Wednesday, February 14, 2007

ADHD, Wait, What Am I Writing About?

There is only one joke I can tell without screwing it up.

How many ADHD kids does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Hey, do you want to go ride bikes?

The whole concept of ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, is a fairly new diagnosis. I haven't taken an abnormal psychology class for a while, so I don't know if they have added a new category to the DSM (sort of a Chilton's manual for personality disorders). I have come to the realization that I am adult ADHD, as are some of my family members, my more productive friends, and my son.

I don't consider it a bad thing. You learn how to deal with the distractions, and hopefully find a line of work that lets you do a lot of multi-tasking. It's one thing we are very good at.

When I was growing up ADHD didn't exist. Kids just had "a lot of energy" and were "fidgety." I was one of those kids. My mom and Grandma, both of whom are very sweet people, finally broke down and bought a leash for me when I was little, because I kept running away from them at the department store and hiding in the clothes racks. It was a nice leash. It sort of looked like the top part of lederhosen. I had to buy a hand leash for my son, because he thought it was a really fun to go run out into traffic when we were walking down the street.

You eventually grow out of some of the compulsive behaviors, that is, unless you are drinking. This can be a very bad thing, acting as a form of a sodium penthanol in my system. I have gotten into more trouble for opening my damn mouth when I shouldn't have. Games like Trivial Pursuit are really hard, because if I know the answer I want to yell it out. I got kicked out of the room one time because I wasn't playing but my friends were, and I wouldn't shut up.

I knew a few Psych majors in college. They always took it upon themselves to come up with their own diagnosis for my behaviour. It was pretty impressive, what with their four or five classes worth of psych, that I had to take as well because of my major. I noticed that most of the people who were Psychology majors, were fairly screwed up. It seemed like they needed the knowledge they gained at school, to use as a weapon during arguments. My friend Kim, used to do an experiment at school that he liked to call "Social Chili." He wasn't a Psych major, he just liked to #*!% with people's heads. He would take a group of incredibly insecure social climbers, throw in some distrust, rumors, complete fabrications, and intrigue, stir the pot, and watch what happened. He used it on me once, and I can tell you it wasn't fun. I managed to get back at him though,so we're on good terms now.

Since I am ADHD I'm going to use it as an excuse to go off topic for a second, and tell you about the really crazy Psych major I met my first year of college.

We never knew her name so we just called her Sybil. She was a fairly big girl, nothing unusual in that, but she had an imaginary friend. In the cafeteria she would sit next to her "friend" and have long, in-depth conversations. They would talk to each other while they walked to classes, and she always made sure there was a seat for her friend in the class.

I was on the bus one day going back to campus from downtown, and this girl made the bus driver hold this bus until her "friend" caught up. The very patient bus driver held the doors open for at least two minutes. When her "friend" finally got on the bus, the crazy girl sat down, unwrapped the biggest Hershey bar I have ever seen, and started chowing down on it, making really loud "YUM" noises the entire ride back to campus.

One of my friends was an RA at Sybil's dorm, and I guess when she left at the end of the year she decided to smear poo all over the entire dorm room as a going away present. For some reason we never saw her again on campus after that.

I guess my point is that there are far worse things then having the attention span of a gnat, constantly interrupting people, and being completely incapable of sitting through an entire DVD at home without getting up at least four or five times.

This has absolutely nothing to do with living by the train tracks, which is exactly why I'm telling you about the ADHD thing. Hey, do you want to go ride bikes?

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