Okay. Here’s what you may sorta know but not really. This is the skinny on the diagnosis of ADD and ADHD.
There is no blood test…No CAT Scan. Maybe a PET Scan someday. The determination is made purely on the observation regarding how a particular person fits within a particular environment. That’s it. This determination can be done sloppily (which is normally how it’s done) or thoroughly (rare but still flawed).
Rare but still flawed? Yes. Because this is not cancer. This is not a broken leg or a ruptured spleen. It ‘s just a behavioral determination regarding how a person’s brain is wired and how well they fit in their world!
I will be first in line to tell you that the Western medical model has been one of the greatest revolutions we have seen in the history of human beings but it is not above criticism.
So, simply put, you or your child are banging around your world like a pinball or maybe you’re King Space Cadet…You don’t know why…You’re in pain, confused, angry…hurt…So you seek help. Give me a name for this thing please!
And where does that “name” come from? One of two places…The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or the International Classification of Diseases. So, congrats. You now have a fucking disorder/disease. You have a deficit. What?
“I’m defined by a deficit.” Let me tell you it’s a real conversation starter…
It’s not…”I tend to live life writ large” or “I’m out of the box creative” or “I see around corners others don’t.” “I got a little thing going on with my Reticular Activating System.” (More on that last one later!)
Okay. I’ve moved a bit too far into the glib category…I’m going to write more later. Suffice it say that we can re-educate ourselves about our wiring that doesn’t box us in (I an defined by a deficit) and gives us language to describe our strengths as well. You are not a diagnostic code.