ADHD and Attention

ADHD and Attention
Matt Leines, New York Times
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While our practice has been influenced by a broad range of ideas about attention and limitations to our attention, we are most interested in how our current cultural climate both limits and enables our capacity for attention and how are minds and brains differentially develop for attentional capacity. It is clear that attention is a very relative phenomena and is affected by too many factors to be categorized neatly as diseased or as a disorder of the brain or mind. Some of us pay close attention to single things, to the exclusion of the surrounding world. Others pay close attention to many things. In short, attention is complex and determined by many factors, biological, social, and psychological, and it’s impossible to reduce attention to a molecular or or brain event. In our practice, therefore, we consider all of the factors contributing to our capacities to attend to the world, internal and external.

In a recent New York Times article, Richard Feineman writes,
You may wonder what accounts for the recent explosive increase in the rates of A.D.H.D. diagnosis and its treatment through medication. The lifetime prevalence in children has increased to 11 percent in 2011 from 7.8 percent in 2003 — a whopping 41 percent increase — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And 6.1 percent of young people were taking some A.D.H.D. medication in 2011, a 28 percent increase since 2007. Most alarmingly, more than 10,000 toddlers at ages 2 and 3 were found to be taking these drugs, far outside any established pediatric guidelines.” (October 31, 2014)

Instead of viewing attention as a disease, (i.e., a brain disorder) we see it view it as a matter of concern to all human action, feeling, and thought. In short, attention is difficult to regulate.

Sometimes the Internet can affect the regulation of our attention. We become inattentive when we find

Studies Showing Effectiveness of Psychodynamic Approaches to ADHD
Frankfurt ADHD and ODD Effectiveness Study
ADHD via Psychoanalysis, Neuroscience, and Cognitive Psychology: Why Haven't We Fielded a Team?

Culture and ADHD
Singh, I. (2008). Beyond polemics: science and ethics of ADHD. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9(12), 957-964.

Recommended Viewing
PBS Frontline: Medicating Kids
Books Influencing Our Practice and Thinking
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