Is ADD the new, hip affectation?

This is kind of weird.

During the course of my day, week, month I run into a lot of people. More often than not conversations turn to, “What have you been up to, Jim?”

When I tell them I just published a book on creativity and ADHD, I’m shocked at how many people say, “You know, I have ADD, too!”

We’ll engage in the conversation – “So, how does it manifest for you?”

More often than not people describe their busy, frentic lives. Overwhelmed and over-committed, they often describe the multiple projects, tasks, obligations, yadda yadda yadda they have going on.

I have no doubt that these good people are portraying their lives accurately. Speed, after all, defines the age we live in. Everything is going fast and faster and too damn fast.

The American Psychiatric Association reports that 11% of children age 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD since 2011, and it is estimated that 4% of adults actually deal with the condition on a daily basis. As we’ve come to learn, ADHD is typically hereditary, and if a child has the condition, a parent or grandparent likely has it, too.

So, I ask my colleagues, “So, how has it manifested in your kids?”

“My kids? They don’t have it!”

I nod and smile. “Well, it sounds like you have a hyperactive lifestyle. If you’re not enjoying it, maybe you could slow it down a bit.”

I’m not sensitive about folk claiming to have something that they do not possess. It’s interesting how “ADD/ADHD” has become a descriptor and not just a diagnosis. Maybe that means more people have become more accepting that it actually exists. There are many out there that don’t believe ADHD is real, after all.

Of course, it is real. To be effective in life, those with ADHD need to manage the condition and channel their strengths in accordance to how they are wired. And for those who live an ADHD lifestyle? They could probably use some of the tools we use to manage our ADHD. Can’t hurt.

In the meantime, if people around you claim to have ADD, and you know they don’t, let it be okay. Take them out for coffee and invite them to slow it down. It’ll be good for all involved.

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