Does Facebook cause ADHD?
I was listening to the Irrelevant Show on CBC on my way to the gym yesterday. I heard a song about a couple trying to leave the house and being distracted by Facebook.
‘Hon’, he says ‘Are you ready to go? ‘ ‘I just have to send this message.’she replies and launches into a song about all the many distracting, interesting things to see on Facebook.
The song is three verses long. At the beginning of the verse, she attempts to send her message only to be distracted by various postings and somehow ending each verse watching cat videos.
This made me wonder.
Is social media and the interwebs making us into a big distracted mess because of all the overwhelming information coming at us 24/7 is too much for our brains to process?
Are we developing ADHD like tendencies just in order to function in today’s society?
I think society is changing because of the technology available that we use in our everyday lives on every level. The way we approach education, health, family, work, parenting and every aspect of life is affected by our technology. A lot has been written about this, but I still think it’s worth mentioning again.
What I’m saying is all of our fundamental communications are affected by our technological world and this affects our mental health. The technology is only accelerating, too.
Are our natural responses making us look like we have ADHD?
Naturally, this discussion continued at the shop and Devon (our manager) chimed in with ‘ I don’t necessarily think that Facebook is causing ADHD but there is a lot of discussion on social media about different diagnosis and what medication people are taking. It’s like they belong to a secret club.’
Mental health is a secret club on Facebook? This is a thing?
I had thought about this before. Do people seriously need a mental health designation in order to feel like they’re special enough? What a wasted amount of energy. You could put your power to good, people! And what in our society is causing this? Are we so accepting of mental illness that now people are creating them in order to have a place in society?
Is mental illness a modern day hobby?
Husband and I discuss this kind of thing all the time and yesterday he reminded me of some incidents that had happened when David (our son) was younger.
When my son was in 5th grade his teacher asked to have him tested for ADHD and we refused.
This got us talking to other parents about it. Apparently, all the boys in his class were asked to be tested and there were several diagnosed in his class. Those that refused to be tested were not considered ADHD.
The girls were not asked to be tested.
If a teacher has a bunch of special needs kids in her class she can get extra teaching assistants and other help, making her job easier.
David asked to be transferred from her classroom and though this was not an easy task, we got it done.
Later that year she was fired.
They seemed to be a trend towards a lot of diagnoses of ADD and ADHD when our son was asked to be tested in grade five.
This was only for boys. The girls seemed to be fine. Oh and I should mention the symptoms most of the boys exhibited that the teacher based her suspicious on were that boys tended to naturally be quite rambunctious.
They process information better if they are free to move around. This might look like misbehavior to some, but it’s really just how young boys operate. Just because they don’t sit nicely at their desks quietly doing their work and quietly entertaining themselves when it’s completed does NOT mean they have ADHD as convenient as that may be for a teacher.
Conversely, girls tend to go largely undiagnosed as they ARE apt to sit nicely in a classroom at their desks doing their work and being generally responsive to their teachers whether they’re depressed or not.
I mention depression because I’ve been told that it’s one of the signs of ADHD in girls if you believe such things.
One of the boys in David’s class was prescribed Ritalin (at 9 years old).
This upset several of us parents and naturally led to discussions. I should mention that David went to a very small Montessori elementary school. Though publically funded, getting into the school required a waiting list and the commitment of traveling across town if you didn’t happen to live in the neighborhood, which thankfully we did.
Put it this way, the parents there were like-minded.
The classic take away from all the discussion over Ritilan was put best by David’s best friend’s mom and family friend Nadene, a self-made, successful business owner who said, ‘ Give me several lines of good cocaine and I can work all night too’. Well put!
In Husband’s family, there are several diagnoses of mental illness.
My brother-in-law had a lot of trouble growing up and was eventually diagnosed with ADHD and given medication which has helped him a lot.
He is one of the highest functioning people I know and I think incredibly clear thinking and not to mention very organized and good at organizing other people.
This was recently put to test as he was helping to get the family house ready to put on the market.
Brother-In-Law found himself in the situation of dealing with almost 50 years worth of what I call functional hoarding, making numerous trips to the dump all while dealing with his sister who is still living in the house and insisting that each little scrap of paper was either a precious family heirloom or the key to untold riches.
Brother-In-Law challenges my view of the mental health industry. There is no doubt in my mind that he has been helped by chemical intervention.