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On Mon, 2005-06-20 at 16:13 -0700, Kathleen wrote:
> there is no "true" definition
> of some disorders, such as ADHD, so the incidence of diagnosis could
> easily be greater than occurrence (or vice versa).
If you mean that people use the term loosely, you're right, of course.
However, the listing in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders could probably be called the true definition. The definition
may not be complete and may be controversial in some circles, but I
believe that it's generally taken as authoritative.
In another email, Kathleen also wrote:
> I wonder if humans are devolving or this is a stable number across
This comment could be considered deeply insulting to people with ADHD
and the other conditions mentioned, although I'm sure you didn't mean it
Evolution has nothing to do with progress or a lack of progress, but
with adaptation to an environment. An increase in ADHD or other
conditions would not imply any sort of degeneration; rather, it might
imply the difficulty of adapting to a particular environment.
To speculate freely, when you consider the pace of movies and TV ads,
with their sharp transitions between scenes, ADHD might even be a
successful adaptation for information processing, with the rest of us
being poorly adapted.
But, whatever the case, it doesn't mean that people with these
conditions represent a decline from the pinnacle of human evolution --
chiefly because no such thing exists.
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