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AbsentMinded

Mid-century ADHD

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I came across some old short educational clips on YouTube from the 50s/60s. If your interested just search things like procrastination 1950s or responsibility 1960s. For example on video has a girl who waits to the last minute to plan a party and ruins everything. Another one has a kid whose fish die and he can't find his new toy. A third is a girl who interrupts everyone and wears messy clothe because she doesn't bother to clean them in time for school. You get the idea.

 

My point is that everyone in these videos would qualify for ADHD by today's standards. In the videos they talk about getting up on time, forming good habits, etc. 

 

So, it got me thinking. Did these characters have something wrong with them and were blamed for something they couldn't help? Or did we make up a disease to treat bad habits and traits with pills? Is ADD real? I feel like if it is i have it, but what are the alternatives to meds? The videos are just like "stop procrastinating" which we all know is easier said than done.

 

At this point i feel great and healthy, but the issues i had pre-adderall with finishing things, forgetting things, etc are still there.

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I think a lot of this comes down to people feeling great pressure to fit into a cultural mold. We assign value to people based on their academic/professional achievement, production, etc.. Often the message is Type A (competitive, goal-oriented) = good, Type B (easygoing, creative) = bad. Adderall can turn a Type B into a Type A, thus the allure. This is a generalization as people are more complex than a 2 category system, but the concept holds true. Many of us end up far from our natural persona, or ‘true self’ trying to fit a mold that isn’t for us. Much of my recovery has felt like a letting go of who I thought I was supposed to be, and discovery of who I was meant to be.

The traits that make up ‘ADD’ certainly exist, but I don’t agree with it being called a ‘disorder’ except in extreme cases. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and have the power to work on them. There are a lot of great posts on this site about managing life with ADD. Let me know if you need help finding them. 

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wow, the "bad habits" girl video was heart breaking - that's how my life has been for a very long time (still is to a degree).

"is ADD real?" - i believe it is, though alarmingly over diagnosed... if ADD is NOT real, then we are simply molding ourselves (or worse our children) with chemicals to be more "normal". if ADD IS real, then don't we (or our children) deserve a chance to be "normal"?

but a better question might be "what does it mean to be fixed?" are we trying to fix our success at life or our quality of life? what is the benchmark for "normal"? is it a salary? no it can't be!  you'd have to be a monster to drug your kids for that reason ... so we have to believe that it is in the best interest for their long-term "happiness". 

following that line of logic, an appropriate analogy seems be "attractiveness". it's no secret that physical attractiveness impacts the quality of one's life (perhaps success too). some people are more naturally attractive than others - but if you work really hard you can still achieve some level of attractiveness. "is being ugly real?" - probably. kind of depends on how we benchmark beauty in our society. wouldn't cosmetic surgery and/or procedures be in the best interest for one's long-term "happiness"?

so why aren't we running around turning our kids into Barbie dolls? you could perhaps make the argument that its more expensive (you'd be right).. but i don't think its just that. as fucked up as it sounds, drugging your kids has the added benefit of making your life easier, doesn't it?

i'm not a parent, so my position is admittedly one-sided, but i certainly acknowledge the difficulty in all of this. if you're led to believe that success = happiness...

Wouldn't you do anything in your power to give your child the chance to succeed? 

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You both bring up great points. I definitely think that I am trying to fit into societies norms but at the same time, aren't we forced to an extent? My apartment doesn't care if I have ADD they just want their rent paid on time. Any job has at least minimum expectations. 

Something that really bugs me when I read other add boards is over compensating which I mentioned here before. If someone is about to be fired and they take adderall it should bring them up to average worker. Yet all the posts talk about getting fired (or just not being director yet) to getting multiple promotions. Now you're not normal or average.

 

Yet, when I was taking it doctors were surprised I wasn't excelling at work. I was showing up on time and not screwing everything up but I was no where near employee of the year. Some said that maybe it wasn't working well enough or I could take event more, but I was fine with average because compared to where I was before I WAS excelling. Now I'm trying to figure out how to be average while people around me are popping pills and passing me by.

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