A Life Run By Three Letters
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Health and Wellness

A Life Run By Three Letters

How ADD Affects Me

A Life Run By Three Letters
Aphrodite Papadoliopolous

Talking to my parents made me realize that the process of my diagnosis of ADD started way before I had originally thought. It first came to my teacher's attention that I may be having a hard time concentrating when I was in Kindergarten.

In Kindergarten, I was always the trouble maker. I honestly remember the principal's office more clearly than I do my own Kindergarten classroom. The principal even taught me how to spell my middle name (not like it was too hard to spell, but to a Kindergartner Patricia is pretty difficult). The reason I was seen as a trouble maker, to my recollection, is because I was constantly running over to my friends in the classroom and hugging them. It was probably more than that, as I can't believe I was sent to the principal's office, basically every day, for just hugging, but that is also what my mother says was the reason.

One class project I remember from kindergarten pretty clearly was self portraits. Our assistant teacher sat at the front of the class and taught us how to draw a self portrait. She made it clear to us that we were not to just draw a circle with sticks for arms and legs and a smiley face. I got it. I definitely knew what I was doing. She did a great job of explaining it to our tiny minds because I can still remember that lesson clearly. She showed us how to draw shoulders, noses, eyes, ears, mouths and hair. When we were sent to do our own portraits I sat down with my crayons and paper. The first thing I did was draw a circle. . .and added sticks for arms and legs and gave it a smiley face. I don't know why I did this. I had listened. I knew what we were supposed to do. I just decided not to apply it. I brought it to my teacher, who immediately sent me to the principal's office.

I remember the principal taking pity on me most of the time, as she seemed to have a better idea about what was really going on with me than my own teacher did. Usually she would have me sit for a few minutes before sending me back to the classroom. On the day of the portraits when I was sent back to the classroom, I immediately did what I was originally supposed to do in the first place. I did the best work I could, straining my little Kindergarten fingers to get the best precision I could muster.

Having ADD was sometimes fun back in those days. I took pride in noticing things that others didn't. On April Fools Day, I was the first to notice that our assistant teacher had a worm in her hair and immediately pointed it out to her. She faked being startled and then pointed out that it was in fact a pen.

Now, going even further back from Kindergarten for a moment, my parents noticed I was a little different than what they had expected from a toddler. I was always running off at a moments notice, grabbing on to strangers hands. I wouldn't respond to my name a lot of the time and when I watch old home videos I can tell just by looking at my face I am not there. I don't know where a toddler's mind would be at, but it is definitely not in the present. Another thing I notice in old home videos is that I am sometimes on a kid harness. This was for my own safety, not because my parents couldn't handle having a kid. They had another kid after dealing with me for four years. My little sister was never put on a child harness, although later in life than I had been, she also was diagnosed with ADD.

Now, I've never quite known what the physical difference from ADD and ADHD looked like. In my mind it was sometimes pretty clear that I could have “the H factor” as well. I was always shaking my leg and swaying from side to side. If that wasn't hyperactive, what was? It may be that I have a slight “H factor” but it wasn't enough for me to be diagnosed as ADHD.

These days what my ADD is good at doing is making me procrastinate very well. I am never motivated to do much of anything, but I always tell myself I will do it. Something will get done! But then by the end of the day, it is still just as not done as it was before, and it continues to repeat like that. Day in and day out. Nothing get's done. My ADD still makes me forget a lot of things too; important meetings, homework, my job. I'm constantly having to make excuses for things. Really, my ADD is just too good at making me a disorganized mess of a human being.

The fact that I live with ADD myself is complicated by the fact that two others in my immediate family also have ADD. All three of us are constantly losing things, making messes, acting out and getting distracted at the worst times. My mother had been put on medications for ADD after she was diagnosed later in life, but the side affects were not to her liking as they had an unfortunate affect on her anxiety. My sister takes medications and I have yet to hear her complain about any of the side affects, either that or she actually doesn't remember to take them as forgetting is something that comes with ADD. I, on the other hand, had been prescribed medication from a very young age and I have always not liked how they made me feel. I was always an very happy go lucky, excitable person. When on the medication I felt like that was taken away from me and I was more self conscious than I had been before. It also made me not want to eat anything, which in a way is good as I love eating a little too much, but there would be some days that I had decided not to eat and felt faint by the end of the day.

I also remember when I would get a higher dosage of my medication, Methylphenidate, I would have really bad headaches at the end of the day and would also be super easy to be angered or upset. I put many a hole through many a door back in my medicated days.

Currently, I have decided to not take medication for my ADD, as I am also taking medication for depression that has some of the same effects on my personality as the Methylphenidate did. It hasn't been a good time not taking my ADD medication. I have fallen behind in my school work, I have lost time. I swear it was just August of this year and now suddenly it is November. What happened? Where was I? I thought I would also be happier without the medication but sometimes that is not the case. It's not like I do anything. I sit around all the time, doing nothing, with no motivation, and it's sad. But at least I have my personality, right?

Anyways, that is basically how my ADD effects my life. It is in no way how others may interpret it. I do not speak for everyone who has ADD. I can't even speak for my own family members that have ADD. All I can say is that this is my take. I live with it. I deal with it in my own way. But I am always going to be a person with ADD. I have lived long enough with it that I am pretty sure it is here to stay. I also think about how it will effect how I am with my future children. I'm almost certain I will pass this onto my children as well and I just can't wait to see how I am able to handle that. It is going to be super fun. NOT. But I am determined to have children anyways, and put them through the same torture. Muahaha.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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