Tag Archive: ADD

Teenage Angst

My ADDer Teenager

Teenagers are such amazing creatures they change from day-to-day and are so resilient.  Those teens that have ADHD have a tough time of it with these changes.  Not only are they changing physically they are also changing mentally are already dealing with the differences they have from others and now have to deal with their own differences within themselves.  This can be a real struggle because not only do they have a hard time understanding others, they have a problem understanding themselves, and often times the concept of personal space. Remember that in the teenage world personal space is new territory they are learning what is acceptable and what is not. Conversely, ADDers often times missed the memo on personal space.

ADDers don’t understand it and don’t understand why others are so put off by their efforts to communicate or be friends.   Teens are just embarking on a new frontier one that will enable them to emerge as adults with their own minds and own attitudes.  Peer pressure is huge and so is the need for acceptance in this time period and for the ADDer the problems are amplified.  We as parents must be able to see this for what it is and expect that what they are feeling is so much more than what we felt at this age.  The self-doubt that can set in and fester is critical at this time so being supportive and helping them see the big picture is going to help them adjust.  Not only do they need guidance during this time, but they need a life coach, or other mediator too! Of course we want to be that life coach or mediator and we should be, however the ADDer needs more than a parent they need a peer to help with the coaching because only a peer who is ADD or understands ADD can really help the ADDer understand his own emotional roller coaster and journey.

Parents mean well, often times if there isn’t a real relationship already built there it will become strained when the ADDer thinks that they are being judged, or feels embarrassed because how could a parent even understand about how they feel.  As I said before it’s amplified beyond what the average teen feels.  Thankfully most parents of ADDers have been doing it for sometime and understand there are differences.  The average ADDer has a mind speeding at light speed and it takes medication, Biofeedback or serious meditation to slow it down enough so the ADDer can consider what it is they are feeling, thinking, or saying.  And knowing this is half the battle with all ADDers not only the teenage ones.  If you have a teenage ADDer consider this when they tend to be way out-of-bounds or more uncontrollable than usual.  They don’t understand what is happening so you have to be the guide and find ways to help them help themselves.  Group settings with others who are ADDers helps immensely, having a life coach as I stated before helps too.  And as always having a parent who understands is paramount to the success of the journey of the ADDer who is a teenager.  You can find life coaches, group programs, and literature through Dyslexia International, CHADD, and even SARRC.  Here are some links that will help.  http://www.autismcenter.org/vocational.aspx#35, http://www.interdys.org/, http://www.interdys.org/ these are just a few there are more and research will you find what you are looking for in regards to the individual needs of your ADDer.


Discovery of Being ADD

I have a son who has been diagnosed with ADHD. He’s a great kid with a lot of quirks. He’s talented, smart and he’s a charmer he just doesn’t know it. We found out that he was ADHD recently within the last few years. And even more recent we have had the opportunity to have the ADHD diagnosed officially. Also we found out that he has Dyslexia which is why his grades have suffered and so has his reading. He has now started on a process of learning to live with his disability. It’s tough it’s a constant struggle to keep him on track. Books are a great way to help you with the struggle. I recently got a book called “Driven to Distraction” by Dr. Edward M Hallowell and Dr. John J Ratey it’s a great book. It describes my sons condition to a T. It also describes me.

ADD in children and Adults

Cover of Driven to Distraction Book

All my life I have been searching for answers to my questions of what is wrong with me. I look normal, I read normal, I just don’t act normal. I am flighty to say the least I want to bolt at the most inopportune times. I have a hard time staying on task and staying at an 8 hour job 5 days a week is so very difficult for me. I always wondered if other people had the same feelings that I did. If they had to hold down the feeling of needing so very desperately to get out of the building now. Trying to find things to keep you occupied while you are occupied with something else just so you can pay attention. And incessantly giggling my legs under the table and would have to stop because I was shaking the whole desk. Which would reverberate through to the other desks. I day-dream can you believe it I am how old now? And I still daydream of course I am not going to give away my age as of yet but to be sure it’s been a while.

I talk fast because my mind moves fast and still I don’t get out what I want to get out. I interrupt people I don’t mean to but I do. Low self-esteem has me by the throat and even though I have tried to quell the fear of being not good enough every time I poke my head out of my hidy hole something slams down on me and puts me right back in that hole. Perception has a lot to do with it too. Perception is huge with ADD in my opinion what see and think is not what other people see and think. I see the aspects that most people don’t see. Most people see the practical side of things I see the creative and imagined side. The side that can expand things, but when I try to tell someone about what I think it gets lost in the translation. From my mind to my mouth and into the world it seems totally idiotic to others. But then time will go by and someone else has caught on to what I was seeing and has made it real. It sucks to be on the inside looking out like you’re a zoo animal. And the awful thing about it is that I want to be seen. I want the attention but when I get it my mind tells me that it’s because I’m stupid or silly and people are just laughing at me instead of enjoying my performance. This is awful this is the worst thing because you never know if you have ever succeeded because your mind won’t let you.

In Driven to Distraction Dr. Hallowell talks about piles of one of his patients this is so me, piles of this and piles of that. My husband always complains about my piles. He says every flat surface has a pile on it. When are you going to clean this up? Well when I get to it and if I’m not distracted by something I might be able to clean some of it up. But I can guarantee that it will be back shortly. I organize my piles I have bill piles, I have grocery store ad piles. There are the piles of bills that have been paid, and piles that I need to throw away and I just haven’t made it to the trash can with the pile in hand. i have piles of clothes that are clean and folded that need to be put away and there is the pile of pictures that I want to put in a frame. I have a pile of sewing that I started when I wanted to make curtains for my kitchen. It’s like my world is piled up. Now some people who are like me like their piles, I don’t necessarily like my piles, but I do know what each one is for and if you move it I get a little upset. Isn’t life grand.

Now all this chaos comes from years of being alone, being teased, being told you are dumb, that you are a slut, and just really aren’t good for much. Years of being round and trying to fit into a square peg. And never quite fitting anywhere. Feels great let me tell you all the world is supposed to be my oyster and all I got was this crappy empty shell. I know I sound like I’m whining but if I don’t tell you how will you know. Am I to keep it to myself and just keep on existing. Existing sucks, I want to live I want to enjoy every minute of the day. I want to fly and soar and be somebody. I have never felt that way. I want to though.  I haven’t finished the book yet, but I will I am good for reading books I like them.  I will tell you what the rest of the book uncovers for me but one thing I know so far is that I need help.  I need a good Doctor of psychology and I need a coach I know where to get the second.  As you can see in some of my writing it can be a bit erratic because I have so much to say and only a little bit of patience to get it on paper.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress but I definitely am moving forward now that I know whats up with me.