Dr. Umesh Jain
is now exclusively responsible
for TotallyADD.com
and its content
Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

The Forums Forums Ask The Community Is there really "nothing positive" about ADD?

Viewing 15 posts - 91 through 105 (of 126 total)
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  • Wgreen

    I don’t dismiss him. He’s a biological chemist. His expertise and mine don’t intersect. Having said that, I see nothing on his web page about the positive effects of ADD. But maybe I’m missing something. What “gifts” are you referring to? A tendency of ADDers to take dangerous risks?


    I’m back in…….for yet another kick at the cat.

    Within any society, there are two easily identifiable groups:

    1) A majority power in-group and,

    2) Numerous minority powerless out-group(s)

    Our ADD community would be classified, as a minority powerless out-group. The majority in-group is the yardstick by which all normative (the ideal model, standard or positive) behavior is determined. The standards found within the majority in-group are adopted by society as ” that societies positive social behaviors or traits” and become the model by which all positive and negative behaviors are measured. We (the ADD community ) are constantly (maybe not consistently but constantly) measured against that majority power in-group norm criteria.

    Therefore, if the majority normative (positive) model is the standard against which every other (minority) group is measured, what the results will typically indicate is, the minority groups exhibit some level of deviation from the norm, or some degree of “less positive, or negative traits”. So if the ADD community constantly shows a deviation from that norm, then they must ultimately be viewed as consistently deficient or less positive!!!

    As for research, research(s) are compelled to legitimize their process(s) and results. Legitimizing research is an issue for any researcher, chemist, or scientific types, but even more so for, the Psychiatric field who constantly fight for legitimization and scientific recognition. They are interested in such things as proving there is no element of bias, and their results are obtained by “complete blind” testing, and that their process(s) are indeed scientifically valid. That’s generally what Psychiatric research strives for. If we think there is no preconceived agenda hmmmmmmm………I think we have an issue.

    So as I said….if we are a deviation from the normative majority (which we have to be), then we will constantly come up as deviant and deficient. So in a society controlled by the majority power group, all aspects (education, work place, standards of right and wrong) of that society are designed (not by accident) to accommodate that majority norm, and, advance the determined notion of right and wrong, desirable and undesirable, positive and negative, on all social and economic levels. It stands to reason then that societal structures are not designed to accommodate the advancement of a minority, such as the ADD community. IQ tests, model behavior, educational development and testing, social behavior etc…this list of measures is not exhaustive.

    It stands to reason if an out-group minority deviates from the prescribed norm (by definition) then society is compelled to judge that group and it’s deviation, or, why else have standards??? The fact that a large percentage of our minority ADD population does come up as deviant, can’t find suitable employment, is lower educated, falls to the lower end of the socio-economic scale, is high on the list for depression, and generally are determined to be less than proficient at negotiating within the majority structure….is no surprise!!!!

    The question of the struggle may be further exacerbated…..by a socio-economic issues rather than by science. Who is going to take the initiative on the minorities behalf to try and re-tip or re-address the normative scale to accommodate a somewhat obscure minority powerless out-group??? It ain’t gunna happen….there is no societal payday….no benefit, nor social will, which is what is required to make those types of huge societal changes. Society has just barely begun to accommodate the female gender and people of color, or origin other than white, western, Europeans. We (the ADD community) are pretty far down on the social accommodation priority list. We can’t even get anybody to begin to consider developing or revamping the education system to accommodate people who are not from the very middle of the normative majority.

    So we struggle, we are told by ever so much empirical evidence that we are deficient…….we must try harder, or we must medicate to (at least) make the appearance of fitting into the normative mould. If we cannot emulate the normative, and fall victim to majority social sanctions, then there are social system safety nets, that majority power in-group has so kindly put at our disposal.

    However, in spite of the negative deficient benchmarks, some of us appear to have exploited our differences (for whatever reason) to our personal benefit. As Pete says “we hit their ball so far out of the park”, that the majority can’t help but embrace us (un-wittingly) in-spite of our otherwise non-normative traits. So yes, the deck is stacked, according to the majority norm, we are different, different and deficient by their standard measures…….yet, in spite of the stack we appear to have folks who shine, and shine differently and brighter than many of the already advantaged majority???? Hmmmm……what could we do in the right environment???



    Hey TF—I think everybody knows now where I stand on this, BUT, I’ve gotta admit, I was taken aback the first time I heard Dr. Barkley say (on YouTube), with absolutely no equivocation, that there was NO upside to ADD at all. Period. That seems a dangerous rock for a researcher to stand on. When Pete posted his list of “gifts,” I thought to myself, “Yeah, a few of those apply to me.” Of course, the problem is, I have no idea what my personality would be like if I didn’t have ADD. Maybe I’d still have those attributes, and in spades.

    What seems undeniably true is that ADD presents catastrophic problems for many and difficult challenges for others. So it is unquestionably serious business, and it would be irresponsible to wallpaper it with smiley faces. I can’t resist borrowing the prose of Gautam Malkani in a piece he wrote about a different subject in the FT, “Self-destruction [as a consequence of ADD] is more dystopian even than nihilism. Not only does it imply hopelessness, it suggests [we] are cut off not just from society, but also from [our]selves.”

    Still… there have been more than a handful of people on this site and others who, for whatever reason, say they thrive in spite of—or because of—ADD (assuming they’ve been properly diagnosed), some aggravating issues notwithstanding. I don’t know why they would lie. So, I really was hoping that a credentialed expert would log in and present statistically valid evidence for a slightly more upbeat perspective. I’m still waiting.


    Howdy Wg…it might be cool I agree. I guess having an ultimate authority/expert type could be fun…….but hell look how much stimulation and entertainment or fun we have had for days now. As OCDers we can debate flat vs round shoelaces with vigor!!!!

    Really I haven’t even got my coffee yet this a.m. and first I checked to see what this crew was up to……..you folks…..we kill me!!!

    I hear you tho….maybe some exhaulted voice will wade in…but……….remember Psychology / Psychiatry are more art than science but desperately trying to reverse that concept so the science community will accept them. The search for definitive chemistry or genetics may or may not happen ever, if there is no driver $$$$$$$.

    It may also be a little like knowing the year, month and day you will die…given the choice would you like to know???????

    I NEED coffee……..gotta boogie



    [The easy way to avoid a teacher or parent using his expert opinion as a way to force medication would be for Barkley to temper his statement to say, “ADD is a serious disorder that causes real, proven problems for people & no one should be denied medication on the basis of other people that say it is a gift”.]

    Good point, but I think that tempering it thus adds medication into the statement, when I don’t think it’s about medication at all. I think it’s about recognising the deficits and not confusing the issue by calling it a gift.

    Pete-Puma, I agree that ADHD wouldn’t be seen as a problem if we lived in a different sort of world. I think maybe I’d even like to live in a more chaotic, ADD type of world! But we live in a world where people expect us to ‘just do it’. Dyslexia wouldn’t be a disability if we didn’t use language. Having no legs wouldn’t be a disability if everyone else had no legs – and maybe I’d go as far as to say that someone born with legs might be seen as ‘disabled’ because they couldn’t get around easily on their hands and bum? And someone who wanted to use language in a non-language world might be seen as having a deficit in silence? Or self reliance?

    What I mean is, even if it is only cultural bias that defines disability, isn’t that enough?

    I went to a lecture a couple of months ago where an amazing speaker talked about how learning differences were only disabilities because of how children are expected to function in classrooms that aren’t suitable for them. At the time, I wholeheartedly agreed. (I’m black or white – I don’t do shades of grey very easily.) But now, maybe I’m learning to see the grey after all.

    Classrooms are very badly set up for children with learning difficulties and a few basic changes could make a world of difference. Absolutely. And to that end, learning differences should be seen as simply that – differences – and we can all learn given the right environment. And we should keep striving for equality of opportunity.

    BUT I’m wary. Saying these things are mere differences, not disabilities implies that people just need some accommodations and we’ll be able to do what everyone else can. But is that really so?


    Wow….got my first coffee and morning cigar…….sitting in the sun on my deck…..beauty!!!!

    I am from that school Tiddler, the school of let’s say “soft sciences”. I do firmly believe that so many people from so many walks of life with gifts or detriments (not just ADD) would not be labeled as such except for the conditions in which they find themselves. The typical class room is not conducive to a learning environment to start with, it is certainly not designed for very active, verbal, random processing vision types.

    Listening, sitting, not moving, not challenging, writing accepting bland none relative information may not be our strong suit!!! Others from another world may well be more suited to that environment, and they are the vast majority….therefore if society is provided limited resources for let’s say for education…….well you know what happens. Society feeds the bigger beast!!!

    Any minority out-group is typically disadvantaged in this manner…..I’m sure with very little imagination we can come up with pages of situations where a segment of individuals can be deemed disadvantaged…….turn the circumstances around and they become the advantaged. Pete-P was alluding to that with his 6’5″ comments…..fine on a basketball court, not so good in a jet-fighter.

    Unfortunately for us it starts very early in our lives (about 5 yrs of age)….school age. At that tender very impressionable age we are forced into an environment that is totally unsuited for us……and told we are broken toys. Remember the education system is our gate-way to the “promised land” and we already are judged and told we don’t belong, we can’t have the key….AT 5 YRS OF AGE!!! Our critical support group (our family) is also informed of our misfortune, and they believe the ultimate authority….because that’s what society tells them is right!!! God knows the authorities are right because….. they are where they are, because they are authority!!!!

    Both my children (well they are 27 & 30) are also ADD, they are wonderful wonderful people. One has a university degree the other is a bartender…..which does not mean a damn thing!!! I place no value judgement there…they are great great people, and, they have a parent who is also ADD..me. They have been raised in an environment that is Pro ADD….and it has made a world of difference in their lives. They know the world is what it is……they understand that they are square pegs…..but it is no reflection on them.


    Opps screwed up on the puter somehow here is the rest of my post…………doh!!!!

    They are for the most part well adjusted folks, in spite of the educational system beating them down all their lives. I attribute that to having a support system at home that understands the anomaly and supports them and their attributes vigorously.

    Hahahaha my partner just got up…and asked what I was doing….rolled her eyes slightly (she loves us dearly)…..back on the ADD sight honey??? We had a discussion about this thread…..I had an ahhaaa moment. You she is is a minority in our home….she is not ADD, she is one of them. She is disadvantaged, socially, parentally and in other ways in her own home. She just said “I’m the odd man out here and, always have been. Hard place for a mother to be, it is frustrating and confusing for her, and has led to problems in the past. The normative behavior and advantaged segment in our small world is to be ADD. She struggles with how we operate and struggles to understand our needs as an ADD house. She bless her, now understands the ADD outsiders issues because she lives it in her own home. Her greatest contribution has been her unconditional love of her children and a untiring drive to understand.

    As we sit here she shares that our children were fortunate that they lived in an environment that understood and explained to them constantly (day after day hour after hour and still today) why they were having difficulties in the world and that indeed they were fine. It is the majority of the society that has the issue, and that overwhelming normative perspective that society at large holds.

    So our house is just a small capsule of what maybe possible, maybe???. I can’t begin to say what’s true for everybody or every household, all I know is this is what my experience is. I think it is somewhat to do with my perspective and my opinion of normative which is right here, at my feet, not some arbitrary norm determined by a group scholastic academics. I don’t buy what others are selling, I buy what is right for me……I can work with that. My perspective clears my table of a lot of oppressive information that I would otherwise find debilitating and would have without question held me back in life. What’s right is right, and I know what I know…for me, I cannot be dissuaded from that.

    Please, remember this is just my story from my perspective…..but I can work with it……it works for me. It is not the easy road nor is it the road most traveled, but it has been rewarding to-date.

    Anyway my coffee has gotten cold and my cigar has gone out…..time for a re-charge.


    Shadow Nexus

    pete-puma> Have you been recruited by the Star League to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan armada?!? I loved that movie.

    I was wondering when someone would figure that out. I could so relate to him. I love that movie, got it on dvd. Critics compared it to star wars, but I couldn’t relate to luke. A bit on the corny side, but lots of fun. :)

    Well said -too fat-. Lets get simple. We(ADHD persons) are the normal rational people. The majority are freaks, losers, morons, and lemmings.

    USA Society puts pressure on you to get married and breed. Some people not suited for one or both. We see the results in the media all the time. The mother who shakes her her kid to death. The mother who put her kid into a microwave. The ones who kill all their kids. The high divorce rate here.

    If you ask her to get married, your expected to give her an engagement ring before the wedding. Defined for the average person, a shiny transparent rock 1/2 the size of pea on shiny metal ring. Then you buy another rock on a ring of metal. The bigger the rock, the bigger the love you have for her. Your expected put the respective rock rings on each other fingers. For the day, you buy a massively expensive dress. For the average person, you spend 20k on your wedding day. Wear a white dress, even if your not virgin.

    If your a rational person:

    I’m expected to pay how much for that? Twice? Why not just a silver ring or necklace.

    I love you more since I gave you a bigger rock ring. That’s insane.

    Your buying $2000 wedding dress your only going to wear once??

    You getting into 20k into debt for a one day event.

    Get lost you crazy bitch! Bye Bye

    In history, there was hand-fasting.

    Try this idea, a real wedding. Get a long vine with big leaves just before the event. Go to a national park and find great spot. With a (insert religion or spirituality) priest present, say your lifetime commitment vows at sunrise. Nothing too $$$ or unnatural for wedding area. When the priest is done, you reach out and hold their hand. The priest then wraps the wine around your arms and ties it. They say, “You are now married.” You turn and walk down the isle bound in front of your friends and family. One vine leaf is presented from both sides of the isle to the bride and groom as a sign of approval. When you leave the wedding area, you are lifetime bound and may remove the vine as it it longer needed. Then you start your lives together. A simple and beautiful ritual.


    Filmbuff1984 I also immediately recognized the Starfighter i just didn’t mention it. I love the movie too and have it on VHS. Used the movie in a class I was teaching in 1985. I need to find it on DVD when I have money for that kind of thing.

    Wgreen – Dr. Thomas Brown also spoke at the conference that is on CADDAC website. I listened to it a couple of months ago. I don’t remember the details of his lecture and I don’t have time today to listen to more than the first 10 minutes. He had some interesting thing to say about growing up with ADD and how the symptoms can get better or worse as we get older depending on the stuff that this thread is made of. Maybe tomorrow I can go back and listen to it again.


    It’s gotten WORSE for me since I turned 50. I can tell, so can folks around me. Trust me.

    I don’t mean a little worse, I mean a lot, and every aspect of it.

    It was never a gift for me, and now it’s a rusty anchor dragging me down in every area of life, there’s nothing positive to use.

    I’d have set the world on fire were it not for ADHD, and now it’s worse than chains, it’s chains and weights in quicksand.


    @filmbuff1984, at the risk of hijacking the thread, I agree on Luke. I related much better to Han and Alex Rogan than the boyscout heros. (though I’m a Superman fan, but that’s different). Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t believe a hero should be perfect–they aren’t in real life.


    Wgreen: Maybe you are confusing Pete’s posts with mine; I’ve never referred to “gifts”. What Moyzsis did was show through genetics that having ADHD has been a benefit. Or to be more specific, having genes associated with ADHD increased genetic success (i.e. if you didn’t have the ADHD genes you were more likely to be an evolutionary dead end).


    Can I just make clear that there are (at least) 3 views of ADD:

    1. ADD is a gift
    2. ADD is a curse
    3. ADD is a mixed bag, it can be great and it can suck.

    I’m firmly in camp 3. Alone. Whistling to myself. But in camp 3. ;)


    Hey pete, I thought I was in your camp too! Did I get cut on the last vote-off? :-)


    @Caper: exploring that theory as published is WAY above my pay grade. It certainly sounds interesting, but I’m not able to speak to it. That’s why we could use a little more expert moderation around here. Still, I would assert that what might be good for a species could still be catastrophic for an individual. Natural selection is based on that principle, ¿no?. But, look, I’m leaving arcane biochemistry alone. Why don’t you e-mail Dr. Moyzsis and ask him to explain his research to those of us who never took biochemistry?

    And Pete, surely nobody is really in camp 1. Not around here anyway. If your life were just one big party, you wouldn’t be wasting time on this site; you’d be be too busy making money and happily living your charmed life. I do think there is camp 4, though: “ADD is a crock— It doesn’t exist, and people who claim to have it are all a bunch of losers looking for an excuse.” There are a bunch of folks under that tent.

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