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If You Have Attention Deficit Disorder

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) sucks more than any other disorder, for those of us who have it.  It is also a gift unlike any other.  Now this was no clinical opening statement, but I’m no Attention Deficit Disorder.  I have Attention Deficit Disorder.  Have had it since I was old enough to “know better” and most likely before that—as ADD is not something one picks up or develops, like an allergy, in adulthood all of a sudden.  It was not until my early forties I was diagnosed with it, though, and so I have in the past four years read up on and written on Attention Deficit Disorder and the options for treatment.  So I offer you some information as I experience it and as I understand it.

First, I must stress that though I obviously don’t LOVE this disorder (getting meds each month is a nightmare in itself, to say nothing of the other challenges)--I do appreciate it and prefer it over other disorders (if, like Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron we each must be saddled with one flaw of extreme degrees, anyway).  I am blessed with creative skills, have a reputation for being hyper…aware, cautious, and correct, and have a respect for challenged thinkers and learners.

I also will note that when I was first diagnosed, when my brilliant and life-saving therapist suggested I look into Attention Deficit Disorder, I had been trying to understand what was wrong with the way I approached the world…to the point of conceding to having a behavioral problem and a subsequent or precedent drug addiction (which turned out to be actually self-medicating with the almost correct medication)—to speed (street meth).  So at the time of discovery and the blessings of a real name for the disorder, I had been twelve-stepping in recovery programs like Narcotics Anonymous, and was reticent about getting medical/chemical ADD treatment.

Years of the greatest therapy and of reading the best books, magazines, and on- and offline articles on Attention Deficit Disorder, as well as learning that 1) all those years of snorting speed pointed not to a rebellious adamancy to staying a dope fiend but to an authentic and savvy self-medicating effort; 2) I was not an addict who needed more and more to normalize; and 3) there are medications that are designed for adults with Attention Deficit Disorder that are BETTER than stepped-on crank…I decided on chemical Attention Deficit Disorder treatment.

But if you have Attention Deficit Disorder or love someone who has it or might, there are numerous treatments you, too, can read up on and see a therapist for..if you prefer to forego the heavy drugs, that is.

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