ADD/ADHD in dogs and geeks

by Deborah Lake

Many of my friends have the condition that the world calls attention deficit disorder. Some treat it, some do not. Those who do not treat it are miserable; those who treat it are less miserable than those who do not. But all of them are champions of social justice, regardless of the personal cost.

I had to diagnose MYSELF with attention deficit disorder at the age of 56. Five months ago. Since then, the lives of my son, my best friends in real life, and my best friends in chat, have all improved immeasurably.

No psychiatrist, therapist, or other professional over the last 25 years noticed my condition, although they noticed that I was there asking for help to figure out what the heck was wrong with me! None of these people were aware that women can have ADD…and that many people with ADD do not have ADHD. I was not HYPER!!!!

I kept doing my own research. Located a book called, “Delivered from Distraction”. Halleluhjah!

Guess what? Many people who have ADD are the furthest thing from hyper that you have ever seen.

In 1994, at the age of 43 maybe, I told the first decent doctor that I had ever had that I was depressed. That doctor thoughtfully prescribed Prozac. He was an internist, and did not practice outside of his field. But he made a good choice. That was all that was available at the time that agreed with me.

In 1997, I went back to school full time, passed algebra, left my abusive husband, and was accepted to UC Santa Barbara and UC Santa Cruz with very nice scholarships. I did my best to help my daughter. It was not enough. I was not qualified. She always ended up hating me for whatever I did, so I finally decided to leave and finish my education, so that I could better help her when she was ready for my help.

I graduated near the top of my class, and was accepted to UC Hastings. I graduated with my class from UC Hastings, at the age of 54. I was the first college graduate in my family.

No fairy dust for deb…despite the fact that I broke my leg, in two places, on Nov. 1 of the first semester of law school, and had to be in a wheelchair for the remainder of the semester, I still finished with my class!!!! My apartment caught on fire right before the finals. It was full of toxic ash. I had to live in a motel room, containing the most dreadful chairs on earth, while studying for and taking the most important tests of my life. I barely survived that year, academically, and that’s all I cared about. Yet, I still finished with my class!!!!

In January of 2008, I educated my wonderful psychiatrist in ADD, female non-hyper style. He now has more knowledge with which to help me. I have finally been freed of the burdens of the terrible crises of the last few months; I may not have survived without the additional help. I have finally been freed of the inability to reliably control my daily actions, as well.

Every day is a better day.

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