Information, Education and Self Reflection:Food for Thought

I had some thoughts I thought would be worth sharing and some new information ( for me at least ) that I feel applies to me very much.....thinking, therefore a good chance of it applying to anyone else here having ADHD

Did Mozart Really Have ADHD? History Of Hyperactivity Off-base, Says Researcher

May 28, 2009
Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
A Canadian researcher working in the UK says doctors, authors and educators are doing hyperactive children a disservice by claiming that hyperactivity as we understand it today has always existed.

A Canadian researcher working in the U.K. says doctors, authors and educators are doing hyperactive children a disservice by claiming that hyperactivity as we understand it today has always existed.

Hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is currently the most commonly diagnosed childhood psychiatric disorder, says Smith, and millions of children are prescribed drugs such as Ritalin to treat it. Yet prior to the 1950s, it was clinically and culturally insignificant.

He argues in a paper presented at the Congress for the Humanities and Social Sciences taking place at Ottawa's Carleton University this week, that hyperactivity disorder as we understand it today is a modern construct that was first described as a disorder in 1957.

Before that, Smith says hyperactive behaviour existed – but it wasn't always thought of as a disorder or pathology worth treating.

However, Smith says many today assert that hyperactivity is a universal phenomenon, and say evidence of hyperactivity can be seen in historical figures such as Mozart or Einstein. Smith argues that hyperactivity as we understand it is rooted in social, cultural, political and economic changes of the last half century.

"When history is extended back beyond 1957, it overlooks all the social factors that contributed to the idea that children were hyperactive – and that that was a problem," he says.

"We need to refocus the history of hyperactivity on the period starting from the late 1950s and 60s. "By doing so, we start to understand why people started to think there was a problem with children, why they thought that problem needed to be fixed, and why it became acceptable to fix that problem with drugs."

Smith says that whether you consider hyperactivity a disease worth treating often depends on context – and the context changed in the late 1950s when the U.S. refocused its education system in response to the space race.

"If a child's playing soccer, there's a chance hyperactivity isn't going to be a problem. But if they are stuck in a classroom, it is a problem.

"We have to look at the social and historical factors that created the idea that children were distractible and that these were pathologies that needed to be treated.

"For patients and their parents, what this means is that the process by which their children are diagnosed is not rooted in a long history. If they understand that, they can develop the tools to question the diagnosis."

When I read this it explained my own frustration and thinking many times that the Diagnosis of ADHD just doesn't seem to fit in so many ways....more of how it is perceived or integrated into my world view comparing myself to everyone else.  This article helps explain my own thinking in this context and is useful only in that it helps me understand where my feelings come from so many times but not being able to articulate them to others. To be sure...I'm no Einstein or Motzart if anyone thinking I included this out of my own delusions or grandeur...most of the time thinking just the opposite for what it's worth. ha ha     Food for thought.


UCSD Shiley Eye Center ophthalmologists and researchers have uncovered a relationship between an eye disease characterized by an inability to focus on a target and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

“We showed that children with the disorder, convergence insufficiency are three times as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than children without the disorder,” according to David B. Granet, M.D., a UCSD School of Medicine associate professor of ophthalmology and pediatrics and director of the UCSD Ratner Children’s Eye Center. “This is the first time such a relationship has been identified between these two disorders.”

Convergence insufficiency, a disorder that affects less than five percent of children, is a physical eye problem that makes it hard to keep both eyes pointed and focused at a near target, making it difficult to maintain concentration when reading. ADHD is considered to be one of the most common psychiatric disorders in children.

When reviewing 266 charts of patients with convergence insufficiency, Dr. Granet and his colleagues found that 26 patients (9.8%) were diagnosed with ADHD sometime in their life. Of those, 20 (76.9%) were on medication for ADHD when they were diagnosed with convergence insufficiency. “When we turned it around and looked at the ADHD population we found an almost 16 percent incidence of convergence insufficiency, or again more than three times what you’d expect.”

“The significance of this relationship is intriguing,” Dr. Granet said. “We don’t know if convergence insufficiency makes ADHD worse or if convergence insufficiency is misdiagnosed as ADHD. What we do know is that more research must be done on this subject and that patients diagnosed with ADHD should also be evaluated for convergence insufficiency and treated accordingly. Further work may aid in understanding both disorders.”

Dr. Granet added that convergence insufficiency is one of the very few ocular conditions that respond to eye exercises (orthoptics) which can be done at home.

When I read this I had one of those "holy shit!!" moments.  This is me all over the place .  Before I could remember I was taken in to opthomologists by my mom thinking I had some eye problem.  The conclusion was  mild Amblyopia in my left eye which they tried to put an eye patch on my right eye to strengthen my left one.  I can tell you that this lasted about a week....even less than that remembering every time my mom would walk out of the room the patch came off. ha ha  "Thinking now.....this describes my condition exactly.  When I read or try and track moving objects I loose sight of them for a split second which makes it hard to stay focused on it. 

Go back and look at anything I've ever written here in this forum and you'll see the results......words appear missing.....incorrect syntax or tenses.  This is why I think.  I used to have to proof read everything with a fine tooth comb before submitting homework since it was always present.  ( still is)  I don't worry about it when I just trying to communicate in writing.......the message is most important not and English grade.

The only problem I ever experienced with this came when trying to play Baseball as a kid.  I loved Baseball but I couldn't hit to save my life....however, I could catch and throw very well and became a catcher oddly enough.  I could track things coming at me or away from me ( like in driving or riding my bike)  but hot moving from left to right because of my left eye as is with reading.  I commonly jump a line or the words compress into each other and I have to go back and reread the sentence again.  I read quickly and have excellent retention and comprehension as well as type very fast in spite of this?????????  Food for thought.

[ScienceDaily: Your source for the latest research news]

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Thirty percent of adults with attention deficit disorder report childhood physical abuse

This strong association between abuse and ADD/ADHD was not explained by differences in demographic characteristics or other early adversities experienced by those who had been abused," says lead author Esme Fuller-Thomson, Professor and Sandra Rotman Chair at University of Toronto's Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. "Even after adjusting for different factors, those who reported being physically abused before age 18 had seven times the odds of ADD/ADHD."

Investigators examined a representative sample of 13,054 adults aged 18 and over in the 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey including 1,020 respondents who reported childhood physical abuse and 64 respondents who reported that they had been diagnosed by a health professional with either ADHD or ADD.

"Our data do not allow us to know the direction of the association. It is possible that the behaviors of children with ADD/ADHD increase parental stress and the likelihood of abuse," says co-author Rukshan Mehta, a graduate of the University of Toronto's Masters of Social Work program. "Alternatively, some new literature suggests early childhood abuse may result in and/or exacerbate the risk of ADD/ADHD."

According to co-author Angela Valeo from Ryerson University, "This study underlines the importance of ADD/ADHD as a marker of abuse. With 30 per cent of adults with ADD/ADHD reporting childhood abuse, it is important that health professionals working with children with these disorders screen them for physical abuse."

Boy I know this one.  What's important to understand for us is the part about parental stress ( our current partner's stress now) and the feelings we carry with us that we are getting singled out or picked on.  Both are true but without considering both sides you can easily develop a victim mentality early on.  I have a real problem with victim mentality (not liking it as it goes against everything I believe about myself )and am hyper vigilant in myself anytime I find myself going there or see it in others.  It creates and impenetrable wall between you and other people and is divisive because of it.  I cut myself no slack here but unfortunately, it makes me less compassionate to others at times because of it.  Moderation is the best course and unlearning the patterns that were formed long ago even if they are just "habit" now for no other apparent reason.  Food for thought.

Study details bullying involvement for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder

September 3, 2012
JAMA and Archives Journals
A study based on information collected from 920 parents suggests an estimated 46.3 percent of adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder were the victims of bullying

Bullying involves negative actions toward a peer and is characterized by a power imbalance -- physical, social or cognitive -- between the victim and the perpetrator. Relatively little research has examined bullying involvement among adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to the study background.

Paul R. Sterzing, Ph.D., M.S.S.W., previously of Washington University, St. Louis but now affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues used nationally representative surveys to identify the prevalence of bullying involvement, compare prevalence rates of bullying involvement with adolescents with developmental disabilities that overlap with the core deficits of an ASD, and identify the social ecological correlates of bullying involvement.

The prevalence of bullying involvement for adolescents with an ASD was 46.3 percent for victimization and was "substantially higher" than the national prevalence estimates for the general adolescent population (10.6 percent). The rates of perpetration of bullying (14.8 percent) and victimization/perpetration (8.9 percent, i.e. those who perpetrate and are victimized), were about equivalent to national estimates found among typically developing adolescents, according to the study results.

Victimization was related to having a non-Hispanic ethnicity, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, lower social skills, some form of conversational ability, and more classes in general education. Perpetration was correlated with being white, having attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and getting together with friends at least once a week. Victimization/perpetration was associated with being white non-Hispanic, having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and getting together with friends at least once a week, the results indicate.

"Future interventions should incorporate content that addresses the core deficits of adolescents with an ASD, which limits their verbal ability to report bullying incidents," the authors comment. "Schools should incorporate strategies that address conversational difficulties and the unique challenges of those with comorbid conditions."

The authors also concluded: "Inclusive classrooms need to increase the social integration of adolescents with an ASD into protective peer groups while also enhancing the empathy and social skills of typically developing students toward their peers with an ASD and other developmental disabilities."

This was really interesting for me to read and caused to reflect on both sides of this after reading that people with ADHD were both the perpetrator and the victim.  Thinking....and related to the last article about abuse.  I hated bullies and still do but not so much because I was bullied excessively or was a bully myself but,  I remember being singled out or targeted plenty of times even by friends or playmates.  With these people I became hurt as I wanted to fit in and want them to like me so I would do what I could to hide or minimize my behavior around them.  Many times simply not saying anything and moving on but still feeling hurt.  In the face of actually bullies which were clearly not my friends I had an rather quick and immediate response which came in the form of verbal retaliation and confrontation...squaring off and posturing physically without violence but threatening for sure.  And in a few extreme cases as a child in grade school...punching the bully as hard as I could in their face which usually served to stop their attempts and prevent any further attempts in the future. Once you've been threatened by the "best" ( my father thinking here)  other kids on the playground seemed far less threatening even ones who were bigger than me.

But there are plenty of down sides here even if your not doing overt bullying as this article is suggesting.  One of the criteria they used here was that you were with friends at least once a week and had a number of classes as a child.  I'm assuming this has to do with the amount of exposure you have with peers and the potential for conflict either being bullied or bullying yourself.  I think this is where the passive aggression comes from.  Without the ability to control your ADHD behaviors other people call you out especially when your a kid.  A bully sees and easy target and tag...your it.  If you are defenseless physically the next best thing is to slight them or embarrass them publicly in front of others as a preventative measure or better yet....make them the butt of a joke.  Sarcasm is an effective tool as a defense from bully's and can be funny....but  it can also come out when you don't want it too if it becomes a way of speech that not everyone least not all the time.  At the end of the day it's still negative and a second cousin to anger.

I was also the "Boy named Sue"  thinking about the song by Johnny Cash....I have a girls first name which never really appeared as a problem only that I always had this feeling that I needed to prove myself worthy of having a girls name for a guy with new people at least at first. ( I love having a girls first name by the much fun to be had and I have many times! this day I still get feminine hygiene samples in the mail..ha ha) I definitely feel in light of this fact that any singling out came from the same as discussed in this article not my first name....most definitely!!  It's wasn't hard for me when reading this to understand my own feelings (as small as they might appear today ...the "Kernel of Truth" that Melissa has mentioned) and where they come from even if it is a vague and distant memory now.

I figured I will just add to this topic from time to time instead of creating a new one.  The thing that I have come to realize about my time here on this forum is that the predominate group mind or collective consciousness here really makes it difficult for a guy especially with ADHD if they happened across it as I did with the idea of getting help or support and finding themselves immediately in the hot seat without being prepared ( or worse really needing to reach out for a hand thinking that this would not be the right place for obvious reasons: ) 

From  the looks of things at times....I think that might be exactly what has happened taking all things into consideration. ( also referencing a post that Melissa made last spring to this effect ...not gender specific but about having a separate ADHD side of this forum which I supported NOT doing .....and still feel this way for the same reasons I just made ) was exactly what I needed to here at the exact right time for me but.....this would not have been true in previous times of my life and might have sent me into depression immediately and caused me to retreat and withdraw out being becoming overwhelmed.  This forum is not for the faint of heart if you are a guy with ADHD but is a great resource for someone like me who had some time to process and is looking for ways to improve and manage their ADHD better.

Articles like these only help me understand myself and why I think and feel the way I do and I think it's worth sharing with others for the same reasons thinking.....this is an open forum for everyone to learn and share on all sides and shouldn't be limited only to the majority of people here....on the contrary, for those who are on the other side of the coin...this kind of info would be just as useful to them and it was for me coming from the same stage in the process but certainly not for everyone here for sure:)