Why me and ADHD?

I didn’t choose this! I was born this way!

Too much TV, too much sugar, too many video games… I’ve heard it all. If ADHD was truly a disease (like diabetes or hypertension or even cancer), it would track differently between generations from a genetic standpoint and certain populations would be affected disproportionately. What if we change our viewpoint that TV, sugar, and video games don’t cause it? People that need more stimulation are finding it through the dopamine surges that are provided by these factors.

Hunter-Gatherer v Agricultural Age

My question is what if we were born this way? This trait affected all populations on Earth. Could there be a role that this trait helped?

Thom Hartmann, fellow ADHDer and author, describes this view perfectly. I’ve pasted an exerpt from his Amazon page.

In this updated edition of his groundbreaking classic, Thom Hartmann explains that people with ADHD are not abnormal, disordered, or dysfunctional, but simply “hunters in a farmer’s world.” Often highly creative and single-minded in pursuit of a self-chosen goal, those with ADHD symptoms possess a unique mental skill set that would have allowed them to thrive in a hunter-gatherer society. As hunters, they would have been constantly scanning their environment, looking for food or threats (distractibility); they’d have to act without hesitation (impulsivity); and they’d have to love the high-stimulation and risk-filled environment of the hunting field. With our structured public schools, office workplaces, and factories those who inherit a surplus of “hunter skills” are often left frustrated in a world that doesn’t understand or support them.

Wrap up.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Please ask yourself if the next time your ADHD has you down, could it just be that you’re not a farmer in a farmer’s world? What causes you to have more stress? Managing a crisis or doing your taxes.

Published by Devang Patel

I am a board certified family physician. I am married and have two beautiful girls. I have ADHD too (hence blog name ADHD2.com). I was diagnosed with ADHD during my residency training AFTER medical school. Now I want to help others lead more productive lives by giving practical examples and suggestions.

5 thoughts on “Why me and ADHD?

  1. Love that post on the hunters analogy..I do feel very determined, not left out and its thanks to GOD, MY medication and my drive to make ADHD a asset….not a liability..thanks doc

  2. This is a great way to put it. My number one strength quest is adaptability. Last minute changes do not bother me at all….but excels and constant paperwork does. This is an eye opening way to look at it. Thank you.

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