ADHD Is My Worst Enemy

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is most often seen in children, and some children outgrow their ADHD by adulthood. I was not one of those children. I still have trouble holding attention, doing tasks that require mental effort, and constantly shake my leg or play with something.

There are ups and downs to my ADHD. Sometimes it's my super power, but most of the time it's my worst enemy. For example, last week I was able to hold focus for hours to get schoolwork done, but today I can barely hold attention long enough to write this article. ADHD can be pretty tough to deal with while in college, especially when studying or trying to handle the mass amounts of schoolwork.

It takes me 6-8 hours to study for an exam. No, that's not a joke. I need all the time I can get, because half of my "studying" is just skimming the words and not processing the material. Trust me, I would do everything in my power to not need that much time, but I can't help it. It irks me when someone comments on how long studying takes. It must be nice to only need a couple of hours! I also struggle with starting assignments ahead of time, so everything is done last minute, causing a lot of stress for me. The problem is that I can't get motivated enough to start things early, even if the task is very simple.

I am able to sustain attention to subjects/classes that I enjoy, because it doesn't take much mental effort from me. If something requires mental effort, it's almost like a wall is put between my mind and the task. I have trouble starting it, and once I do start it, I have trouble sustaining attention with the task because just getting the task started cost half my mental capacity.

Another challenge that comes with ADHD is getting distracted. Yes, we ALL get distracted, but I'll be trying to study for philosophy while simultaneously thinking about cognitive behavioral therapy, thus resulting in going on a deep Google or YouTube search for cognitive behavioral therapy instead of studying, and before you know it 2 hours pass. But you see, I can't shake off those thoughts about cognitive behavioral therapy and get back to studying because those thoughts will penetrate my mind until I do something about them, such as Googling the subject matter.

Next time you ask me why it takes me so long to get work done, think about what it would be like to have a wall put between you and the task at hand. You spend half of your energy trying to get the past the wall, and you don't even have enough energy left to complete the task. That's how my brain works, and I would change it if I could.

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