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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

ADHD: gone stir crazy

Working as I do from a home office, there comes a time after a few days of making phone calls, penning memos, and drafting proposals, that I begin to feel, well, stir crazy. If I were not such a well socialized individual who is ever cognizant of my wife's potential retribution, I would have hurled objects through the window, thrown temper tantrums, and become a veritable domestic deliquent. Luckily, I can also schedule appointments to see customers far from town, which quiets the little anarchist within me, and fortifies me upon my return for another few days of tedium.

There's nothing magical about the human mind's need to have some change of pace, and nothing perverse when the same mind goes loco when it doesn't get it's way. Luckily, adult minds can control for this, and let off steam, create diversions, or simply leave town when things get too boring. No such luck however if you're a five year old kid, for your inability to articulate your boredom makes you prey to the prescriptive powers of a new type of vampire, the psychologist. For the psychologist, simple learning won't do, we need a syndrome, a disease, something that is prescribed by counsel and remedied by prescription. And so, going stir crazy is now a spanking new disease, ADHD (or attention deficit hyperactive disease), a malady our grandparents never had when they were kids, as well as nobody else in the world outside of the continental USA. Perhaps its due to the fact that physical education and simple recess has been waning in a country more concerned with safety, budgets, and high SAT scores. So how come with all our smarts we take the harder way out, and skirt the obvious while heading to the ridiculous? Why, money of course.

In psychology the nature/nurture, learning/instinct debate is slanted by the market place for the simple fact that an appeal to instinct and nature can command a fee. For manic behavior due to a cockeyed environment, changing the venue is like changing the dial, it remedies ennui and is free. But if you can make that behavior due to some instinctive or genetic trait, then you've got the makings of a lucrative industry. And so we drug our children while keeping them locked away in classroom dungeons, and provide the funds for psychologists to trumpet their incompetence in books, seminars, and the Oprah show. It drives me mad, an illness that I fear in this new age of ignorance, only Prozac can cure.

More on the fraud of ADHD here.

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