Their conclusion: "These findings suggest that ADHD is best viewed as the extreme of a behavior that varies genetically throughout the entire population rather than as a disorder with discrete determinants."
As someone who has been diagnosed with ADHD, this seems like a more natural explanation. If 5-10% of the population allegedly have a disorder, then maybe the "disorder" is in fact just the tail end of a normal genetic distribution. Doesn't mean that the condition is "made up" or that those people don't deserve some kind of treatment, of course.
*eg counseling | coaching, medication, meditation, exercise, productivity systems, journaling, etc.
Everything you've suggested are things that most people who are aware that they have the disorder try or do already in order to manage it, I would be surprised if a lot of people found out they had ADHD and used their diagnosis as "an excuse for mediocrity or failure!"
If I were being uncharitable I'd say you were just using this comment as a way to dole out unasked for advice to either make yourself feel better or put down some straw-man you've made up. But since I'm not, I'll just leave it at you ain't said nothing slick to a can of oil.
I'm speaking from personal experience about what's been profoundly helpful to me in successfully overcoming a set of challenges related to how my mind works. My intent was and is to share and encourage others. FYI, learning to view this condition as a trait that can be advantageous (vs a defect or impairment) can be transformational for people suffering needlessly from frustration, guilt and self-doubt -- which mental health issues are rampant in my ADHD cohort. My aim is to speak directly to this group in saying "don't give up! try looking at things in this way, keep searching for the right solution and there's a good chance your life could radically improve, as did mine."
As for your ideas about what constitutes being "charitable", the less said the better. May I politely suggest taking a few slow
breaths, ideally w your eyes closed, outside, w the sun on your face, and remember how lucky we all are to be alive.
Have a great day!
There's a whole neurodiversity frontier to be explored. As well as mind-body frameworks. The news that exercise is better for ADHD reminds me of "fidgiting" or the sometimes more visible behaviours known as "stimming" in the context of autism.
This is pretty much the fundamental question that psychiatry has grappled with since inception: what distinguishes "disorder" or "illness" from healthy but aberrant behavior. Over the years, we've seen homosexuality, being black , and increasingly today autism, all be considered "normal". Right now, the big one is how you determine what is sadness vs. depression that requires treatment. There isn't a clear answer yet. But all of these designations are inextricably tied to social/cultural mores.
Of course, the downside to that is two people can have the same "disorder", but if one will be fired from their job because of that "disorder" and the other won't because they are retired, then one may be diagnosed with it and the other may not be.
I'm happy to see this posted, it's always been told to me that exercise is as or more important than my medication or organizational skills when it comes to managing my disorder, and when I can get myself to stick to it, it's a pretty amazing difference
Come to think of it in uni when I first started going to the gym coincides with the semester I actually got a D+ and a D- because I got distracted by going to the gym and chasing girls.
Mixed bag. Keen to start up again though, I do think it's helped when I can manage.
Sign up for the new gym. Figure out where going will fit into my likely future schedule. Set an explicit period of lapse due to the effort of moving (or whatever life change is disrupting the norm).
Of course that is in an ideal situation. Sometimes you don't have enough notice for this (COVID stay-at-home threw me off).
Sometimes the impulsive behavior gets the better of you too.
EDIT: YMMV (I may not sweat as much as some people.)
I've found that it's difficult at first to start a new habit, but that if I stick with it for a few weeks to months it becomes a routine and I'll adapt.
Goblet squat, deadlift, bent-over row, pushups, overhead press. It's reasonably comprehensive, takes less than 10 minutes, and involves enough exercise to keep me moderately sane all morning.
There are also reports of inducing psychological dependency.
“Evidence suggests that the prevalence of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or hyperkinetic disorder (HKD), is greater in males than females.”
A more plausible explanation is that those doing the diagnosing are female teachers who perceive the more naturally boisterous play of young males as symptomatic of a mental disorder.
It’s not for ecology that I prefer to be a bicycle commuter; my reasons are much more selfish.
I'm WFH these days, and follow a relatively flexible schedule, so basically every day whenever I find it is hard to concentrate as usual I would go downstairs and have a 15mins running. Then I can focus for quite a while. I usually do this two to three times a day.
There's obvious connections to exercise levels and my overall health, but with the depression it never resolved it. Only recently we found the ADHD diagnosis through reduced running, then tracking all symptoms and doing a deeper analysis on how I interact and think. When you live your entire life struggling to focus you build patterns and tricks to fit in. Turns out these are super bizarre when you speak them out-loud for someone to hear for the first time. I recently explained this break through as similar to how we all do some specific behavior such as sanitary cleaning after a bowel movement, but no one actually talks about their process in detail to know how different we all are. Thinking and focus are sort of like that for me.
I'm seeing a lot of comments here that didn't maybe read the article and see how small an impact exercise has, especially compared to medication. After now taking medication for the I've been on a strong emotional ride realizing this correct diagnosis and prescription years ago would have greatly changed my life. With exercise back up to normal levels again I'm seeing 90% improvement by medication is in no way replaceable with running 120 miles a week for a 10-20% improvement.
As I'm now working on finding a plan to reduce and then quit the medication these studies are fascinating for me to potentially know the upper limits each coping mechanism provides. This might make me consider quitting my sport and only contributing enough effort to maximize the return so I can then pick up other habits for a greater duration.
To anyone else suffering through inattentive ADHD I wish you the best.
Paucity of studies probing the effect of different exercise parameters impedes finite conclusions in this regard.
And there's a cost to getting an ADHD child to consistently exercise. Its can be challenging to do anything for any duration, regularly. Lets not discount the parental effort for this to succeed. Lets not throw this at parents as another thing they should all be doing, without more than very-qualified evidence. There's enough things to make ADHD parents feel guilty about already.
: Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain Paperback – 1 January 2013
by John J. Ratey MD (Author), Eric Hagerman
I'm not sure if you're delivering that line straight, or sarcastically, but this is actually an important problem I've had to explain to to my doctor. I initially started a year ago on an ADD medication that worked very well, but only if taken every day. It takes about two weeks of utterly consistent usage to reach proper effectiveness, after which it's very good at what it does. If you miss a single day, it flushes out of your system and you have to start the two weeks again.
This makes it fucking useless for treating ADD, because ADD (among other things) makes it very hard to maintain consistent schedules, so those two weeks are more like 6 weeks, because you keep missing a dosage. Once you make it to the effective stage, better avoid going out on the town because if you get a hangover and sleep late you can't take it in the afternoon or it'll fuck with your sleep and now you've reset the clock.
When it comes to exercise, god damn is exercise boring for me. I can physically exercise for a long time, but mentally I can do it for about 10 minutes before I'm out of focus and ready to build statues out of paperclips just to have something to do. Yes, I've tried audiobooks.
I can see exercise working very well as a force multiplier a correctly managed medication, allowing people to keep their dosage low enough to avoid side effects while still getting the benefits.
However, asking people to exercise their way out of ADD is kinda like asking them to exercise out of depression. You need something else to get the momentum of the process rolling first, or the "static friction" of the condition is going to prevent the exercise from happening in the first place.
Or maybe it’s my ADHD.
Exercising seems to help people with ADHD perform better.
I’ve found this out through years of living with it. I work better after working out in the mornings. If I don’t, I end up being productive in the afternoons when I finally get a bit tired.
The evaluation is simple. They gave me a questionnaire with ‘have you ever’ questions. You rank them (think “a lot”, “often”, “sometimes“, “no”). Then they score based on that.
And let me tell you, filling that out made me start crying. All the shit I had put my mom through while growing up, school, college, etc.
But hey, I got the diagnosis. I have meds I can take if I need them. I currently don’t do it everyday because I simply don’t have to for what I do day to day. But if I’m working on something that requires me to hold regular hours at work or on some projects that are more conceptual, I have to.
All this to say, the test is simple and pretty quick. If you are curious, you could take it.
Just to curb peoples expectations a bit, I started the process of getting diagnosed about two years ago, got the diagnosis less than a year ago, and I'm having the first meeting with a doctor who can actually prescribe meds next week. No part of it has been simple or quick. So I guess YMMV.
I’m actually near a big university and I’ve heard it’s hard to get diagnosed here. I however don’t attend the university so the doctors I went to are outside.
My experience is in Indiana.
Like @disiplus, that happened to me for a long time.
During high school, college and afterwards, it was just easier to work at night and just stay up until very late. Also having a deadline around the corner gave me the right amount of stress to finally code the solution.
It’s not like I didn’t try to work during the day or wasn’t thinking of trying to solve the problem. I actually thought of it and worked out things in my head, I just had trouble sitting and coding it during the day. At night, very late until early in the morning I would just sit and dump it all out.
Side projects can still be like that.
At work, I’ve learned to manage it. I really enjoy the position I’m in. I work on a lot of projects, have a set of tasks that maybe fill half my day during the week but I can be pulled into meetings, called to fix something else, review code, or help other devs.
It’s can be a lot, but it’s working right now.
My advices for people who didn’t run for years like I was:
- starting low (500m or 2min) is the key. Better run a little than not
- increment a bit each time
- an Apple Watch (or other tracker) is awesome to set a goal and track progression during running. You can export health data on a PC and then do geek stuff with it
A bit on the ironic side, the Conclusion section of this article is very hard to find (it's on page 36 of 86, depending on your zoom level) and this reading mode on the website doesn't work so well
But here it is
> In line with previous research, we find that exercise benefits executive functions and attentional control in children with ADHD. The beneficial effects are comparable to those reported in PBC with substantial and consistent improvement on test of several cognitive functions following particularly long-term exercise. An important notion is also that no study has reported negative or adverse effects of exercise.
I mean, I know there is a certain way to write research articles and that they aren’t exactly meant for people with attention problems, but without people like you I’d never see the conclusion. Hell I might even look for it and then not find it and forget all about it.
I kind of knew exercise was good for me though. I even like doing it. The real issue is to begin to exercising instead of just thinking about starting it for a whole day without actually getting started.
> The effects of acute exercise appear less robust. Of great interest, Chang et al., found that only exercise carried out during the first half of the day yielded positive outcomes . This underlines the importance of timing exercise. This is supported by Hart who found that 15 min of exercise provided at the beginning of the day can reduce behaviors associated with ADHD and that while this effect dissipates over time, a short bout of 3–5 min. moderate-to-vigorous physical activity 90 m after the initial exercise, can maintain the benefits 
How much ADHD is ADHD and how much is humans and especially kids aren't supposed to sit still so damn much and one of the ways the universal ill effects of this manifest is as ADHD symptoms in a lot of people?