Let’s start with this: it goddamn sucks.
It also sucks that it’s diagnosed to pretty much anyone who says they have trouble concentrating and considered a joke nowadays. So whenever I have to tell someone why I sometimes can’t finish homework or essays or things like that I’m embarrassed to hell.
People also are skeptical of people who have ADD or ADHD because they say they can’t concentrate, then proceed to play one video game for hours on end. Here’s the kicker with ADHD: people with it cannot concentrate on something that does not interest them. They require stimulation. Video games and the internet provide that stimulation, they provide moving pictures, something to do with their hands, makes them think in some instances.
It is very hard for me to concentrate on schoolwork. I almost always get distracted or discouraged by my lack of interest in the work. I do take medicine to help me, but sometimes it doesn’t help, or I don’t have time to get to my schoolwork before it wears off. And by then I can’t do anything but give up hope. It both pisses me off and disheartens me, sometimes depresses me. I do my best, I really do try.
What I take is Concerta, which is a methylphenidate. “Methylphenidate is used as part of a treatment program to control symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD; more difficulty focusing, controlling actions, and remaining still or quiet than other people who are the same age) in adults and children. Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Ritalin SR, Methylin, Methylin ER) is also used to treat narcolepsy (a sleep disorder that causes excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden attacks of sleep). Methylphenidate is in a class of medications called central nervous system (CNS) stimulants. It works by changing the amounts of certain natural substances in the brain” (source). Basically, it slows my brain activity down to a manageable level, so I can concentrate on a single task, no matter how boring. A normal person taking it would become hyperactive, the opposite.
And then I see people making fun of people with ADHD or calling it a fake disability, and it really makes me angry. I wouldn’t call it a learning disability, because my test grades are my crowning achievements. What I can do while my medicine is in full swing in class is what keeps me going through school. But at home, when there’s literally a million things I could be doing besides? Fuck it. There is no hope for me. The medicine’s worn off, my hobbies are more within reach, and my ADHD is in full swing, craving stimulation. My grades usually tell this story.
ADHD is a big problem for those that have it. Please don’t pass it off as a joke, it really isn’t one.
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