ADHD: A commonly misunderstood mental impairment, chronic condition

William Mayhew

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Have you ever been unable to focus on one thing because you keep focusing on other things? Have you ever been distracted to the point that you forget what you were doing two seconds ago? If you answered yes to these questions, then you probably have some degree of ADHD.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is classified by the Mayo clinic as a chronic condition that includes attention difficulty, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. This definition can lead people to have varying opinions about ADHD.

Some people think that this is some type of debilitating disease, that makes it impossible for someone to focus on a single task. Others think that it is simply a way to get the drugs associated with the disorders. Some people even think that they are not even legitimate disorders at all, claiming that people with ADHD are no different than anyone else. People also think that all ADHD is the same. While some of these claims have some truth, others are just plain wrong.

The reality of the subject is that ADHD is not a debilitating disease, a minor impairment, but far from debilitating. The medication has numerous side effects that cause great pain and discomfort, including loss of appetite.

These side effects are so severe for me, that I choose to not take my medication (Vyvanse) because I was not be able to eat when I was taking it due to the effective duration of the medication (about 14 hours).

ADHD affects 11 percent of children and 4 percent of adults in the U.S., according to WebMD. There are varying degrees of ADHD, in three main types. ADHD can be classified as inattentive, hyperactive-impulsive or combined types. Each type comes with a different degree of severity, ranging from minor to severe ADHD.

According to Healthline, ADHD is thought to be caused by a lack of neurotransmitters in the brain. This causes the inattention because the chemicals required to accomplish simple tasks are simply not present. The hyperactivity is assumed to be caused by an accelerated development of the motor cortex, causing fidgety or impulsive behaviors.

Symptoms of inattentive ADHD include forgetfulness, lack of focus and a low attention span. Those with hyperactive-impulsive ADHD may experience a lack of patience, fidgety movements and difficulty with staying still and/or quiet for extended periods of time. People with the combined form will experience multiple symptoms from each category.

Because most ADHD medications are amphetamines, they are schedule II controlled substances. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), “Schedule II drugs, substances or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, less abuse potential than Schedule I drugs, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous.”

All things considered, ADHD is a mental impairment that causes difficulties with focusing, hyperactivity and slight impulsiveness.

There are varying types and degrees of ADHD. ADHD medication is not just a simple drug for finishing your homework late at night.

Most of all, ADHD is a serious medical condition that either requires a potent drug or some serious mental control.