Diagnosis: Human

by Dan Jordan

Diagnosis: Human

Excellent, beautiful meditation by Ted Gup on the prevalence of ADHD in children in America. (Or, I should more accurately say, the prevalence of ADHD diagnoses.)

From the article:

“Ours is an age in which the airwaves and media are one large drug emporium that claims to fix everything from sleep to sex. I fear that being human is itself fast becoming a condition. It’s as if we are trying to contain grief, and the absolute pain of a loss like mine. We have become increasingly disassociated and estranged from the patterns of life and death, uncomfortable with the messiness of our own humanity, aging and, ultimately, mortality.” (Emphasis mine)

I couldn’t have put it better. To be sure there are many people who do legitimately suffer from mental illness. But the idea that we should be happy all the time is a very strange one that flies in the face of the fact that we live in a universe that is actively trying to kill us and will eventually succeed.

Life is often hard, confronting us with circumstances and challenges that we would rather not face. But think how boring and bland life would be if things were otherwise. Without the downs, the ups are meaningless.

When someone reacts to the death of a loved one by becoming sad, or a divorce by becoming depressed, they are just experiencing part of what it means to be human. When little boys throw rocks at one another when they should be doing homework, they are not exhibiting symptoms of  hyperactivity and impulsiveness, they are just doing what little boys like to do.

It is the job of parents and society at large to instill in them the value of hard work and that play time is for after the job is done. And it is the job of children to ignore this advice for as long as they can. Anything else would be inhuman.