This article has recently started making the rounds on social media and a number of dyslexia groups. It’s about the “discovery” of a new potential attentional disorder called sluggish cognitive tempo.
The early symptoms include too much daydreaming, slow processing and lethargy. The article also states that missed questions on assignments and tests or homework not being turned in on time could be indicators of its presence.
|Is this a future member of the band,
“Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”?
By Jsfouche (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or
GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
Unsurprisingly, drug companies that already make money off of ADHD medications are excited about it. Despite the fact a solid list of symptoms hasn’t been created yet, and the condition hasn’t even been certified as being real, Eli Lilly is already conducting clinical trials to see if Strattera works on symptoms. This could be a huge money maker for them.
The only good thing I can see about this is the fact “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo” is a great name for a sloth musical group.
While ADHD may be a real disorder for some people, it does seem over diagnosed. If this new “disorder” becomes seen as a valid thing, I have the feeling the exact same thing will happen.
Members of the dyslexia community may be among the hardest hit, as well. We tend to daydream when we think, our mental processing is slower than the norm and struggling to do what others do easily is exhausting.
If this disorder existed when I was a child, I’m pretty sure I would have been diagnosed with it. I don’t know if my parents would have medicated me, but I wonder how different my life would have been.
Besides the opportunity to further medicate our kids, this disorder is also disturbing because it further encourages conformity of thought.
While some people can come up with answers quickly, breeze through assignments and work in almost any environment, not everyone can. That’s perfectly fine! Humanity needs all kinds of thinkers to survive in this crazy, beautiful world.
Often, different modes of thought come up with valuable conclusions that wouldn’t have been reached otherwise. It was only because Jack Horner thought to use his hammer to crack an egg that we know what a dinosaur embryo looks like, right?
However, people who don’t fit into the tiny “normal” box tend to throw monkey wrenches into the works early on. That seems to be where some of these disorders come in.
Part of growing up as a social animal involves learning how to relate to others in a peaceful way, but that shouldn’t involve medicating originality out of our personalities.
I can’t tell the future. I don’t know if this will be included in a future edition of the DSM, or if it’ll just fade away, but I do know I’ll keep an eye on the issue.
If anything, I’ll be watching for it on those irritating drug commercials.