ADD: A diagnosis over time - A diagnosis of context.
So what do I mean by "context?"
In the last post I told you about the physics professor with ADD - and you may very well have said: Impossible! His "management problem," that "group problem" he has, is not ADD, it is SAD, Social Anxiety Disorder.
Descriptively I agree, but functionally [from the point of view of brain function} it's more than that.
Yes, from one perspective, description and labels alone... he manifests his inability to function, his cognitive anxiety, with groups of people. There, in that people reality, symptoms of cognitive anxiety occur. Groups of people bring a change to his mathematically safe reality. People introduce an exposure to change, to unpredictable variables, and decreased structure unsettles his prefrontal cortex.
The pre-frontal cortex works vigorously to handle reality over time - its executive functions sets the brain and the person to keep in step with changing reality.
People are unpredictable for him, math is not. Groups of people present one context of reality - physics, mathematics is another reality. For him physics is more predictable. Different, less predictable realities significantly alter the process of thinking and acting with ADD.
No, ADD is not like a bacterial infection that remains present until the antibiotic works to kill all the offending bugs. It is a condition that is much more mercurial, often not categorically obvious, not present all day every day, - but exists in specific contexts of reality.
Some show no ADD in Jr High, but serious ADD arises as a freshman in High School - the context, the variables, the real structure has changed.
This simple observation is why so many have problems understanding and treating ADD - they don't get this problem of changing reality, and context. They think it appears categorically, like an infection, all or none - and if you are academically smart, all A's through several graduate schools, you couldn't possibly have that problem
Without understanding and correcting this simple point, we will continue to treat labels, categorical descriptions, and not the people where they live, in some context of changing reality.