Jory Goodman M.D.

Attention, Please

They Say I Have ADHD—Oh, Look, There's a Duck!

"Attention, Distraction and other stuff I Forgot to Mention"

Posted May 07, 2010

I wrote a very witty yet learned piece about ADHD for my introductory blog here at Psychology Today.  Unfortunately this is not that one.  It was clever and informative. It disappeared when, distracted by a phone call, a page, two text messages, three emails and a UPS delivery I carelessly pressed the wrong key and erased it.  That, along with two letters, seven progress notes and the shopping list my wife had sent on iChat.  Working from memory instead of from working memory I bought potatoes instead of tomatoes.  They do not go well with the Buffalo Mozzarella and Basil. Such is life with ADHD.

Yes.  I have ADHD.  I've know it for about sixteen years.  I've become an authority on the subject.  If only I'd known it a good deal sooner.  

ADHD is not a disorder or a disease.  It is a difference.  It is a different brain that perceives, processes and expresses differently than a non-ADHD brain.  Note please that I do not refer to normal or abnormal.  In computer parlance (as patiently explained to me by my children) the ADHD brain has a lightening fast non-linear processor and an enormous RAM capacity.  Hence many things never get encoded, or become memories on the hard drive.  They zoom around in the RAM, banging about, never shutting down, needing to be checked, distracting you, and me, and you end up with a run-on sentence.  See.

To have ADHD is neither good or bad.  It is.  And it works well for you in many places and awfully in others.  It is quite heritable and does appear with increased prevalence in certain populations.  It's a must have for catchers, cowboys, comedians (funny ones anyhow) and SEALS. It's horrible for tennis linesmen: Wow, Sharapova has great legs...uhh, uhm,  oops, I didn't see where that one landed!

As we proceed I'll give you the skinny on ADHD from every angle; inside, outside and inside out.  Your questions will be welcome and helpful.  

A broad range of topics will be addressed here.  Medical, social, political, psychological; if you can name it I'll probably have something to say about it.  So, read and enjoy.  I'll be back later.  I have to scoot over for some tomatoes .

About the Author

Jory F. Goodman, M.D., is a practicing psychiatrist in Beverly Hills, with more than thirty years of clinical experience.

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