April 9, 2005 2:29 PM   Subscribe

Why can't I pay attention anymore? Maybe I have ADT or NADD. Did we already discuss this? I can't remember. I need to be more mindful.
posted by homunculus (28 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Via MindHacks, Mind & Life, and /.
posted by homunculus at 2:32 PM on April 9, 2005

You say this condition is reaching epidemic proportions. What percentage of the working population suffers from ADT, in your estimation?

Hallowell: I'm guessing now, because I haven't done surveys. But I've done informal surveys at seminars I give.

and this is where i stopped paying attention.
posted by three blind mice at 2:44 PM on April 9, 2005

I never could get the difference between Attention Deficit and Being Spoiled.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 2:49 PM on April 9, 2005

I just finished reading Delivered from Distraction, Hallowell's latest. While he makes some good points, my instinct is that he's milking it. Note, I'm not one of those who believes ADHD is a scam. In fact, after reading the description of the condition, that's me. I also score 6 points on the WHO's Adult Self-Report Scale, where 80% of those who score 4 or above, will turn out to be diagnosed with ADHD, when properly evaluated. But American commercialised medicine, combined with a puritan aversion to medical enhancement (as opposed to 'treatment') reduces all abnormal conditions to pathologies, but more importantly, increases the tendency of differing mnids to be boxed into a conceptual block (actually, one of the good points about Hallowell is he does share the sentiment about ADD not being a 'disorder', but that's not too surprising, given he himself is afflicted with it).

Of course, the first linked article is talking about stimulation overload, and the subsequent evolution of an ADD-like syndrome as a response. If that, just practise some mindfulness meditation.

Mean Mr. Bucket : "I never could get the difference between Attention Deficit and Being Spoiled."

Not all those with ADHD were spoiled and vice-versa. A better term ought to be Attention-Wandering Syndrome.
posted by Gyan at 2:52 PM on April 9, 2005

Boo-yah! Another psychobabble explanation for why I don't get work done to bullshit about instead of getting my work done! WIN.
posted by schroedinger at 3:03 PM on April 9, 2005

Wanna go ride bikes?
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:31 PM on April 9, 2005 [1 favorite]

Throw a Type-A personality into the mix and you get the kind of horrible soul-selling overachievers I tend to work with in the Big 4 consulting firm I work for. Just yesterday I got no less than 3 BlackBerry replies in a row... after the business day was long "over". This is murder on a young bachelor's quality-of-life...
posted by Lectrick at 3:35 PM on April 9, 2005

I never could get the difference between Attention Deficit and Being Spoiled.

I would guess that's because you either don't know or don't understand anyone who truly is ADHD.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 3:59 PM on April 9, 2005

Exactly. I was just going to...uh, you're....too*head explodes*
posted by alteredcarbon at 4:08 PM on April 9, 2005

Wanna go ride bikes?

posted by fixedgear at 4:31 PM on April 9, 2005

I bet there's an above average level of ADHD among internet addicts.
*looks in mirror, kicks cat, walks away looking for ...umm*
posted by peacay at 4:32 PM on April 9, 2005

if you consider catholic school and being groomed for west point as spoiled, then you might be right.

but if the diagnosis considers having a mensa iq, currently 17 unfinished projects and an eccentric, absent-minded perfesser reputation...........
posted by emdog at 6:31 PM on April 9, 2005

I think this is what elwoodwiles may be referring to.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:10 PM on April 9, 2005

Q: How many ADD kids does it take to change a light bulb?
posted by schroedinger at 3:55 AM on April 10, 2005 [1 favorite]

I have been looking at metafilter for years. It has always served as a wonderful distraction for me. At work, at home, where ever. This post is one where my instinct, which I hereby follow, leads me to say, "God Bless" the good person who constructed it for us. I especially liked the links on memory and happiness. Be sure to take a look at the one to the Psychology Today piece. Hope springs eternal!
posted by swlabr at 6:10 AM on April 10, 2005

all undesirable personalities will be given acronyms and pills. alpha male ascending. stop all this weeping, swallow your pride, you will not die, its not poison.
posted by Satapher at 9:07 AM on April 10, 2005

Hopeful, yes, as a survival strategy. But I must agree with Satapher's warning, or premonition, or perception.
posted by swlabr at 10:01 AM on April 10, 2005

all undesirable personalities will be given acronyms and pills.

posted by homunculus at 10:40 AM on April 10, 2005

I never could get the difference between Attention Deficit and Being Spoiled.

I could never tell the difference between ADD and big pharma's sales targets.
posted by telstar at 2:54 PM on April 10, 2005

There seems to be a dearth of facts, here, on the clinical nature of ADD and ADHD. Come on folks, you can meet a higher standard.
posted by troutfishing at 8:11 PM on April 10, 2005

you can meet a higher standard.

Someone hasn't been paying attention...
posted by homunculus at 9:31 PM on April 10, 2005

While I don't find it unlikely that some people do in fact suffer from some serious mental problem regarding focus and attention, I would wager that 85% or more of all people "diagnosed" with one of the AD-whatevers are perfectly fine and just suckers for the pill companies.
posted by nightchrome at 10:04 PM on April 10, 2005

nightchrome, that's an interesting assertion. Any backup, besides cynicism? Hallowell estimates that about 10 million adults in the US have ADHD(out of 220 mn adults total). So far, 1.5 million have been diagnosed. He further states, "studies around the world - in China, Japan, India, Germany, Puerto Rico, and New Zealand - show comparable figures." Basically, 5 to 8 percent adults suffer from ADHD. Like many other conditions, there's a continuum of severity, but there seems to be a somewhat objective marker for ADHD viz. cerebellum volume.
posted by Gyan at 11:20 PM on April 10, 2005

[i] I never could get the difference between Attention Deficit and Being Spoiled.[/i]

I could never get the difference between paralysis and eating twinkies.

Way to conflate two things that have nothing to do with one another. Just because you haven't seen Victoria falls, doesn't mean they don't exist.

I never have understood why people just can't wrap their heads around someone having out of whack brain chemistry. Perhaps if you haven't experienced something personally, it would be best to remain silent, rather than to insult people that have struggled with those issues.
posted by jester69 at 9:37 AM on April 11, 2005 [2 favorites]

Scanning the Monk
posted by homunculus at 11:20 AM on April 11, 2005

I could never tell the difference between AD(H)D and

Possibly because because all the information you get about it is from dumbed-down news reports written by people who do not understand psychology?

A minimal synopsis:
There is a part of the brain that serves to guide attention.
This action is sometimes hindered for various reasons.
This results in a less-than-average ability to effectively focus attention that is generally labelled ADD.

Of course, there's a lot more to it and other related diseases than that, but I don't see how anyone can doubt the existence of the above. Whether or not medication is needed is certainly a different story, however, and is completely dependent on the individual case. The meds aren't always just handed out like candy, either, and all have a unique effect on biochemistry and behavior. Whether the shrink actually dispenses based on the needs of their patient is a different matter, and I'd be more inclined to blame that on the medical industry.
posted by nTeleKy at 2:15 PM on April 11, 2005

i've always wondered about this sort of thing, but i figured that I was just being paranoid, self-defeatist, and/or stoned...

i wonder which Hallowell is?
posted by es_de_bah at 3:02 PM on April 11, 2005

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