Why did Community delete my question?

My friend was diagnosed with ADHD as a kid, but her parents disagreed with such a diagnosis on the grounds that she had a high IQ which was discovered when her psychologists and psychiatrists were investigating what mental illnesses she may have had.

After she and her parents gathered a better understanding of mental illnesses partly due to her twin sister's having a mental illness (I didn't ask), my friend sought professional help once again. This was about 8-9 years later.

I have yet to ask the results but in general, how does a near decade of non-treatment affect what a doctor prescribes?

I was told that

"Questions about the behavior of an individual person are off-topic. If you are concerned about a potential medical issue, please seek the advice of a medical professional. For more information, see Why was my self-help question closed as off-topic?." – Arnon Weinberg, MaríaAnt, AliceD, Christian Hummeluhr, Krysta

My title question was: How would a late diagnosis be treated?

My inquiry was not regarding what might or should happen to my friend or her sister or to any ADHD patients. That was merely the context and motivation for my inquiry.

Assuming the question deletion is justified, why should my question have been deleted, and how could I have improved it?

A person I won't name (since I can't prove it and it may be slanderous if I name him/her) answered specific to ADHD. Looking at it again, maybe I should have specified that this was or was not necessarily for ADHD. So my question was wrong due to unspecified scope?

The answer given:

For ADHD? It doesn't, really.

Medication-wise, they may start off with a non-stimulant (Strattera, Wellbutrin). If this medication doesn't seem to help / ease symptoms to the desired extent, they may suggest that you try taking stimulant medication. Among those, Vyvanse, Ritalin, Adderall tend to be the most popular options. Though each medication affects people differently, the general consensus is that Vyvanse is longer-lasting (it can last up to 14 hours, as it is a 'prodrug' that must first remove lysine in order to activate) and less "intense" than Adderall and Ritalin, and one would need a comparatively higher dose of Vyvanse to achieve the same effect as Adderall.

An adult will typically be treated with a combination of medication and an aided development in coping skills. When young children are diagnosed, the psychiatrist typically works with child by means of the parent, i.e. the parent will be expected to see to it that the child takes their medication, does their homework, etc. The child may also be taken in for testing to see if certain testing accommodations could be provided in schools (extended time on academic/in-school tests, for example, as well as standardized tests such as the SAT or AP tests). An adult out of school will typically not need these accommodations, and will meet with the psychiatrist to discuss treatment options.

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    My thoughts. If the main motivation behind a question is an individual case, whether or not this is explicitly stated, I vote to close. Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 12:18
  • @ChristianHummeluhr So I just remove the motivation? That's strange. Why not just ignore it? It works for some people. It doesn't work for others. I am not asking anyone to give medical advice to anyone. I am just asking how medical advice would change. Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 12:19
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    I encourage you to read my link, where you will find an answer to these questions. Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 12:22
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    I am one of the close-voters and @ArtemKaznatcheev accurately describes my deliberations leading to my close-vote. The issue is that the question is stacked with family-relationships, specific medical history and personal detail. Such information is characteristic of self-help, which is discouraged. As Artem correctly reflects upon, if you could generalize the question further to make it not a specific anecdote, but an interesting question for this community at large, I am happy to upvote and support such a question.
    – AliceD Mod
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 0:14
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    A related meta post which fits this question well: meta.cogsci.stackexchange.com/questions/1044/…
    – AliceD Mod
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 0:18
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    @AliceD I guess I should have. Thanks. How for example to generalize? Basically someone gets diagnosed as a child and is recommended something. It gets ignored for 8-9 years. Teen/young adult has problems and then finally gets treated. Likely, the recommended treatment for the teen/young adult is different for the recommendation for the child. If it is too general, I can limit to ADHD. Then that user answered and I got my answer. What's the site's problem if a question voted to be closed gets an upvoted answer? I see a lot of questions left closed but have answers and are still not deleted Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 5:46
  • @ChristianHummeluhr I did. So you vote to close this question too? Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 5:48
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    @RedRackham - those are actually questions I myself cannot answer. Please feel more than free to open a new meta question on that. Generalizing questions is something Steven Jeuris, one of the moderators as well as some other hardcore members here, excel in. I'm not too good at it. But yes, then it becomes a 'hidden' self help, which may in fact be on-topic, but serves the purpose of self-help. And indeed, self-helps are sometimes answered, then closed, but not deleted. They are kind of gray areas and absolutely worth a meta question.
    – AliceD Mod
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 6:24
  • @AliceD Thank you very much! Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 0:17

1 Answer 1


I was not involved in the closing of your question, since we try to encourage the community to self-moderate, but I would like to give you some info on the process. It was five community members with close-vote privileges that voted to close the question. It was then auto-deleted by the 'Community' bot around two weeks later because it was closed so quickly and had not achieved any upvotes. This suggested to the bot that this was a bad question.

Of course, this is not the real answer you are seeking, just the mechanics. The real question your probably want answered is "why did the experienced users of the CogSci.SE decide that my question was inappropriate for this site?"

I am no mind reader, but I suspect that the people that read your question -- both the ones that voted to close, didn't upvote, and the person that provided the answer -- saw it as a specific question without the proper general background and generalizability. They saw it as a self-help question, just phrased in the 3rd person. This was made worse by the answer suggesting specific drugs or treatments, which we discourage on this site.

The site is intended for general discussion of the cognitive sciences and not medical(-ish) advice for individuals. We are not medical doctors, and those of us who happen to be are not in a position that they can offer medical advice through this forum.

Now sometimes people use creative ways to disguise their self-help questions by asking in the third person. However if the underlying motivation is anecdotal even if the question is not posed as such then the community will still usually notice and close the question. In the future, when you ask general question, it is more important to highlight the general patterns that you have noticed and other literature you read over a personal anecdote. That doesn't mean "personal anecdotes" are banned, or that all self-help questions have personal anecdotes, but the two are often co-morbid.

  • that last word though.how about asking about how much doctors recommendations may change? someone gets diagnosed as a child and is recommended something.It gets ignored for 8-9 years.teen/young adult has problems and then finally gets treated. Likely,the recommended treatment for the teen/youngadult is different for the recommendation for the child. If it is too general,I can limit to ADHD.Then that user answered and I got my answer. What's the site's problem if a question voted to be closed gets an upvoted answer? I see a lot of questions left closed but have answers and are still not deleted Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 5:58
  • @RedRackham Our site has a specific scope, and we close all questions that are deemed outside this scope. This is simply a judgment call made by at least 5 users of 500+ rep. I can't think of a way to bring your question within scope, but neither can I rule out the possibility. Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 6:44

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