DATE: 12/09/2004 03:30:00 PM
...from a friend of mine to my rant about ADD and 60 Minutes:
That was a beautiful post.
I've been thinking for a couple of years now of getting on Strattera, because whenever I see the commercial of the lady with the channels changing inside her head, it reminds me of me.
I give the guy at JetBlue credit, just because I personally can't imagine being in charge of anything like a major company, specifically because it seems like there'd be a lot of stuff I'd wind up screwing up. Sure, ADD can have the sort of Thomas Edison effect where your inability to focus helps you see the connection between two unrelated things, but generally that's because you cannot physically stay focused on one thing for very long. That is, unless you're "hyperfocusing" on one particular thing, in which case you forget to shave or pay your bills or go to work.
Sure, you become good at doing lots of different stuff, but you never become *very good* at anything. Your life is full of half-finished projects and lists and unpaid bills. You become very good at faking things, doing things at the last minute, because even when you're doing something really important, something else can very easily grab your attention. You can list episodes of your favorite show, Civil War Generals, the statistics of the 1980 Detroit Red Wings, and your mother's recipe for Apple Pandowdy, but you have difficulty remembering the names of people you just met.
Honestly, it's nice to be able to write *okay*, play guitar *okay*, direct *okay*, be *somewhat* funny, be an *average* DJ... but it might be nicer to be really good at one of those things and stick with it. I also know it would be nice, for a change, to go a month without screwing up something major at my job.
ADD also makes you paranoid. "What did I forget this time", you ask yourself, or "I know I'm going to leave a step out and screw this up." You know this because you know yourself, and as much as everyone tells you to stop beating yourself up, you're just being realistic. If you were Bruce Willis in "Armageddon", the planet Earth would have a lovely flaming hole in it right now.
But no one gives a shit about me and my problems. You get used to that too, because "everyone has ADD and it's Sesame Street/MTV/the internet's fault." Well, yeah. Our attention spans have gotten shorter. The difference is that most people can do something about it. Also, depression is something people worry about, because suicide is a physical thing they can get a grasp of. Schizophrenia is obvious. Dissasociative disorders are obvious. Kleptomania is something people worry about. But the world says that ADD is just another word for lazy. It doesn't exist, it's an excuse for watching too much TV. You're going to kill yourself because your brain has a chemical imbalance? We're here to help. You feel like killing yourself because you keep leaving out step seven and your boss is constantly pissed at you and then you hit a telephone pole on the way home? Get over it, and stop being so petty. Make more lists. Pay more attention to detail. Grow the hell up.
And that's why I'm thinking of getting on Strattera. Because while I don't expect it to cure all my ills, it'll be nice to function as a human being for a change.