Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ADD Awareness Week

I have Attention Deficit Disorder. Or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Inattentive Type. Or Adult ADD. Or whatever in the world you would like to call it.

There’s a really long story as to how we figured that out. I had intended to write these posts in a different order but since this week is ADD Awareness Week I decided now was the time to share the abridged version of this story.

What does ADD/ADHD mean to you? Do you instantly conjure up images of hyperactive kids who won’t listen to their parents? Is it the kid who's always daydreaming in class? Maybe you see the student who can’t get decent grades no matter how hard they try.

Well for me, this is what ADD means:
  • I have always had a hard time remembering what I just read.
  • I was always horrible at taking tests.
  • I have extremely low patience.
  • I am bored way too quickly.
  • I crave novelty and change.
  • I am impulsive.
  • I am judgmental.
Yes, all of those things can be chalked up to personal failings. Here’s the thing I’ve learned within the last week, though. All of those things either go away or are way easier to handle when I take Adderall.

Adderall is a stimulant drug used to treat ADD. This is not the first drug I have tried to treat my ADD. This is the first one that has worked to treat my ADD. I am working closely with fantastic specialists to find just the right medication and dosage to keep my symptoms under control.

How does the medication help me?

  • I can drive in my construction filled city without having murderous thoughts regarding the city planners (ok, that one may not be related to the ADD).
  • My patience with my children (all people really) is increased immeasurably.
  • I can read a page and tell you what I just read. (I don’t, however, have any desire to take any kind of test).
  • I can sit still without wondering what I should do next.
  • My body is calm. I actually feel a physical calm throughout my body. I didn’t know I didn’t have this because I had acclimated to the constant need to be in motion.

For me the good news is that ADD never held me back as a kid or an adult. I did well in school and graduated from a ridiculously competitive college. I played sports throughout which certainly helped me to be successful.

Did you know that ADD can be genetic? Did you know that it’s just within the last 30-40 years that treatment has been widely available? Some would say that many kids are being over-treated and I’m not going to argue with that claim. I just know that at our house, and in our extended family, treatment has helped tremendously.

This post will be part of a series I am lovingly referring to as the TMI Series (Too Much Information). The plan is to post them periodically and I’ll give them their own tab above. Thus making them easy to find for anyone who wants to know more about me than they ever wanted to know.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your transparency. It is so refreshing.

    I have three friends who have been diagnosed with adult ADD. Two of them use medication and one does not. Both my friends who do use medication for the treatment of their ADD/ADHD expressed the same relief of symptoms as you did. The other says they are reacting to and handling the behaviors differently now, that they know what the cause is.

    On the subject of ADD or ADHD we had considered testing our oldest son and myself. But then reconsidered for a few different reasons. The thought that it could explain a lot and medication could possibly help a lot, is still there though.

    I have to say, you have a way of writing that is so fluid and easy to read. You write so well and it flows wonderfully. I enjoy each and every post and am slightly jealous of your abilities.

    Thank you for sharing!