Recently, I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, more commonly known as ADHD. Before I went to test for the disorder, I had suspicions about the impact it would have on my life.
1) I have probably always had it
2) Treatment would change my life
I was right on both accounts.
Many people today are coming to the same realization, and I often wonder if it sparks interest beyond the thought of "let me add this to the list of things wrong with me." I wonder this mostly because, there may not be anything wrong with me at all. At least, not in the way of most disorders seem to impact people's lives. I can speak to one-- Major Depressive Disorder, which almost took my life, ADHD was more of a revelation than a debilitative condition. I can live without treatment, and many people often do.
With that being said, why treat it?
Think of a busy street, in a big city. You take that street home, everyday, and notice many different things, most are the same. However, one day, you notice people, places, and things that you didn't before. You began to form ideas on the things you notice. You began to draw conclusions-- theories even. You are no longer preoccupied with getting where you're going. And, to top it off, because you notice everything you never paid attention to before, you also find a short-cut home.
The ADHD brain, I imagine is a lot like a busy street. The medication and treatments doctors prescribe, serve to make everyday a short-cut home. Ok, bad analogy. But, I have seen myself calmly think through tasks in minutes, which used to take me hours. And, if the thought got chased away by another thought, I wouldn't finish the task for days.
But, here is another notion: everyone suffers from a form of ADD/ADHD. Radio, television, the internet, and cell phones have made it difficult for any modern individual to focus. Our brains are constantly on the go, and we rarely stop, even when we sleep. On the positive side, however, our brains are now making intellectual leaps that we weren't able to take before.
What impact does this notion have on the brain? Well, many pro-technos would say that it has made the average brain smarter. A con to that is that the computers are thinking for us. But, I would say, only in the same way our parents did when we were children, or reading a book, or going to school.
The fact is this: technology has pushed the human brain to process at the speed of the machines we use daily. This has manifested itself in the form of ADD/ADHD. What happens when we unlock the disorder part of a high functioning brain, which is what ADHD has been proven to be? The intellectual capacity of the human mind could evolve beyond our imaginations, because of the impact of technology. If ADHD is the side-effect of this, we are on the cutting edge.
I disclaimer all of this by saying, I am not claiming to be smart, or brilliant. If think so, it is no one's business anyway, right? But, for the sake of argument, I cannot wait to see how the ADHD treatment will unlock my potential.
The Human Exchange: Discuss the Human Condition
- Evolution of the Mind