Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The joys of ADHD

Yes, I know I'm doing a lot of blogging, but that'll change once term starts. By then I'll have other things to occupy my attention: schoolwork and (hopefully) a job. In the meantime, I'm blogging daily, or sometimes multiple times a day.

Just figured I'd address that. :P

This morning I was talking to another volunteer at the library, and for some reason I mentioned that I'm ADHD. She said "me too!"

Her son was diagnosed ADHD, and as she started learning about it she discovered that she was also ADHD. I didn't think to ask whether she was actually diagnosed, but the truth is that if a kid is ADHD then most likely one of the parents is too. It's a genetic thing.

So we fell to discussing the joys of ADHD. She used to be a secretary, but had a hard time keeping things organized and keeping track of schedules. (This is a common difficulty for ADHD people, though exactly how bad it is or isn't depends on the individual.) At the time she thought she simply wasn't smart, but she now realizes that her brain is simply wired differently.

Random thought -- my mom's reading a book, I forget the title, in which ADHD kids are actually demi-gods, and that in old days we used to go on adventures and quests and that our ADHD craziness actually kept us alive.

Oh yeah, and another ADHD thing is going off on tangents, like the one I just went off on. :P I suppose I could delete my "random thought" paragraph, but I'll leave it up to make a point.

And with our randomness, we can have trouble focusing. Well, ok, it's not exactly focusing we have trouble with. We focus perfectly well! ...just not always on what we're supposed to be focusing on. And we sometimes take in too much all at once. To quote Frank Copplola, "I prefer to distinguish ADD as attention abundance disorder. Everything is just so interesting ... remarkably at the same time." Ok, so that's about ADD, not ADHD, but they're really similar. The only difference I can see is that one involves hyperactivity and the other doesn't.

The flip side of not being able to focus easily on things is that we sometimes hyper-focus. That is, we latch onto one thing, and focus all our attention on it. This can be really great sometimes, but not always. The times it's not so great is when we're hyper-focusing on something other than school work, or our job. That can get to be problematic. Fortunately there are little tricks to dealing with it. But I think that's for another post. This one is long enough already.

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