I get in my white sports car and realize that my iPhone is still charging on my nightstand… I go and get it… I get back in my car and turning the key reminds me that I need to turn in that calculus homework strewn across my desk… I turn off the car and go get it… I get back in my car and head south on I-15 towards school, but I miss my exit because I’m zealously singing a song I now can’t remember the words to. Do I have ADD or ADHD (AD/HD)?
If you’ve ever thought that AD/HD are bogus disorders invented by pharmaceutical companies to sell drugs to parents with misbehaved children, you’re not alone. Most people are unaware of how AD/HD affects the lives of many.
That’s why today is National Attention Deficit Disorder Awareness Day, which is celebrated every year on Sept. 18.
AD/HD, according to helpguide.org, is a serious condition that affects not only children, but adults, too, and learning/teaching about the symptoms uncovers the strengths and talents of people with AD/HD.
“AD/HD looks very much like a willpower problem, but it isn’t,” writes Melinda Smith, M.A. and Robert Segal, M.A. “It’s essentially a chemical problem in the management systems of the brain.”
If you’re still reading this, then you probably don’t have AD/HD or maybe you do. Although the main symptom of AD/HD is a difficulty staying focused, paradoxically, hyperfocus is the coping mechanism for said symptom. Hyperfocus is an overpowering attention on some task at hand.
Perhaps Albert Einstein or Sir Isaac Newton had AD/HD. Bill Gates, Malcolm Forbes and Walt Disney all had AD/HD.
What was I saying? Oh yeah, so other common symptoms of adult AD/HD include forgetfulness and disorganization, experiences of emotional turmoil such as hopelessness, frustration and anger. And because impulsivity is also a symptom, people with AD/HD often use drugs and alcohol to cope with such feelings.
But with structured support, people with AD/HD can manage these symptoms.
“Exercise can relieve stress, boost your mood and calm your mind, helping work off the excess energy and aggression that can get in the way,” writes Smith and Segal.
Michael Phelps, Michael Jordan and Bruce Jenner all have AD/HD.
Most everyone experiences lapses of AD/HD, but if you are experiencing any of these symptoms and they are impairing your ability to work or maintain meaningful relationships, there is help if you seek it.
Salt Lake Community College offers students counseling services at the Health and Wellness Centers at Jordan, South City and Taylorsville Redwood Campuses.
Just remember, people with AD/HD are creative, innovative and capable people with sparkling personalities.
To learn more about AD/HD, visit www.add.org, and don’t forget to check us out online at www.globeslcc.com and share your experience with AD/HD.
Happy National AD/HD Day!