Thursday, September 15, 2005

"How I cured adult ADHD"

An article that's making the rounds at our office:
I always know which of my students have been told that they suffer from adult ADHD. They are often late and sometimes leave class early to go potty, unlike most students who go potty before class begins. They blurt out the answers to my questions constantly – always without the courtesy of a raised hand. And, usually, they fall asleep in class (probably from exhaustion) after the fifteenth or twentieth interruption. Later, they are awakened by the cell phone they forgot to turn off before arriving in class.

After being diagnosed with ADHD, two things usually happen to the newly “disadvantaged” student. First, a psychologist tells the victim that he cannot pay attention nor control various impulses. Next, he is given a dosage of drugs. Neither one of these responses actually works. In fact, telling him that he cannot pay attention – rather than that he simply does not pay attention – usually reinforces the problem. The drugs don’t work because, again, the disorder is fictional.

But, fortunately, I have discovered a cure for students with this so-called disorder, which I am now sharing (free of charge, mind you) with my readers. Here’s how it works...
How exciting, how subversive this feels, as we pass it around! Sort of like an Underground Press piece. (Especially when we're also reading this.) My favorite Adams quote:

"Will you continue to use the term 'irresistible impulse' to describe what is obviously merely an impulse not resisted?"

Now wait, say some. There are people who function very poorly without stimulants, and do very well when we prescribe them. What about them?

Of course, they are right. But I think they are a minority. I anticipate a day when we will ask why we thought that so many needed stimulant medication...


Anonymous geena said...

I think some of us with adult ADD (ADHD, whatever) are capable of paying attention, staying on track, focusing, etc... with a lot of work. I've been off my meds for over a year now and it's been the hardest thing I have ever done. I have had to make some changes at work (taking more frequent but shorter breaks, writing things down, making lists, re-arranging my "extra" responsibilities on the unit to those that do not require heavy concentration), and the focus and concentration that I used to lavish upon hobbies and creative outlets at home.. well, they're gone.

So yes. It is certainly possible to restrain oneself with these impulses. It was enjoyable to be able to indulge myself in hobbies and creative endeavors (including my blog). Now it requires significant effort, if they get done at all.

Life is certainly harder without the drugs.

8:01 PM  
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6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"so called ADHD" thats a load of crap!
I am an adult with ADHD and belive me its not imaginary, its real.
i dont belive ADHD is a disorder at all i belive its a gift and just because conventional teaching doesnt work with us doesnt mean we have a disorder.
Until i was 13 i got bad grades in school and i couldent concentrate on anything, but there is one thing about ADHD people that is over looked, we are two sided we can either not focus or we can hyper focus there is no middle ground. i.e. i cant read a book for more than 3 pages without forgetting what i read but i can play guitar for 5 hours straight without moving from my seat or untill my fingers bleed.
The thing is we are not easily distracted, we are easily attracted to new stimuli and if the the new stimuli is just a percenteg for interesting then anything around us we can hyper focus on it.

3:11 AM  

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