What it feels like to have ADD?
Imagine living in a fast-moving kaleidoscope, where sounds, images, and thoughts are constantly shifting. Feeling easily bored, yet helpless to keep your mind on tasks you need to complete. Distracted by unimportant sights and sounds, your mind drives you from one thought or activity to the next. Perhaps you are so wrapped up in a collage of thoughts and images that you don’t notice when someone speaks to you.
Definition for Attention Deficit Disorder
Distractibility (poor sustained attention to tasks)
Impulsivity (impaired impulse control and delay of gratification)
Hyperactivity (excessive activity and physical restlessness)
Its origin is unknown, although there are many speculations as to what could have been the cause there is no one true answer, yet. The symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity must persist for at least six months and appear before the age of 7. ADHD can be mild, moderate or severe pending on different cases and person.
Most people may have these symptoms every now and then but the people with ADD usually display these excessive behaviors over a long period of time and it is constant. These symptoms do not abate, they prevail in their every day lives. Its kind of like skin color, it will be the same color for most of us throughout our lives. There is nothing we can do about it except to maybe use sun block to prevent the skin from the sun. Much like sun block, people with ADD often take medication like Ritalin to help them cope.
Doctors usually prescribe Ritalin, but other types of medication can also be used, for example, Adderall, Dexedrine, and Cylert. These are usually combined with therapy or counseling to learn coping skills and adaptive behaviors, and ADD coaching for adults. Medication has shown to be 80% successful form of treatment. The counseling or therapy is often prescribed to help adults deal with their emotions and behaviors.
It is somewhat scarier though when the same prescription is written for a child. I think that most parents would be worried as to put a young child on a stimulant that is similar to cocaine or speed. There has been a lot of bad publicity regarding the use or medication on children. Some examples would be the myth that children on medication will get addicted to it, stunt their growth or over sedate the them. This is all untrue, if the right amount is being prescribed to the child.
Females with ADD can be harder to pick out
An example would be say Lisa, because she wasn t disruptive in class, it took a long time for teachers to notice her problem. Lisa was first referred to the school evaluation team when her teacher realized that she was a bright girl with failing grades. The team ruled out a learning disability but determined that she had an attention deficit, ADHD without hyperactivity. The school psychologist recognized that Lisa was also dealing with depression.
Lisa’s teachers and the school psychologist developed a treatment plan that included participation in a program to increase her attention span, take a medication called Ritalin and develop her social skills. They also recommended that Lisa receive counseling to help her recognize her strengths and overcome her depression.
Only boys get ADD. Actually it is easier to notice ADD with boys, as they tend to be harder to handle. They will start to show the symptoms that I have mentioned. They also tend to be more rebellious. As for girls, they will usually try to fit in and cover their differences and are often diagnosed as depressed.
Variations for ADHD in Women
ADD can be mild, moderate or severe. Some women are able to cope with the demands of daily life until they become a mother. Girls with ADD are different. There are some that will show similar characteristics as the boys but most of them wont. These are the different cases are
“Tomboys” with ADD. Hyperactive girls are often “tomboys.” They are physically active, drawn to more risk-taking activities such as tree climbing, exploring and playing with their brothers or other boys in the neighborhood. They may like soccer, swimming or horseback riding, but are less attracted to more girlish activities. But unlike many boys with ADD, these girls are often more cooperative at home, and may work harder to please their teacher at school. Their handwriting may be messy, they are often disorganized, and they may rush out the door for their next activity leaving their room a huge mess. Rather than suspecting ADD, parents and teachers of these girls may see them as undisciplined and just not academically inclined
“Daydreamers” with ADD. Girls of the inattentive variety are often shy daydreamers. Their inattention in class may be overlooked because they try hard not to draw attention to themselves. Many quiet girls with ADD seem to be listening to their teachers, while their minds are a thousand miles away. These girls often seem anxious about school. They are forgetful and disorganized in completing their schoolwork and become very worried as assignments come due. When sent to their room to complete homework they may quietly daydream at their desk unless they are kept on track by a parent sitting beside them. They may seem easily overwhelmed and operate at a slower pace than other girls. Some of these girls are anxious or depressed, and are often mistakenly seen as less bright than they actually are.
“Chatty Kathy” with ADD. A third type of girl with ADD is a combination of hyperactive and inattentive. While they have a much higher activity level than the daydreamers, they are not necessarily “tomboys.” Often these girls are hyper-talkative rather than hyperactive. They are “silly”, excitable and over-emotional. They chatter constantly in class and have trouble staying quiet even when they are disciplined for talking. They interrupt others frequently and jump from topic to topic in conversation. These girls may have trouble explaining a story line or movie plot – frequently interrupting themselves to say “wait a minute, I forgot to tell you…” Or they tell the story in a very confused manner because they have trouble organizing their thoughts before they start talking. These girls may be social leaders. They are active, talkative and are exciting to be around. Their friendships may be more dramatic, filled with over-reactions and arguments.. These girls may adopt a “silly” personality to mask their disorganization and forgetfulness. During their teen years these girls may compensate for poor academics by becoming hyper-social and taking risks such as smoking, drinking and becoming sexually active at an early age.
Gifted girls with ADD. Highly intelligent girls with ADD can be the most difficult to spot. The brighter your daughter with ADD is, the later her school problems tend to emerge. Many girls with above average IQ can keep it together academically until they hit middle school, or even high school. As their school life becomes more demanding and complicated in the upper grades, their problems with concentration, organization and follow-through are more likely to reveal themselves.
I think that ADHD is over diagnosed. It is sometimes possible to be just more active than our peers. I have known quite a few people, including teachers, telling me that I need to check to see if I have ADHD. In my opinion, it may not be such a bad thing as I can multi task without a second thought. I don t think I have ever written any of my papers without doing something else on the side or at least thinking about doing something else. This way, I think that I am able to get more done in a shorter amount of time.
Ritalin, is it the new wonder drug or is it just another form of medication to sedate a child? In my opinion, I don t think I would agree to let my child go on Ritalin or any kind of similar medication. I think that it may be wise to teach the child ways to cope instead. I would not want to be sedated if I were to be in the child s position, so I will not recommend sedating any child.
1. Fact Sheet on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. National Attention Deficit Disorder Association. 12 December 2000
2. Fact Sheet on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. National Attention Deficit Disorder Association. 12 December 2000
3. Feeling overwhelmed, disorganized, scattered? National Attention Deficit Disorder Association 4 May 2000
4. What is ADHD?: A General Overview. ADHD Research Update 5 May 2000
5. Fact Sheet on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. National Attention Deficit Disorder Association. 12 December 2000
6. What is ADHD?: A General Overview. ADHD Research Update 5 May 2000
7. The Use of Medication in Treating Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD ADHD Research Update 5 May 2000
8. Feeling overwhelmed, disorganized, scattered? National Attention Deficit Disorder Association 4 May 2000
9. Is Your Daughter a Daydreamer, Tomboy or “Chatty Kathy”? She May Have Undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder National Attention Deficit Disorder Association 4 May 2000
10. Is Your Daughter a Daydreamer, Tomboy or “Chatty Kathy”? She May Have Undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder National Attention Deficit Disorder Association 4 May 2000
11. Is Your Daughter a Daydreamer, Tomboy or “Chatty Kathy”? She May Have Undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder National Attention Deficit Disorder Association 4 May 2000
12. Is Your Daughter a Daydreamer, Tomboy or “Chatty Kathy”? She May Have Undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder National Attention Deficit Disorder Association 4 May 2000