ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
No, it's not all in my head. It's not some made up disorder. I don't say I have it to be cool, because quite frankly, mental and brain disorders aren't cool. It's not something you just develop. You're born with it, and you never grow out of it. Yes, some people know how to manage it better than most people, but no person actually ever grows out of it.
I've lived with this my whole life, and I have been on medicine for it for about 11 or 12 years now. It's a really difficult thing to live with, and it's a whole lot worse than ADD because not only can I not concentrate, but I am also extremely hyper. So, while you're talking to me about something probably really important and it seems like I'm listening, I'm most likely not and I will not remember what you're saying in five minutes unless I am on my medicine. My brain not only has trouble concentrating, it is also constantly thinking, wondering, and analyzing things most people never think of in their whole life. I notice little tiny things most people don't.
People with ADHD will be the most organized chaotic people you'll ever meet, but they'll be your favorite. We like things a certain way and if that way means 200 flashcards splayed out on a desk then you better leave them splayed out because even if just one gets moved, we'll most likely get highly upset and freak out over a small and unimportant thing to you, but to us it was very important because that's the only way we knew what each of those cards was.
Life with ADHD is constantly having a hamster running on wheel at all times of the day, only the hamster is in your head. I see things from a different point of view and angle than most people in the world, and I think differently because my brain works differently. ADHD people are usually the out-of-the box thinkers in the group. You see something straight on and we see it from upside down, backwards, and sideways. We are usually the creative ones as well.
Having ADHD comes with its positive aspects, but it has its downfalls as well. Like people thinking you don't actually have the disorder because so many people self-diagnose simply because they can't concentrate on occasion or because they get a little hyper every now and then. That's not ADHD.
ADHD is listening to someone for an entire hour then realizing that your brain has actually been preoccupied thinking about the color red the whole time because at the beginning of the lecture someone walked in wearing red shoes and you've now began to wonder where the color red originated from, what country and when.
ADHD is walking down the road with your eyes down and seeing a bird three yards away from the corner of your eye and thinking about it all day long. Like, where was it going?
ADHD IS NOT losing focus in class for five minutes or spacing out for a minute or two. ADHD is not forgetting what you were going to say. ADHD is not accidentally interrupting someone because you got excited about something.
ADHD is someone telling you a list of items to get from the store and even though you were listening 100% you still forget half of them because you got distracted in the store trying to pick out the right milk.
ADHD is impulse behavior. ADHD is spending hours and hours on homework that would only take a person without ADHD about one hour because you can't concentrate for more than 10 minutes. The grass blowing in the wind suddenly becomes the most interesting thing. The bite marks on your pencil become intriguing for about as long as it takes to count to five.
ADHD is "sit down," "be quiet," "quit moving so much," "why can't you sit still?"
ADHD is hard. ADHD is having to get extended time on tests because of your concentration. I personally never used my extra time because I believe that I can test in the same amount of time as someone who doesn't have ADHD. I have went through 13 years school without it.
ADHD is "why aren't you normal?"
ADHD is "do you ever stop talking?"
ADHD is hard to explain. Life with it is even harder. Parents: please do not self-diagnose your children and get them falsely medicated just because they're a little hyper and you can't or don't want to deal with them.
Signs that your child is on the wrong medicine or has been falsely diagnosed with ADHD would be a child who is zombie like, not eating, and extremely moody. These signs could also mean that the dosage is too high. DO NOT CHOOSE YOUR CHILD'S DOSAGE YOURSELF. You are not in their body and do not know how the medicine makes them feel. Yes, they may be young but be aware and ask them how they feel and let them tell the doctor themselves. Your child WILL know, I promise.