by Jessica Rune
A brief look behind my mask. Do be kind as this is a venting session and was hard to write
|Hi, my name is Jessica and I have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). I do not remember a whole lot about my diagnoses because I was just a kid. I remember the tests and leaving school to see doctors of all kinds. I want to say I was in second or third grade at the time and was on medication until sometime in high school when I decided I no longer wanted to be on meds. My doctor along with my parents agreed and weened me off the meds. I struggled at first but eventually learned to live without it. Fast forward to 2019. I am now 34 married with two kids. A girl whos 10 and a boy who is 4. I have a good life, not by any means perfect. But if you run into someone whose life is perfect your not seeing the mask they hide behind. For years I thought I was okay and managing my ADD on my own, I guess I was wrong.
I am currently working on my first book a fantasy novel and struggling to find the motivation and will power to work on it every day. This is something I really want to do and love to do. I struggle to do every day tasks such as laundry and cleaning the house. I often forget and lose things which I know frustrates my family to no end. I wear a mask everyday one you can not see. Not sure if my family see the cracks or not. My day starts with waking up at 7 A.M and internally fighting with my self over what I need to do today. No, I don't want to do this, no I don't want to do that. I am to tired. But once I wake up normally I am fine but it's still a struggle. As of right now, I have only updated my blog. My brain never shuts down not even at night constantly running like it has a million caffeine patches all over it.
I can sit here and work on this or focus on tv or a video game but when it comes to certain things I like such as writing or creating I can not focus on what I need or want to do. Most the time my computer screen is split in half. One side is Hulu, youtube etc and the other is discord or the sims perhaps even my book. I often feel like people are mad at me when they are not. Always doubting my self when I know I have the right answer. It's not often I let the mask down but today I did in my discord group. I guess I don't have my ADD under control like I thought. Perhaps its time to ask my dad what my diagnoses was when I was a kid since I never knew. Maybe its time to look into getting help...again.
Now I know some of you are wondering what is ADD and ADHD. That's a multipart question since there are different versions of it. My mom always told me that my brain was wired differently. I want to feel normal again have the motivation and will power to look at my list and get it done. Instead, I look around and become overwhelmed and have to break up a simple task such as cleaning the kitchen or any room in the house. By the way, some of the most famous people in history have it. We are very creative and imaginative people. Below is from the CDC on ADD/ADHD a link will be provided.
ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.
About 2 million of the more than 6 million children with ADHD were diagnosed as young children aged 2-5 years.
Signs and Symptoms
It is normal for children to have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. However, children with ADHD do not just grow out of these behaviors. The symptoms continue, can be severe, and can cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends.
A child with ADHD might:
daydream a lot
forget or lose things a lot
squirm or fidget
talk too much
make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks
have a hard time resisting temptation
have trouble taking turns
have difficulty getting along with others
Learn more about signs and symptoms
There are three different types of ADHD, depending on which types of symptoms are strongest in the individual:
ADHD Fact Sheet
ADHD Fact Sheet
Download and Print this fact sheet »
Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: It is hard for the individual to organize or finish a task, to pay attention to details, or to follow instructions or conversations. The person is easily distracted or forgets details of daily routines.
Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: The person fidgets and talks a lot. It is hard to sit still for long (e.g., for a meal or while doing homework). Smaller children may run, jump or climb constantly. The individual feels restless and has trouble with impulsivity. Someone who is impulsive may interrupt others a lot, grab things from people, or speak at inappropriate times. It is hard for the person to wait their turn or listen to directions. A person with impulsiveness may have more accidents and injuries than others.
Combined Presentation: Symptoms of the above two types are equally present in the person.
Because symptoms can change over time, the presentation may change over time as well.
Causes of ADHD
Scientists are studying cause(s) and risk factors in an effort to find better ways to manage and reduce the chances of a person having ADHD. The cause(s) and risk factors for ADHD are unknown, but current research shows that genetics plays an important role. Recent studies of twins link genes with ADHD.1
In addition to genetics, scientists are studying other possible causes and risk factors including:
Exposure to environmental (e.g., lead) during pregnancy or at a young age
Alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy
Low birth weight
Research does not support the popularly held views that ADHD is caused by eating too much sugar, watching too much television, parenting, or social and environmental factors such as poverty or family chaos. Of course, many things, including these, might make symptoms worse, especially in certain people. But the evidence is not strong enough to conclude that they are the main causes of ADHD.
Deciding if a child has ADHD is a process with several steps. There is no single test to diagnose ADHD, and many other problems, like anxiety, depression, sleep problems, and certain types of learning disabilities, can have similar symptoms. One step of the process involves having a medical exam, including hearing and vision tests, to rule out other problems with symptoms like ADHD. Another part of the process may include a checklist for rating ADHD symptoms and taking a history of the child from parents, teachers, and sometimes, the child.
Learn more about the criteria for diagnosing ADHD
physician speaking to family
In most cases, ADHD is best treated with a combination of behavior therapy and medication. For preschool-aged children (4-5 years of age) with ADHD, behavior therapy, particularly training for parents, is recommended as the first line of treatment. What works best can depend on the child and family. Good treatment plans will include close monitoring, follow-ups, and making changes, if needed, along the way.
Learn more about treatments
Managing Symptoms: Staying Healthy
Being healthy is important for all children and can be especially important for children with ADHD. In addition to behavioral therapy and medication, having a healthy lifestyle can make it easier for your child to deal with ADHD symptoms. Here are some healthy behaviors that may help:
Eating a healthful diet centered on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (for example, beans, peas, and lentils), lean protein sources, and nuts and seeds
Participating in physical activity for at least 60 minutes each day
Limiting the amount of daily screen time from TVs, computers, phones, etc.
Getting the recommended amount of sleep each night based on age
If you or your doctor has concerns about ADHD, you can take your child to a specialist such as a child psychologist or developmental pediatrician, or you can contact your local early intervention agency (for children under 3) or public school (for children 3 and older).
For tips on sharing concerns about a child's development, click on one of the following:
Parent to Physician
Physician to Parent
Parent to Parent
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sponsors the National Resource Center on ADHD, a program of CHADD – Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Their website has links to information for people with ADHD and their families. The National Resource Center operates a call center with trained staff to answer questions about ADHD. The number is 1-800-233-4050.
For more information on services for children with special needs, visit the Center for Parent Information and Resources. To find the Parent Center near you, you can visit this website.
In order to make sure your child reaches his or her full potential, it is very important to get help for ADHD as early as possible.
ADHD in Adults
ADHD often lasts into adulthood. For more information about diagnosis and treatment throughout the lifespan, please visit the websites of the National Resource Center on ADHD and the National Institutes of Mental Health.
 The ADHD Molecular Genetics Network. Report from the third international meeting of the attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder molecular genetics network. American Journal of Medical Genetics, 2002, 114:272-277.