One day, I’m going to write posts like the one I’m going to reference. The only problem is, is that there’s too much going on and I can’t stand to sit and write such a lengthy post on just one subject! Heck, on my last post, I actually covered several subjects! But, then, this author, did, as well.
There’s so much to this, I can’t do it justice.
Let’s establish one thing up front: I have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I mean, if ADHD existed as an actual disease, I would have it. I should say, I have all of the “symptoms” that the mainstream medical and educational establishment currently view as proof of a disorder called ADHD. However you want to phrase this, it’s important for you to understand that I have “personal experience” here.
Personal experience shouldn’t actually matter — only the facts should — but if I have to play that game, then this is my Personal Experience Token. I am submitting it at the beginning of this discussion, hoping that it will get me through the gate and allow me to engage with the people on the opposite side of it.
I am very familiar with the “symptoms.” I’ve had them my whole life.
Even now, I daydream all the time. I can’t sit still. I can’t concentrate on mundane tasks. I get lost in my own head. I forget things. I can’t stay on one train of thought for very long. At this very moment, I have four different word documents open on my computer and I am working on four different posts at the same time. Three of them will never be published or completed. Ask my wife, she’ll tell you all about it. Ask my high school chemistry teacher who failed me once, made me repeat the class, then finally gave me an unearned passing grade the following year because he didn’t want to deal with me again. Ask anyone who knows me. If ADHD is a disease, I have it. I have it in spades. I have the deluxe king sized version. I have ADHD Turbo. ADHD on steroids.
Except that I don’t.
I have all of the “symptoms,” but I don’t have a disorder because there is no disorder. There might be people with legitimate disorders who get labeled with this one, but this one, this specific thing we refer to as ADHD, is a godforsaken lie. I don’t care who is upset by that statement, who will stop reading me because I said it, or how many angry and disappointed Facebook comments are coming my way. ADHD is a fraud.
I’m not the only one who feels this way. Just over the past several months, we’ve heard from this behavioral neurologist who insists that ADHD does not exist, and this world renowned neuroscientist who agrees, and this professor and educational psychology expert who likewise concurs. That’s just a small sampling of the “skeptics.” If you find the time, you should also read this book, and this one, this one, and this one. ……
There’s much, much more to this article. But, I’ll just highlight some more and let the reader read the rest. It’s worth it.
That’s what we do in America. We like to think we’re better than any other country, that we embrace thought and free expression, but that’s a delusion only held by people who’ve never said anything that defies conventional wisdom. Conventional thought is embraced. Conventional speech is celebrated. Any variation or deviation outside of that norm will be met with brutal resistance.
Indeed, but, it even goes beyond that. It isn’t just conventional “wisdom”, but, even expressing a notion which is commonly held, known by nearly all to be true, but, contrary to conventional ….. well, I don’t have a word for it other than conventional emotion, then, you can be pilloried.
For instance, even on some supposed conservative blogs you can state something akin to this …… “There are physiological differences between men and women, and because of the physiological differences, there would then also be psychological, emotional, and learning differences.” —- and be vilified. It is, of course, entirely true. But, it is a truth which is hated by many.
But, then, that’s off the track of the article about ADHD ….. let’s pick up where the author lists the symptoms …..
Just look at how the National Institute of Mental Health describes ADHD symptoms:
Children who have symptoms of inattention may:
-Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
-Have difficulty focusing on one thing
-Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless they are doing something enjoyable
-Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new
-Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
-Seem not to listen when spoken to
-Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
-Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others
-Struggle to follow instructions.
Children who have symptoms of hyperactivity may:
-Fidget and squirm in their seats
-Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
-Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and story time
-Be constantly in motion
-Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.
Children who have symptoms of impulsivity may:
-Be very impatient
-Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
-Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games
-Often interrupt conversations or others’ activities.
The author makes the point that most children exhibit these symptoms. And, then this ….
Now you might say, well yes, they’re normal, but some kids, like, talk A LOT, and daydream A LOT, and interrupt A LOT.
To that I’d respond: yeah, still pretty normal.
Have you met kids recently? If not, I’d like to introduce you sometime. I’ve never encountered one who doesn’t act this way, and I’ve encountered plenty of kids. I have two of my own, plus I grew up with six siblings, I went to public school, my mom runs a daycare, and I have nine nieces and nephews under the age of 10. I’m around kids all the time. Come to Thanksgiving at the Walsh household this year — it’s madness. Daydreaming, fidgeting, running, interrupting all over the place. And that’s just me. Wait until all the kids show up.
But maybe you have kids who do these things A LOT A LOT. Beyond the normal a lot, and into the realm of REALLY A LOT. Alright, fine. So where’s the cut off?
We take these behaviors that we all agree are normal, we apply them to a subset of the species — children — who we all agree are predisposed to exhibit them more often, and we decide that somewhere along that spectrum it goes from “OK” to “symptomatic of a mental disorder.”
What? How? Why? Where? When? I mean, how specifically can you determine when a behavior crosses over from normal to not normal, and then how can you determine if the non-normalness of it is a disease as opposed to just their unique personality?
What is the standard? What is the proper amount of attention? How do you even quantify attention? If their attention is “deficient,” what is the exact Sufficient Attention Ideal of which they are falling short? And what is the correct amount of daydreaming a child should engage in? And how are we all not severely creeped out that we’re even having a conversation about the proper amount of daydreaming? What is this, “The Giver”? And if a behavior can be normal, how can it also be on the spectrum of a disease? How can something be fundamentally healthy and fundamentally symptomatic of a mental defect?
Why is it that the standard rules for medical procedure seem to be suddenly suspended when ADHD is on the table?
Let’s look at an Actual Sickness for comparison. Let’s look at dementia. There’s an honest-to-God mental disease. It’s also a disease that can be physically observed in the human body. You can see it quite unmistakably in a brain scan. And there are clear symptoms, like hallucinations. Notice, there isn’t a spectrum where acceptable hallucinations graduate into unacceptable hallucinations. Hallucinations are always bad, to any degree whatsoever. If you have them, something is wrong. Definitely. It might not be dementia, it might just be that you’re lost in a desert and suffering from heat stroke and malnutrition, but there is certainly something wrong. That’s because hallucinating, unlike daydreaming or talking or feeling bored, is objectively unnatural and abnormal. It is not a part of the healthy human experience, so if you experience it, go to the doctor.
He continues ……
I asked how we know when these behaviors, personality traits, and activities cross the mysterious divide from “normal” to “CALL A DOCTOR.” I was being facetious. I know the answer. It’s described right here in the Mayo Clinic’s fact sheet about ADHD:
In general, a child shouldn’t receive a diagnosis of ADHD unless the core symptoms of ADHD start early in life and create significant problems at home and at school on an ongoing basis.
Translation: it’s a disease if it turns into a hassle.
ADHD is the only “disorder” (well, besides the other ones psychiatrists have fabricated over the years) where the diagnosis relies not on what is actually happening within the body of the patient, but in how it’s received by the people around the patient. It is a disease based on context.
Here’s a fun riddle: If a kid has ADHD in the forest but nobody is there to be inconvenienced by it, does he still have a disease? Nope. Not according to the medical establishment.
The author then goes on, but, I’ll stop there, and just add.
Millions of our children …. the free thinkers, are drugged to mindless oblivion in our schools. And, it is exactly as the author stated, the child doesn’t get an ADHD diagnosis unless he’s a hassle at school or home. No hassle? No drugs. This is a crime being perpetrated, not just against specific children, but, against society as a whole.
But, it’s a small wonder normal children are being labeled as being defective. No one wants to raise our children, anymore. Both parents work, today .. in most cases. They don’t have time. Daycares? Yes, they really, really, really care about your child. The schools? Oh, yes, they really, really, really do care about your child —- being diagnosed with ADHD. You see, they get extra money for having to put up with children with ADHD, and, they get to drug your child into mindless compliance to boot! Hooray for Obamacare!!!!!
All the while, we get to cause a drug addiction to amphetamines to these children, who will grow up, and then it becomes literal ‘speed’ for them. Don’t believe me? Look up what Ritalin is … as is most of the other ADHD drug treatments. There’s a specific paradoxical quality about amphetamines in children, but, once they reach a certain age, it’s really, really, ‘speed’. But, it’s just as addictive in children as it is in adults.
Maybe, just maybe ……
Okay, there’s one more bit from the author I feel compelled to add ……..
These kids don’t have ADHD. Nobody does. Maybe some of the kids tagged with the ADHD label actually suffer from some other psychological ailment, but I suspect that the vast majority of them have no ailment whatsoever. They are just kids. They have personalities. They have identities. Maybe that identity doesn’t fit in at school, maybe it causes stress at home, but who are we to declare it diseased? Who are we to hang a disorder around the neck of a child? Maybe we are the disordered ones. Maybe our society is disordered. Maybe our schools are disordered. Maybe our homes are disordered.
Is there anyone who can question that our society, our schools, and our homes are disordered?