To diagnose or not to diagnose

I completely believe that A.D.D. is way over diagnosed.  There are unfortunately too many parents and teachers who find blaming a child’s behavior and struggling with focusing on class as a disorder of some time instead of a cry for help.

Does that mean I think no one should be diagnosed?  That adults should simply try harder?  No, not in the least.

In addition to obvious signs of A.D.D. affecting someones life causing them to act up, to not focus, whatever, there are deep and serious emotional issues that go along with it as well.  The frustration of walking in to a room and forgetting why you went in there (something that you are only supposed to experience when you are 80), to get distracted by something in that room, then to get in trouble by your parents for not doing what you are told.

Unless you have A.D.D. yourself, there is no way to explain how complete that distraction is, so to get in trouble for not doing something you have completely accidentally forgotten is a frustrating and saddening experience.

Plus that spreads the seed of doubt in a young persons mind to whether they are able to do anything right.  I read the example given in explaining my type of A.D.D. that your house could catch on fire, and all of a sudden you are consumed with concern over an unpaid parking ticket.  Obviously those priorities are completely screwed up, yet that is how your brain works.

Or for example people with A.D.D. suffer from highs and lows.  (I should say experience instead of suffer, but it is suffering until you learn to prepare for and handle them) A high takes place when something good is happening, a good day, a happy song, whatever, normal people feel it as having a good day while being pumped full of caffeine.  We feel that to a more extreme degree, and once we are on such a high, it takes much less to ruin it.  Everyone has their own triggers, and each high is a little different, so please keep in mind these are simply examples. Say you’re on a high, and your favorite cd starts skipping, bam you are in a low, this too is hard to describe.  Your mind feels like its in a dark room, very you are bummed our or irritated, your thoughts don’t travel past whatever you irritation was that triggered it.

As I’ve said my brother had A.D.H.D. growing up, hyperactivity makes these highs and lows more noticeable.  I remember on one occasion we were visiting our grandparents we’d spent the day playing with our cousins, life was great.  I had a yellow blanket that I always kept with me (we were little!) he had it for a moment, and it snagged on something, it was the smallest little snag, didn’t really damage it, I never would have remembered, except at that moment it triggered a low for my darling brother.  He was seriously devastated by the tiny amount of damage.  He cried, he was inconsolable, it ended the evening of fun.  I was so confused, it was my blanket, and I certainly didn’t care, which I tried to convey.  I didn’t understand though that it was no longer about the blanket, that he had crashed into a low, and that only himself and time could change that.

These are just a couple of the things that make a huge difference in how people with A.D.D. feel about themselves, and about their lives.

When you understand what you have, you are able to prepare for them, you are able to be aware of what you are going through, and as such are able to handle it better.  There are certain foods that are A.D.D. triggers, you learn to avoid them, if your child with A.D.D. is getting extremely worked up, you can stop them before its too late, let them calm down and return to the other kids without your child having a low and embarrassing themselves in front of the group.

So much can be done when you know what you have, so yes, diagnose.  Diagnosing does not mean drugging, and there is nothing wrong with knowing.

I want to write a post about if it exists or not, and if it is environment or genetic.  Maybe I should have written that one first, but what can you expect lol.


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