Saturday, August 17, 2013


I just found out I have ADD. This is mind-blowing.

I always knew I was disorganized at home. At work, I organize for a living.

I always knew my social skills were a bit "off."

I always knew I fell down the stairs more often than other people. And bumped into things a lot. And had bruises I couldn't explain.

I always knew I procrastinated.

I always knew I worked really hard for teachers I liked, and not at all for teachers I didn't.

I always knew I had to be careful if I was reading a book on a bus, or I'd miss my stop. Or reading a book while I was walking home, or I might miss my house.

I knew that I avoided difficult tasks, sometimes coming up with dozens of things that had to be done first.

I knew that I had depression and anxiety.

I knew that TV could suck hours and hours of my life away.

I knew I had trouble keeping track of several things at the same time.

I knew I sometimes got lost when I was driving. Or walking. Sometimes things just weren't where I thought they were.

I knew I tried too hard to please people.

I knew that when I was really interested in something, I could do it forever.

I knew that I sometimes forgot to eat.

I knew that I got discouraged easily, especially when I was a kid.

What I didn't know was that all of these things had one explanation: ADD.

I have what's called "Inattentive Type," which means that I'm not hyperactive. Inattentive Type girls are sometimes even hypoactive. I was never disruptive in school. My biggest problem at home was "laziness." And my room was always a mess. But I didn't have a learning disability and I did fine in school, so it never occurred to anyone to have me evaluated for ADD. They wouldn't have, back then, anyway. The only kids who were diagnosed with ADHD when I was young were the kids (mostly boys) who were so hyperactive they couldn't function in school or at home. I can think of one that I knew. One. Now, almost ten percent of the population is diagnosed with ADHD.

My only problem with that diagnosis is the last D: disorder. I realize that ADD has caused me some problems over the years (see above) but I really just think it's how my brain works. It has benefits too. I'm a creative problem solver. I have great attention to detail. I relate really well to animals, probably because I'm able to focus on them in a way that other people can't, so I learn to understand their body language well. And I love to learn. I imagine that's because it stimulates me intellectually which helps to keep me focused. But it's served me really well at school and at work. The only reason it appears to be a disorder is that we ask people (especially kids) to do things they're not suited to. If kids still had the option to become apprentices, or start farming at age 12, or whatever, ADD wouldn't be such a problem for them.

Maybe we should just call it "ADH."


  1. Wow, I could have written that same list about me. I've often wondered if I have ADHD too (I fidget too much to ignore the H. Did you get officially diagnosed?

    I agree, that if kids could be focused on things they are suited to, life would be so much better for them.

  2. Read a book called Understanding Girls with ADHD. That's what made it clear to me. There are checklists and also case studies of girls and women with ADHD. It made it so clear to me.

    Knowing it is really helping me cope with anxiety, because now I know my anxieties aren't irrational--transitions are hard for me. That's why they make me anxious. And waiting is hard because I'm trying to remember all the things and I'm worried I'll forget them so I try to hold them all in my head while I wait. Of course that stresses me out. Now that I know, my anxiety is less because I know what's causing it. And hopefully I can work on some strategies to deal with the actual problem and that will help even more.