What is ADHD?
The NHS Definition is:Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder that includes symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
But for someone with ADHD, personally this is only touching the surface very vaguely.
ADHD does cause inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness but when? And what examples of these symptoms are there in everyday life?
So we have inattentiveness, personally I am often perceived to not listen to what people are saying because either “I don’t care what they have to say” or that I just generally don’t bother listening and what im being told is just going through one ear and out the other. This isn’t usually the case. Now with the inattentiveness I often find myself losing track of my work at school because I have spotted a squirrel in a tree or had an enlightenment about something stupid like a movie I saw the night before, it’s the little things that completely shift my attention away from the subject being taught. If im not constantly moving around and doing a lesson I thoroughly enjoy I cant concentrate for more than about 10 – 15 minutes. Growing up I was always told It was just me not listening or just being distracted by people or distracting them myself, which yes can sometimes be the case, however when I do genuinely try to listen I end up absolutely amazed by the inner workings of my pen so I put my pen behind my book out of view and retry listening to the incredibly important Spanish lesson for the fourth time that week and then realise I left my bedroom light on at home, I think? Did I ? Ah crap now im in trouble for not listening. Wait how many times have I got in trouble for this ? Oh well. I really cant pay attention well at all. I know at home the phrase “in one ear and out the other” is often used but In my head its more of a “in one ear…wait what went in my ear?” but on the occasion I have understood what I have been told, due to the several occasions when I haven’t I have to re-ask what I have been told to make sure I have heard it right which sometimes leads to people then thinking I haven’t properly listened the first time when I actually have but just want to make sure I heard it correct and there is no confusion.
Personally I love music, I must listen to more music than the amount of water I drink or food I eat but even with something I love so much I can’t pay attention. I often find myself changing the song half way through or skipping to certain verses or riffs in particular as I really don’t have the dedication to listen to a whole 3 minutes with such a busy life of getting philosophical about the pattern of my carpet or the way a fly keeps flying into my window and doesn’t have the intelligence to fly a bit higher and out of the top where it is open.
Im a bit like a fly really , im hitting the surface of what im being told but often cant fly that little big higher and properly understand it.
Anyway now that im paying attention to ADHD and not flies again, lets continue…
I cant sit still. I just cant so please stop telling me too. No I cant stop shaking my leg because all that will happen is I will stop and before I know it my legs off on a mad one again. Its either I sit down and shake my leg a bit or I stand up and walk in circles during your lesson sir. As im sat here slightly spinning side to side in my office chair im counting the amount of times ive been told to stop shaking my leg but im not an octopus and don’t have at least eight hands so I cant do. Actually I think I would need more than eight hands. My leg just doesn’t stop it just goes on and on and on and on and its annoying. I stop and plant my feet on the ground and before I know it subconsciously its going again.
From the stories of reception and year one I know when I was younger I apparently used to run in circles around the sand pit and pace it over to the toybox and then back to the sandpit all lesson long every lesson.
If im having a conversation at home I have to change seating positions and stretch a lot or I will just end up walking into the kitchen for a glass of water and back several times. Its often nice to just have a wander after a period of paying attention so I can walk it off. If I cant move about I end up getting really agitated and rub my face or something to release the building up burst of activity. My hands go nuts and have to fidget or I cant keep them still either.
One problem with this is often I struggle sleeping as I cant lie down still and have to change to several positions to find the peak of comfort to then realise another way may be even better, then I get an itch and then I feel the need to stand up and lie back down.
When im not on my ADHD medication I often do literally “bounce off the walls”.
I also don’t think before I speak… at all. The first thing that comes into my head I say so you literally get the rawest of responses whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing depends on the situation and my opinion. I also don’t think before I do things, the amount of times younger cocky year 7 Jack could have got a car is large.
When I have something to say in lesson I have to say it and get it out or I feel strange and on edge like im forcing something into submission that shouldn’t really be kept hold of. I feel like I have to let this out no matter what and cant bare to not say it as I start getting very on edge and irritated. I start to clench my fists to stop it and cant release the strain until I no longer feel the need to say it. I wing completely everything and extremely little decision making goes on In my head sadly , I wish I did think before I acted but literally as soon as I have a though I act upon it without stopping for a split second to think about it.
Ive told social workers “good riddance” as they leave, ive stood on my desk with a friend at school screaming the words to Africa by toto in the middle of a lesson and ive locked a teacher who I didn’t like out of his classroom mid lesson. All of these stupid decisions I came to later regret due to the consequences but thinking back to them now clear as day absolutely no thought came before any of them, which as shown often leads me to get into trouble.
However, on the rare occasion I do think before I act I often am very happy with myself because this means I have usually thought things through and avoided conflict.
Medication is a tough subject due to its many positives and negatives.
On a positive:
Medication definitely increases my attention span and I can usually sit still all lesson and pay full attention regardless of the subject…usually.
Medication significantly decreases my hyperactivity so apart from my leg looking like its undergoing a seizure the rest of my body is very calm and chilled out. I don’t have the need to get up and wander anywhere near as much and I don’t speak at 500 miles an hour.
Impulsiveness is decrease a fair bit and I often find myself , although not perfectly, thinking before I act.
It can be a lot harder to sleep whilst on the medication leading to being tired a lot.
Hunger is pretty much non existent and this can lead to a large loss of weight.