21 Being ADHD ~ Kevin Ferrell
Kevin Ferrell, Montgomery College, Maryland
“I stand at the center of a world that needs to raise awareness about people dealing with ADHD.”
Hello everyone! Here is the link to my quick podcast! I have included the script below in case you are unable to listen to the audio.
Script: Hello everybody, thank you so much for joining me today. My name is Kevin Ferrell and I will be taking (or at least trying to take) you through a mundane day in the life of a person who suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Hello everybody, thank you so much for joining me today. My name is Kevin Ferrell and I will be taking (or at least trying to take) you through a mundane day in the life of a person who suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Chores, right? We all do them as adults and sometimes as children, but regardless, chores are routine tasks that are typically done around the house. Let’s say you have a hamper full of dirty clothes that need to get done. Naturally, you throw them in the washer and start that cycle. But after you start that wash cycle, you notice that you left your dirty dishes in the sink after a long night out and you need to toss those in the dishwasher. As you’re doing those dishes, you look up for a SPLIT second, and something catches your eye outside; leaves on the patio. So you stop doing those dishes, grab the broom and dustpan, and get to sweeping. After everything is in the dustpan, you try to dump it in the trash can, but it’s full, so of course you must take that trash out. Then, you come back inside your apartment (after the wash cycle is complete), and you notice that you forgot to do that thing you were going to do. So you go do that thing, and while you’re doing that thing, you remember that you have an assignment due and stop that thing, then go do that thing, then go do that thing, then go do that thing, then………wait, what was I originally doing? ……wait, what was I originally doing?
This is all too familiar in my life (pre-medication) and many others, but many people think that it isn’t a legitimate neurological disorder that affects many routine tasks that others can do flawlessly. Imagine if each chore was an assignment at school, and your parents think that ADHD is just you “not focusing hard enough”, and your grades start to slip but you can’t explain why because during that conversation, your mind races back to doing those dishes…This is a typical day in the life of a person with ADHD.
I hope this helps others understand the mental struggles that people diagnosed with ADHD suffer from, and I HOPE that people will stop abusing the medication prescribed to help us maintain a normal life. Thank you……I have to get back to those dishes.
Addendum to Script
Covid-19 definitely intensified my ADHD and anxiety but probably not in the way that one would initially think. After the initial lockdown period and before vaccines were approved by the FDA, my anxiety was pretty high. But during that time period, I had no idea that I had anxiety. I had no idea that I had anxiety. I thought I was just worrying about the worst-case scenarios for future events that have yet to even be planned out/confirmed. In order to try to control my anxiety, I would clean my apartment obsessively, but ADHD was a hinderance in that aspect of my life at the time. It was so incredibly hard to focus on completing any tasks before I got back on ADHD medication in March of 2021. I would spend HOURS trying to complete my cleaning chores that I set out for myself, and now it takes about an hour to do all of the cleaning in the entire apartment. Covid-19 definitely intensified my ADHD and anxiety, but probably not in the way that one would initially think.
From the United Nations Video Library ~ “UN chief on COVID-19 and the need for action on mental health” May 2020 (2:46)
Video summary and quotes: Mental health has been an issue for years (and negatively portrayed in society), but awareness has increased at an alarming rate due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has negatively impacted individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions and many governments need to step up and take mental health seriously.
“This suffering is often exacerbated by stigma and discrimination, which is absolutely unacceptable.”
This quote caught my attention because it rings true. If we can change the stigma from “oh, this person has mental issues, they’re psychotic” to something more normal, like, “I’m sorry, what can I do to help you out?”, that would ease the stress caused by people suffering from mental illness.
“Policies must support and care for those affected by mental health conditions, and protect their human rights and dignity.”
Such truth in this statement. With ADHD being a small part of the mental health dialogue, anxiety needs to be brought in to play (in order to get some sort of recognition). According to a literature review posted in 2006, “ADHD is often comorbid with anxiety disorders, with rates approaching 25% in many samples.”
A Strong Institution Can Help Solve the Problem
Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) is a non-profit organization founded in 1987 that aims to improve the lives of children and adults with ADHD. CHADD also has three goals & priorities listed on their website: Information, Support, and Advocacy
“Many clinicians and educators knew little about the disability, and individuals with ADHD were often mistakenly labeled ‘a behavior problem,’ ‘unmotivated,’ or ‘not intelligent enough.'”
This quote reminds me of my childhood. I know there’s nothing I can do about my past, but now that there are many more resources available, I hope to give my future children access to these resources (if applicable).
“Everybody can have difficulty sitting still, paying attention or controlling impulsive behavior once in a while. For some people, however, the problems are so pervasive and persistent that they interfere with every aspect of their life: home, academic, social and work.”
I saw this quote and it summarizes me and my struggles with ADHD very well. I believe I will be using this definition to try to explain to people that ask me about ADHD!
I believe this institution is strong and sustainable as it has been around since 1987. Along with the track record, and the current publicity/normalization of everyone’s mental health, I believe that this institution will be around for quite a while. Additionally, CHADD has an article on the NIH/National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)’s website.
David Beck Schatz, Anthony L. Rostain, “ADHD With Comorbid Anxiety: A Review of the Current Literature” in Journal of Attention Disorders, November 1, 2006