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AD(H)D is a complicated and commonly misunderstood condition. Despite its name, it does not mean people with it have a deficit of attention. It involves (amongst other things): atypical dopamine production/regulation, and issues in the Prefrontal Cortex (where executive functions are handled).

Because of this, it's not unusual for other conditions to cause people to experience similar symptoms to those with AD(H)D. The main difference, is that for people with AD(H)D, the symptoms are chronic and disruptive.

Many symptoms caused by the executive function component can also be experienced by those who have theirs inhibited. This can be because they are: tired, stressed, drunk etc.

When reading this or other articles on AD(H)D, if you resonate with the symptoms I urge you to read up and potentially get diagnosed.

Just please don't assume that "everyone has some kind of ADHD" or that "ADHD is't real" because some symptoms are shared by other conditions, and can often seem like regular parts of the human condition.






Best descirption I've heard that sidesteps the "oh yeah I can't read a book either" is that ADHD is about a deficit in intention.

Things that aren't "can't focus" that are symptoms of ADHD:

- bad temper - speaking before thinking (followed by immediate regret) - often making spur of the moment decisions without thinking of long-term consequences

The overarching thing being that lots of people with ADHD do things _despite knowing on a rational level that it's not a good idea_, because that thought usually isn't loud enough to actually stop your actions (at least not fast enough anyways).

There's always a bit of "yeah everyone has that" when you talk about laziness and lack of focus, making it feel a bit like an unfalsifiable diagnosis. But there's a lot of people who most definitely don't have bad temper issues or go binge drinking all the time (Though this isn't everyone with ADHD either of course).


Good points!

The symptoms you describe are impacted by the two elements I described (executive function issues and dopamine regulation).

People with AD(H)D have issues with regulation and executive function, which can lead to issues in how one controls themselves. This can lead to the issues of controlling oneself that you describe.

On top of that, dopamine (which is more accurately a "motivation hormone", which creates the desire to do things) is different in AD(H)D brains. Basically, people with AD(H)D will get a dopamine kick from certain types of behaviours, and not from others. This can result in the relative importance of tasks being very different from neuro-typical ordering. As a result, addictive behaviours can be more common (especially for things like video-games), or also the prevalence of hyper-focus that people with AD(H)D experience.

I agree with your last paragraph fully. The lack of understanding around the condition can lead many to make uninformed actions and opinions that can be harmful to those with AD(H)D, diagnosed or not. This can have negative impacts on patient mental health, and is the reason why people should be more aware of this oft misunderstood condition.


Why do we separate ADHD from other abnormality with similar symptoms, when ADHD itself seems symptom-based diagnosis?

I have my own personal hypothesis that some types of ADHD are caused by persistent stress due to sensitive sensory reactions. Also, another hypothesis of mine is that some may just develop similar symptoms with enormous stress factors (e.g. no proper caregiving at early age, or PTSD). Is there any literature that corroborates or disproves such hypothesis?


> Why do we separate ADHD from other abnormality with similar symptoms, when ADHD itself seems symptom-based diagnosis?

What do you mean by symptom-based diagnosis? Most ailments are diagnosed by their symptoms. If you mean diagnosis by measurement of specific chemicals/etc in the brain, I've heard of some studies that show that you can diagnose ADHD through brain scans[1]. Just because there's symptom overlap doesn't make the diagnosis moot. Both allergies and the common cold can result in similar symptoms, yet we still diagnose them separately because they are not the same thing. Yes, depression and ADHD might have some similar symptoms caused by their own unique effects on dopamine in the brain, but they are both much more complex than that.

> I have my own personal hypothesis that some types of ADHD are caused by persistent stress due to sensitive sensory reactions

Given that ADHD has a very heavy genetic component, I am inclined to disagree. However, I did find a paper[2] that indicated a link between socio-economic factors and ADHD. The causation/correlation is not particularly clear in the paper, but it could be interesting to look at.

[1] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315884.php [2] http://www.academicpedsjnl.net/pb/assets/raw/Health%20Advanc...


> Many symptoms caused by the executive function component can also be experienced by those who have theirs inhibited. This can be because they are: tired, stressed, drunk etc.

This. When I am highly stressed I look like I have AD(H)D. Or ASD. When I'm not, I don't.


Good observation! Also note, that these can exacerbate people with AD(H)D's symptoms as well.




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