded. And you don't read too well, either. You seem to have completely misunderstood my column. I'll take on your four points. I can be long winded, too:

1) I never said ADHD is a disease. You're pulling that one out of thin air. In addtion, if you followed my blog at all you'd realize I don't think much of psychologists or their medicines. But I can tell you this: ADHD is useless to me an an evolutionary trait unless I can minimize its negative effects. Otherwise, it's a weight around my neck–a weight I'm determined to cast off.

2) Blow their brains out? Over hemorrhoids? And I'm the fascist? What an interesting world you live in.

3) Excellent! You've called me a nazi. Now this conversation has reached the zenith of ordure... As for doing this for money, you're one to talk with your prominently placed Google ads at the top of your blog. Following your logic YOU cannot be trusted. Since you copied your comments here and posted them into your blog to preserve them, you're also guilty of the same vanity you accuse me of. Physician, heal thyself.

4) "how do you feel about the fact that you've now contracted a very real, very negative physical side effect because you were some ignorant scientist's guinea pig?"

How do I feel? Disgusted.

I can't believe I've wasted my time reading your comments. I have better things to do with my time than justify myself to insensitive ignoramuses. I started this blog because people like you have made my life hell. You speak for me but do not know me. You presume to tell me what I'm thinking. You tell me what my motives are based on your twisted self-righteous perceptions. You dictate how I should handle my problems, chastise me for not doing it your way, and lecture me for being a failure by your standards. You, sir, are the fascist.

Mel said...

Glad to hear I'm not the only one who makes such anti-social blunders. Mine tend to also be sexual in content. Usually in the presence of my in-laws, or my grandmother or something. It's so encouraging to hear these things talked about in a positive way...new ways to define myself...



just plain silly

So much better than terms I had been using before--it's often hardest to forgive yourself, to forget mistakes made, moments of embarrassment seem to echo in my mind for an eternity...

I also love the Seuss quote.

Slain said...

Well said, Douglas.

I'm sure differences can be resolved in a gentlemanly fashion, no need for name calling and other such things.

I always felt people are more confident being abrasive when protected behind their steering wheel. Or computer. ::grim smile::

Relax people. Best we keep hostilities to a minimum, eh?

Merry Christmas. ;)

S.R. Deardorff said...

you make me smile douglas...i love you already...

you're obviously very emotionally connected to your picture of reality, which, is more than enough to cause the formation of a false reality, a delusion...

calling someone fascist does not constitute name calling, it is the act of defining a person's philosophy...it's nowhere near the same thing as calling someone a "turdmonger."

i'm glad you chose to use the word "ordure" to describe this conversation; it shows your desire to appear superior to others, you could've just said, "your argument is immoral."

but, i'm glad you brought the topic of morality into it...morality is, simply, the conglomerate of sentient values ordered into a value system in the mind...most systems of morality are subjective due to the extraordinarily small amount of knowledge one can acquire compared to the whole of all knowledge...

there is only one objective reality, and only one objective system of morality...for the whole moral system to be objective, the foundation of the system must stand upon some fundamental truth of existence:

the objective philosophy promotes the idea that human life is the highest valued thing in human existence; and, logically following the presumption, objectivists conclude that in order to adhere to this system of morality, each individual must be allowed freedom of living, which, in turn, allows each individual to live out their subjective fantasies and produces a reality where truth becomes of extraordinarily high value...

my personal philosophy starts with the idea that freedom is the fundamental truth of existence, as a way to describe existence, as well as a way to describe interaction between various existences; and, in the end, reaches many of the same logical conclusions that objectivism reaches...

here's the beautiful thing about both:

no argument can overcome them without creating contradictory beliefs or falsehoods regarding reality...

regardless of what you say, you have the freedom to say it and act on it so long as it doesn't interfere with my right to freedom, to say what i want, and to act on it...

my ideas espoused in my previous post make no effort to enslave you to a false reality, whatsoever...your claim that i'm a fascist is without merit and the result of your emotional attatchment to a false picture of reality...

let's examine the definition of fascist, in case you forget:

1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

because you've already whined about the length of my previous post, i'll withhold my explanation of why america is actually a fascist government with the understanding that i may not be able to properly explain the remainder of this argument...

allow me to sum it up this way:

you value obedience, survival, conformity...this is evident when you say that, "ADHD is useless to me an an evolutionary trait unless I can minimize its negative effects."

the negative affects of ADHD are a result of other people's subjective picture of reality, the result of the fact that people generally value obedience more than freedom without even being consciously aware of the fact...the whole habit of humans degrading themselves into obediently loyal dogs stems from old, stale habits of physical domination, followed by the intellectual rationalization of unjust physical domination through ideas relating to religion/god...god, says man, demands obedience; in reality, god hasn't demanded anything and has given all entities freedom, above anything, even the freedom to disobey...

to paraphrase, your simple solution is, "okay, i'll obey in return for success..." as you said, "I can't say that I don't imagine being more well off financially, but I'll settle for success."

you willingly trade freedom, of both thought and action, in return for material success or financial betterment; then, in order to rationalize your decision, you write a blog which promotes your oppressors ideas; that's what they would want, after all, so that you'll continue to obey in return for the reward they choose to give you...

you even begin degrading your self and being in order to assimilate; that's sad...

here you are DICTATING your subjective picture of reality in order to bring ascension to self (even if that means that others' lives are reduced to obedient slavery of thought).

the scientist observes the child not paying attention: "did you hear me?"

child: "no, i was thinking."

scientist concludes child has ADHD BECAUSE the scientist ASSUMES that the external variables are more important than the child's internal variables; this is a false and biased conclusion built on traits associated with narcissism, subjectivity, self-righteousness, and vanity...

why is this true?

simple; because the reality, the fact, is that the internal variables (child's thoughts) cannot be judged as more or less important by an external variable (the scientists self-centered diatribe); UNLESS the external observer concludes that she/he and her/his ideas are more important; and, this cannot be known without the totality of ALL knowledge.

by labeling the act of focusing on thought more than someone else's speech as a "disability," as you do, you and the scientist are saying:

"what i choose is more important than your thoughts. my internal thoughts and their manifestation are more valuable than your internal thoughts."

the reason you are false is because the above is a subjective conclusion with no factual basis in objective reality, the child with ADD/ADHD can easily rebut, with just as much merit,

"what i choose is more important than your thoughts. my internal thoughts and their manifestation are more valuable than your internal thoughts."

by the laws of logic, and all philosophical argument, one of the most fundamental requirements for a statement to be true is thus:

the description of fact cannot be negated by the same description of its opposite falsehood:

i.e. two people argue over the fact of existence; one claims existence is factual, real; one claims existence is not factual, not real, but an imaginary thing...

the latter of the two says, "you cannot know that existence is existence."

the former says, "you cannot know that existence is not existence."

fact negated.

the former replies with it's argument, "existence is existence," and the latter rebuts with,

"existence is non-existent," and vanishes into thin air...

it's preposterous, illogical, and denies reality as is the case; just as your argument that ADHD is a disability, denies reality as is the case:

the reality, as is the case, is that most human beings are religious in their efforts to subjugate other people to their own subjective picture of reality; they have used war, murder, manipulation, deception, and drugs in efforts to manifest their subjective view of reality into concrete reality...

hence all the conflict in the world despite thousands of years of "evolution." too many people with way too much ego and self-pride for truth to manifest itself naturally...

the problem most people have with ADD/ADHD is that those who are "diagnosed" are often disobedient and do not conform to the adjudicators subjective image of what a human "should" be...

hyperfocus? how is this a disability? how is it that you consider the advanced ability to concentrate a negative thing?

the only thing i'll say as regards the inattentiveness is this, the thoughts in my head are much more important than the mundane occurences floating around me; and, you have no right to DICTATE what should or should not be valued in my mind...it is my free choice to wander off in thought of our origins or political philosophy regarding oppression; those thoughts are in fact more important than some random schmuck who wants to talk about his sweaty gym socks...about his socks, i care not; and, it's my human right to ignore it.

as far as the descriptions of outbursts...again, i make the CONSCIOUS decision, through FREE WILL, to say and do things that do not conform to traditional stereotypes of human behavior BECAUSE i am aware of the fact that many people are judgmental hypocrites, fascists in patriots' clothing. i do this with the hope that people will come to understand and accept the FACT that EVERYTHING changes constantly, ESPECIALLY human behavior as regards social norms and mores...

if you truly valued freedom and human life, you'd recognize this and refrain from trying to push the idea that ADD/ADHD is a disability; instead you value your own ascension and material comfort MORE than LIFE AND FREEDOM; and, are willing to promote obedience and conformity for such things...

me? fascist? look at the definition again...you're more than free to think yourself disabled, more than free to alter your behavior, be my guest; you're more than free to ingest drugs to alter your chemistry, go ahead...i don't care...keep ranting away and it will be self-evident that you value obedience and loyalty more than freedom and human life...

however, be aware of the fact that you're labeling me as "disabled," and, because i know, with certainty, that i am perfectly ABLE to function in this society; know, with certainty, that it is people's subjective value judgments regarding behavior that causes them to oppress and devalue freedom, causes them to ensure that those who disagree with their subjective judgments are held back...you are, in fact, making subjectively based value judgments about reality which stand the chance to influence people into the act of oppressing those who they "believe" have ADD/ADHD...

know, that because my number one value is freedom, and your arguments devalue freedom, that it is my moral obligation to present the truth of objective reality through these arguments; regardless of whether you agree or disagree or continue to oppress free thinking...

"give me liberty or give me death."

i, unlike you, refuse slavery and conformity to fascist, DICTATORIAL theories and thinking; this is a necessary act if truth and objective reality are to ever manifest peacefully...

peace n whatnot,


p.s. i'm not degrading you; i'm exalting the traits of ADHD as superior to those "average" or "normal" people whom the "ADHD" individual is compared to....what i'm arguing against is the promotion of mediocrity...

S.R. Deardorff said...

you wrote:

Excellent! You've called me a nazi. Now this conversation has reached the zenith of ordure... As for doing this for money, you're one to talk with your prominently placed Google ads at the top of your blog. Following your logic YOU cannot be trusted. Since you copied your comments here and posted them into your blog to preserve them, you're also guilty of the same vanity you accuse me of. Physician, heal thyself.
i forgot i wanted to specifically comment on your irrationality here:

the google ads on my site have nothing to do with my desire to influence people's thinking or behavior; hence, the reason i mostly publish poetry on my blog; because it allows people the freedom to disregard it or embrace it, to make good use of it, or to ignore it...my blog's content makes zero effort to convince people that buying thing "x" is good for people.

you, on the other hand, have a whole site devoted to convincing people that ADD/ADHD is "bad" and that buying the books, which you link to, is "good." you've also publicly admitted that you desire success and financial betterment, whereas i could care less, i'd rather die standing up for what i believe in that become some slave or corporate whore for money...

my choice to place google ads on my site was a choice to give people the freedom to click on whatever google popped into the box; many of the ads are for things that are diametrically opposed to the messages in my writings and poetry; whereas, everything you link to is congruent with your faulty reasoning and further promotes the fact that you're using language to oppress a whole population of people who are "disabled."

if anything, i should be considered more trustworthy because i refuse to care about the consequences of promoting truth and freedom; in fact, i'll gladly let authority oppress me and violate my constitutional rights so long as i'm acting on my moral obligation to promote truth and freedom...

the fact that i pasted my comment over to my blog is not due to vanity; not due to my valuing of something that is valueless--->>>in fact, the comment is of value to everyone you inadvertantly oppress and devalue--->>>you devalue certain human beings for ascension, i devalue your idea that you are entitled to ascension for your choice to obey, conform, oppress, and enter into mental servitude...

the fact that i posted it on my blog was not motivated by inflated self-pride; rather, it was motivated by the fact that i believed that YOUR inflated self-pride would cause you to delete a post that logically pointed out your flaws...pride has nothing to do with my intent or motive whatsoever, nor with the manifestation of thoughts in action; if there was any value associated with my action, it was the value of the abstract and concrete concepts of freedom; which, i assume you to be opposed to; apparently, since you don't promote censorship--->>you're not as much of a fascist as i originally thought...good for you...

peace out,


L>T said...

Well, i won't get into that argument.(not anuff time) Sean, according to the syptoms, you have it!
I do think there is a point to be made as to what is an acual disorder, or simply lack of control over ones self. it's easy to label something as ADD/ADHD.
I had it happen to my son at school. A teacher told me he had ADD because he sqirmed alot in her class & didn't pay attention. It took him a half a hour to settle down, she said.
The funny thing was the day before He was complaining about how she spent the first half hour talking about her wonderful son who, blah, blah, blah.
I asked some of the other kids about it, & that is what they said, also.
She had acually told me my son should be on medication.
I don't really know anything about it, but I lean toward caution. A lot of things could be solved by learning self-control & patience.
Prehaps, in this busy world, we don't have time for that?
& back in the day, kids acually had to work & walk to school, they didn't eat a bunch of preservitives & crap, either.
Maybe they burned off their energy?

I'd have to say Sean makes some pretty good points, from my point of veiw.

I should read the whole thing over carefully, but as it's X-Mas eve, I just don't have time.
Happy Holidays!

wicaseyll said...

I thought that this was a rather interesting column. I have ADDHHHD and have found it to be quite helpful...to a point. I was never given medicine for it as a child and was therefore forced to cope with it and I quickly learned that this thing was not all bad. Actually, I found ADHD to be a godsend in terms of creativity and in solving daily problems. It was learning to control it that was most tiring and hazardous. And yes, it does still occasionally force itself out upon my unsuspecting friends and family. I would never change my ADHD if given the choice, yes I occasionally take medication for it when I deem it necessary, otherwise I just deal with it. I am sorry for all of the people out there without ADD or ADHD or maybe even some hybrid.

Douglas Cootey said...

L>T - The experience you talk about has been played all across America over the past decade or more. Schools have been relying on medications to make their jobs easier. So there is a backlash in the country. I've met people who tell me there is no such thing as AD/HD, that it's all a sham. It's like living back in 1984 again. If I were you I would be very careful before using medications. Obviously, your boy's teacher is not a doctor, so take her advice with a grain of salt. Boys fidget, especially if they're bored. That doesn't automatically mean he has AD/HD. I just can't easily recommend medications, especially without a proper diagnosis by a certified professional. However, learning self-control and patience is a great place to start. Whatever the reason your boy fidgets in class, learning to control those impulses can only benefit him in the long run. I say "Brava!" to you for being cautious.

wicaseyll - I'm with you. I wouldn't want to get rid of my AD/HD. I just want to discard some of its more onerous aspects. Controlling it can be so fatiguing. But would I be as entertaining to my friends and family if I didn't have AD/HD? It's hard to say now. I have spent almost four decades with it. I am shaped by it and defined by it. I guess these past ten years have been the point in my life where I determined to be defined by my positive characteristics, not my negative ones.

Good comments. Thanks for posting everyone. Have a Merry Christmas!

S.R. Deardorff said...

in the spirit of christmas:

L>T; you're right, by all "standards and measures," i qualify for ADD...actually, i've never been diagnosed with ADD; when i did have a psych evaluation at the age of 13, the psychiatrist and psychologist who evaluated me determined that ADD was a possibility, but they didn't feel confident in diagnosing my self as such...perhaps they felt there were too many external variables that could cause the behaviors i was exhibiting...

however, as it is that i've read a few of the books on add/adhd in an effort to understand self and my internal motivations; it seems pretty clear to me that i fit the description...

one thing, which i will never forget, that i consider my greatest and worst choice all at the same time was my choice, right before going into counseling at 13, to become something of a renaissance-man...i've always wanted to have knowledge and experience of many things, as opposed to specializing in one thing--->>>

making the conscious decision to learn about everything is a horrible choice for someone with the traits associated with ADD; at least in terms of its practical consequence in a society that values and strongly promotes specialization...

there's no way i could explain to anyone the internal trappings and philosophies of a mind allowed to run amok in such a manner (not without 20 hours and two meals); my goal still hasn't changed, nor will it ever; i'm an agnostic by nature, i have an insatiable desire for knowledge, analyzation, and understanding...

call me arrogant, call me pompous; i don't care, i've heard worse; i've had my life threatened and been physically attacked for speaking my mind; i fear nothing, let alone arguing...but, here's the scoop-->>if given the proper tools and resources, i could easily produce operating theories in numerous areas that would dramatically improve the quality of life for many people in the world...

i'm not allowed to do this; and, it's most certainly not due to perceiving myself as an underachiever, nor due to a conscious decision to fall into stagnation...quite the contrary, many individuals in society have made individual choices to oppress people with certain behaviors, or to oppress people who choose certain actions; which ones are irrellevant at this point: the fact is that this oppression only manifests more conflict within the individual who is oppressed, as well as within society as a whole...

but, i digress from my original intent in order to excuse the inexcusable...

you're right douglas, i shouldn't have been as abrasive as i was in my original comment; if there is a negative trait associated with add/adhd which i personally struggle with, it's the tendency to allow my emotions to creep into logical arguments (hence the extraordinarily heavy rhetoric with words like "nazi.")

obviously, you're not hitler...nor are you near his dark shade of evil...

i went back and read a few of your posts and comments, and you're not as much of a "slavish" whore as i led people to believe; for that, i apologize...

for my opinions regarding add/adhd, i'll never apologize; just like i'll never apologize for calling the racist a racist...people labeled with add/adhd are victims of a self-righteous population seeking to damn those who disagree or act differently...again, i have not the space to explain all that lies in my head here, nor would you want me to...but, the fact is that about 90% of our population claims to be christian; the fact is that christianity's two fundamental values at the base of all tenets are forgiveness and love....the fact is that most of those christians value pride and vanity more than love and forgiveness, and, in the process, become raging hypocrites at the root of the problems which they try to irradicate...

there are, obviously, exceptions to that rule; i hope you're one of them (if you're christian, that is)...

you and i, douglas, share a particular value = that of self-improvement...

think about that for a moment, if you will...

what do you suppose would happen to an individual with ADD if they directed their hyperfocus on self and the self's flaws?

1-would the ADD child become a better human being at exponentially faster rates than "normal" people?

2-could the hyperfocus be harnassed, through meditation/yoga/hypnosis so that the individual was almost always in hyperfocus mode?

3-could these be reigned in and turned on and off at will?

i say, "yes, yes, and yes."

tell me-->>how are those things bad for society as a whole? they're not.

how are they bad for the individual in whom they manifest? they're not.

what's the problem then?

"normal" people who believe they see the threat of a superior being (don't take that the wrong way), and, subsequently, punishing the child with add/adhd in order to "set them straight," despite the fact that punishment will probably induce rebellion and more "undesired" traits...

don't you find it ironic at all that you have a much more reasoned and balanced approach to the idea than the majority of the science community?

blah-->>here i am, long winded again...

my whole point is this:

you are NOT disabled.

nor is anyone diagnosed with add/adhd...

to claim such is entirely subjective and an act of falling in line with the rest who will only perpetuate the ever present conflict in human existence:

the conflict between those who seek to live freely and those who seek to control free living...the final war will not be fought between reds, yellows, whites, blacks, greens, not between haves and have-nots...

it will be fought by those who demand freedom against those who demand the right to control freedom...

in conclusion,

my apologies, and,

live freely, never stop being you, regardless of what "they" say...

live for freedom, love, and forgiveness; and, remember, freedom can exist without the existence of love; but, love cannot exist without the existence of freedom.

peace out,


Dancing Crow said...

Yep I get impulse control issues as well. I can remember singing the verses..."some people never come clean...I'm sure you know what I mean..."

Wouldn't have been too bad either, except I was singing it outside of a shower room occupied by a group of Navy Officers...they didn't see the humor in it, I'm afraid.

slö said...

nature's little secret, smuggling some empathy into "society".
feeling good here.
best wishes to all.

SAM said...

it's the second time i pass this blog accidentally..i think it meand i should read you more and scheduled...
wish you be read!

Illustrated Wolf said...

"My dalliances with gaucherie usually involve sexual matters. Not sure why. I get these amazing insights/tidbits/anecdotes/wordplays that are just bustin' to be shared. I'm the intellectual knucklehead." - Some guy who needs to be told the truth...

Shaun said...

Interesting.. I dated a girl like that.. maybe she had ADHD?


mig bardsley said...

Hi Doug, I just found your blog following blogs of note and I felt drawn to you partly because I know a boy with ADD and partly because you write so well and openly about it. and you're funny :)
The boy I mention is a sweet natured pupply like 24 going on 12 year old who plays violin in a music group I also play with. Sometimes he plays well, sometimes he plays badly. Often he has us in stitches with his non sequiteurs and sometimes he's quite exasperating. I'm very fond of him and because we are a mixed group of wildly different ages (6 to 75), abilities and temperament with a predominance of adult women we treat him pretty much as his behaviour merits at the time! So he gets put down and picked up as required and seems to thrive on it.
I hope we are doing right!
anyway, while it's true ADD can cause socially unacceptable behaviour (mostly verbal though. Am I right?) there are other behaviours which aren't always socially unacceptable and which I like to label AFDD...affection and friendliness deficit disorder. People with this problem cause trouble, aren't easily spotted and damn well aren't very nice.
I'd rather someone with your problem any day. good luck to you and what with it being Christmas day I haven't time to look at teh rest of your blog tonight but I'll be back.
And Happy boxing day :)

Anonymous said...

The freefiring neurons are a gift. The inappropriate social comments are an artificial standard (that can be trained or not).... I am much more pleased, entertained and admiring of those who are who they are, say what they think, and act with abandon and freedom. Thoughts, creativity, humor and spirited function are talents!
As a matter of fact, I envy you...

the real me said...

I think I might have ADHD

Berni said...

You are a good humorist. I understand exactly the mind-conversations you mentioned. I don't think I have ADHD -- unless one can develop it over the years. I've come to believe that there must be something akin to "Adult Onset ADHD," and teachers are most likely to develop it. Any research on that?

Joshy said...

Hi, I've got ADHD and understand perfectly what you're saying! I actually find it funny that people say that you are a good humorist or write openly and are funny. I find it funny because, from experience, I have found that ADHD seems to turn you into a court jester, you speak openly (as you mentioned, not realising the forum you're in, or simply not caring at that moment) and it seems to end up being interpreted that way. I don't think that anyone would ever talk to me about anything serious, but I provide them with entertainment and friends like me for that. I used to get depressed about not being able to say things without making everyone feel awkward, but after mastering how to keep it down around important people, the whole ADHD thing gives me a laugh as well. If you're going to be stuck with something, why get depressed when you can just laugh at yourself? You can't get rid of it so you might as well enjoy it! Anyway good work and keep going, you're doing well!

Zionita Fisher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Annie said...

Thank you for your blog. I too have ADD - along with my son, my daughter and my seven brothers and sisters and their 25 children. Can you imagine our holiday dinners? It is chaos - but fun. My belief - ADD is the next evolution of human beings. All geniuses (Einstein, Speilberg, Da Vinci, Kennedy, etc.) have or had ADD. ADD leads to creativity and breakthroughs - although at times we cannot focus long enough to finish the entire process - but that is why those without ADD were made. Keep those thoughts coming.

Me said...

Love your blog. There are about a million things I want to say but I'm feeling overwhelmed. Synaptic misfires abound! Oh my god! All these people I can relate to. Anyway... happy to have found you skipping around in the blogs of note. I love the Absentminded Bookshelf too.

Barry S. said...

Very nice blog. Quite the interesting read if I do say so myself!
I work in medical research, primarily with bipolar, ADHD and depression. My hat is off to you for writing with humor and not with negativity - there sure is enough of that in the world as it is.

Paradox said...

I only had time to read like one post but I was glad (well not glad u have it)that there is someone I can relate to.I was just diagnosed with AD/HD a couple of months ago which expains a lot. I have 2 children, a teenager and ironically a 4 yr old too both of whom also have ADHD also. I'm a college student and most of the time I find it very difficult not because of the lessons but because sometimes its really hard to organize my thoughts enough to get whats in my mind down on paper. I have found that medication helps but I am still learning how to deal with this, and trying to find information.You're blog is great I look forward to visiting it again.

Lisa said...

I love your blog! As a mom, of two children with disabilities..I have taken to humor and sarcasm as a release as well.

One important lesson I have learned from my experiences is do not judge others. And those who do judge harshly, have not taken the time to understand the whole situation.

Do not let those people ever get to you! Honestly, your blog has given me true hope (since one of my children may have ADHD). I will certainly make you a regular stop..I'm glad you were featured. Congratulations!!

Bekah said...

Congratulations on the Blog of Note, I for one am glad I found this blog. I feel like just after reading two posts that I know exactly what you are talking about (especially the whole foot in mouth thing). I look forward to checking in on your blog on a regular basis, and I would like to include a link to it on my blog if this is okay with you.

Frank Gilroy said...

I too would like to thank Blogger for making your blog a "Blog of note". Otherwise I probably wouldn't have found it. I've been too busy starting and not maintaining several blogs. :)

I too am an individual with pretty serious attention problems in adult hood. My biggest problem is keeping my ADD in mind so that I don't forget I have this problem. I'm coming off of a several month downward spiral that I probably could have headed-off. Anyway, I'll definitely try to keep your blog towards the top of my list.

Now off to start another project I probably won't finish :)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Douglas Cootey said...

It's been hard to keep up with all the comments. Flu, Christmas, Family, etc. Let's see if I can make a quick stab at them. I don't have time to respond to everyone this time, so I hope you won't mind.

Illustrated Wolf ~ I think you're trying to insult me. Don't try so hard. You might hurt yourself.

mig ~ Great story. Thanks for sharing. One of the plus sides to AD/HD seems to be a wacky sense of humor. Comes from all those free firing neurons. ;) I know I have entertained my wife for years - even before we were married. I hope to continue the tradition. Happy Boxing Day to you as well.

Berni ~ Yes, there's been research. The book by Hallowell I took my column's theme from (listed above) refers to this as psuedo AD/HD - meaning that many elements of our modern environment contribute to AD/HD-like symptoms in adults. The difference between this "Adult Onset ADHD", as you describe it, and real AD/HD is that once the environment is changed the symptoms disappear.

Joshy ~ Fantastic comments! Thank you. That is exactly what I've been trying to get at. Being a court jester in front of the boss may not always be an advantage. If you can learn to turn that part of you on and off, or at least muzzle it when you're around your boss, then you can have the best of both worlds. Way to go!

Annie ~ I'm not sure if ADD is the next evolution since it's been around for a long time. I think, instead, that it is a facet of the human experience that is ill suited for this rigid 9 to 5 world we live in today. As for geniuses, I can have dozens of creative ideas a day but unless I can follow through on them they remain simply ideas. And you know what they say about ideas: they're a dime a dozen. I know that may sound harsh, but if I really want to prove, for instance, that I'm an astounding and creative genius I am going to need finished projects as evidence. Otherwise, I'm just a genius in my own mind.

Loved your comments. Thanks for posting them.

Meredith ~ Isn't it amazing!?! I am still surprised everyday to find so many intelligent comments to sift through. I'm having a hard time keeping up. Glad you like my other blog. Now if only I could stop responding to comments and write up a new review. ;)

Barry S. ~ Thank you, sir. There have been a few people who have taken offense at my positive approach to AD/HD as a problem or disability. How fortunate that they are only few. I have been delighted by how positive and inspirational most of the commenters have been. Hope you can drop by again.

Paradox ~ Outlines! That is the secret to writing papers. I didn't learn that secret until the 11th grade and I remember thinking, "Why on Earth has nobody shown this to me before!?!" Suddenly I could organize all my thoughts and ideas and actually get them onto paper. I don't have to use them now for my blog because I've internalized the process, but if you want to know more of what I mean, email me: TheSplinteredMind @ gmail.com

Lisa ~ Thank you. I don't let them get to me. In fact, several people have written scathing blogs about my blog and I haven't lost any sleep over it. Much to my mother-in-law's chagrin I love leaving comments on their blogs in response to their usually foul mouthed rantings.

Good luck with your children. There are so many resources for a parent today concerning this disorder that you should have a much easier time of it compared to even ten years ago.

Frank ~ My downward spirals used to last months as well. I wish you luck shortening them down to small events. It's easier said than done, but the trick is to shorten the period between when you slip into a spiral and when you realize you have slipped. I've closed the gap to only hours now. It's taken me 13 years, but I'm much happier now that I'm not wasting so much time being sad and unproductive. Thanks for dropping by. Hope to hear from you again.

MomEtc. said...

Hi there. I stumbled upon your blog accidentally and I'm very glad I did. I have a classmate who just told me she suffers from ADHD. Reading your site has helped explain a lot of her behavior. Unfortunately, due to this behavior she is on the verge of possibly being thrown out of graduate school. She's being forced to undergo psychological testing and has recently consulted a lawyer. We both see the same shrink at school. I don't know if the doc knows about the ADHD (she's treating my friend for GAD), but I'd really like to know how best to help her. There must be a medication or some therapy that can help. I'm trying to save her education and her future career that she has put so much work into. She's a brilliant person with a kind heart. Thanks for any direction you can give me. Margaret Fusina bookstruck@yahoo.com

Brenda said...

I am a 51-year-old female diagnosed with ADD only three years ago. I've never been married and now I understand how much my ADD-triggered behaviors have to do with my bad relationship track record. As to blurting inappropriate things and thereby wrecking social situations, one instance (among many) came to mind as I read what you wrote. It was on a date with a very handsome guy I'd met a few days earlier at a party, who asked me out. I was very nervous, which tends to make my ADD behaviors harder to control. Well, I asked him what he did for a living. He said he scouted out real estate for companies looking to relocated. My ADD-mouth blurted out, "Well, I guess somebody has to do that." He just looked stunned. In my mind, I had thought at the moment, "what a pretty boring job." I certainly wasn't going to say something that rude, however. Instead, in an effort to be more polite (ha, ha) my ADD brain came up with that (horrible) alternative... I'd also like to comment on the woman who suggested you think less and do more... When I told my mother about my ADD diagnosis, she pooh-poohed it and said, "You don't have ADD -- you just have to concentrate." Duh -- My mother, by the way, could be the poster child for ADD, but at 70 years old, she doesn't want to hear about it. However, she is the queen of saying the most horrible things, and is totally oblivous to the damage she does. Case in point, when I told her I was going on this date with the handsome guy, she said, "That's nice, but -- I wouldn't say this if you weren't overweight -- but he is new in town and probably doesn't know anyone else." To my mother, that was a caring statement... trying to save me the pain of this guy rejecting me when he found someone slimmer... aarrgghhh.... -- Brenda

Brenda said...

I just took the time to read all the other comments here and would like to add just a couple of things.

Sean, you definitely have ADD... a million great ideas, and none of them actually bearing fruit -- I think that's classic. And, to me, that's part of what makes ADD a "disability."

I also want to say how grateful I am for having stumbled upon the medication that works for me - on the first try -- which is Wellbutrin XL. It was prescribed for depression and ended up quieting my mind. I want to tell you that I had resisted medication for anything because I thought I would turn into somebody else. The actual result is that I am MORE myself, because I can focus and turn many of my ideas (which still bubble in my brain) into concrete results. Maybe it works because I take a really low dose (150 mg) and only once a day.?

Also, I do think that the ADD mind, in many ways, is actually ADAPTIVE to the way things are in our world today-- lots of info, things that change in the blink of an eye, everything fast, fast, fast.

And, while I agree that my blurting often entertains people (I have been compared to Phoebe on the TV show "Friends"), it can also be hurtful -- see my previous comments about things my mother says to me. It got so bad on Christmas Eve that I ended up screaming at the top of my lungs at her, "Shut the f**k up!" after she kept "blurting" after I asked her to change the subject. My mother is oblivious to the reactions she provokes -- until it gets to that horrible emotional peak. An hour later, I went into her room and apologized, and said, "When someone is yelling at you to stop talking, mom, you have to learn to STOP talking. Otherwise, no one is listening to each other." What is typical of my mother, is that SHE did NOT apologize for her contribution to that awful scene. Oblivious.

As for "adult onset ADD" -- up until recently, I ran a support group for adults with ADD. One thing I asked anyone who was self-diagnosed was how far back in their lives they could trace the symptoms. And this is because, ADD symptoms can also be caused by head injuries, brain tumors and other conditions -- so it is essential to see a doctor and make sure none of these things are the cause. I actually had a severe concussion three years ago, but my ADD symptoms can be traced back to kindergarten or earlier. The concussion made things worse (i.e. memory loss).

And finally, I also ordered that kit for depression and it is excellent -- IF you can stick with it. I got benefit out of it, but did it in my ADD way -- skipping around in the book, watching the videos when I was in the mood, listening to the audio tapes in the car -- losing the program for several months -- and recently going back to it.

By the way, I recently gave up on my ADD support group. People would be all excited about it, come to three meetings and then disappear. When I had to change the meeting time, no one could remember it. Running the meetings was a trip, besides. One of the tenants of a support group (normally) is "no crosstalk." Can you imagine telling a bunch of people with ADD (1) not to interupt each other and (2) not to monopolize the conversation and (3) to stick to the topic we were talking about? Talk about funny. :-) Brenda
PS - I just started my own blog, nothing as way cool as yours, at http://add-ledminds.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

This comment is in response to some of Sean Deardorff’s remarks.

First off, you refer to ADD/ADHD as “biological evolution occurring before our very eyes.”

Dude, can I buy some pot off of you?

I mean, what the hell? That statement is wrong in more ways than one.

First of all, you have to believe evolution is a FACT and not a THEORY. Last time I checked, it was still referred to as “Evolutionary Theory.”

Why is it a THEORY? Because there’s not enough evidence to substantiate it as fact.

Personally, I think evolution is a crock. Why? It’s too complicated to go into here, but I’ll sum it up by saying that in order to believe in evolution, you first have to believe that it takes millions of years to happen. Secondly, you have to believe that almost all life on Earth decides to evolve about the same time. Then if you can swallow that, you’re expected to believe that some things haven’t evolved.

Anyway, I digress.

So basically, you’re theory is based upon another theory. That sounds promising. –rolls eyes-

Secondly, you’re referring to ADD/ADHD as “biological” when you can’t even prove that!

How can you be so sure it’s biological? From what I understand, ADD/ADHD has more to do with thought, which is to say it has more to do with your MIND than it does with biology.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t consider one’s mind biological. I think that falls into the realm of Spirit. I mean, it’s not like you can show me your mind. Where does it reside? How does it work?

I surely hope you don’t mistake the brain, an ORGAN inside your head, for your mind … for your thought.

Even if you think your mind resides in your brain, you could still never show me your mind. It’s intangible!

Think of something, anything. Now show me that thought. You can’t! You can draw it, write, or express it to me in some physical form … but you could never show me the thought.

So are you so certain that ADD/ADHD is even biological?

You also state, “EVERYTHING changes-->>get over it and accept the fact.”

Really? You know this for fact?

To borrow something you said, “this cannot be known without the totality of ALL knowledge.”

Wouldn’t you have to have the “totality of ALL knowledge” to know for a FACT that “EVERYTHING changes?”

You also state, “the prescription of medicines to control people with these behaviors is an ignorant effort to force conformity.”

Again, is this opinion or fact? I mean, to me it sounds like an opinion represented as fact.

You say, “your suggestion that people SHOULD talk about this there and SHOULD NOT do this there or speak of this then is nothing but self-righteous fascism in disguise.”

Again, sounds like an opinion to me being represented as fact.

What I don’t understand about your response, however, is why having respect for your fellow human beings is such a bad thing.

I mean, some people have really overactive and vivid imagination combined with weak stomachs … so is it wrong to watch what you say while other people are eating?

I’m not sure about you, but where I’m from we call that kind of act having respect and love for your fellow man? Apparently you refer to it as “forced conformity.”

Hypothetical situation.

A person at a child’s funeral walks past the casket and upon approaching the grieving mother, instead of offering condolences feels inclined to tell a joke.

The person asks the crying, deceased child’s mother, “What’s funnier than a dead baby?”

And in response to the grieving mother’s dropped jaw, the person proudly blurts out, “A dead baby in a clown suit!”

According to you, that’d be all right. It’s not the least bit anti-social or inappropriate? Instead of being condemned or vilified … the person should be commended for not caving into conformity and for lacking empathy, respect, and common sense?

Is that what you’re saying?

If you answered no, then I don’t know what you’re so worked up about.

No one’s forcing anyone to act a certain way or to conform. No one is taking away someone’s freedom to be who they are.

If someone doesn’t say something that comes to mind out of respect, love, and empathy … then that person realizes something apparently you do not … you are part of a larger whole.

I’m assuming by your one comment that you’re a Christian. If so, what did Jesus say concerning the most important commandment?
Mark 12:

28 One of the scribes approached. When he heard them debating and saw that Jesus answered them well, he asked Him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?"

29 "This is the most important," Jesus answered: Listen, Israel! The Lord our God, The Lord is One.

30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.

31 "The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these."

Did you ever stop to wonder what it means to love? To truly love, one must be selfless.

You also state, “the fact is that ADD/ADHD only exists as a set of "undesirable" behaviors defined by people who seek to judge and control everybody but themselves, even if it means drugging them up as an experiment to see if it eliminates certain behaviors...”

Wow, you actually labeled that a fact! I would have assumed that was just personal opinion otherwise. Since it is indeed a fact, then you can prove it to me. I’d love to hear it.

You state, “your problem isn't a disorder, your problem is a society full of individuals who have severe neurosis and an insatiable desire to damn anything they believe to be ‘evil.’”

Personal opinion or fact?

I find it ironic that you go on in length about reality whether it’s objective and subjective because I don’t know if you even have a clue what those words mean.

If you did, you’d realize that everything you have said is subjective, but you represent it as if it’s the objective truth.

Some how, you must have gained the “totality of ALL knowledge” and is why you’re able to declare that someone’s reality is subjective compared to your own … which I’m assuming must be objective.

So you’re reality is the one and only true one? And you have the nerve to tell someone else that they have a “desire to appear superior to others?”

You state, “the reality, as is the case, is that most human beings are religious in their efforts to subjugate other people to their own subjective picture of reality; they have used war, murder, manipulation, deception, and drugs in efforts to manifest their subjective view of reality into concrete reality...”

Again, you use the word reality like you know exactly what IT is. Are you even aware that scientists now think that thought, its self, affects the physical Universe?

Plus, if that statement ain’t the pot calling the kettle black, I don’t know what is. You sure as hell aren’t “religious in” your “efforts t subjugate other people to” your “own subjective picture of reality.”

No, not in the least.

You also state, “you have no right to DICTATE what should or should not be valued in my mind...”

But apparently it’s okay for you to do so. It’s okay for you to DICTATE that someone value “LIFE AND FREEDOM” over their “own ascension and material comfort.”

How come you have this authority and right “to DICTATE what should or should not be valued in” other’s minds? Why should anyone value what you value?

Wouldn’t that be … CONFORMITY???

You state, “i do this with the hope that people will come to understand and accept the FACT that EVERYTHING changes constantly, ESPECIALLY human behavior as regards social norms and mores...”

Again, you use the word FACT, except this time you capitalized. Once more, I ask you, is it truly FACT? If so, prove it to me.

You also claim that ADD/ADHD is not a disability. It’s like saying someone suffering from OCD doesn’t have a disability.

Better yet, it’s like saying Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is biological evolution occurring before our very eyes.

-laughing my ass off-

I mean, think of all the advancement having no CONTROL over your mind can bring. Think of how being a SLAVE to repetitive, uncontrollable thoughts can progress all mankind.

Let me tell you, the people I’ve met with OCD, they love how they have to check that they turned off the stove 117 times before they can leave the house … or whatever their personal affliction(s) may be. They love how it disrupts their lives. They wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world.

What I don’t understand about you is how you can be so intelligent, but yet so damn stupid at the same time.

I mean, you contradict yourself a lot.

For instance, you tell Doug he has not right to dictate what you or anyone should value, but you that’s all you’re doing!!!

Then you keep talking about objective and subjective reality and truth, without realizing that every egotistical drenched word coming out of your mouth is “subjective.”

I’m still not sure you understand what those words mean. Otherwise, you would have known that it would come back to bite you in the ass. Why would someone go on and on about their personal opinions and at the same time tell someone else that they’re view on reality is subjective without realizing the same for himself?

It’s like one person says, “Hitler was an evil man.”

Another person says, “Hitler was a great man.”

Who’s right?

They both are!

How can that be? They’re both subjective!

So let me ask you, how is anything you said any more “the objective truth” than what Doug said?


And dude, what the hell are with your references to the mysterious “they” and the “oppressors”?

I like “The X-Files” too, but watch something else once in a while. It’ll be good for your paranoia!

You know Sean why I decided to respond to your comments. There are several reasons.

1. I have FREE WILL and chose to exercise it and do so.
2. I’m an arrogant, sarcastic, pompous ass.
3. I wanted to point out you’re “faulty reasoning” since you were so kind to do so for Doug.
4. I’m bored as Hell.
5. I feel sorry for you!

Yeah, you read that right … I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU!

You go on and on about FREEDOM and how “freedom is the fundamental truth of existence,” but you’re the less FREE person I’ve ever come across.

That’s right Sean … you’re a SLAVE!!!

You want to know what’s ironic about it? You know who your MASTER, your oppressor, is? It’s … YOU!

You have no clue what it even means to be FREE.

You might know the definition of FREEDOM, but you definitely can’t grasp the “state” of FREEDOM.

Let me leave you with some lyrics from Audioslave.

If you're free you'll never see the walls
If your head is clear you'll never free fall
If you're right you'll never fear the wrong
If your head is high you'll never fear at all

I hope by now that you see the irony. That no matter how well your intentions, you became what you wrote about.

By passing judgment, you have become the oppressor. By stating your views and opinions, you’ve encouraged conformity.

Once you put thought to paper (web page) on the matter, you set in motion the very thing you were ranting about.

Chain729 said...

I, like others, agree with your stance on disabilities. I'm bi-polar and the impulses, social awkwardness, and random and racing thoughts remind me of some of the things that I do while manic or hypo-manic. So, I know how much of a PITA it is to get through the day sometimes. Its always nice to see someone else in a similar predicament that takes a proactive approach to their disability, rather than spending their lives pushing off responsibility and sulking in the consequential misery.

My GF has adult ADD- amongst other things and compounded by an ENFP personality- and being the calculating guy that I am, I find it interesting to watch her. Half the time I can't figure out how the hell she manages to get from one day to the next with absolutely no direction what-so-ever. I suppose that watching people like that will always intrigue me.

Granted, the foot-in-mouth disease is annoying from time to time- of course, so are my mood swings- but because of it she ends up telling me things that are going through her head that she otherwise wouldn't have, due to inhibitions. So, eventhough I pretty much have to tie her mind down to actually complete a discussion about a single topic, I still find it quite helpful.

Considering the above, and your valuable gift of humor, I've told her to check your blog. Then again, I'll probably have to duct tape her to a chair to get her to sit still long enough to read it.

Brenda said...

skimming over the most recent comments, I think we would all have to agree that (generally speaking) folks with ADD sure are long-winded! I also confess that I was too impatient to read the entire posts!

Douglas Cootey said...

Margaret ~ Thanks for dropping by. Medication works for many people, but the side effects are detrimental to many others. I had a nephew who was on Adderal, I believe. He began to do very well on that medication but developed nervous tics and plucked out both his eyebrows. I believe he is on something else now. At any rate, I have permanent neurological damage because of desoxyn, so I don't recommend medications lightly. I do acknowledge, however, that they are effective and safe for some individuals.

My recommendation for your friend would be to contact her school's disability department. There are resources there that can help her work better, as well as intervene on her behalf. I don't know how
effective your shrink is, but I have had excellent results with cognitive behavior therapy. Whoever your friend decides to work with, if she tries medication she needs to a) get a second opinion and b) work very closely, almost daily if possible, with the shrink to monitor potential side effects. I wish her luck. You're a good friend

Brenda ~ Great story about the ADD support group. :) Thanks for commenting. And thank you for the feedback on that kit. Be sure to let us know if your recent attempt to use it is useful for you.

Anon ~ Thank you for your passionate defense. Now that Sean has decided I'm not as much of a fascist as he thought I was - to which I'm thankful, I think - hopefully Sean has moved on to other forums to fight the good fight against freedom haters and fascist sheep. I simply didn't have the energy to go point to point with him.

Chain729 ~ You have a black sense of humor, my friend. :) Hopefully your girlfriend appreciates it.

As for sulking, I've done my fair bit of that and have decided wondering "Why me?" doesn't get me any closer to my goals so I just rolled up my sleeves and got busy. These holidays have been a terrible distraction from my goals. Not to mention being sick for 3 weeks. I look forward to the upcoming week so I can get productive again. Thanks for posting.

Brenda ~ :) ADD people get very passionate when they become focused. You're seeing a lot of that on this blog. I've even had to implement a comments policy to try to keep the forums work and family safe. It's been a real kick reining in passionate, hyperfocused posters with foot-in-mouth disease. LOL

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