We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
When I take those online ADD screening tests, I come out as "ADD Likely." I have always been impatient, physically restless, and had trouble concentrating on dense material even though I got a B+ in Physical Chemistry (the best, toughest course I took at U Mass). I don't think I'm on the thin end of the Bell Curve.
This article in the NYT makes no distinction between ADD and ADHD, but it seems to me that there is a big difference: The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder -The Number of Diagnoses Soared Amid a 20-Year Drug Marketing Campaign.
Anyway, all of us at MF have untreated ADD. Are amphetamines performance-enhancers? Of course.
Is it just part of the normal human range of traits or is it a disease that needs to be wiped out and "cured". Probably it was a huge asset to hunter gatherers and likely every predator in the animal kingdom has these same traits. It would seem equaly likely that all non-predetors that survive have these same traits and in general it would ony be the modern version of animals raised to be docile and eaten at maturity who are free of ADD traits. How many of the histories great inventors and artists were ADD? I'm not trying to advocate for it bt rather dealing with it instead of medicating it into a bovine like state of mind.
I'm not going to disagree that ADHD has been over-diagnosed, but it is nonetheless a very real thing. It's no exaggeration to say that it has come close to destroying my life, and it has certainly lead to decades of tremendous suffering and pointless drifting. Getting my ADHD diagnoses at age 46 and then taking my first dose of Ritalin was a Godsend. Unfortunately, it was too late for me to make any serious contribution to the world and my personal situation was inescapable without hurting a several innocent people, but at least I had several years of normalcy, of being able to complete tasks without panic and not being in a continual state of fear and uncertainty. After three or four years, the drugs stopped working sufficiently for the side effects to be worth suffering, so I stopped taking the drugs. However, I learned enough to be much more functional and fearful than I was, however.
Talked to my therapist about that. She agrees with me that the list of symptoms used to indicate ADD and Asperger have grown so large and broad that by now everyone falls under them (or can, if someone wants them diagnosed with one of the conditions).
Which is completely silly of course.
Both exist, but the vast majority of diagnoses are just handy excuses to sell drugs to people who've no real problems at all and therefore aren't a source of income to the pharmaceutical industry (and in some countries, the medical circus, that's no problem here as the several-months- long waiting lists are caused by a decided lack of professionals).