Who has ADD?

  • #26
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That happens alot: the side effects of a med become worse than the original condition. Usually, though, there are other meds to try.
 
  • #27
Astronuc
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zoobyshoe said:
Are you, yourself, aware somehow, that you are "phasing out"? What would the difference be between that and really concentrating hard on something to the exclusion of your surroundings?
Sometimes I am aware just after it happens.

It is just like really concentrating hard on something to the exclusion of your surroundings. I can concentrate really hard on something while listening to rock and roll music.

I am the consummate absent-minded professor, of which my wife likes to remind me.

Reading comprehension tests (like on the SAT) were difficult for me, because I couldn't keep my mind on the subject(especially if it was uninteresting), and I would have to read over 2, 3, or more times (and I would just sit there and think "arrgghh, this stuff is stupid). The quiet environment of the test room was distracting (I felt like screaming), because I would usually be listening to music or TV when studying - and I would interrupt my study to go do something else - like make a snack or go outside.

ADD is believed to be some kind of hereditary advantage, which I certainly don't understand (it's been a royal pain). Perhaps it was useful a few hundred or thousand years ago as a survival mechanism. I seem to have an advantage in sparring (martial arts), especially when the action is fast. However, there is not much practical advantage to being proficient in hand-to-hand combat in civilized society. :biggrin:
 
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  • #28
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See, I do that concentrating so hard on one thing that things in the environment are neglected. I am sure it's not ADD, though. It seems only to crop up during times of high stress. I often sit at intersections waiting for the stop sign to change.
 
  • #29
Astronuc
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zoobyshoe said:
See, I do that concentrating so hard on one thing that things in the environment are neglected. I am sure it's not ADD, though. It seems only to crop up during times of high stress. I often sit at intersections waiting for the stop sign to change.
It may be related. ADD has to do with a certain part of the brain that requires stimulation of a particular region of the cerebral cortex.

In my case, stress is not necessarily a factor, and in some cases, I focus better under stress.
 
  • #30
Moonbear
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Astronuc said:
In my case, I probably self-medicated with caffeine. I can remember sitting in class during elementary and high school - and not being able to sit still. Reading literature was difficult if I was not interested in the story - but math and science were easy. I can multi-task - I used to eat, watch TV and do homework. I always needed background noise to concentrate - total quiet was very distracting for me.

This describes me perfectly. I have a hard time focusing on just one topic. If I'm not juggling 6 projects at once, I get bored and lose focus. I don't know if anyone would diagnose me with ADD, I have never sought to have it checked out, because I can't see any reason to do anything about it. To me, the traits people describe in ADD (as opposed to ADHD, where the hyperactivity can be problematic and disruptive socially) sound like good things, at least in a highly stressful academic world where you do need to juggle multiple things all at once. Where I depart from the "classic" definitions of ADD is that I do go back and finish my projects, it just takes a while because I don't just start one thing and follow it through to the end, I start many things and when I get tired of one, do another, but eventually get back around to finishing them all. I think it becomes something that requires treatment when you aren't able to complete projects. I also think people find ways to compensate if given the opportunity. For example, I always think best on my feet, literally. If you want me to give something a lot of thought, sitting in a chair or at a desk is not the place for me to do it. I take a walk, or pace the floor, or stand at a whiteboard. In school, I was the one who was always fidgeting.

As for processing relevant or irrelevant information, I would have to think about that. In my line of work, I collect seemingly irrelevant information, but eventually it may prove useful. Some of my colleagues are amazed at how I can remember journal articles or obscure bits of information, which are relevant to a particular technical matter. I see things that everyone else overlooks, but to me are very obvious. On the other hand, I do sometimes miss social cues, and my wife hates it when I 'phase out'.

I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of scientists could be diagnosed with ADD. The ability to store information that seems irrelevant at the time and recall it when it suddenly becomes relevant is pretty important for scientific creativity. It also comes in handy to be able to multi-task. You have to keep track of all the student projects in the lab, your teaching responsibilities, committee meetings and other administrative tasks, tracking your grant budgets, reading and writing. It's a lot to juggle, but it's very appealing to the person who needs to juggle a lot of things to stay focused. When it becomes too extreme, then it becomes a problem.
 
  • #31
i recall reading somewhere that Einstein, walt disney, alexander graham bell, and marie curie all had ADD
 
  • #32
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i have no idea how you can tell... and my parents don't really believe in that stuff... so i won't likely get tested. some people say, if i do have it, it obviously hasn' effected my schooling, but i dunno. i find it really hard to concentrate on anything unless its difficult but straight forward. meaning, i need to focus or i don't understand, but its straightforward enough that i can understand easily once i'm focussed.. like, paying attention is immediately rewarding... unlike history or something, where if you pay attention, you gain understanding slowly and blah blah... i just can't focuss on that stuff. even science. If someone starts explaining something in detail scientifically, i just can't pay attention. i dunno if thats add, but i sit there in my atro class, and even though the subject is interesting, i can just stare at the prof and quite literally hear nothing...

i'm also a hard core fidgetter and all that other stuff... but my mum always said i couldn't possibly have add, because i can read for hours on end. and add kids can't do that i guess? i dunno. also, everyone thinks i'm smart... and add kids tend not to be er... gifted i guess?

my brother was diagnosed though, and my parents wouldn't let him take meds... i'm wondering if they'd help him in school though, cause he's doing pretty poorly... i also wonder if they'd help me... i think i'd be the coolest thing ever if i actually like... was... like limitapproaches0... i think i'm like that... maybe?
 
  • #33
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I wonder where ADD ends and plain lack of interest begins. Not applying yourself to stuff you're not interested in, especially if you're convinced it's ultimately unimportant, might be mistaken for ADD, especially if a person isn't too cowed by authority.
 
  • #34
Astronuc
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I was given the same test that my son had. I apparently have ADD, but I have adapted.

My son has ADHD, and if he is not medicated, his behavior is pretty difficult to deal with, and he can be socially disruptive. It seems worse in boys than girls, and it seems to go in the male side of my family.

My daughter has a milder case, more ADD. She took Welbutrin until she had a seizure, and that is when she and my son began taking Concerta.

I am hoping that we can wean them off the medication, ASAP.
 
  • #35
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zoobyshoe said:
I wonder where ADD ends and plain lack of interest begins. Not applying yourself to stuff you're not interested in, especially if you're convinced it's ultimately unimportant, might be mistaken for ADD, especially if a person isn't too cowed by authority.

oh well, maybe i'm just that then... though there are plenty of things i find interesting but still cannot pay attention to... and plenty of very very uninteresting things that i can stare at for a while and be entirely amused... its definetly a hazy line i think... all those mental, or psychological disorders are really... hazy... why can't ADD just be fixed by therapy eh? or do psychologists make more by making deals with drug companies than they would if they "treated" someone for a few years....
 

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