Monday, March 19, 2012

Adult ADHD = Unhealthy habits?

During one summer, I taught at an after-school program and one of the students was diagnosed with ADHD. Teaching him in a classroom setting was very difficult especially since I never taught children with this kind of disorder. Also, his symptoms were distracting to the other students. It was very much of a shock to me that adults can also be diagnosed with the disorder because when it comes to ADHD in children, focus is on their "behavior". And so, you do not suspect this kind of behavior from adults which is why "performance" becomes the focus. I very much agree that ADHD in adults can be a "medical excuse" that ultimately reduces self blame for the symptoms. Some of the common symptoms mentioned online are: sense of underachievement, doesn’t deal well with frustration, easily flustered and stressed out, trouble staying motivated, tendency to take risk, getting bored easily, and etc. Looking at these symptoms, I feel like majority of people in general would have these symptoms. One of the symptoms that caught my attention was hyperfocus, where you are concentrated in one activity that you don't even know that time is passing by. Reading this, I just thought this was just another excuse for someone to be diagnosed easily.

I feel as if any of the symptoms can be personal insecurities that one can go through which is normal. It is no wonder that many adults self-diagnose themselves so easily because the symptoms are weaknesses people do not want to reveal to others. Living in a society where titles, degrees earned, and credentials are everything, we do not like to reveal signs of weaknesses. Also, as adults we have the capability to hide these symptoms and suppress them unlike children where we can clearly see their symptoms. Therefore, self-diagnosing yourself with ADHD can be a cover-up of one's unhealthy habits. Instead of trying to resolve the root of each problem, I feel that being diagnosed with ADHD is definitely an easy way out. I consider it to be an easy way out because through medication one can obtain faster results and people can continue on living with their bad habits. Overall, this is just my first reaction to this disorder. I hope to be able to understand this disorder better because I'm very unsure where the boundaries are when it comes to being diagnosed with ADHD. 


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