This weeks rant is about...
AD/HD or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
Firstly I should say, I don't consider this a disorder despite it's title. Having ADH(D) just means that you have a little more trouble concentrating than others. That's what it boils down to, beyond all the other symptoms, it's about lacking the signals in the brain to grab and maintain attention. It comes with it's own laundry list of difficulties: depression, anxiety, dyslexia, rejection-sensitive dysphoria, oppositional defiant disorder, pick something. It's a lot more serious that people give it credit for. All of those little symptoms add up to a lot bigger problem than just day dreaming in class.
This all started because I was going through my desk and decided to go through my old copies of ADDitude: a magazine for people with ADHD. A lot of it's focus is on helping parents and teachers help children develop good habits but it has a small section on helping adults with ADHD because there just isn't as much research for adults. There's even less research, it seems, for young adults. Looking for tips that are college-student friendly is quite the challenge.
While my brother was diagnosed in elementary school, I was diagnosed last year which means I spent a lot of time struggling without really knowing why. But then I got the little booklet that says "Congrats, you have ADHD" and I thought now what? What does that actually mean? What am I supposed to do about it? I felt a little like I was left to my own devices on that last one and I've continued to struggle. Especially in my writing.
For me, writing with ADHD means that I have a lot of stories floating around in my head and am unable to communicate them. It's either that I can't concentrate long enough to write it out or I can't fully explain the stories in my head which is a big frustration for me.
Of course there are great, positive, attributes to it but the negative is more widely publicized. People with ADHD tend to be very creative, outside-box-thinkers, with a great empathy and an ability to feel things very deeply. Our heads are sometimes equated to watching 14 tv shows at once (or trying to read that many books without getting to go back and skim the previous chapter). It's a little scary and a lot intimidating but once we learn the little tips and tricks that work for us - with or without medication - then we're pretty awesome people.
And with that, I go back to my cave to write more stories.