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Okay, I start with a disclaimer, I suspect this opinion to be unpopular on HN. Anyway, I can't help thinking that ADHD is one of those mental disorders that merely reflects some increased demands of society rather than a genuine mental disorder and that people with ADHD are just part of the natural variation of different personality types.

There also seems to be a huge divide between the US and Europe, where such disorders seem to be diagnosed way less often. It has always appeared to me that many people in the US are more easily considered mentally ill when they do not fully conform to society's expectations, and at the same time the people who suffer from severe mentally illness are less cared for in the US than in Europe. Or maybe that's just how the media portray it.






As someone who struggled for 32 years before I was diagnosed - you don't know what you're talking about.

I have been to multiple (European) therapists who had just your approach and had no idea about ADHD. For years.

In the end, I knew all the techniques for getting things in order, just couldn't follow up on them, and wasted tremendous amounts of my life trying to do things. (Not to mention gaining ~30kg, because I instinctively ate a ton of sugar - which has a similar dopamine-inducing effects to Ritalin, just with calories and not as long-lasting)

After taking one pill I was able to finally get myself together.


And to give a seeming counterexample that only reinforces your point: I was also diagnosed with adult ADD in recent years. At first the meds seemed to help slightly. Then not so much, and the side-effects (lack of sleep, for example) actually made it worse at times.

Now after a lot of trial and error it appears that I might have been (partially) misdiagnosed. The cause of my issues may stem more from Complex PTSD, which has a lot of overlapping symptoms. Processing the source of that has given me a lot more relief from the ADHD symptoms than the medication ever did.

But even so, the only reason my mental health issues have seen any kind of progress at all was because I started taking them seriously, found people who supported me in that, and with therapists started trying things out and re-evaluating as we went along. What definitely did not help was telling myself "nah, I don't have ADHD. I don't want to be one of those people who hides behind that excuse and is medicated for the rest of his life" for years.

I'm happy that the Ritalin works for you, and I'm happy that I'm making my own progress. In both cases the solutions were only found due to not being dismissive about mental health issues being real illnesses.


Can confirm the above. I'm greatful for my diagnosis and the medicines that exist. Also, there is close to zero stigma surrounding AD(H)D and related medication in my personal and professional circles. I was diagnosed at age 21, and I would have benefited immensely from a more timely diagnosis. Medication (Concerta) allowed me to take charge of my life. Instead of being swamped by endless impulses and their echoes, I had a say in the matter of what I wanted to do. Imagine continuously sinking into yourself with no predictable way to resurface. Buoyancy is a nice thing to have, and taken for granted by those who don't know better.

> swamped by endless impulses and their echoes

Thank you.


Same age, same situation, same location, still they are not able to diagnose me. Trying to solve with moda

Diagnosed at 6 with ADHD in the US by a proper battery of psychiatrists, therapists, etc. Medicated until 17. Still going to therapy regularly in the EU to deal with a myriad of ongoing issues as ADHD has changed how it impacts my life into adulthood. I am a "textbook" case.

So basically the reality of my life is not subject to your opinions. Stop projecting your value system onto other people's lives.


> Stop projecting your value system onto other people's lives.

There really is no need for snarky replies like that, as I haven't even remotely talked about value systems in any conceivable way. Whether someone has a mental disorder or not does not depend on any "value system" -- or, at least, it should not, provided that there is real science behind the diagnosis. I made the remark because my father used to work as a professor of psychology and I had many discussions about such topics in the past, including the complexity of diagnosis in the field and the difficulty of classifying mental disorders, and how these classifications have changed over time and vary from country to country (for example "koro"). So I'm generally interested in the topic and know that many theories in psychology are highly problematic; some of them, such as C.G. Jung's archetypes, are even decidedly unscientific. The aim was certainly not to look down on other people or impose a value system.

Even if I have, in your opinion, indirectly insinuated that you might not have a mental disorder (which wasn't my intention), I really can't see why anyone would be offended by that.


I'm sorry to hear that but just because someone diagnosed you at 6 doesn't mean I believe it's right to medicate a child that early.

If you could do it all over again, would you have waited until you were grown before you took medication?


You don't know how hard it is, as a parent, to make the call to medicate your six year old child.

Here are some of the things that went through my own mind:

- Maybe he'll outgrow it (he's fairly severe ADHD, but we went through a long process of hoping that it was just a maturity-level thing)

- Paper after article after paper sent by well-meaning family members about how ADHD is over-diagnosed. Doubt.

- Side-effects (obviously, first thing every parent thinks about)? How severe will they be in my child?

- Ritalin + suicide [0].

- If we medicate him at six, _will he ever learn the tools to manage ADHD without meds_? He'll potentially spend his entire childhood on meds.

- If we don't medicate him, and he's consistently labelled a 'problem child' in his class, how will that affect his self-esteem as he grows up? How will it affect his feelings about school and work?

- If we don't medicate him, and he struggles and falls behind his classmates in his schoolwork (which, even in Grade 1, he was - significantly), are we holding him back? He's a super smart kid, he just can't focus.

- If we medicate him, and it doesn't work (we have to try multiple meds), how will it affect his self-esteem to be constantly visiting psychiatrists, pediatricians, etc. A thing I've noticed: doctors have zero problems talking overly-candidly in front of my kid about his failings, as though he's not there.

- We were literally told by a doctor that once you get on the medication train, 99% of parents don't get off until at least mid-high school. Am I comfortable with that?

After that long thought process (and so much more), we put him on medication. We're going very slowly in ramping up the dosage, but he's already caught up to his classmates in school, and he seems happier. I don't know if we've done the right thing, but I do know: it's not as clear-cut right/wrong as you make it out to be.

[0]: http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc...


I would have preferred to be medicated with 6 rather than 14, which is when I started medication for ADHD.

I wouldn’t have flunked half as many classes, nor taken 15 years to get into my career of choice, had I been diagnosed and treated at 6, and not 36.

>So basically the reality of my life is not subject to your opinions. Stop projecting your value system onto other people's lives.

how ironic


[flagged]


Unnecessarily hostile? No. People who have to constantly deal with a difficulty other people don't have, while those people completely unoriginally reflect the same doubt that's been repeated over and over again, can make frustrated comments in a thread on the topic without being characterized as hostile.

It is a calmly stated ignorant opinion.

Imagine living with a diabetes, or some other invisible issue that affects your life, and having to hear such calm opinions all the time from people around you. Telling you that your issue is not real (so - de facto - you're imagining it).


To give perhaps a slightly more nuanced take on this comment, and without the pointlessly provocative "suspect this opinion to be unpopular": when a mental "disorder" is diagnosed one of the key criteria is usually that it is causing distress. What I think this commenter is trying to get at is that the current structure of society could be causing this distress to a personality type that previously wouldn't have done so.

I have many of the traits in the article, and find some of them weigh very heavily. I think one of the reasons for that is that I'm easily distracted, and computers are terrible for people like me because I'm just a couple of clicks away from watching an effectively infinite collection of sports highlights, reading newspapers, looking at photos, cat videos on YouTube etc. etc. A concrete example is writing this comment when I really should have my head down in a project that I'm working on.

I think I would be much happier in a job where smartphones and computers aren't involved, like working on a nature reserve. I can't make that change quickly - I run a small business with a couple of colleagues and support a family - but I'm starting to turn the tanker towards a life like that because the effort involved in managing the bureaucracy of contemporary life takes a lot out of me. And I've actually got it pretty easy in terms of flexibility and pay, like many of us on HN.

It's rather like a milder version of RD Laing's idea that it's not people who are mentally ill, but society that's ill. I think that's taking it way too far, and there are obviously people who have extreme versions of personality types who would be distressed no matter what the circumstances - but the point stands that our psychology hasn't evolved to withstand the pummelling that it gets from the attention economy.


This measured response to the GP is better than other "You're wrong" comments below.

I've never been diagnosed with ADHD (I'm in Europe), but I'm absolutely certain I have it from all of the reading I've done on it in the past (and I recognise everything from the blog). I totally get what the GP is trying to say, and you captured it with:

> the current structure of society could be causing this distress to a personality type that previously wouldn't have done so

I have often felt like the standard world of work didn't work for me, or things that others do, like make a plan of things to-do just doesn't work for me. There are other issues that come from this also, which is working late into the evening to avoid distractions, which leads to poor time management in general, that again doesn't fit into the modern world.

I'm now a CTO of a successful software company - and interestingly what that's given me is the chance to create a way of working that works for me. I work sporadically, but when I do I blitz it (hyperfocus) and can get months of work done in days. I have surrounded myself with a collection of super smart people, but also a range of organised and disorganised. To allow the organisation to deliver, but also to allow for the benefits of the hyperfocus, which for us have lead to the big and major pieces of tech which sets us apart from our competitors.

This is obviously anecdotal, but it adds some credence to the GPs point.

I'm still sat in my house most evenings promising myself I'll do some cleaning at some point (amongst other things), and never do. I'm going to take the advice from the blog and try Todoist to see if that can motivate me to get stuff done.

I see comments here about how ADHD is related to Autism. Perhaps it is, but I wonder if it's more similar to bipolar light. It seems the hyperfocus is like mania and the endless distractions and the lack of motivation for menial tasks is like a sort of depression. I may be way off - and may be putting my foot in my mouth and offending sufferers of bipolar (which if so, I apologise), but that's how it sometimes feels to me.


What you've written feels very familiar. It became clear early on to me that I wouldn't be able to fit into standard models of what "work" is, and running my own company was the way I found to make a living without feeling utterly miserable.

In terms of organisation I have a system that's like a low-tech version of Todoist. I have these text files on my desktop set up to sync through Dropbox so I can access them on my phone too:

today.txt - Tasks specifically for today so I don't get distracted by other, later tasks.

week.txt - A list of the next seven days with specified tasks in each. If there's something that comes in which I don't need to do today, but will need to at some point relatively soon, I put it somewhere this file. At the beginning of each day I move tasks for that day into today.txt and move the day header to the bottom of this file.

later.txt - Non-urgent tasks that I look at once in a while, and move things into week.txt if I have time.

current.txt - A simple list of projects that I'm currently working on.

I have various others, and use a calendar app for meetings etc, but I've found that structure to work well. I actually find apps like Todoist more distracting than they're worth sometimes, because I get caught up in configuring and reconfiguring them, adding tags to tasks etc. Plain text fulfills my need for simplicity and clarity.


That's interesting, thanks for sharing. If Todoist doesn't work out, I'll try something like that.

>> Perhaps it is, but I wonder if it's more similar to bipolar light. ... I may be way off - and may be putting my foot in my mouth and offending sufferers of bipolar (which if so, I apologise), but that's how it sometimes feels to me.

As someone with bipolar, this isn't offensive at all. It is a condition that can present very differently, as personally my manic symptoms are more severe than depressive, but much of what people describe is very similar to the milder bipolar symptoms. Ive actually been reading this thread closely looking for additional coping strategies, and will likely check out some of the to do-list apps recommended.

There are some things that are wildly different, and severe mania is very different, almost presenting more like anxiety than adhd, but the milder manic symptoms are definitely similar.


Even if ADHD were part of the natural variation of different personality types, or if it were only manifested as a disorder in modern society, that would not be mutually exclusive with it being a genuine neurodevelopmental (not mental) disorder.

Whether the behaviours and feelings that we define as ADHD are natural or not has no bearing on the fact that people who present them can be very adversely affected as individuals. Good health is best defined in terms of adaptation to one's environment; if modern society has been built by and for the 90-95% of humans with no ADHD symptoms and that has a detrimental effect on the 5-10% of those who we define as having ADHD, then it is a legitimate and genuine disorder.

We can theorise all we want about the evolutionary origins of ADHD or whether a different society might ameliorate or eliminate the symptoms of the disorder, but people with ADHD who are born today into this society deserve the chance to live a healthy and productive life like anyone else. The fact that certain medications and therapeutic interventions are so demonstrably effective at improving the quality of life for people with ADHD means that refusing to recognise it as a genuine disorder is actively damaging to them.


> The fact that certain medications and therapeutic interventions are so demonstrably effective at improving the quality of life for people with ADHD means that refusing to recognise it as a genuine disorder is actively damaging to them.

Or perhaps those drugs and treatments might also provide benefits to "normal" people. The true damage being that normal people are unable take advantage of them.


I echo this, but also that point that it's "demonstrably effective" doesn't invalidate the original poster's point, which is that perhaps it's a normal personality trait that doesn't fit with the modern world. The medication might put you 'back in your box' so you can interact with the modern world more effectively, but it doesn't mean the trait is in itself abnormal.

Many people not ”suffering” is of this opinion.

The quotes around “suffering” imply that you yourself might not even know everyone around you suffers, i.e. you’re suffering by proxy, but you’re the one causing it.

Everyone can relate to specific “symptoms” of ADD/ADHD, the question is: can you control the impulses and is it affecting your ability to lead a “normal” life.

Normal here means looking after yourself and potentially other members of your family.

Honestly, in a way it’s like being in a state of arrested development. Staying a child and having your brain work against you in progressing.

Things that for many is effortless takes a huge amount of energy and leave you drained for the rest of the day.

In a way I’d like to say it’s about growing the hell up, only it doesn’t happen by itself like it should. One might need to retort to assistance, be it medical or mental excercises.

In a way I agree with what you’re saying, there are nuances to it though.


I agree and feel the same about many mental illnesses or traits (intelligence in that regard seems close to attention span).

In the end, some with higher impulses and inner trouble still manage to have more control and lead a successful life when others with little disabilities are overwhelmed.

What awes me the most is how one can be willing to mess with his brain chemistry with drugs rather than arrange one's life around his traits. There are so many tools now that I can't accept "forgetting appointments" is a disability necessiting drugs.


I am not certain as to why you feel the need to ponder about the reasoning someone else might choose to take medication to alleviate issues in their life. In what way is it harmful to your life that others choose to use medication that you don't?

Psychology/Psychiatry is derided on HN frequently and any time a submission comes up about ADHD or any other mental illness, inevitably people will chime in about how they feel about medicating children or that people just need to make lifestyle changes.

Why is it awe inspiring that someone might use drugs to help alleviate what they see in themselves as a deficiency? Are painkillers taboo as well? Anesthesia for surgery? Coffee or Tea? These all affect the brain chemistry but perhaps they're on your approved list of ways in which drugs are allowed to interact with people's brains?

ADHD can not be fully encompassed with the idea that it's simply unorganized people that forget appointments. You are correct that there are strategies that people can employ to tackle that particular issue. You are incorrect in separating drugs away from other tools.

You are not required to take medication for your ailments or explore recreational drugs. You can choose to eschew all these things in your life. You don't need to denigrate people that choose a different path from you, though.


It's easy to think this, as is thinking people with depression just need to pick themselves up. If you've lived with someone that actually has ADHD you'll have another opinion.

There is obvious over-diagnosis with ADHD (and related) conditions. Every parent knows that. I don't think it's an "opinion" at this point. I can factually get all my kids diagnosed with ADHD if I choose to. The first victims of the situation are kids with "actual ADHD", whose problems are trivialized.

> Every parent knows that.

"Every X knows" is usually sign of agreeing on a conclusion based on gut feelings and without verifying if the arguments leading up to them hold water.


Is it so in this case? What it "usually" means seems irrelevant. Have you been through a diagnosis with your kids?

I think you fail to realize that the burden of proof is not on me here.

The burden of proof falls on the one making the non trivial claim. I don’t need to prove the null hypothesis.

Wait, what, I'm not the GP, but:

Which claim are you referring to here?

1. Your unsubstantiated claim of ADHD being overdiagnosed

2. GP's unsubstantiated claim of "Every X knows Y"

The null hypothesis must be "ADHD diagnostic criteria has high specificity", because without that it's not diagnosis. What evidence do you have to demonstrate low specificity?


1

FWIW, I think most American's know that it's easy to get a doctor to give you just about any drug without much proof of needing it. if you go to the right doctors, you are pretty much just paying them to write a prescription, not for the visit.

It is estimated by psychologists who specialize in ADHD that 5% of the population has ADHD. 4% of children are diagnosed with ADHD. 2% of adults are diagnosed with ADHD.

That smells a lot more like under-diagnosis.


There is also an issue of under-diagnosis in adults and young girls.

This in part (girls and women) begs the question whether this is a case of the old healthcare gender bias.

I personally think definitely there’s something to it.


What is now called ADHD or ADD, has been observed and commented on in medical literature since the 1800s. It is well researched and understood by those who study it, but it is commonly misunderstood even by practitioners who don't understand it.

The main problem is in the name. People fixate on the attention deficit aspect of the impairment because it's right there in the name, however an attention deficit is simply one of a number of symptoms that are caused by ADHD.

ADHD is a developmental disorder that results in a generalized impairment of ALL executive functions. This includes the ability to purposefully direct attention, to modulate emotions, and to perceive the passage of time. It also impairs ones ability to hold an inner monologue, or 'voice'.

There are also other psychological illnesses that may present as "co-morbidity" with ADHD because of the detrimental effects of ADHD on ones quality of life, such as depression.

It is know that the disorder has an unusually high correlation to heredity, and no environmental causes (save one virus which may causes a similar executive function impairment). It is absolutely clear that it is an inherited disorder. It is not caused by modern society and constant interruption.


I would get behind that. I was diagnosed just over two months ago and the things that have been hard for me is remembering appointments, getting around to doing chores (such as paying bills and cleaning), and managing university studies (too much other stuff to learn everywhere =/ ).

I got suggested to get tested after failing out for the second time and the testing showed very much lower than average sustained attention. I never myself thought about getting tested since I did really well at a lot of tasks and just couldn't figure out how to micromanage all the weird administrative tasks of every day life. If I didn't have to do those everything would be going amazing, but instead it's sunk me into (small) debt and a period of homelessness a few years back.

I think a lot of people in the EU (where I am) would have gotten diagnosed if tested, but we seldom test school age children who don't have a very hard time in school. If you do somewhat ok or manage it seems odds are you can go undiagnosed forever.


The criteria in the EU are also much more strict (and "outdated") because we generally use ICD-10 still, whereas the US used the DSM.

Thats true. Also there must be documented start in childhood.

Depends. I was diagnosed independently in EU (Poland) and in US (California) at the age of 32. They didn't need a paper documentation, just asked about my childhood.

Ok. In Sweden I had a lot of trouble since my parents refused to cooperate (friends of scientologists, don't 'believe in diagnoses'), but I eventually got my living grandparent to help as much as he could after about a year.

I think you hit the hammer on the nail. If you look at how obsessed HN/Silicon Valley is with improving performance, nootropics, etc, this falls right in line, and hits that niche.

Half this thread is people saying, omg I just thought I was lazy, I guess I should start taking doctor prescribed amphetamines now.


There is a theory that what we consider ADHD might have naturally evolved, because it would give an evolutionary advantage for hunter-gatherers.[0] Life in the modern era is different from hunter-gatherer lifestyle and thus people with ADHD find it difficult to fit in.

I don't know how true this theory is. There is some evidence for it, because ADHD is very prevalent, but at the end of the day it doesn't matter why people struggle. What matters is that they do and we have the tools to help with that.

A big reason for the divide between Europe and the US in ADHD is that Europe usually uses the ICD, while the US uses the DSM. The DSM seems to be less strict about the criteria. It's probably also the case that many Europeans, particularly in former Soviet states were never tested.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_vs._farmer_hypothesis


I feel that the general attitude in the US to people slightly outside the norm is "you have a disorder, go take pills". In Europe it's "you are less intelligent, go to an easier school and then do manual labor".

Both are terrible solutions in their own ways.


That is NOT the approach in Europe at all... Maybe in one or two countries, but not in Europe as a whole.

When I was a child (80s in the Netherlands) it was definitely the case.

It is the approach in Spain at least, where I live.

Can't say I saw that, growing up in a European country.

Its unpopular because it is wrong.

The brains of someone with ADHD (assuming correct diagnosis) are different from NTs, akin to people with autism.

AFAIK the latest scientific research points at that ADHD is just one of the many variants on the autism gene. But I don't have a source at hand right now, so grain + salt.


Yeah, I’ve always felt it resembles a form of autism.

With ADD I score awfully high on the spectrum...


10 years before I finally got my ASD diagnosis I did not get an official AD(H)D diagnosis, but I did get Ritalin prescribed off the record. And it helped (though the coming down and instability between the high's was awful).

In case you remember any of these sources, I'd love to read more...

My sources are people (at least 2) whom I know IRL, who work with people with autism one way or another (which is group I'm part of).

FWIW, here are some sources I found with a quick DDGing:

1) https://www.hearingsol.com/articles/adhd-and-autism/

2) https://www.spectrumnews.org/news/large-set-brain-scans-reve...


ADHD is not part of normal variation and it's not based in personality. It's a condition chiefly caused by distinct biological differences in dopamine transporter function. ADHD's effects are in executive function: memory, attention, inhibition. Granted there are some personality traits associated with it, but those are secondary. That said, personality and presence of other conditions likely has some effect on who is diagnosed / misdiagnosed.

As for whether ADHD is disordered, there is evidence that it was a positive adaption in more primordial settings. Greater distractability may have equated to faster response to predators or more success in hunting. However, to be a disorder, a condition simply needs to be presently maladaptive. In modern society, ADHD typically is.


ADHD is the realest mental disorder out there. It has well defined medical symptoms, diagnosis criteria, and clinical treatment is more effective than with depression.

Saying “oh mayyyybe ADHD isn’t real” makes no sense unless you believe all mental disorders are fake.


Source? Claiming it's the realest mental disorder is a bold claim.

According to Stanford's sleep clinic something like 25% of people diagnosed with ADD/ADHD actually have narcolepsy. A real disease has an objective test of some kind while an ADD/ADHD diagnosis is entirely subjective.

(Initially wrote a much angrier reply cuz I was so pissed off)

Even with physical diseases there are often misdiagnoses and genera oversights.

There’s definitely a social aspect to certain kinds of misdiagnoses, but medicine is not obvious in some contexts. The human body is pretty complex!


It's not just about performace. Dealing with emotional stress will become very had if you keep overthinking it and can cause serious issues. ADHD medication can really help in those situations.

As someone who has ADD, I agree. I’ve been reading the biography of Leonardo DaVinci and the author mentioned if he was alive today, he would most likely have been medicated for ADHD and mood swings.

I think things like diet, food additives, busy society, and work demands make it impossible for people like us to function well.

I know for me at least, I live a pretty unconventional life so I can thrive in my own way. I’m often up very late. I’ll obsessively work on something and neglect others. I’ll be late to things. I can’t do big social environments and I definitely can not handle stuff like night clubs. I need a lot of alone time to sift through all of the data that has bombarded me. It’s taken me years to figure out. But as I craft my life to work with my oddities, I become happier, healthier, and more productive.

I think for me, a better description than mental illness is “neurodivergent.” Because if I build my life in my own unconventional way, I might be able to thrive. And then when I get put in situations that don’t work for me, I become textbook mental illness.


No. ADHD is a lack of bandwidth on the mesocortical pathway. It's like a backbone link between the ventral tegmental area and the prefrontal cortex.

In the US it's extremely popular to give your kids speed if you're a bad parent so it's overdiagnosed. I will agree that it's more of a natural variation than a dysfunction. I don't really understand the details but I've heard smart sounding people comment that something or another about it's genetics implies that there is probably a net benefit to society or it would have been bred out by now.


My mom was diagnosed with adhd when she was an adult. She grew up in a strict southern household, and grew up before smartphones or the internet. She has always struggled with attention problems and distractions. Environment may make someone more likely to develop adhd, but there are people who have adhd just because of genetics.

No. I think that it’s a condition that isn’t yet treated effectively and perhaps shouldn’t treated as much as it is in adolescence in the US, but it’s a very real condition with very real effects on work, relationships - everything that you do.

>I can't help thinking that ADHD is one of those mental disorders that merely reflects some increased demands of society rather than a genuine mental disorder

There's physiological differences in the brain though

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attention_deficit_hyperactivit...


Of course there are. You can’t chain a brain without doing so physically. The comment you’re replying to is positing the cause of said changes.

In your view, what defines a genuine mental disorder?

Probably something like schizophrenia and dementia, something that's more visible and immediate and evokes an oh-this-guy-is-crazy! reaction.

Seems like the OP thinks ADHD and ADD is more akin to personality disorders, which is much fuzzier and is hard to tell if it's a disorder or a 'disorder'.


What is the difference between a disorder and a 'disorder' in that case? When is a disorder really a 'disorder'?

I tend to see classification and diagnosis as a pragmatic means to an end. The important part of defining a personality disorder or a mental disorder in general is to nail down a set of characteristics to effectively diagnose people that suffer from similar conditions and give them access to treatment and advice that may help them relieve the impairment and distress it's causing.

Classification on this level should be largely unconcerned with whether the disorder represents some sort of fundamental deficiency of the brain or some rare personality trait that only becomes a problem due to a failure of society and social expectations. Not because social change to accommodate atypical personalities isn't desirable, but because it doesn't immediately help the diagnosed cope with the conditions they have to deal with in the present.

Because of this, the disorder-'disorder' dichotomy seems wholly useless to me, at least without a clear definitional basis.


I have zero doubts about autism, depression, borderline syndroms, and severe cases of schizophrenia.

Definition by example would have to be exhaustive to answer my question.

Private vs socialised healthcare could have a big effect on diagnoses. When patients can just keep going to doctors until they get the diagnosis they want, doctors that more readily make a diagnosis will make more money.

With socialised healthcare the doctors have enough traffic to not need more clients usually. I don't think I've met a doctor in Poland (even paying out of pocket) who wanted me to come more often than absolutely necessary.

Sorry, should have made this clearer. I mean private healthcare leads to more diagnoses. In socialised healthcare the doctors have no financial incentive. Hence the original comment saying that diagnoses are less common in Europe.

Your correcct. Not the fault of the author, so I still like the article. But I think you are correct.



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