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My Struggle wiht Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

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As I sat at my desk that night staring at some unfinished sheets of homework, my hands began to tremble. The incessant buzzing of my computer suddenly became two loudspeakers pounding in my ears. The shine of the desk lamp intensified to a blinding brightness. A swift surge of energy rushed up my entire body, followed by a gush of anxiety, and then a wave of excitement. I started to fidget restlessly. It was as if all the nerves in my body were being stimulated at once, as if every feeling and emotion possible were being felt.

I knew all to well this raw feeling of Attention Deficit Disorder. I experience it every night when the second dose of my Adderall prescription wears off, leaving me to complete my daily tasks without medication. I could not take another dosage, since the pills, with their side effects of sleeplessness, extreme anxiety and migranes, and loss of appetite would kill me if I were on them 24/7. When I was first diagnosed with and given a prescription for a moderate-severe case of ADD in the third grade, I used to fall apart during these times. But now as I once again confront this daily struggle of dealing with the disorder, I am inclined to handle it in a different way, reflective of my development over the many years of adversity dealing with ADD.

I committed myself to my prescription even after my parents stopped making me do so in middle school. But having to regulate my life accordingly with my daily medication agenda had prevented me making significant efforts to suppress the social and emotional problems that came with the medication. It was not until high school that I started making efforts to do so. Throughout the four years I participated in as many social activities as I saw fit for me and surrounded myself with friends. Swallowing my anxiety, I built bonds with teachers, and went in after every test to learn how I could improve my performance. Most importantly I became eager to learn and share my knowledge with others through discussions.

I have come to treasure what I have accomplished academically. But on an even greater level I take pride in how well I have been able to balance being academically persistent with maintaining the humane side of me at the same time. I know that, as the price to treat this physical problem of ADD, the side effects of my medication will never completely go away. But this hasn’t discouraged me from trying. Moreover, it is not the medication or some other aspect of ADD behind my efforts and successes; the effects of my medication have remained the same since I started my prescription, and the symptoms of my ADD have not alleviated one bit. I am the one who has changed, who has taught myself that through endurance and persistence, there is no limit as to how much progress can be made. Even if hardship is physically inborn, as with the case of ADD, a happy life is still possible by simply resisting adversity, standing up to fight it no matter how many times it relentlessly slams you back down on the ground. Dealing with ADD has taught me that true contentment comes from each person’s never-ending journey to find ways to help themselves. Even as I end high school and enter college, I will always be looking for ways to improve my own life as well as the lives of as many others as I can, a journey that can bring to life only hope and goodness.

So as I sat staring down at the unfinished worksheets in front of me, there was indeed something different about myself that prevented me from being intimidated from the sudden presence of ADD. This time, I pick up my pencil and with the smirk of a challenger accepting a challenge, confidently resume my study.





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