It’s been a long standing family observation that me and my son-in-law are peas-in-a-pod and both have ADHD. Now, the no joke part is that my daughter is single handily raising 3 kids (the two that she had with her husband and her husband). I have to agree she married a guy just like dear old dad with all that that implies.
Despite the long standing family joke about my need for Ritalin (my mom or my wife started it), I had never done any research on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and never thought I had it. After all in my lifetime, I had done all the comprehensive learning necessary to be a farmer, a wine maker, a cheese maker, a short order cook, caterer, chemical engineer, a night club owner, a restaurateur, a consultant, award winning writer, a college professor in business, a carpenter, a mason , a roofer, a plumber, an electrician and a dry cleaner. How could I have an attention deficit when I studied all those topics and made a pretty good living in most of the areas?
So when I thought the reason I don’t need regularly scheduled exercise is because of my very active nature, I looked up ADHD in Wikipedia. Now the topic is huge, some believe its true while others believe it doesn’t exist and we have a generation of over medicated children running round.
In discussing the symptoms , a positive diagnosis may be indicated if the person has experienced more than six of the 20 symptoms for at least three months. (10 describe inattention and 10 describe hyperactivity). Since the topic is so huge, I decided to break it into smaller blogable chunks and look at hyperactivity first.
1. Fidgeting with hands or feet or squirming in seat
2. Leaving seat often, even when inappropriate
3. Running or climbing at inappropriate times
4. Difficulty in quiet play
5. Frequently feeling restless
6. Excessive speech
7. Answering a question before the speaker has finished
8. Failing to await one’s turn
9. Interrupting the activities of others at inappropriate times
10.Impulsive spending, leading to financial difficulties
Now looking at the issue one by one, I give my following self analysis
1.Everybody fidgets, especially when waiting at a government office, in church, at children’s recitals and all the other places that grown-ups are forced to go. This shouldn’t count
2.If you don’t count while I’m writing, filling out government forms, waiting for a petty, bureaucrat or the time I staged a coughing fit at my best friends funeral so I could go outside and have a beer and talk with the overflow crowd (He was a popular guy) I don’t do this too often.
3.I don’t run or climb and skipping shouldn’t count. I read that you’re starting to grow old when you cant remember how to skip. I skip with my daughter who indulges me, my grandchildren, neighborhood kids and I only do it on sidewalks, parking lots, stores, malls, convention centers and other places where kids should have fun. I rarely do it more than 3 times a week or less then once.
4.What’s quiet play?
5.Of course I’m restless- I’m squirming while I’m trying to figure out if that’s bad.
6.Excessive speech – only my wife and a few of her friends have ever claimed this – none of my employees complain.
7.Of course I do this as a public service. It saves the questioner from asking a really dumb question.
8.This is a trick question. I leave if there’s a line and use every back door that I can find to get what I want. If I’m second in line at the back door, I wait.
9.My time is important – everybody should provide the answers and information to me when I need it.
10.I am not an impulsive spender – OK so I was $250’000 in debt by age 27, I never went bankrupt and my debts are down to about $200,000 35 years later. Hey, its all business related and an investment in my future.
I guess I would need professional advice to determine if I’m hyperactive and I’m not likely to seek it as I find myself fun to be with. After all 10 for 10 over a lifetime is perfect so why change now.
Wikipedia warns that if the patient is not treated appropriately, co-morbid conditions, such as substance abuse may develop (You got that Mike E.). “Adults face some of their greatest challenges in the areas of self control and self-motivation, as well as executive functioning” i.e. they act like kids.
I’m still trying to figure out if that is really bad.