Attention Deficit Disorder

ADDIn the United States Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is the most common mental disorder found in children. Approximately 15 million people in the United States, in which 3.5 million are children, are diagnosed with ADD. There are many aspects of this disorder that many people are not even aware of. ADD is a neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system, as well as the motivational system. ADD affects two important parts of the brain that are connected with the ability to pay attention and the ability to regulate motor activity. ADD is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. There is a deficiency in the brains’ ability to produce neurotransmitters. ADD is said to be hereditary. In fact, 75% of children diagnosed with ADD have a least one relative who is also diagnosed ADD.

Although many people consider it one, ADD is not a learning disability. The definition of a learning disability is a disorder that interferes with the understanding of language that is spoken or written. Learning disabilities cause difficulties in listening, thinking, talking, reading, writing, spelling, or arithmetic. ADD affects a person’s performance in school setting, and also other areas of life as well. Relationships with others, how well you organize your room and possessions, and how you keep track of your finances are other areas affected by ADD.

The behavioral aspects of ADD fall into three categories. These categories are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Inattention is the failure to pay attention. Hyperactivity is the state or condition of being excessively active. In others words, it is the inability to keep still. Impulsivity means motivated by or prone to act on impulse. Along with the three aspects of ADD, there are three distinct forms of ADD. Outwardly Expressive ADD is a type of ADD where a person communicates so that everyone knows what he or she is feeling. This behavior is characterized by hyperactivity, impulsive behaviors, high level risk taking, difficulty with long term projects, and little interest in details, lack of temper control, expressive moods, and having an outgoing personality. People with Inwardly Directed ADD hide their feelings , may be underachievers, may over commit themselves to activities, can be depressed, spend a lot of time watching television or using a computer, and have a difficult time completing assignment. Though not hyperactive, they are restless, and love to daydream. People with Highly Structured ADD tend to worry. They are perfectionists who are highly organized, have difficulty controlling their temper, and have difficulty resuming tasks after being disrupted. Also they have trouble cooperating with others, and when they start something they don’t quit until their done. There is no set type for every person. A person can have a combination of these three types.

There are many positive and negative aspects that a person has because of ADD. People with this disorder have a great memory for complex things, a photographic memory, the ability to focus on things of great interest, unique creativity, and they are highly imaginative. People with ADD also have a way of seeing right to the heart of a matter of things, while others have to reason their way along methodically. People who have ADD are overly aggressive, which causes physical aggression and they have quick mood shifts which makes a bad temper.

Treatment for ADD begins with a diagnosis by a licensed physician. Once diagnosed with ADD it can be treated with a course of medications, which is commonly followed by therapy. The primary medications that are used to treat ADD are all stimulants (An agent that temporarily arouses or accelerates physiological or organic activity). They include Ritalin, Dexedrine, Adderal, Desoxyn, and Cylert. As with all medications, these do have some minor side effects. Some of these side effects are loss of appetite, weight loss, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, headache, rapid heartbeat, and sleeplessness. The side effects are very minor and the medication helps a lot of the symptoms of ADD go away. About 95% of the people who have ADD and take a stimulant medication obtain benefit.

In conclusion I would like to say that along with the millions of other people in the United States who have Attention Deficit Disorder, I too have Attention Deficit Disorder. ADD is the reason I’m had to complete this course, but I have learned how to deal with it. As we go through life we will meet many people with this disorder. If enough people understand what ADD is then more and more people will be able to help those deal with their disorder. ADD is not a contagious disease. Having ADD does not mean you are retarded, slow or unable to perform with those who don’t. In my experiences ADD has not been a burden to me, it actually is an advantage. I say this because with the Adderal I take I can focus and perform a task for an extended period of time with no desire to do anything else but the task I’m working on. While others may drift off into others things. ADD has driven me to strive harder in everything I do, and it has made me a better person. The only problem is that people with ADD are often ridiculed for their disorder. I believe that once people understand the disorder, that they will be able to look past it.

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