When people think ADHD is not a disorder

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Joe90
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11 Mar 2019, 11:53 am

According to some people ADHD is not a disorder, even though it says the word 'disorder' in its name.
There is a noticeable difference between having ADHD traits as part of an individual's personality, and actually having the disorder.
It's a bit like saying dyspraxia doesn't exist because the traits of dyspraxia can be a temperament. But there is a difference between a 'clumsy person' and a person with dyspraxia.
But ADHD does exist. Some of us here (including me) are diagnosed with it. I'm the only Aspie I know who was hyperactive as a child (my brother has AS but wasn't hyperactive at all as a child, and neither were any of the other Aspies that I know), and at the time I thought it was due to AS, but when I was getting diagnosed with ADHD they told me that I was hyperactive because I had ADHD with AS, and that hyperactivity isn't generally a symptom of AS.
And I really was hyperactive as a child. I couldn't sit still, or if I did sit still I would daydream. I had difficulty paying attention in class and storing factual information. And at home I was always on the go, and could behave naughty too. I even lied often, to cover myself up.


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11 Mar 2019, 3:48 pm

In my experience, when people say that ADHD isn't a disorder, what they're saying is that it's a temperament style that is only impairing to an individual because society is not structured in such a way as to make the most of the strengths of ADHD. I do not have ADHD (was tested for it, but diagnosed with PTSD, GAD and depression comorbid instead), but my sister does. The only times it seems to be a major issue for her are when external forces are obliging her to sit still, be quiet, pay attention, etc. She's very smart and very creative, but has difficulty expressing that in the confines of "normal" societal expectations. She does her best work when left to her own devices.


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11 Mar 2019, 5:38 pm

Quote:
my brother has AS but wasn't hyperactive at all as a child, and neither were any of the other Aspies that I know


Wait, your brother has it?

You have always said he was NT, just when did he get diagnosed? How does that make you feel now?

People out there will try to redefine terms like saying how autism isn't a disorder or how pedophilia isn't a disorder or how transgender isn't a medical condition and so on. I go with medication definitions of labels. If it's in the DSM, it is a disorder. I will also see it as a mental illness or a medical issue. I also see it as a mental issue too. That is the literal definition of mental issue.


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I have a quilt of labels. I had a language disorder and a speech disorder. Then communication disorder NOS. My other diagnoses have been Language Processing disorder, dyspraxia, SPD, OCD, ADD, Asperger’s, anxiety disorder, adjustment disorder, anorexia nervosa. My mom’s labels of me are: eating disorder, anorexia, social anxiety, PTSD, just being sensitive and having the victim complex when I was a kid. And of course she says I’m normal and says the only thing I had as a child was language. Huh? I must have been a shitty person then and maybe a difficult child I was who had to be labeled because of incompetent school staff and mean kids who didn’t accept differences and because I was trying to be “normal.” :/

My blog: https://mynoneabdlthoughts.wordpress.com/


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11 Mar 2019, 5:47 pm

I have both ASD and ADHD, both have been diagnosed. I've never really been told I'm hyperarctive though, my issue is more with difficulty staying focused on an activity that I don't find interesting. League girl is right, technically it's whatever's written in DSM V (till they come out with a new edition). Although putting Aspergers onto the spectrum as happened in DSM V is a good example of the many flaws within the DSM itself. If you wanna be technical at least, quote the skeptics the DSM because there really is no other solid ground on which to rest an opinion about psychological/psychiatric disorders.



Joe90
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11 Mar 2019, 6:16 pm

League_Girl wrote:
Quote:
my brother has AS but wasn't hyperactive at all as a child, and neither were any of the other Aspies that I know


Wait, your brother has it?

You have always said he was NT, just when did he get diagnosed? How does that make you feel now?



He got diagnosed just a couple of weeks ago. I thought he just had depression and perhaps a borderline personality disorder, but when he went for his assessment I was totally surprised when he said he has Asperger's syndrome. He said he suspected Asperger's for a while. It makes me feel like I'm less alone, being so I'm no longer the only person in my immediate family diagnosed with it.


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11 Mar 2019, 8:05 pm

I was diagnosed with inattentive ADHD and then a year later with autism.

School was terrible being ADHD. I daydreamed all the time and was very disorganised. It says so in my school reports.

Then after I got my driving licence, I had two car crashes. Both were due to me not paying attention. I was scared and went to the doctor. He read out a list of ADHD symptoms so accurate to me that I thought I was being followed! I also had a SPECT scan and that showed a few anomalies.

Years later, I went to university to study psychology and I highly doubt I would have my degree if I hadn't taken my medication (dexamphetamine). It really helped.

It is a disorder to me. If I don't take my medication, practically nothing gets done and I'm a danger on the road.



League_Girl
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12 Mar 2019, 12:37 am

Joe90 wrote:
League_Girl wrote:
Quote:
my brother has AS but wasn't hyperactive at all as a child, and neither were any of the other Aspies that I know


Wait, your brother has it?

You have always said he was NT, just when did he get diagnosed? How does that make you feel now?



He got diagnosed just a couple of weeks ago. I thought he just had depression and perhaps a borderline personality disorder, but when he went for his assessment I was totally surprised when he said he has Asperger's syndrome. He said he suspected Asperger's for a while. It makes me feel like I'm less alone, being so I'm no longer the only person in my immediate family diagnosed with it.



I wonder why no one noticed it in him?


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I have a quilt of labels. I had a language disorder and a speech disorder. Then communication disorder NOS. My other diagnoses have been Language Processing disorder, dyspraxia, SPD, OCD, ADD, Asperger’s, anxiety disorder, adjustment disorder, anorexia nervosa. My mom’s labels of me are: eating disorder, anorexia, social anxiety, PTSD, just being sensitive and having the victim complex when I was a kid. And of course she says I’m normal and says the only thing I had as a child was language. Huh? I must have been a shitty person then and maybe a difficult child I was who had to be labeled because of incompetent school staff and mean kids who didn’t accept differences and because I was trying to be “normal.” :/

My blog: https://mynoneabdlthoughts.wordpress.com/


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12 Mar 2019, 3:13 am

League_Girl wrote:
Quote:
my brother has AS but wasn't hyperactive at all as a child, and neither were any of the other Aspies that I know


Wait, your brother has it?

You have always said he was NT, just when did he get diagnosed? How does that make you feel now?

People out there will try to redefine terms like saying how autism isn't a disorder or how pedophilia isn't a disorder or how transgender isn't a medical condition and so on. I go with medication definitions of labels. If it's in the DSM, it is a disorder. I will also see it as a mental illness or a medical issue. I also see it as a mental issue too. That is the literal definition of mental issue.


And hasn't the DSM defined and redefined homosexuality? You really thought that was a disorder once?


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Joe90
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12 Mar 2019, 5:48 am

League_Girl wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
League_Girl wrote:
Quote:
my brother has AS but wasn't hyperactive at all as a child, and neither were any of the other Aspies that I know


Wait, your brother has it?

You have always said he was NT, just when did he get diagnosed? How does that make you feel now?



He got diagnosed just a couple of weeks ago. I thought he just had depression and perhaps a borderline personality disorder, but when he went for his assessment I was totally surprised when he said he has Asperger's syndrome. He said he suspected Asperger's for a while. It makes me feel like I'm less alone, being so I'm no longer the only person in my immediate family diagnosed with it.



I wonder why no one noticed it in him?


When I ask this same question, the answer is always "everybody's different". But my brother was actually rather popular among the coolest kids in his class at school, but he wasn't into football or any other sports. He was just automatically accepted by his peers, and these boys weren't geeks either. Some girls were in the group too, and my brother even dated one of them. She was rather shy, but when she dated my brother she became popular.
I just don't understand how an Aspie boy can be so accepted by his NT peers at high school.
I certainly wasn't. :cry:


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League_Girl
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12 Mar 2019, 8:50 am

HighLlama wrote:
League_Girl wrote:
Quote:
my brother has AS but wasn't hyperactive at all as a child, and neither were any of the other Aspies that I know


Wait, your brother has it?

You have always said he was NT, just when did he get diagnosed? How does that make you feel now?

People out there will try to redefine terms like saying how autism isn't a disorder or how pedophilia isn't a disorder or how transgender isn't a medical condition and so on. I go with medication definitions of labels. If it's in the DSM, it is a disorder. I will also see it as a mental illness or a medical issue. I also see it as a mental issue too. That is the literal definition of mental issue.


And hasn't the DSM defined and redefined homosexuality? You really thought that was a disorder once?


I didn't even know it was in the DSM at one time until I was in high school and it had already been removed so I never thought it was.


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I have a quilt of labels. I had a language disorder and a speech disorder. Then communication disorder NOS. My other diagnoses have been Language Processing disorder, dyspraxia, SPD, OCD, ADD, Asperger’s, anxiety disorder, adjustment disorder, anorexia nervosa. My mom’s labels of me are: eating disorder, anorexia, social anxiety, PTSD, just being sensitive and having the victim complex when I was a kid. And of course she says I’m normal and says the only thing I had as a child was language. Huh? I must have been a shitty person then and maybe a difficult child I was who had to be labeled because of incompetent school staff and mean kids who didn’t accept differences and because I was trying to be “normal.” :/

My blog: https://mynoneabdlthoughts.wordpress.com/


League_Girl
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12 Mar 2019, 9:03 am

Joe90 wrote:
League_Girl wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
League_Girl wrote:
Quote:
my brother has AS but wasn't hyperactive at all as a child, and neither were any of the other Aspies that I know


Wait, your brother has it?

You have always said he was NT, just when did he get diagnosed? How does that make you feel now?



He got diagnosed just a couple of weeks ago. I thought he just had depression and perhaps a borderline personality disorder, but when he went for his assessment I was totally surprised when he said he has Asperger's syndrome. He said he suspected Asperger's for a while. It makes me feel like I'm less alone, being so I'm no longer the only person in my immediate family diagnosed with it.



I wonder why no one noticed it in him?


When I ask this same question, the answer is always "everybody's different". But my brother was actually rather popular among the coolest kids in his class at school, but he wasn't into football or any other sports. He was just automatically accepted by his peers, and these boys weren't geeks either. Some girls were in the group too, and my brother even dated one of them. She was rather shy, but when she dated my brother she became popular.
I just don't understand how an Aspie boy can be so accepted by his NT peers at high school.
I certainly wasn't. :cry:



I bet his diagnoses surprised you and I wonder what his secret was? Did you ask him how he did it?

I was never popular or too likable where everyone just wanted to be my friend. I also was not automatically accepted. Maybe that is why no one noticed because he was sociable and likable and friendly and no one would ever guess.


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I have a quilt of labels. I had a language disorder and a speech disorder. Then communication disorder NOS. My other diagnoses have been Language Processing disorder, dyspraxia, SPD, OCD, ADD, Asperger’s, anxiety disorder, adjustment disorder, anorexia nervosa. My mom’s labels of me are: eating disorder, anorexia, social anxiety, PTSD, just being sensitive and having the victim complex when I was a kid. And of course she says I’m normal and says the only thing I had as a child was language. Huh? I must have been a shitty person then and maybe a difficult child I was who had to be labeled because of incompetent school staff and mean kids who didn’t accept differences and because I was trying to be “normal.” :/

My blog: https://mynoneabdlthoughts.wordpress.com/


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16 Mar 2019, 1:35 pm

Some people believe ADHD isn't a disorder because they think kids get diagnosed with it because their parents &/or teachers don't like dealing with a more hyper kid so the kid gets brought to the doc & put on meds. I do believe this is the case in some situations but I also believe it is a real disorder. I've been diagnosed with ADD since I was in kindergarten & my 2nd girlfriend had bad ADHD. I know from our experiences that these are real disorders.


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17 Mar 2019, 1:15 am

Joe90 wrote:
When I ask this same question, the answer is always "everybody's different". But my brother was actually rather popular among the coolest kids in his class at school, but he wasn't into football or any other sports. He was just automatically accepted by his peers, and these boys weren't geeks either. Some girls were in the group too, and my brother even dated one of them. She was rather shy, but when she dated my brother she became popular.
I just don't understand how an Aspie boy can be so accepted by his NT peers at high school.
I certainly wasn't. :cry:

Sorry to butt in, but here's what I think:
Not every accepted and popular kid knows what he or she's doing, especially as an autistic. The first question is that if your brother knows what he's doing. Then, whether or not he knew or aware of that, is that what he want or aim to attain? And whether he did attain it or not, does said achievement make him happy and choose to keep it that way?

I've been popular, I've been accepted, some thinks I'm cool or charming in various way that others thought... This is before and after diagnosis, before and after I was bullied by a group of boys who would pick on someone who easily gets provoked, before and after I realized I'm different, before and after I realized I'm right AND wrong, before and after others got concern that I might be different. And I've been diagnosed and noticed earlier.
Yet I'm far from being a conformist, far from acting like a perfect girl, far from what many thought what a social butterfly is. In my mind, I'm more of an 'angry brute' than a 'shy flower' as most people would thought. I was popular enough to have one of my teachers at school name their child after me, out of other kids who are very much a better role model that I ever will be. Did I aim this? No. Am I flattered? To be honest, I don't know and I still don't know how it came to it.
Yet I have no idea what I was doing -- whether I did aim to be popular or not. I would've have dated or have a boyfriend, or set up a network of my own if I were socially driven enough when I'm far from interested.

If he doesn't know what he's doing, nor is aiming for it -- he's just being himself. And that 'himself' as himself without the façade just happened to hit off with NTs in the right times and places for various of possible reasons. Quite how and why that's his answer 'everyone's different'.
There's no 'aim' here, there's no scripts here. There's no 'hiding my weirdness' or even 'social secret recipes' involved here. Only morals like treating someone decently or choosing to get along as one would incline.
The social fulfillment is just a bonus -- or at least to me it is, who isn't really socially interested to actually keep it up.


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17 Mar 2019, 3:55 am

It is trendy where I live to consider ADD and ADHD as a copout for not wanting to invest effort, or is an excuse for underachieving, but truthfully as an ADD person, though I have exceptional perception and creativity, the lack of focus, the crippling procrastination and "muddled" management skills render me dysfunctional when overloaded and over stimulated.

Unlike AS most of my friends (mostly ADD ADHD) have exceptional social skills but poorer retention of info and less than brilliant academic performance and organizational skills.
My son who is at the extreme end of ADHD also has a comorbidity of OCD, impulsivity and addictive tendencies and
tends to repeat actions that are self-destructive and even anti-social without ever learning the lesson, trapped in a cycle of failure and suffering. Nevertheless he finished compulsory military training as a paratrooper and paramedic, (yes, a machine gun, grenades and more :roll: ) the adventures of which I cannot share, but you can only imagine what this loveable kid of mine got up to.
A disability indeed but not acknowledged as such.As he is now a father, his capacity for love and abundance of creative innovative thinking is teamed up with complete lack of focus such as forgetting to fasten the kids seat belts and actually having my three year old grandson fall out of the car window. Luckily the car was stationary.

He progresses through life while spinning in circles, focusing obsessively on the minor details and not identifying the core issue or being unable to extricate himself from the trivial.
This is also something I suffer from. ADD though is surmountable to a certain extent when there is sufficient motivation. I graduated nursing school fairly well (only seem to be able to understand the tangible, not the abstract) and am a fairly organised English teacher, always thinking out of the box because for the life of me I can never think inside the box. I have the unusual ability to read people's emotions and am an empath, almost being in their skin and experiencing their feelings.

I also struggle with OCD, addictions, stopped taking sleeping pills, can't touch alcohol or sugar (when I'm sane) start several tasks at once and forget them all ultimately.

In my generation there was no such thing as ADHD, ADD so I was labeled lazy, stupid, manipulative (ability fluctuates with levels of tiredness) something I can deal with today I may not be able to deal with tomorrow.
Being impulsive is perhaps the most debilitating, always seeking instant gratification and often making bad choices financially. I am however, despite a very dramatic and traumatic life, annoyingly optimistic, a firm believer in the inherent goodness in most people and refuse to compromise my impossibly altruistic values but I muddle through, sometimes excelling and others.....well, not doing so well. :wink:


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17 Mar 2019, 10:38 am

Often times I wonder if my son is actually ADHD or if he is just a hyper active child that just needs more stimulation. He gets bored easily and he needs lot of breaks at school because his attention span is short. He hates home work and he starts to do poorly with writing when he does it for too long which isn't very long at all. Videos and video games are stimulating for him where he can sit still and be quiet. He prefers to build things and make things so he has never colored or drew or done any scribbles as a small child. It does impact him and his learning and at home. I can't even take him with me in public. But I don't know if part of the problem is me because of my own anxiety and it's just that I can't handle him, not because he is disabled. He does better with my parents or with my dad. He is also impulsive and he gets hurt feelings easily.

Now I look at my daughter and I see a big difference. Is it just personality or is my son really ADHD?


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I have a quilt of labels. I had a language disorder and a speech disorder. Then communication disorder NOS. My other diagnoses have been Language Processing disorder, dyspraxia, SPD, OCD, ADD, Asperger’s, anxiety disorder, adjustment disorder, anorexia nervosa. My mom’s labels of me are: eating disorder, anorexia, social anxiety, PTSD, just being sensitive and having the victim complex when I was a kid. And of course she says I’m normal and says the only thing I had as a child was language. Huh? I must have been a shitty person then and maybe a difficult child I was who had to be labeled because of incompetent school staff and mean kids who didn’t accept differences and because I was trying to be “normal.” :/

My blog: https://mynoneabdlthoughts.wordpress.com/