The worst word in the medical lexicon

If ADHD, with its gifts, is a "disorder," what about every other mental or physical condition marking the "gifted?" My experience with life indicates our society sees nearly all who are gifted as disordered.

ADHD t-shirt from HBO’s “Entourage”Normal.

This post takes me far off the reservation of medical technology but it's something that needs to be said. (This particular shirt became famous in the HBO show "Entourage.")

Think of it as a Thanksgiving prayer.

Normal is is not an absolute, not even really a goal. It must be, especially in areas like mental health, a range accommodating the widest possible set of conditions.

What brings this up is yet-another article about ADHD, and "experts" who continue to class this as a "disorder," not normal, rather than a difference that can, like an ear for music, make you a great success.

This was conducted in the wake of Michael Phelps' great success as a swimmer. Sniffed one such "expert":

“I would argue that Michael Phelps is a great swimmer with ADHD, but he’s not a great swimmer because he has ADHD.”

Maybe. Swimming does not seem to correlate well to ADHD. Or does it? What makes a great athletic champion, anyway? Focus. What is ADHD's chief "gift?" The ability to hyper-focus, to see through something with great intensity and break through.

If ADHD, with its gifts, is a "disorder," what about every other mental or physical condition marking the "gifted?" My experience with life indicates our society sees nearly all who are gifted as disordered.

Who wants to be ordinary? Who wants their kids to be? I want my kids to be extraordinary. Both, like me, have ADHD. My daughter has passion, goals, and superior writing ability. My son can learn anything he sets his mind to, if he is challenged and nurtured by good teachers.

Most mental differences can become a gift, once understood, harnessed, and its side effects dealt with.

I'd hate to have a world with only ADHD people in it, but I'm not going to tell my wife she has the "disorder" of linearity or organization, either. I need her. I love what makes her different from me.

Until the medical profession, especially the mental health profession, learns that its job is to accommodate many different shades of normal, and stop trying to stuff everyone into the same suitcase, it's they who will remain disordered.

Me, I'm fi -- oh look a bunny.