This week is ADD/ADHD Awareness Week and I am giving you a rare glimpse into my marriage.
I think many people misunderstand Attention Deficit Disorder and for a very long time, you could add my name to that list.
My husband, Bill, was diagnosed about two years ago with Attention Deficit Disorder because I finally listened to him.
Honestly, I was convinced that his complaining about attention problems was a type of hypochondria. After all, he is not a hyper man. As a matter of fact, he was slow to accomplish tasks and almost seemed to have a problem understanding me. I assumed he wasn’t listening.
I did not see anything in him that looked like what I understood ADHD to be, and I thought ADD was just a shorter abbreviation for the ADHD abbreviation. (I promise that I am not a dumb person but this was definitely a “duh” moment for me.) But, I started to pay attention when we discovered an online test for attention deficit disorder.
How ADD and ADHD are different
My problem was in thinking that these neurological disorders are the same. The truth is that ADD and ADHD are different.
The main difference between attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is… you guessed it… hyperactivity.
People with ADD are not restless or impulsive but… here is where it is most misunderstood… they might have certain areas of hyper-focus. With a hyper-focus, a person can become so enraptured in their obsession (for lack of a better word) that they lose all track of time and can pay attention to nothing else. This detail presents what appears to be the complete opposite of a hyperactivity disorder.
For my hubby, his hyper-focus is music. He can spend hours sitting and creating or listening to music. If music is in a movie, he will hear it before anything else no matter how soft it is playing. He hums at weddings AND funerals. If I am speaking but music is playing, he cannot hear me.
I see this same characteristic in my children, but I’ve had people say that my children do not have ADD because they are not hyper. First of all, I see a different side of them… when I am peeling them off the walls. Then, I also see that hyper-focus. The intent where they are so absorbed that I need to touch them of make them look at me in order to gain their attention.
Symptoms of ADD
Oddly enough, the symptoms of Bill’s ADD are surprising. He struggles with attention but more than that, he is forgetful. Sometimes, he cannot remember things I said 5 minutes earlier. He also struggles with organization, and I don’t mean the perfectionistic OCD type of organization. I mean basic “place the mail in the basket” organization.
Because of his struggle to pay attention and to retain information, he can get extremely frustrated and often struggles with low self-worth and depression.
If someone in your life is having attention problems, consider the possibility that ADD and ADHD are real. They are problems that originate in the brain and they need extra understanding.
Do you have a loved one with ADD or ADHD? Which symptoms do you find most surprising?
More about ADD/ADHD
- Homeschooling a Child with ADD/ADHD
- Love, Marriage, and Attention Deficit Disorder
- Essential Oils for Attention Deficit Disorder
- 4 Free Apps to Increase Attention and Task Management
Free Diligence Lesson
Subscribe and receive my free diligence lesson plan with printable wall pages by email.