Attention Deficit Disorder

To many people, ADD was the diagnosis of the 90s.  One of the difficulties in diagnosing ADD is that most people reflect at least some of the characteristics of ADD.  Essentially, ADD is a neurological disorder that impacts a person’s ability to consistently sustain attention over a defined period of time. Children are diagnosed with ADD far more than adults.  Teachers in classrooms are able to determine which children have more of a problem focusing and maintaining attention during class.  In adults, it is a bit more difficult.  For me, one of the major flags was my work history.  I could not, nor can I do this day, hold a job for any length of time.  I had little trouble getting jobs, but when I became bored with the job or things didn’t seem to be going my way, I would dump the job and move on to the next one.  I managed to complete an honors degree at a university, but changed majors three times.  I rarely went to lectures and preferred to manipulate the system rather than doing my assigned work.  Professors were mystified by my behavior, but no one really knew what was wrong.  Even my church life fits this pattern.  While I tend to stay with a church for a longer period of time, I have travelled around the ecclesiastical world over the years.  There are some dangers when discussing ADD.  First, you cannot diagnose yourself.  Even if you suspect ADD may be a problem, you need to seek professional assistance in determining a diagnosis.  Do not self-medicate by using psychotropic drugs such as methamphetamine or other stimulants.  The medications on the market to deal with ADD are highly sophisticated drugs, designed to address chemical problems within the brain.  They work like a laser beam.  Other stimulants work more like a shotgun.  Personally, I am not on any medication, preferring to use behavioral modifications to address my specific challenges.  In broad strokes, that is my understanding of ADD.  It is not an excuse for irresponsible behavior, nor does it excuse me from acting like an adult or carrying my fair share of work when I am working. The fact that I have trouble sustaining attention for periods of time is not an excuse for not paying attention.  That is just too easy.  It is not an excuse for skipping appointments or not completing tasks.  It is not an excuse.  It does, though, explain why I tend to move, in rapid succession, from one task to another to another, rarely completing anything within a reasonable time frame.

For me, ADD is like being in a fog most of the time.  The one question I would love to answer, but never have, is: What do you want to do in life?  I have no clue.  I am good at a number of things, but have never been able to translate any of my talents or abilities into something that is marketable.  While I hate being unemployed and having way too much free time, I just don’t know which way to turn, or where to even start to look when it comes to finding work.  For a while, call centers offered employment, but I have become burned out and bored with that scene.  While a paycheck is a paycheck is a paycheck, the thought of working in a call center produces an emotional paralysis of sorts.  Anyway, that is a subject for another blog, I suppose.  This may not be a great blog about ADD, but it is a start.  This is a file that I created to talk about it.  Maybe I will uncover some insights along the way. 

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