Category Archives: My Psycho Babble

ADHD Part V

Based on the strange things my old computer would do when not online, I knew that when I could coax his worthlessness to actually connect to the rest of the world, that he undoubtedly would be seeking out the strange and obscure nether regions of the internet- just to be among his own. Come to find out, strange and obscure is just what comes up when looking for natural ways to treat ADHD. After doing some research with a computer I trust far more than my old R2 unit- I have found more or less the same things. Lots of conspiracy, very little credible science, mixed generously with lots of hearsay, anecdotal evidence, and fantastic claims.

So, although, there may be something real in all of that somewhere, it has yet to present itself in a believable format. For example, bombarding me with the credentials of whatever doctor or scientist behind whatever product is being pushed does not quite do it for me. A little research on many of them will reveal all sorts of interesting facts that should call into question, if not the science itself, the moral fiber of said individuals. Don’t take my word for it- go research it all yourself and see what you come up with. If you do happen to find someone with a credible treatment, lemme know.

Okay, so I think I touched on this briefly in my last post, but I’m not sure the horse is dead yet- so I’m gonna hit it again. I really have nothing against treating ADHD in any way that works for you. It is a deeply personal decision, and one not to be taken lightly. If you find something that you believe may work, give it a shot. As for me- I wanted to know exactly what I was getting myself into, and I really questioned the all of the claims made by “naturalists”. Not because they are “naturalists” but because there is no consistency with any of those claims. And they all seemed so fantastic! I can bore you with examples if you want… just let me know… although; you can find the same info I did with a simple search.

Once I was satisfied, or rather unsatisfied with my searches, I began looking at institutionalized medicine. I’ll be honest; I was a little disappointed to find more information than I could ever digest about all kinds of treatments. I have always been a little skeptical of the medical and pharmaceutical industries, so to find so much information about them- good and bad- was kind of a bummer because I was hoping for some more fantastic claims to dismiss so that I could justify going untreated. However, the drugs used to treat ADHD have been around for a long time, with tons of research having been done on them. I read many of the studies.

Armed with that information, I began my search for a doctor to prescribe me a prescription. I will go into that in the next post, but first let me say that a few months ago I was introduced to “oils”, and… I’m intrigued.

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My ADHD Part IV

The day was coming to an end just like many others before it. I was finally home from work, my school work completed- mostly, kids in bed, and it was time to escape into the digital abyss that is the internet. Little did I know that I was about to fall deeper into that abyss than ever before.

I re-read for one last time the essay paper I had been working on, and shut down the word processing program. As the antiquated machine in front of me strained to repack my essay, I sat whispering to it some words of encouragement. Come on you little $%$# you can do it!

The melodious sound of the dial tone brought a smile to my face, and I clicked to connect. The computer dialed, and I could hear the… ringing?… as my computer tried to become one with the rest of the world. It failed. I felt sorry for the poor thing and wondered if its self-esteem suffered every time it got rejected. It dialed again, using a different number, and again it failed. Don’t take it personally you stinking piece of…. I thought. Another attempt, and it found success! We were on-line. Good job little buddy!

I surfed over to Google, well, more kind of doggie paddled over to Google, and began my quest for answers. I had recently met someone who mentioned that they knew of someone who was treating somebody with some kind of a “natural” remedy for ADHD. So, out of curiosity, I searched “treating ADHD naturally”. You may remember, I didn’t want anyone finding out about me having ADHD, and the thought of not needing to see a doctor, or fill a prescription appealed to me. A natural remedy might allow me to keep my secret a secret.

My little bundle of transistors struggled under the heavy work load of bringing the found information to the screen but, somehow, managed to place each little bit needed in its proper position. Once the first page was loaded, I began reading, hoping for some good information. I was a little disappointed, however. The content was poorly written, full of fallacious arguments, and was more conspiratorial than informational. Undaunted, I went back and ran another search.

More or less the same results. Lots of conspiracy, mixed here and there with some anecdotal proof, sprinkled ever so lightly with…science? Hmmm. There has to be something credible somewhere. Come on you son of a box spring, find me something good! I went back to the results page and pulled up the next website…

Midnight came and went, and my frustratingly slow excuse of a file cabinet kept pulling up whatever I asked it to. Soon after that, however, my rear end began going numb from sitting for so long, and I had to give up. I was bugged and glad at the same time that the computer had outlasted me for once. Nice work little pal! You warded off your trip to the dump yet again.

I walked into the kitchen, well, stepped over to the kitchen, okay, so I looked into the kitchen- the condo was small- and announced to my wife that I had been unable to find what I was looking for.

She thinks the conversation that followed was boring, so I’ll sum it up.

I had been hoping to find a remedy that worked for everybody…
Didn’t.

Learned about conspiracies that most conspiracy freaks didn’t know about.

Wondered why “natural” remedies have no known side effects. Not that I want side effects, but if there was a product that was so perfectly targeted to treat ADHD that it left no trace… how could that same product also cure my sickle-cell anemia, cancer, marriage problems, emotional instability, heart disease, and clear my complexion? Again, with no side effects. I didn’t get it. Or believe it.

Okay, I’m feeling guilty for exaggerating, it was really quite often that the mischief-making little R2 unit out lasted me.

So, really, many of the claims were so over the top that I had a hard time believing anything on the websites. I also have a hard time believing anecdotal stories as proof of anything. I don’t doubt that many folks have had success using many of the products, or methods I read about that night, and subsequent nights since, but!… I wasn’t playing a game. I needed to know exactly what I was getting myself into. Just ’cause Angela Soandso, from Green Acres, USA said she had luck with a concoction of ringworm, holy water, and pumpkin sprouts…Ringworm and holy water of course! But the pumpkin sprouts?!

Gasp!

Okay, so now I’m mad. This thought just came to me. What if that little good fer nuthin’ useless chunk of R2D2 who, eventually, met a proper and fitting death, was just finding the wackiest stuff just to throw me off?! GRRRR!

I’ll be right back…

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My ADHD Story- Part II

The night my wife sat me down in front of our computer to take that ADHD test proved to be an awakening of sorts. As I lived my life the following few weeks, I began paying attention to all the little things that the test mentioned were symptoms. What I struggled with the most was, figuring out which parts of my personality were mine, and which parts of it were the ADHD. I liked myself the way I was, and wasn’t sure I wanted, or really needed to change. Of course, I recognized that there were things I would like to do better, like keep focused on a project until finished- specifically papers I had to write for school. Or, like getting organized, or better time management, or staying awake through church, a long meeting, or conversation with my wife. But there were other things that I wondered about. Teasing is one of the symptoms, as is spontaneity, and I wondered where the line was between being fun loving and ADHD.

One morning, shortly after taking the test, I had a concrete job across town somewhere and was trying to get myself out the door. I was running a little late, as usual, and was in a hurry- and getting a little stressed. I had carried the tools out to the truck, and gone back inside to grab my wallet, but the walk from the truck to the door proved to be too long, and I had forgotten what it was I was returning for. As I reentered the condo, I put my keys on the… somewhere, while I tried to remember what I had returned for. While pondering, I thought of something else I wanted to take to the job with me, so I carried that out.

My wife, in the mean time, had a number of things she wanted me to do that day, and upon my reentering, began reminding me of them. My stress level began rising. I still couldn’t remember what I had originally returned for, but knew it was important. The people I was doing the job for were waiting for me, as was an employee. On top of that the things she was reminding me of were not at all things I was looking forward to doing. One of them did, however, require a credit card, which was in my wallet. I grabbed it quick, feeling relieved that she had reminded me of my main purpose for returning. I gave her a kiss, and headed out the door.

As I sat in the truck I reached to turn it on, but the keys were not in the ignition. Great! I searched the cab, my pockets, my memory… gone. Back inside I went. Stress level, again, on the rise. Knowing this would be yet another incident she could use as proof of ADHD existence, I was hesitant to mention to her why I had returned. It was pretty obvious, however, after just a few seconds that I was looking for something, and she had to go and ask. I tried to not act annoyed, but was unconvincing… she could tell. Most likely the scowl on my face combined with the nasty tone in my voice gave it away.

“I’m sorry.” She said. “I’m not trying to hurt your feelings, I just want to help.”

“I know.” I muttered, still searching.

“Dane,” she spoke so calmly and sincerely, I had to stop and look at her, “what are you looking for?”

At this point I began feeling like a heel for treating her poorly just because I had forgotten where I had put my own keys. It wasn’t her fault they were misplaced, and it was unfair of me to be short with her. It was just my assumption that she would be thinking about ADHD and keeping track of every incident that could be used as proof. I was the one doing that, and was irritated that I was living yet another example. I didn’t want to have ADHD!

“I can’t find my keys.” I finally replied. “I just had them a minute ago, but I have no idea where I put them.” The search began. I felt relieved about the help, but irritated that I needed it. It took a few minutes, but the keys were finally located, on the bed, right where I had put them. I don’t remember if I apologized to her for being short with her that day, so I’ll take this opportunity to do so. Sorry, honey. I love you, and thanks.

This was just one of many incidents that happened shortly after taking the test, and one of many that helped me come to the realization that, like it or not, I had to face the truth. The next few posts will explore that adventure.

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My First Shot

Yeah, sooo, why did you quit playing baseball?”

I must admit I was completely stumped when my dad asked me that the other day.  We had been working in the hay field when my youngest brother came out and began telling us how he had been bragging about me to his friends.  You know, the my brother can run faster/throw further/hit home runs better than your brother type of stuff.  I was flattered that he would be talking me up to his friends, but a little worried about why a group of boys in their twenties would be arguing about such things, and even more worried that at any moment one of his friends would call, with his big brother challenging me to a home run derby or something.     

As he continued telling how great I am/was, I couldn’t help but get a little carried away fantasizing about what might have been.  High school championships, scholarships, my striped Yankee uniform, more money than I would ever be able to spend….  Then, quite unexpectedly, memories and emotions that had long since been forgotten came flooding back.  Suddenly, I was ten again. 

Hundreds of summer evenings flashed before my minds eye where I was doing one of the things I enjoyed the most, playing catch with my dad in the front yard.  I loved that I had a dad who would spend the time with his sons teaching them how to catch, hit and throw.  I loved that he came to just about every game I had.  Sometimes he would show up in his police uniform, just say hi and then be off on his next call.  I thought my dad was funny and I liked him.      

Dad was a very good ball player, and we spent many summer evenings at the ballpark watching him pitch in the city fast pitch softball league.  It was his dream that someday one of his sons would play pro-ball.  It was my dream too.  I would often lay awake in bed imagining myself throwing nine pitches an inning, and hitting a grand slam every at bat. 

It was in the middle of all this reminiscing that my brother asked, “What position did you play in high school?”

“Well,” cough “I didn’t play in high school.”

“Huh?!”  He looked at me wide eyed, and I could tell a little worried that fact might somehow get back to his friends.  “I thought you did.”

“Nope.”

“Why not?”

That is when my dad, who up to this point hadn’t said much asked “Yeah, sooo, why did you quit playing baseball?” 

I remember hating practice, but I don’t think that was it.  I was batting clean up the last year I played, and got hit with a pitch, which scared me enough that my little league coach ended up moving me to the end of the batting order.  But I don’t think that was it either.  I liked the kids I was playing with, I liked my coaches, and I liked the father son time.  Despite all that, I remember pressure, and the fear that I would be unable to live up to my dads’ expectations.  Silly, I know.  Today I wish I could go back and do it for myself, but as a kid I felt trapped and obligated to perform to gain dad’s approval.  I was playing for him.      

I remember the day we were supposed to sign up for the next baseball season, and how knotted up inside I was.  Dread had filled my existence for weeks before.  The day came and went, and I wondered why we hadn’t gone to sign up.  The paperwork sat blank on the counter, and I assumed dad had just signed me up himself at the parks and recreation office.  Days passed, and no one said anything about what team I was on, or when the first practice was going to be.  Days turned to weeks, and friends talked of when they were going to start practices.  I would go home and wait for the dreaded announcement.  It never came. 

A year passed, and again I was filled with dread as the deadline for sign-ups approached.  Just like the year before, baseball was never mentioned. 

I knew the conversation would have to come up sometime, and once it finally did it turned out to be one of the best self-esteem building experiences I’d had in my life to that point.  Dad asked if I was ready to play ball again.  I told him no.  Now that I’m a father, I appreciate the conversation we had that day even more than I did then.  It had to be incredibly frustrating for him to see whatever talent he thought I had going to waste.  Yet, there was no hint of disappointment, anger or sadness on his part.  We had a pleasant talk about life in general, and then he expressed to me his love and support and let me know that regardless of whether I played baseball he was still proud of me.  I don’t know if he saw it, but a million pounds lifted from my shoulders.

I will forever be grateful to a father who, despite his own wishes, was man enough to allow his son to follow his own.  His faith in my decisions has been one of the greatest gifts he could have ever given me.  Right or wrong, he always allowed me the freedom to choose my own destiny.  I have been able to live life unburdened by his expectations, for which he has my undying gratitude.  Thanks again dad.  I love you.

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