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Prattles On

2003-08-28

Category: philosophies

You know the type. He prattles on and on. Though he claims to have learning disabilities and other mental handicaps that prevent him from achieving greatness, he will still assure you that he knows what he is talking about and should be taken seriously. I suppose he should be listened to; after all he heard it from a guy that his friend knows who used to do that stuff when he was in the C.I.A..

In the days before ADHD was defined and diagnosed, such people surely existed. There are literary references to them. They are characters in old books and in early movies. Back then they were just thought to be long winded or maybe simple. When they wouldn’t shut up one would give them a sound knock to the noggin and the fellow would keep quiet. Of course we don’t do such things in these more civilized days, though some individuals make me wonder why.

What is this ADHD anyway? I know the typical definition. What I wonder about is the standards used. Is it something rare that causes the afflicted person deviate from the norm? If so, why is it so prevalent? If it is so common, is it persons who don’t have it that deviate from normal? Was it always there but the harshness of life kept it in check?

If it is a disorder, why is it worn with such pride? I meet people who proudly proclaim, “I have ADHD and therefore cannot be held responsible for my lack of effort!” Are they told to say this by the specialists who treat them? If so, those specialists are really great at morale boosting. Time to get them to do cheerleading for football teams or morale boosting for the military. On second thought, they would probably make everyone just as happy about losing as about winning and that may not be a good thing.

I’m not trying to be insensitive. As a disabled person myself, I can be sympathetic to the plight of others. I know what it feels like to want to have normal function but not be able to. At the same time, I don’t see the disability itself as a point of arrogance. When my limits show up they frustrate me and I grow angry at them. I would never proudly tell people that my limitations meant I could accomplish less. I spend a great deal of time trying to minimize the effect of my disability so that I can eventually over come it.

But my point about my disability seems logical. Maybe part of the ADHD is that it impairs the reasoning ability of the afflicted person so that they don’t understand that it isn’t a proud thing. I’m not an expert on the disease so I don’t know. If there is ever a way to let persons who are actually diagnosed clinically with ADHD to carry a badge or such without any stigma it would be a good thing. At least you would know the ones who really have it as compared with the dumb-asses who claim to have it as an excuse for not doing anything with their lives.


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