Most people don’t believe in ADHD. Then they meet me.
>Ohhh, so _that’s_ it…!
__Well, I’ll be…__

There is no way to diagnose AD/HD without a frame of reference.
There is no value judgment, just a comparison and then an observation.
An impaired ability to parse culture
Individual A is an aberration, though they belong to an identifiable sub-group with defining characteristics

Read I stare at words
Ticks and scratches with hats and feet
Marching My eyes
dart Laughing behind, talking
Whispers, Phone Ringing
I Scream, Tear the pages
Drown It all out in Muted rage.

>Whatever, just shut up and go away. Extra lessons are for a fee only, sorry. Come back next week for our ritalin special—get a free spin in the Distractadome™May not be combined with any other offer. Virtual Deficit, inc. takes no responsibility for any negative social consequences that may result from the residual effects of our programs. Ask your Distracto-Technician for a complimentary pamphlet detailing activities that will take advantage of your newfound (temporary) creative skills. And *free* after $50 mail-in rebate. Haha, suckers.

>Everyone knows what attention is. It is the taking possession by the mind in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seem several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought…It implies withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others.
William James(Principles of Psychology, 1890)

There is a disconnect between intention and behavior. Between your perception of your behavior and its perception by others. Between your perception of others and others’ expectation of your ability to perceive them. On the micro it’s a matter of sorting competing tasks for focus and attention, or firing the right neurons at the right time, or having the right amount of white matter in the frontal lobes. But on the macro scale it’s about being a student, a friend, and a citizen. Functioning as a member of society. How does one do that? If life was a board game, and you had a different set of rules, what would happen when you tried to play with others? What would they think about you? About your intentions? About you as a person?

Where does personality end and disorder begin?

Panksepp says a growing intolerance of childhood playfulness has led to more and more children being labeled with AD/HD

What better business model could there be? Finance ADHD simulations using mail-in rebates. Anything under 20% redemption is pure profit. Assuming you don’t hand out Ritalin&tm;, you’ll be hard-pressed to get more than 8% rebate return. Assuming you can disqualify 25% arbitrarily (see: iron law of rebates) this leaves you with profits equal to at least %14*$50*nrebates.

Individuals with AD/HD are often severe underachievers.
AD/HD has been associated with certain personality traits that can be seen as other defining “symptoms”: High energy, creativity, alternating extreme empathy/unempathy, strong sense of intuition, trouble/frustration making self understood…

I’m sitting in a Starbucks™, my eyes are fixed on the trail of ink left by my rhodium nib. My ears dart back and forth, from the the Starbucks™ brand Musak to the clang of a nearby cellphone. “A dysfunctional group, or a core group…” A meeting. A child eating, a cookie. A barista laughs, “It really is!” he chortles. “A life coach” “Cause I know a lot of people who are stuck…” Tamborines, the scent of coffee, the buzz of refined sugar and amphetamine derivatives dancing their dance with my neurons. My savory soup of neurotransmitters churning away inside my braincage. The pungent air holds the snarl of coffee. I’m wondering how the corporate bozos at Starbucks calculated that this “music” would make anyone want to buy coffee. it makes me want to buy an ice pick and a smile. Everyone else is writing more than me. not really, but my brainvoice is telling me so. I snarl, and with a wimper it retreats back into the damp cave from whence it emerged. The grind of beans splintering floats above the din. It isn’t quite a din. the music continues. How many cycles do I waste on hating it? how many process moments — bits of ethereal phytochemical liveliness? My mother wishes she could ask them to turn it off.

>Do rock climbers dream of falling or flying? Do hyperactive kids dream of solitude on a granite mountain? Or do they dream of this: dancing and laughing, surrounded by friends, the mountains a distant mirage?Michael Shay, “Are We Distracted?” from _In Short_, Kitchen and Jones, Eds.

The father is distracted by his 8 year-old ADHD son, who happens to be scaling an 80-foot sheer face of granite with reckless abandon. He was also distracted when, at two, his son began displaying his climbing proclivities by scurrying up a 50-foot spruce at the playground. I remember these moments—vividly.

>”Memory is but the storage of fragmentary but ‘relevant’ features“
–Walter J. Ong

Attention; alertness, awareness, mindfulness, presence of mind, intentness, advertence, heed.

Someone once posited that ADHD is a genetic remnant from our primal hunting days. Hyper-vigilance. Obviously, this person did not have Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder. Another author used his experience with his 8-year-old ADHD son to refute the Hunter Hypothesis, on the ground that impulsiveness is not beneficial in such a context: i.e. Charging head-first into a herd of mammoths without forethought. But this misses the point almost entirely. Would he send an 8-year old non-ADHD kid out hunting? Surely not, at least if he was worried about impulse-control… Every child is impaired (undeveloped) in this regard, the ADHD kids just fall behind in their development (and may never fully catch up). While impulsiveness is at the core of what it means to be/have ADHD, in the hunting context, it is the much more bland distractibility that would be our downfall. Here’s how it would _really_ go:
>Me go hunt now. Oooga oohoooh.
…Uh, tiger! I go other way… _nice birdiees_ me smell boar, yes, mmmm. Me hungry.
(boar tracks! follows them…).
Ooh, flowers! Pretty flower! I pick some. _mmm smells nice_, Me make bouquet.

At this point the story takes on a familiar theme: insert Little Red Riding Hood, except instead of finding a wolf posing as my grandmother, I would return to the tribe with no food—but a very nicely styled 1/2 bouquet of flowers (got distracted), and some pretty rocks. Maybe I shot a bird, but forgot to bring it home. That would be my last time on hunting duty.*

Confidence, self-evaluation, judgment. The inner editor. The inner critic. Impatience. High levels of impatience. No ability to wait to see how things turn out. Why bother? We’ve seen this movie before; we know how it’ll end…

*Part two: Village elder is furious, throws rocks and flowers into fire pit. Flowers are incinerated. POOF. Rocks slowly crack apart, turn red, and start to ooze. One of the children notices, and is pulled back by his parents before he can lose a finger demonstrating the effect of molten copper on human flesh. ADHD was the true source of copper discovery.

>”Neurology offers a biological explanation which distinguishes between the ‘maladjusted’ child and the AD/HD child.”(Rafalovich, 411)

There is a look that I have grown to recognize; one that creeps up mid-conversation and fills me with dread. It says “Ok, I hear you. Uh, yeah. Okay. I get it already”. It says “Why is he still talking?“ It shows a polite disinterest, a rising level of conversation-fatigue. My mind floods with questions: How long have they not wanted to listen? How do I rescue the situation? Why aren’t they interested? Was it the way I was explaining things? Did I say too much? Too fragmented? Too much detail? Too tangential? It only happens at parties, or at dining hall.

Attention: The span thereof. The ability to regulate and allocate the necessary attentional resources. Executive brain functions. Like the CEO of your brain, but wait, he’s a drunk! Where’d those papers go? What do we do now? When do we do it? What do I do? Which do I do? where who why when what… {//… kernel error. overload}

Enter the blessed ones
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Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity disorder is a neurobiological disorder. People with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity disorder tend to have inordinate amounts of trouble maintaining attention-discipline, may be impulsive, and especially at younger ages are often hyperactive—uncharacteristically so for their age and level of development.

disorder: lack of order, our minds are disorderedwe like to think they have thier own unique order. I tend to have trouble remembering—names, faces, places, times—sometimes.

Over 70% of all individuals diagnosed with AD/HD are also diagnosed with a related disorder. Depression. Mood Disorders. Conduct Disorder. Et al.

Depression: A rotting twine’s torsion, that one impossible organ deep within my chest where the feelings lie. lay. lye. lae. lae man lay-man serviceman. its spiny tendrils slowly killing cells, one at a time—mechanically tightening with each breath. In come the happy pills—Boom. Everything goes

Imagine a television set that represents your mind, the current program is your state of focus. If you are concentrating on doing laundry, that’s the channel you’re watching. The picture is vivid, the lines sharp — and you are able to interpret (mostly) without issue the elements of the images before you. Now, you hold in your hand a remote control. Your remote is of normal shape, size, color, and composition. Its face has two buttons; one for channel up, and one for down (and maybe some numbers? Sure, why not! (That way if you’re watching one thing you don’t have to go through all the other channels sequentially)). Even better, you have one button for each channel… This is no ordinary remote control, no siree, this has the latest technology so every time some new ”opportunity“ for focus enters your radar, up pops a new button. Now your average human being watches one channel, then maybe changes to another channel by pressing a button, and then when that program is over they change to a different channel, or wait to see what’s on next, and so on and so forth.

AD/HD inattentive subtype The remote is broken. The channel up and down buttons are sticky — sometimes they get stuck. Your TV changes channels indefinitely. Or even better, other times they don’t work at all. You’re sitting there watching a program vital to your social survival such as ”What your spouse did today“ or even ”What cars are coming at you at 70 mph on Soldiers Field Road during Rush Hour“. Suddenly a new program pops up, ”Watching a seagull circle overhead“ or even ”Zone out and think about something else“ (always a classic)

So, your TV just freaks out and changes the channel once it sees something it likes. You mash the buttons on the remote desperately; maybe you manage to switch it back— but only briefly, before you notice it’s happened again.

You’re lost in the program forever. Seconds become hours become days… waiting for boredom to breathe life back into your remote, allowing you to seize control once again.