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[Y-SPACE] ADHD is not just what you think it is

by Kirby Marquez

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also known as ADHD, is a mental health condition that affects the individual’s ability to focus. People with ADHD are easily distracted. They might need to move around frequently, and having difficulty with self-control. ADHD is mostly diagnosed in children, but teenagers to adults are also diagnosed in some cases.

There is still no proof or studies about what causes ADHD, but mental health professionals say that ADHD is mostly inherited. Most people misunderstood what this condition is, and some people think that medication and therapy are enough for them. If you feel like you’re experiencing the same way, it’s better to consult a mental health professional.

People with ADHD tend to have a short attention span and an inability to focus. They tend to 'hyper-focus,' an experience of intense concentration. They may or may not be able to complete a specific task in a short time. Simultaneously, they may be able to think and focus on other specific tasks. People with ADHD may immerse themselves into something that they like doing, to the point that they neglect their surroundings, lose track of time, forget other chores, which leads them to unproductivity. With plenty of thoughts running inside their head, they have difficulty starting a certain activity, falling asleep, and shutting their brain. These kinds of things can affect their lifestyle, health, and social interaction.

Combined with inattentiveness and hyperactivity, people with ADHD are usually observed with hyperactive behavior or hyperactive-impulsive. They tend to be impatient and have high energy moving around, talking nonstop, fidgeting and interrupting conversations. In some cases, people diagnosed with ADHD have an inattentive subtype. Their behavioral signs are being forgetful, becoming bored quickly, difficulty decoding information, listening, daydreaming frequently, and having trouble learning. Struggling with one type is so devastating, but how about if it’s combined? Combined type is one of the symptoms of ADHD.

It may sound like a bit of juxtaposition, but people with ADHD need to be distracted to focus. If you’ve been in a situation that you are discussing something, yet the listener is just playing with Rubik’s cube or fidget spinner on his hand. You might be thinking that he may neither listening nor paying attention. However, they are keeping themselves distracted to listen. They need to keep their hands busy or anything that keeps their body moving to pay more attention. Keeping themselves slightly distracted can help them focus more. For us, stress balls, fidget spinners, fidget cubes, Rubik’s cube, infinity cubes are just toys, but for them, those are their lifesavers.

People diagnosed with ADHD are having trouble with working memory. If you texted someone with ADHD that you’re going to meet him, and he didn’t come, there are chances that he probably forgot that you texted him. Don’t take it personally because people with ADHD occasionally forget about objects, events, people, and they might forget that you exist even if they don’t want to. It’s just because their brains are easily distracted by thoughts inside their head, which they tend to forget stuff. Be patient if you are handling this situation, and kindly remind them of little things that you think they might forget.

According to a few studies, ADHD challenges can have an upside. They might have an amazing talent and stunning creativity and artistry. Black Eyed Peas founder credit his ADHD for his success in the music industry. Most people with ADHD can excel in drawing, painting, handicrafts, music, logistic thinking, humor, and empathy. People with ADHD often intensely focus on things that they are interested in. Their talent can be an advantage, especially when creative people are working to develop their craft.

Tons of patience and understanding for people with ADHD are needed. Instead of being upset or losing patience, it’s best to approach them to help them to grow and feel understood. Having this kind of condition doesn’t make a person different from others, and most people are just fine living with it. Medications and therapy are recommended, but what’s essential for them is a companion, friend, family, and unconditional love that even medicines cannot do.

Everyone deserves a world to fit in. Everyone deserves to be valued. You are worthy, and you are loved.

Kirby Marquez, 21 years old, BA Journalism Student from Cavite State University-Main Campus in Indang, Cavite. He loves photography, filmmaking, and traveling. “You can change what you do, but you can’t change what you want.” – his favorite quote from the Netflix series Peaky Blinders.

YSPACE is a platform open for young writers to contribute their worth-sharing thoughts and stories to the world. It is a space for young people and by the young people which aims to promote a strong sense of empowerment and inspiration to young Filipinos.

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