RE: E: ADD/ADHD Problems and Tech Writing/Editing Careers

Subject: RE: E: ADD/ADHD Problems and Tech Writing/Editing Careers
From: "Jones, Donna" <DJones -at- zebra -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 13:06:55 -0500

I wasn't going to write more about this topic to the list in general, but I
have to respond to what Tom said. (My apologies to Andrew for continuing
this off-topic thread!)

-----Tom Green wrote:-----
but I just don't see how lack of concentration can be a medical condition.

With ADD, stating that the person has "problems with concentration" is a
misnomer. It's not that you *can't* concentrate because sometimes you can.
However, in general, your thoughts race and whirl around so fast that you
can't focus on one for long. You might be able to deal with a few things
here and there, but the jumble of thoughts is impossible to organize because
it won't stop moving long enough. More discipline doesn't make the problem
go away, though it can help you muddle through the basics of day-to-day life
better if you can manage to enforce it on yourself (or have someone enforce
it on you). For example, I clip my keys onto the handle of my purse when I
take them out of the ignition because I know I'm likely to lose them
otherwise, and I put my purse in the same place at home so I don't lose
track of it. At this point, I've been doing this so long that it's become a
habit--and a good one!

Have you ever seen one of those promotional whirlwind booths where they have
money or prize vouchers flying around, and contestants go inside and grab
what they can as it all flies around them? That's what it's like to have a
particularly bad day with ADD. This is where lack of concentration becomes a
medical condition and not just a behavioral issue. It's definitely not
something you can just "snap out of" because your brain isn't working
correctly. The effect of Ritalin and other stimulants on ADDers is that the
neurons suddenly function as they were supposed to, and thoughts slow down
and become more linear. That's how a stimulant can actually make a
"hyperactive" person settle down. You're not chasing after things in your
mind any more, so you become more in control of yourself both physically and

That's my opinion on it anyway... :-)

Just yesterday, yet another doctor suggested that I might have
hypothyroidism (tests done over the years have come back negative), so when
I read Rose's comment that she has a slow thyroid, I had to Google for more
information about hypothyroidism and ADD/ADHD. There is definitely a
relationship. It appears that thyroid problems can cause the same
concentration symptoms as ADD. It makes me wonder if ADD is becoming more
common or if other things just happen to be causing the same symptoms. If
the thyroid tests I had done yesterday come back negative again, I plan to
pursue more information on other substances (fluoride poisoning can cause
the same symptoms as thyroid problems). You never know.

There are tons of web sites that cover other conditions that can appear to
be ADD. Here are a couple that had some interesting information. I guess the
key is to judge what things apply to you and see if you can make ADD
symptoms better by resolving an underlying problem.


Okay, I'll stop talking about this topic now. Feel free to contact me
off-list if you want to continue the discussion. :-)


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