ADD and the arts

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I had a potential Eureka moment listening to Thom talk about about ADD yesterday and it was in regards to understanding my self and the Frostian Path less travelled by... nature of it.

I'm of Scandinavian descent, a long history of explorer and other less positive attributes abide therein. I grew up in a modern reflection of this. My mother was prone to buying fixer upper houses, remodelling them, and then growing board and moving to a new house and wash, rinse, repeat. I went to eight different schools, and had to make new friends each time. At the age of eighteen, I was fed up, and had had four years of stable friendships. When my parents chose move to another state, I decided to stay behind.

Since then, like my mother, I also grew bored of my surroundings and have lived in three other states and two other countries. I actually feel more at ease in a new environment, then staying put. I first thought this was due to my lack of faith in the American system. I do find Europe, where I currently live, obviously more progressive and better suited to the realities of life and its problems, but I'm starting to believe this may have deeper seated roots.

I have also been a musician for over twenty years. When that fell short, I turned to writing, where one was only dependant on ones own creativity and not series of compromises in vision. I have had, like most artists, to take other jobs to support my art. At these jobs, if they were tedious, I grew bored and stressed to the point of illness, that doctors could find no source for, most often, stomach pains, fatigue and digestion problems.

Here's my point though. Within the arts, there appears to be the familiar and the avant garde. There seems to be a preference to the familiar. I'm correlating here the prefenence of the familiar to a gatherer mentality and those who are always seeking something new, to a more hunter/ADD mentality. In the past, when music companies were run by musicians, the MO was to look for "that new sound". Now we are sedentary with only offerings of the familiar, i.e. oldies, classic, hip hop/rap, AAA, alternative. Even the new music sounds rehashed. There seems to be little appreciation for something genuinely original. I'm finding that also a hurdle in my fiction writing. I am not inspired to be like other authors in imitation, rather in originality. But originality seems to be scrapped over the familiar.

I know there are many commercial factors here. High quick profits are sought in the lowest common denominator, but after many decades of this, one would think that people would be starving for something new that would rise out of the grass roots. One would think one would meet others that would appreciate originality and innovation, but instead when conveying new ideas to others, I'm often looked at with a look of confusion and lack of understanding because it doesn't fit into predefined genres.

My question, if Thom or any one else has studied ADD on a genetic level, is, is there any evidence that the non-ADD, sedentary, familiar genes are dominant? It seems the pursuit of the new is leaving all the arts except for maybe comedy, which I see as the extreme end of ADD. I also find this quite sad and leading to a downward spiral of conservative mentality.

William Blake: When nations grow old, arts grow cold and commerce grows on every tree.

Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm


You got me thinking.. I am Scandanavian on my father side and misc Euro Celtic on my mom's. My mom definately has it, and my dad probably had it. I suspect my brother has it, and people say I have it. Our family moved around like gypsies, and I still can't stand living in one place for more than 5 years or so. I have to explore my world by experiencing it through immersion I guess.

I've always been creative and worked in advertising and photography, as well as make Jewelry and design my own clothes (when I have time lol). Dad was a creative electric engineer, photographer, pilot, and amateur archaeologist, mom a singer, artist, tarvel-addict, and passionate animal lover (like me). My siblings lives are similar. Creativity does seem to go along with ADHD, or the other way around . So you have me thinking.

I have always been called scatter-brained like my dad, but I love being this way!

People like us are different because we think in levels, not in a straight line. I believe we have the ability to proccess information and simultaniously relate it to many other thoughts, ideas, issues, or whatever. "Normal" people seem to miss so many peices of information as they only connect a smaller number "dots" in a linear thought line. (?) Hmmm.. ever notice how Scandanavian art has all those overlapping, interlocking swirls?

Sometimes I think I can actually "see" the pattern of overlapping thoughs when I have a cluster thought. And I noticed that the more information I intake and learn.. as I am actually learning it, the happier I feel. Like endorphins are firing in my brain. It's almost addicting. I actually get depressed without constant brain stimulation. I never want to change!

We aren't bad, don't need to be medicated. People like us are so special. People like us built the wonders of the world and discovered medicine. We are the real builders and survivors

Keeku's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

On the Tuesday radio program, Thom mentioned a tea that is supposed to stengthen memory. A caller phoned in and gave a short testimony to that effect. Does anyone know what tea they were talking about????

kramjet's picture
Oct. 12, 2011 10:19 am

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