History and Genetics

The best treatment is Schedule II controlled substances.

Middle class American values dictate that if you “suck it up, buckle down and try hard enough” you can overcome any obstacle. The reality that some people are born hardwired to be inattentive, impulsive, and fidgety goes against this tenet of faith.

“Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder” is not an appropriate name for this problem. People with ADHD report that their attention is not deficient but instead they are drawn to all the stimuli around them equally and simultaneously. They are like jugglers who give fleeting attention to each ball in the air. Nothing gets undivided, sustained attention unless their attention is captured by something of great interest or challenge to them. As many as 40% of adolescents and adults with ADHD can enter what appears to be an altered state of consciousness while doing activities which they consider particularly intriguing. While in a hyper focused state of consciousness the individual performs at almost 100% efficiency, does not notice the passage of time, does not become tired or hungry (or notice they need to visit the toilet) and has virtually 100% comprehension and retention of what they read. This inconsistency of performance based on interest leaves the impression that the ability to function is under the control of the ADHD person who is just being lazy or uncooperative.

Just as with many personality traits, there is a positive aspect to ADHD as well as the negative. People with ADHD often have a higher than average intelligence, they tend to be very creative and inventive and can often pull together the threads of a complex problem to develop ingenious solutions that no one else would have seen. They have a “relentless determination” when they hook into a challenge. People with ADHD tend to be intense but sensitive and may be described by friends and family as being “high maintenance but high reward” individuals.

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