By: Alonso Chavarriaga
Attention deficit disorder (ADD)/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders, and there are over 3 million cases each year. The disorder is described as a chronic condition that causes difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity, and anxiety.
June Silny, author of the article, “20 Things to Remember If You Love Someone with ADD,” describes what it’s like to love someone with ADD, and how you can overcome any potential obstacles.
Silny believes the term “attention deficit” can be misunderstood, since people with ADD tend to be more “hyper attentive,” meaning they pay attention to something that interests their brain and creates a strong focus.
There is a wide range of symptoms associated with ADD/ADHD, but there are a lot of polar opposites reached in different settings. Concentration, for example, is very difficult when someone with ADD is emotional or distracted. When something catches your interest, however, you can hone in on it so heavily that it may be difficult to change your focus. As Silny says in her article, “Starting a project is a challenge; but stopping it is an even bigger challenge.”
There are other symptoms that may not be as extreme, but present nonetheless. Someone with ADD may always be anxious or teetering on the edge of anxiety, suffer from sensory processing disorders, and can even appear to have OCD. When speaking to someone with ADD, they may appear to be listening intently but might not necessarily be absorbing what you are saying.
ADD for “Out of the Box” Thinking
Not everything about ADD is bad, however. Silny points out that those with ADD become extremely passionate about doing the things they love, and thoughts, emotions, and words are all magnified to intense levels. This can spark a wave of creativity that may not be easily achieved by someone who doesn’t have ADD, and which allows them to see outside the box easier.
ADD/ADHD has enabled many to reach for things that may not seem feasible for everyone else. This had led to many great inventors, musicians, athletes and entrepreneurs including Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Phelps, Sir Richard Branson, Will Smith, and JetBlue Airways founder, David Neeleman.
Silny’s article on Lifehack.org is packed with many great tips on how to better understand and cope with ADD, whether it’s your child, parent, or spouse.