"I’m not really sure I buy into the whole ADD thing," he says, like he’s explaining his views on a new multilevel marketing opportunity.
It’s one of those times when the topic of attention deficit syndrome has come up somehow, and the person speaking isn’t very educated in exactly what is ADD or how ADD symptoms affect kids or adults.
What he really means is that he isn’t sure how much he believes in ADHD. The original term of ADD was replaced by ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome, because mental health professionals were concerned that attention deficit disorders were being underdiagnosed in children who were then either going untreated, or being treated for the wrong thing. In this sense, my friend is correct. There is no such thing as ADD and therefore, no need to buy into it.
Of course, this is not what he is saying. He means that he isn’t sure that ADHD is not just made up by a bunch of shrinks trying to get rich by giving their equally rich clients an excuse for their child’s behavior. He means that what is really going on is that either there are bad parents or bad kids involved, or that maybe this whole "ADHD thing" is nothing more than kids being kids.
Everyone Gets Distracted Sometimes
"Everybody gets distracted sometimes. Heck, I get distracted all the time when I’m bored or stuck in long meetings."
Ah, yes. The "evidence" that many people cite as proof that ADHD is a sham or, at the very least, an over-diagnosed fad that has too many kids hopped up on Ritalin when they should just be left alone.
I don’t really bother too much with conversations like these anymore. One important ADHD tip is to not take statements like these too much to heart. Some people are uneducated about certain things and proud of it, thank you very much. Talking to them about whether or not ADHD is real is a waste of time. Other people might listen or even take the time to evaluate a rational argument given the right environment. However, knowing when and where that is isn’t easy.
In this case, I decided to try and explain what ADHD really was, how the media distorts ADD, and how a bunch of blowhards wielding faulty logic and ignorance have managed to push a heap of skepticism on the diagnosis of ADHD for children and adults.
Everyone does get distracted. And, yes, it is very common to get distracted or let your mind wander when you are bored or uninterested in something. But, how common is it to get distracted while walking from your bedroom door to the bathroom? How common is it to then also be distracted on the way back?
How common is it to be distracted in the middle of what someone is saying directly to you, no matter how important or how interesting. Even more telling, how common is it to be distracted while YOU are talking. Ever stop talking mid-sentence? Rarely or several times a day?
People with ADHD aren’t just easily distracted by the usual things, they are constantly distracted by things that are not distracting. Often, people with ADHD are distracted by nothing more than their own mind. Being distracted by your own thoughts, the state of varnish on a table, the color of a rug, or the sound of the air conditioning is not a common occurrence. While it may happen on a certain day or in a certain setting for most people, such distractions happen every single day for people with ADHD. In fact, they happen several times a day, every day. Needing a special ADHD planner in order to keep organized is not common.
ADHD isn’t about getting distracted sometimes. ADHD is about getting distracted ALL THE TIME. That there is a difference, is all that you have to buy.