- Difficulty sustaining attention
- Doesn't seem to listen when spoken to directly
- Does not follow through on instructions
- Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
- Often loses things
- Often forgetful in daily activities
Thursday, February 20, 2014
The Second "D" is for "Disorder"
Some of the common readers of this blog and, more specifically, people who know me personally, might describe my personality (if they were being polite) as unique. If they were being completely honest, they might also say I can be aloof, forgetful, energetic, and absent-minded. I never paid much mind to it- it was just the way I was, and always had been. I mean, my brain already thinks in pictures; why should a little trouble concentrating concern me?
My wife, who is studying to be a therapist, is friends with a classmate that has similar symptoms: forgets small details, generalized anxiety about said forgetfulness, racing thoughts, insomnia, inability to focus. She asked that I take this test to see if I have Attention Deficit Disorder.
The results scale from 0 to 100, with zero being completely unable to concentrate, and 100 being laser-like focus. I got... a 22.
Symptoms of ADD in the DSM-5 (the diagnostic handbook for all mental health professionals) include:
All symptoms that fit me to a T. At first I was excited- finally, an explanation for the racing thoughts while trying to sleep, and for my problems remembering small details. Heck, I carry around a pad of paper all day long at work to write assignments on so I don't forget anything.
But then it started to irritate me. Now that I was aware of my ADD symptoms, I started noticing them every day. When I'd walk into a room and then forget why I went in there, or when I'd lay awake with meaningless jumble running through my head, it would only serve to remind me that I had the disorder and cause me no end of anxiety about it.
I started to feel like Ghandi.
In the last week, I've had a lot of thinking to do. I've had several friends reach out and offer help, and for that I'm really grateful. I'm going to contact a specialist to get an official diagnosis and find out what my treatment options are. For now, I'm thrilled at the idea of a good night's sleep and not having to write down every task that comes across my desk.
I think this cartoon sums up my feelings nicely.