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Posts Tagged ‘stigmas’

One of us

Some interesting things have happened since I started posting about ADD.  For one, friends have been writing to me, either on the blog or on Facebook, to tell me about their own ADD experiences.  Some wonder if possibly they have ADD.  This has been gratifying because I now know how big my support network really is plus I feel like I’m offering support back by posting.  The number of responses I’ve received leads me to an observation: why do so many adults that I know struggle with ADD?  I know that sleep, or lack thereof, is a contributing factor and if you are like me and have small kids, you probably don’t get a lot of sleep.  Personally, I’ve had bouts of insomnia since I was a junior in high school.  Feels like a cycle to me — I can’t quiet my mind so I’m awake,  but I can’t focus during the day because I didn’t get any sleep.  Another observation I’ve had is how huge of a stigma is still attached to ADD.  Posting about my own diagnosis makes me feel sheepish, like I’m screaming for attention, but really I’m just trying to figure out how to improve my daily life.  Most of my friends who have contacted me have done so privately, not on my Facebook wall or the comments section of this blog.  Why are we so ashamed of ADD?  Given how many adults I know who have either been evaluated and have ADD or who feel like they have it, but have not been tested, I expected the statistics for adult ADD to be quite high.  Surprise!  Only 2-4% of adults are diagnosed with ADD, or according to the National Institute for Mental Health, 4.1% of American adults.  My own profile is pretty mild, but given the constant demands of parenting, mixed with poor sleep habits and the external stressors of finances, grad school/work, and aging parents, no wonder my friends and I feel overwhelmed pretty much daily.  Do we all have ADD or are we just normal?

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