How can I have ADHD when I don’t bounce off the walls?
> 6/27/2005 11:01:06 PM

The image that comes to mind for most people when you mention Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD or ADD,is one of person who is full of energy, constantly moving or fidgeting;the Energizer bunny.  While this is true for some people who hadADHD, not all have the hyperactive component.  However, it isoften this nonstop activity that more easily brings the focus upon aperson, leading to a greater likelihood of identifying the ADHD. 

 Many of those without the hyperactive component go for a long time without being identified, sometimes well into adulthood.  These“quiet” ADHD persons may be labeled as “day-dreamers” or“absent-minded,” never knowing that there maybe something more to it.

 But what does having ADHD really mean?  Well, it means a lot of things to a lot of different people.  Whilethere are several behaviors that people with ADHD exhibit, not everypersons exhibit the same behaviors, and those who do may not do so tothe same extent. 

 In the simplest terms possible, people with ADHD have greater trouble with delayed rewards.  Ifthey are doing something that have little to no immediate reward vale,they will become bored and lose interest, leading them to seek outanother activity.  They are able to continuewith activities that they find interesting or fun because they arebeing immediately rewarded (fun = stimulation of reward center inbrain).  Hence people often find itdifficult to understand why a person who can spend hours on somethingthat might be considered a hobby can’t apply that same focus to everyother aspect of their life.  It is this inconsistent level of performance that often leads to the belief that that person is just plain “lazy.”

 This can come across as:

1)      difficulty sustaining attention

2)      difficulty controlling impulses

3)      excessive behaviors

4)      difficulty following instructions

5)      doing work inconsistently

 Thereis a physical component to ADHD, a chemical imbalance in the brainwhich leads to these tendencies that often emerges in early childhood,before age 7.  Difficulties related to brainchemistry is often difficult to diagnose because, short of taking aslice of brain matter from the person, there are often no physicaltests which can show that there is an imbalance, we can only identifyit by the resulting symptoms.  However, this physical component is what differentiates a person with ADHD from someone who might be “lazy.”

 Also,a person is considered to have ADHD only when their resulting behaviorshave a significant negative impact on a person’s ability to function atwork, in school, or with other people.    

 Keepin mind that ADHD is often a chronic condition, meaning that it issomething that one will manage throughout one’s life, but it ismanageable with various treatment options for you to choose which oneis right for you and your ADHD.

Lily Hung Ph.D.


i am adhd and proud! although i think i need to change meds or increase dosage. I think after 3 yrs of adearl wr 30mg. it is time. it just makes me want to do meth again. please help
Posted by: samuel 2/16/2007 1:06:53 AM

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