Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or A.D.H.D., a real disorder, is more prevalent now than ever before. Classified as a chronic, psychological disorder or a mental illness because it affects a person’s brain.
I often hear people say, “A.D.H.D isn’t real,” or “A person shouldn’t take medication for that!” But I guarantee you he or she does not know the struggle involved, lived it, and witnessed what the disease can do!
While it is true this disease was not diagnosed when “you were children,” the same can be said for other diseases that were unheard of then. Children had more time to play then so the impulsiveness, which is a part of A.D.H.D, may have went unnoticed by a parent. If a child had trouble sleeping, the problem may have been remedied at home instead of with a doctor.
Teachers at school sometimes had students in the same classroom– so problems with schoolwork may have went by the wayside. Problems at school, home, and law enforcement were handled differently than they are now so it may have been difficult to diagnose a child with A.D.H.D. or A.D.D. until later in life.
When I was in school, I knew boys with some problems. They had A.D.H.D and had a bit of trouble learning. I didn’t know much about it and as I grew older even then I was skeptical. I didn’t understand how this disease could control so much about a person’s life– how they treated people, if they paid attention in class, etc.
Then, I had my son and my perspective on the subject changed. Like most toddlers, he never sat still. He was rambunctious. He liked to get up in the middle of the night, take the milk out, and leave it on the kitchen floor. He got into other items too while I slept– it was to the point I was afraid to sleep.
By the time he was four, he wasn’t sleeping much at all. He was throwing temper tantrums and head banging. At daycare, they were having some issues with teaching him how to print his name, letters, numbers, and tie his shoes.
So we went to see the doctor. The doctor diagnosed him with A.D.H.D., and anxiety. He prescribed him medication, and with it he functions. He still doesn’t sleep well, but it is better. Now he is fourteen and thriving. He plays the drums and makes good grades. Without the medication, it wouldn’t be possible for him to manage any of it.
Some people do not agree with giving medication to children with A.D.H.D.– which is fine. That is your call. We have tried it all. We have tried diet. We turn the electronics and television off and hour before bed. Medication works for us.
If my son doesn’t have his medication, he feels awful. He can’t focus. He is impulsive. He wants to touch everything. He can’t sit still. He talks very fast. He can’t control himself. He does things he knows he shouldn’t do. He is a compulsive liar. He doesn’t sleep. He hopes one day he won’t have to take as much. Or at all. We wish that for him as well.
I have a confession to make. I also have A.D.D. and it is hard. If I don’t take my medication, I can’t focus. I don’t sit still. I go from doing one thing to another. I can’t relax. I can’t focus on movies. Forget it. Especially ones I’ve already seen before. If I am having a conversation, I try really hard to listen without butting in because I’ll forget what I gotta say. I’m impulsive too.
I know what my son is dealing with. I know how he feels when he doesn’t have his medication– which is next to never. To me, not having his medication almost feels like child abuse because he needs it to function. I say this because I know he feels better taking it. I know I do when I take mine, and I wouldn’t want him feeling bad. Like he couldn’t think. Or focus.
My point is everyone deals with their diseases in their own way. No one has the right to tell a person their way is wrong. Or their disease doesn’t exist because it is invisible.
So our disease wasn’t around “when you were kids.” So what! That doesn’t mean it isn’t “real.” Try walking a day in our shoes without medication and see how well you can focus!
I bet you can’t keep up to speed!
Get the Facts– ADHD
What is ADHD?