attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
a condition, usually in children, characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. -Dictionary.com
For my entire life, I was labeled as “distracted”, “dumb”, “uninterested”, the list goes on. Every teacher, concerned parent, friend, peer and everywhere inbetween said it. What I did not know, is that I was not alone, and that the answer to everything I went threw in my life laid in 4 letters.
ADHD makes life hard everyday for people who have it. Paying attention, staying still, doing simple everyday things, keeping a job, and many other things are made difficult by having this disorder
People may experience:
Behavioral: aggression, excitability, fidgeting, hyperactivity, impulsivity, irritability, lack of restraint, or persistent repetition of words or actions
Cognitive: absent-mindedness, difficulty focusing, forgetfulness, problem paying attention, or short attention span
Mood: anger, anxiety, boredom, excitement, or mood swings
Also common: depression or learning disability
-What I found when I googled “ADHD”.
My experience with ADHD:
From my birth to 15 years old all I knew from myself was that I was restricted by at the time a mysterious force keeping me from doing things. There was really no other answer I thought. I would daydream, doodle, do anything that was not actually doing the thing I was suppose to be doing. I could not stay still for a minute, and I forgot stuff as soon as it was told to me. I was okay threw most of elementary, it was a easy school with relaxed standards. But in 4th grade everything changed. I switched from a very easy and small school to a top notch elite private school. The expectations were higher, and so I was struggling more. I will always remember almost everyday in music class, the teacher would yell at me for being distracted. In front of my entire class, in the corner, everywhere I would go it seemed. “DANIELLE, PAY ATTENTION” became the most recognizable phrase of that year. It only got worse, as I was moving up grades there for the standards were getting harder to achieve. My grades, attendance, everyone’s hope in me, and my confidence dropped. Teachers calling me in to talk with them about how distracted I was became normal to me. I was used to it, I even had a speech almost memorized in my head about how i’ll “do better”, "be really focused", “work hard”. I thought though it would never change and I’m just saying lies. Later on my ADHD got worse. In social situations, I could not stay on the ground. I was all over the place, acting so odd and random, not paying attention to anyone or anything. I can't tell you how many times I have been told to "calm down" by my friends and family. I could barely hang out with friends without my mind racing to 1,000 different things in 1 minute and not being able to keep a conversation. In 9th grade, I went to the doctor’s. I took a simple test where I was suppose to memorize some numbers, then recite them back. Yes, I failed that test miserably. I was diagnosed with ADHD, after years of never knowing. I was put on a medication that somewhat helped with at least keeping me on the ground and not flying everywhere in social situations. Academic? I’m still searching.
How to cope:
1. know ADHD does not define you.
ADHD does not define your skill, smartness, talent, worth, etc. You are capable of doing so many amazing things and really doing excellent in life. This disorder is merely a bump in your life.
2. get stuff done and prioritize
Whatever may be distracting you, put it aside. Make a list of all the things you need to do in order from most important to least important and get going. Keep reminding your self what the end goal is and keep focused on the task at hand. Keep going keep going keep going till your done, and you will feel more accomplished then ever.
3. find something your good at.
If it’s sports, art, writing, music, dancing, dabbing (okay I may be kidding on that one), or whatever it may be, work hard at it. Doing something you love makes you happier and more confident to do the stuff that you have difficulty on.
4. write or talk
Find a trusted person in your life or a piece of paper and a pen, and tell or write all your difficulties. I learned with this disorder that you can’t keep in your difficulties and pretend it’s not there. Tell them all the times you felt weak, sad, and powerless. All the times people thought you were something you were not. It can make yourself seem more in the know about who you are and what your feeling. This goes for any disorder as well.
5. get diagnosed if possible if you don’t already have one
I never knew what I had till my doctor told me the answer to my struggles. It’s hard to put a label on stuff sometimes. If possible, talk to a doctor or therapist about your struggles and see if you qualify to be diagnosed with ADHD/ADD. That opens the door to possible medications and assistance to help you. But if you can’t get to a doctor or therapist, that’s okay to.
Good luck, I know you can do amazing things in life. Things may seem impossible at times, but you can do it, I know it.
You are not just a disorder.
You are you.
(This article is based on my experiences, opinions, and internet research regarding ADHD. All opinions and experiences are my own).
I hope you enjoy my article!
Have a amazing day! (:
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers with a platform to share and help others from their own experiences while also educating others on different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all teenagers around the world and support others. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.