all wrapped up in 8,097,005,001 little app(s)!
I recently joined the rest of the developed world and got a smart phone. I became totally obsessed with all the apps and the potential ways each one could enhance my life…especially the “Train you brain and be a smarter person” (my interpretation) ones like Luminosity.
Congratulations! You Have ADD.
While in college, I was diagnosed ADD. I asked my doctor about it after a couple of family members suggested I had some of the symptoms that were consistent with ADD. My symptoms mainly included things like having difficulty completing projects (because I had so many of them going at once), constantly losing things, and taking 3 x longer than everyone else to finish a math test. I seriously did struggle big time with math. Frankly, I hated it. HATED it! So, I set out to find a solution to my troubles of successfully fitting in to the typical college. I made an appointment to get tested for ADD. Ironically (or not) I had to reschedule my initial appointment because I ran out of gas on the way. The incident has become a family joke that I ran out of gas because I wasn’t “paying attention”…ample proof that I did, indeed, need to be tested for my inattentiveness. In my defense, the gas gauge WAS broken. But, I told myself that if I had had enough patience with math, and attention span to properly calculate my use of fuel, I wouldn’t have run out. I felt like a reTARD at large! Like someone must stop the heinous acts of this inattentive woman on the streets!
Once I actually made it to the appointment, it was a fairly involved process. My mom filled out a questionnaire about my childhood, my childhood best friend filled out a questionnaire…I filled out a questionnaire. Then, I was interviewed and given a computerized test.
Finally, once all the information was collected, I was given a 10 page report stating that I had an official diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder, Inattentive Type. Now that I had a legitimate explanation for any cognitive mishaps, I felt somewhat relieved. I had a tendency to beat the living @#$% out of myself for any kind of mess up (but that is probably an entirely different post!) I began taking Ritalin, and WHAAA…LAA! I made it through math and made the DEAN’s list, and started playing a lead role with research in the cardiovascular psycho-physiology lab I was part of. I totally felt like a “smart kid” (even though I was not really a “kid”).
Still, the controversy surrounding the increasing diagnoses of ADD and use of Ritalin bugged me. Not all colleges considered it a legitimate diagnosis, and I had to get re-diagnosed with it every 3 years (as though I would all of a sudden not have it anymore). Was this seriously an individual genetic neurological problem? A psychological problem…A social problem? Why, all of a sudden, does everyone have ADD? And why does it apparently come and go in people? Some say it’s legit, and others say it’s an excuse…I don’t know, but I felt (and continue to feel) I must find answers!
*Side Note* I’ve also heard that people with ADD are just too smart and creative for their own good and don’t fit in to the traditional mold. I’ve decided to adopt the “too smart and creative” explanation for my own situation…whether or not its actually true, it sounds good! 😀
According to a few sources I’ve recently found, there are people who wonder if the internet and the rise of technology may play a role in the increasing diagnoses of ADD. Is it rewiring our brains? I read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle stating that some mental health professionals are concerned that the average attention span of humans has dwindled to taking in a mere 140 characters at a time. There was no mention (at least that I saw) of the amount of characters 140 had dwindled from. But, apparently, the attention span of just 140 characters makes it more difficult for us to absorb and process meaningful information. I know I, for one, have experienced some glitches in attention from time to time, but doesn’t everyone? Aren’t glitches in attention human nature? Or, have we gotten out of control and become a society of technologically induced ADD’ers running rampant in the streets like zombies? A society of people so entranced and dependent upon technology, we are unable to process information on our own? I am totally guilty of this on several occasions! 😛
So, does this mean everyone needs ritalin to effectively process information? Ritalin, and other medicinal treatments for ADD are pretty controversial, but there are quite a few non-medicinal solutions, many of which ironically involve TECHNOLOGY!
Technological Solutions to ADD!
There are several brain game apps and programs that claim to exercise the brain into increasing attention, and other cognitive processes.
I believe they probably do. There is SO much more to be said on this subject, and so much more we (and I) need to learn, but, is it just me, or is it completely IRONIC that technology could be pegged for the CAUSE and the CURE for ADD?
Either way, I really like this 🙂
*Disclaimer* If this don’t make no sense, or I have drastically misused punctuation, I would like to blame it on the fact I was completely unmedicated while I wrote this. That and the fact that I never really did like punctuation rules! 😀