What It Is Like To Live With Severe ADD

October 16, 2018
From http://greecenewsny.com/feature-stories/2017-02-06/natural-ways-to-help-your-child-with-addadhd/




When I mean severe ADD, I mean that I went my entire life without medicine and was misdiagnosed several times. I have missed out on so many opportunities, getting good grades in school and trying to find education after high school. I have always thought I was just dumb and that my mind couldn't process things in the way my friends could.

My ADD symptoms started in third grade. I remember not being able enjoying things and not being able to do things correctly because my mind wandered off. My parents took this as me being lazy and not caring for school until my senior year. I was written off by teachers as absentminded and being "slow." I'm not kidding, my fifth-grade teacher told two kids I was a bit slow. That teacher had my sister in her class, and when I came to pick up my sister one day, I asked that teacher if she thought my sister was slow like me. The look she had on her face was just pure embarrassment.  She doesn't teach at that school anymore.

I was never a hyperactive kid. I was an anxious kid when it came to school, and that made my ADD even worse. I would get so anxious and sidetracked that I stopped doing the assignments or did them poorly. My old friend's mother who is a teacher asked her if I had ADD. Which I took as an insult but in reality, the symptoms were so clear and painfully obvious to everyone but my parents.

My parents didn't believe I had ADD. They thought ADD and ADHD were the same which they are classified under the same category, but they still are different. Everyone thinks that kids with ADD or ADHD are the ones with behavioral problems or the ones always causing trouble, but that's not true. It could be anyone.

Those symptoms carried into conversations with friends and activities I enjoyed. I knew my friends thought I wasn't the smartest person which made me believe it as well. I stopped playing Baseball in grade 11 because I got so worked up over going to practice and remembering the rules, even though I played that same sport for 10 years.

Reading was one of the things I really enjoyed doing. I could read for hours without getting lost. In school, I could barely understand a few pages without overthinking everything. Reading out loud or giving presentations will make me shake. It's not because I hate getting in front of everyone, it's the fact that I can't talk properly and read at the same time. Memorizing lines is even worse because I jumble everything up. My mind just speeds up, and I can't think properly.

This is something I dealt with every day in almost every situation. It was terrible, and I wish I did research on it. I knew I wasn't stupid and I shouldn't have agreed with everyone. It wasn't me, it was my untreated diagnosis. Not being able to admit my problem and get the correct medicine was a terrible decision.

My boyfriend is actually the person that helped me realize that I was smart, I just needed some help. On our second date, we went to a bookstore that had a band playing. While the band was playing and my boyfriend trying to talk to me, my mind couldn't figure out how to concentrate on both. He is the person that snapped me back to reality and asked if I had ADD. That moment felt like he punched me and I was taken back.

I knew I had to start getting some help. I admitted to my problem and told myself my mind doesn't have to work this way. I was in the last semester of high school and wanted to change. I went to my doctor and told him that I needed to fix this problem. I know what it is and I know I can get better with some help.

I got on Concerta and it went well for the first few months. I finished the year with B's and A's for the first time in years. I also started reading books and when I went to go work at a daycare with toddlers, I didn't get distracted and could keep up with all of them. I was able to focus on things and even started this blog!

Even with all these good things, I had terrible side effects. The only thing I didn't want to happen was for my appetite to decrease. It did and I lost 7 pounds in a month, I didn't even realize it. I also have chronic exhaustion which I have explained to many doctors but they refuse to put me on a different medicine cause things are going well. I wake up and feel tired, I go through the whole day feeling tired, and at night, I am too tired to try to stay awake past 10 pm sometimes. This interferes with my everyday life, but this is much better than having ADD symptoms.

For now, I am doing well besides losing weight and being tired all the time. I would rather be tired than going through those symptoms again. Every day is just another day to improve and see how else I can train my mind to be better.


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