What does ADD/ADHD feel like?
I am sure you have heard the term ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). But what does it mean? What does ADD feel like? In my case, lack of focus. We have all seen those crazy hyper-run-all-over-like-crazy kids. That is not all ADD/ADHD is though. There are many sub-types of ADD, but for the most part they have one thing in common. It is hard to focus a lot of the time.
Squirrel! Most people have heard this phrase for something that distracts you. Sometimes people call it a “shiny object moment”. It is when your attention jumps from one thing to the next. I prefer squirrel.
Demonstration of what ADD feels like
When I was younger, I worked at an after school program. They hosted a training for us on ADD. At the time, I was oblivious to the fact that I had ADD. We were put in a small room that had desks in a circle. We all had to sit down at a desk with a piece of paper and pen. The leader of the training walked to the middle of the circle and said “I am going to read a short passage and I want you to write down what I say.” Yay! Easy-peasy!
But wait, there was more. He went to one corner of the room and turned on a tv, somewhat loudly. His partner turned on a radio loudly in another corner to one radio station and a 2nd radio in a 3rd corner. Then he walked to the 4th corner and picked up a pot and spoon and started banging on the pot. What a racket!
With all this distraction going on, the instructor then said “Let’s begin” and proceeded to slowly read the passage to copy down. Needless to say, it was extremely hard and I missed a lot of what was supposed to be written down.
That was eye opening! That was a pretty good example of what life with ADD feels like. I met with a couple friends at Starbucks this morning to talk. I kept hearing snippets of other peoples conversations and had to constantly bring my focus back to our conversation. Not because what we were talking about didn’t hold my attention, but simply because my brain tries to hear all things at all times.
The other issue is forgetfulness. If something isn’t written down, it simply does not exist. Well, unless my brain happens to jump onto a thought process that leads me there.
Does ADD mean someone does not have focus in any aspect of life? No. We have the joy of hyper-focus too! A good book is one of my downfalls. I can be engrossed reading a good book for hours on end. It will take effort to really get my attention if I am reading something sometimes. And then it is almost irritating to me that I was interrupted. Not a pleasant feeling. Rather annoying actually as I don’t want to be irritated by it!
How to live with a lack of focus
Are there ways to compensate for ADD/ADHD? Absolutely! Is the only answer medicating someone into a zombie? Absolutely not! There are medications, essential oils, dietary changes, classes on coping skills, and more.
There are many ways to help control ADHD. For instance, I take a low dose of medication for ADD, and do a lot of reading up on ways to compensate for ADD. I heavily rely on my planner and Bullet Journal to write everything down. If it isn’t written down, it doesn’t exist is what I tell my kids. I don’t try to remember everything. There is just too much info running around in my head.
Support for your ADD life
If you have ADD/ADHD or someone you love does, please share in the comments what things work for you or them! I would love to connect with you and hear about your struggles or stumbling blocks. Talking about the struggles that are a part of everyday life with someone who “gets it” are amazing!
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