I’m claiming a disorder!

Surprise–I’ve got problems. Granted no one who knows me well (or kind of knows me, or might have met me once upon a time, or has passed me on the street) is going to be too shocked by this assessment, but here’s the thing: I’m fluttery.

You know what I mean, that jittery feeling you get when you can’t settle on any one thing at a time. Here’s the scenario: I was sweeping the kitchen the other day (that’s not the surprising part…okay it’s KIND of surprising) and I absolutely could not finish the task without starting five other projects. Simultaneously, my husband (who is decidedly NOT fluttery) was listening to Dr. Oz discuss ADHD, a disorder which I have long thought I have because I’ve always been fluttery. As a child in grade school I had a good deal of trouble focusing, but such things weren’t diagnosed back in the day as we were too busy trying to create fire. Anyway, as the years went by I learned to control my wandering (wondering?) mind to a degree, but obviously, as evidenced by the floor sweeping debacle, I’m not very normal. So I went online and took the screener to determine the probability of my having the disorder.

Firstly, they were very careful to explain that it is important to receive a real medical evaluation and not simply rely on this test. But here it is. Please choose between these answers: Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often, Very Often

1. How often do you have trouble wrapping up the final details of a project after the challenging parts have been done?

2. How often do you have difficulty getting things in order when the task requires a great deal of organization?

3. How often do you have problems remembering appointments or obligations?

4. When you have a task that requires a lot of thought, how often do you have trouble getting started?

5. How often do you fidget or squirm with your hands or feet when you sit down for a long time?

6. How often do you feel overly active and compelled to do things like you’re driven by a motor?

It was a little more complicated than this, but basically, if you answered four or more questions with sometimes or more often you MAY have ADHD. You can go to http://www.concerta.net/adult/about-adhd-adhd-symptom-assessment-screener.html to take the quiz online.

I did that, of course, and according to the above-mentioned test I REAAALLY have ADHD. The following bit of information sealed the deal. It said people with the disorder often experience:

Impulsiveness
Erratic behavior
Extreme procrastination
Disorganization
Forgetfulness
A tendency to hyperfocus on activities of interest, losing track of time and surroundings
Excessive talkativeness with a tendency to interrupt others and/or speak too loudly
Difficulties in establishing stable household routines
Problems with managing money such as overspending and not paying bills or doing taxes
Substance abuse
Having accidents more often than most people
Difficulty completing work or university assignments
Bad driving record, with a history of speeding tickets or other problems.

Okay, yup, I basically have all those problems. But when I read the ad at the top of the page for Concerta, a drug to increase focus and balance moods, I was a little leery and continued to research.

Another article told me that individuals with ADHD tend to be:

Enthusiastic
Creative
Non-linear in their thinking (they leap to new conclusions or observations)
Innovative
Easily distracted (or, to put it differently, easily attracted to new stimuli) Capable of extraordinary hyperfocus
Understanding of what it means to be an “outsider”
Determined
Eccentric
Easily bored
Impulsive
Entrepreneurial
Energetic

All of these qualities lead them to be natural explorers, inventors, discoveries, and leaders.

Here’s a truncated list of famous people who are believed to have/have had ADHD:

Bill Cosby, James Stewart, Jim Carey, Cher, Whoopi Goldberg, Pablo Picasso, Babe Ruth, Thomas Edison, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Walt Disney

Huh! I want to be like Albert Einstein. Or even ol’ Walt. Who doesn’t want to live in Disneyland? So what do I do with this information? I stake the disorder for my own, of course. See, I don’t want a handicap, and I certainly don’t want to be drugged, I just want to claim the good stuff (maybe even use it toward my betterment) and have a handy excuse for my bad stuff.

So what about you? Do you think you might have ADHD? Do your children? Does everyone…at least to a certain degree? Or do you have some other disorder you’re particularly fond of? And if so, what do you plan to do about it?

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7 Responses to I’m claiming a disorder!

  1. Linda Morgan says:

    I had to read the sentence about starting fire twice….first I thought maybe it was science class and then I got it. Duh. Still laughing at your funny line. And that’s without
    my Adderall. You’re right. No ADHD or Asperger’s or anything like that back in olden times. We didn’t have seat belts or car seats and parents had enough sense to respond
    when the baby cried so they could get the leg or head untrapped in the crib. We survived and so did our kids. Those that didn’t were just the result of the gene pool.

    I love my Adderall. I don’t take it every day. I lose weight when I do take it, and I get housework done. Without it, I start to do dishes and ten other things jump out at me and then after starting 3 or 4 of them, I have to go sit down and read e-mail again.

    You’re able to actually sit and write books, stick to your plots and stories (or maybe you don’t and that’s the creativity that makes them unique and special). Some of us may not be able to address 6 Christmas cards, but we sure can sit and play computer games for hours without a distraction. I’d try to think about why that could be, but I need to try to get dressed and sort laundry. Actually doing a load might be asking for a lot this early in the day.

  2. Keri Ford says:

    dont’ have ADHD by those listings, but I’m pretty sure there’s some misfiring happening somewhere in my body with something. I’m just a bit flakey with a lot of things, but very focused with a few things that REALLY interest me. I do the whole 300 things at once, but I’m very all over the place getting them done. school was a nightmare for me. Confined to that little harddesk? oh, memories are washing over and I’m starting to get the shakes from having to sit still for long periods of time.

  3. cindy gerard says:

    OMG, Lois …. I Think I’ve got it! NEVER knew that about myself. Very scary to sit down and read that laundry list of ADHD indicators and realize I’ve got about 80% of them.
    Thanks for the heads up – I think :o)

  4. Leanne Banks says:

    Um. I didn’t finish the quiz. I got distracted.lol But I’ll take an association with those genius/creative types!!!:) My favorite disorder is seasonal affective disorder because it means I should go somewhere sunny and warm in the winter.:)

  5. We’ve moved from personality types–what type was I? A?–to disorders. I figure anybody who doesn’t answer in the affirmative to at some of the traits on that list is probably smoking a lot of pot.

    But these tests give me a chance to say, “I do that sometimes. You mean other people do that? That’s a relief. I was afraid I was the Lone Ranger.”

    Don’t worry, Lois. You’re Lois. In 10 years you’ll have a new personality label, but you’ll still be Lois. And this is a good thing.

    Heigh Ho, Silver!

  6. Betina Krahn says:

    Lois, dear, those very qualities are part of what endears you to us and to your readers and to the world. My personal belief is that the world NEEDS people with ADHD or some things (like some books) would never get done. ADHD folks ( and no I’m not one, sadly, but I apparently gave birth to one) are creative and have blasts of energy and are the driving force behind a lot of good in the world. And the hyper-concentration is a major benefit in some regards, even if it is a bit wearing on the people we live with.
    Te thing is, just knowing about your tendence for it can help you get a handle on the parts that make you harder to live with or less productive in some areas. You can begin to structure your life in ways that compensate and make it easier to get things done and still have the variety and change your neural system aparently craves.

  7. Kylie Brant says:

    LOL, Lois, I like the term fluttery a lot better than ADHD 🙂 I work with kids with the disorder, so yes it can be a hindrance to task completion. As I get older I think *I’m* puttery 🙂 I putz around in my need to procrastinate and put off the real work.

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