Face First into a Desk

When I was a wee boy, I had uncontainable energy and need to be moving. This symptom of ADHD never ceased, including the time my dad had taken me to his work office so he could make sure his files would be safe before our family went on vacation. My attention was not on my dad’s files at all, as one would expect of a six year old. I was focused on my dad’s rolling, cushioned, and spinning chair. I was more than focused by this chair, I was enticed. In my little six year old mind, I had to jump on this chair, I didn’t have a choice. It is a well-known rule to young children, that if there is a rolling, cushioned, spinning chair, you have to spin. So, that’s what I did, I spun. A six year old reached terminal velocity that day with the help of his also little brother. But this record promptly switched to a vault record as I soon went flying across the room. I must’ve been in the air for minutes until I speedily barreled into the corner of my dad’s conference desk. I was physically stuck on the desk for a few moments before falling off and causing further trauma to my head by banging it in a recycling bin. At this point in time I started teleporting between settings, ending up in beds I didn’t remember crawling into, or rooms I didn’t walk into. Eventually, I ended up in front of a screening of Batman: The Animated Series. I didn’t know how I had gotten there, but I just knew I didn’t want to leave. Sadly, I was put to sleep as the intro was ending, I soon woke up with 23 stitches in my small nose. I didn’t know 23 stitches could fit onto a nose, let alone a six year old’s nose, but I didn’t care. All I cared about was how cool I would look going back to Kindergarten.

Swivel chair definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

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Executive Dysfunction

I have ADHD, and a symptom that impacts my life every day is executive dysfunction. Executive dysfunction is something that neurotypical people experience too, but it’s usually strongest and most visible in people with ADHD.

Understanding executive function is the best way to get a grasp of what executive dysfunction is. As defined by Harvard Center on the Developing Child, “Executive function and self-regulation skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully” (Harvard, 2020).

When looking at the DSM-5 criteria for diagnosing ADHD, it’s obvious that most people with ADHD lack the ability to do these things without outside help, which is where the term “executive dysfunction” comes in.

For me, executive dysfunction hinders my ability to manage my time, control my impulses, remember important upcoming events, and split my attention between multiple things. These effects have led me to miss deadlines, accidentally ditch my friends when we were supposed to hang out, and miss points from not realizing that I’ve left out key details in assignments.

Since I’m in high school, my executive dysfunction mostly affects my schoolwork and learning experience. For an adult with a job, it could cause them to get fired because of repetitive mistakes. The stakes are higher for adults, which is why learning effective strategies to combat executive dysfunction is important.

I hope that this article helps people understand ADHD and its symptoms better. Remember to look out for your friends or family who have ADHD to make sure they’re taking care of themselves.

Works Cited:

“Executive Function & Self-Regulation.” Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, 24 Mar. 2020, developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/executive-function/.

Executive Dysfunction & Learning Disabilities in Kids with ADHD
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Impulsivity

I have ADHD, and a symptom I experience is impulsivity.

I often do and say things without thinking about the consequences. It happens most when I’m in an emotionally unstable or vulnerable state.

For example, when I’m happy, I go out of my way to do kind things for my friends. I’ll bring them Starbucks or surprise them with presents just because the idea popped into my head. However, it goes the other way too. If I’m angry, I’m likely to say whatever comes into my mind, no matter how mean it is.

When it comes to impulse control, I have to be completely mentally present to stop myself from doing mean or potentially harmful things. I’ve trained myself to stay quiet and think when I’m upset so I don’t ruin a relationship because I wasn’t paying attention to the words I was saying.

I also will buy things off impulse. I have so many meaningless objects in my room that I saw, liked, and bought without a second thought. It’s a struggle to be financially stable while impulsive, which could cause trouble for me later in life if I don’t get a handle on it.

Impulsivity can be annoying at times, but please try to be understanding of people with ADHD. We try so hard every day, and it’s great when people acknowledge that.

I hope that this article helps people understand ADHD and its symptoms better. Remember to look out for your friends or family who have ADHD to make sure they’re taking care of themselves.

Impulsivity: Definition, Symptoms, Traits, Causes, Treatment

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Fidgeting

I have ADHD, and a stereotypical symptom I experience is fidgeting.

The earliest ADHD symptom I can remember is fidgeting. Ever since kindergarten, I’ve bounced my legs under my desk. Sometimes it’s accompanied by finger-tapping. I remember having trouble doing mindfulness activities because I felt like I needed to move somehow.

In the past four years, I’ve started cracking my fingers. Every joint in my hand can pop because of the countless hours I’ve spent absentmindedly pulling and pushing on my knuckles. Sometimes, I do it so much that my hands are in horrible pain and I can barely move them.

I’ve been told various times that it’s annoying, that it’s disrespectful, or that I need to stop doing it. If I had a nickel for every time someone’s told me I’m going to have arthritis when I’m older, I would be rich.

However, I’ve never stopped. It’s not because I lack the ability to break bad habits, or because I hold a grudge against people who commented on it. It’s because most of the time, it doesn’t hurt me, but rather comforts me.

For people with ADHD, fidgeting is a way to expel the energy that our brain exponentially puts out. Fidgeting, while sometimes annoying to other people, is not something that should be repressed. It helps people with ADHD to cope with what happens in their brains.

Not fidgeting can make people with ADHD feel overwhelmed, and it makes us more prone to meltdowns. Fidgeting, when done in a non-harmful way, is a healthy behavior for people with ADHD.

I hope that this article helps people understand ADHD and its symptoms better. Remember to look out for your friends or family who have ADHD to make sure they’re taking care of themselves.

3 Ways to Help Fidgety Kids Sit Still - wikiHow
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Hyperfixations

I have ADHD, and one of the symptoms I experience most severely is known as hyperfixation.

A hyperfixation is when someone with ADHD finds something that interests them and becomes infatuated with it. For me, it’s usually fictional universes like Marvel or DC. Hyperfixations can last from weeks to months, or even stick around for years.

When I hyperfixate, the topic becomes my entire world. I have trouble eating enough, drinking enough water, sleeping for a healthy amount of time, and just taking care of myself in general. School becomes the second priority, and I have a hard time staying on top of – or even being able to finish – my work. I spend hours on end in my bedroom consuming my hyperfixation and transferring it into what I like to do. In my case, I like to write.

During the first few weeks of a hyperfixation, I will write obsessively about it. I have written essays about how good the object of my hyperfixation is, made presentations to explain the lesser known details about it to my family, and overall written over five hundred pages of fanfiction about my various hyperfixations.

It might sound silly for a teenager to become obsessed with children’s shows like Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but at one point it was the only thing getting me through the school day.

Hyperfixations are no joke. They’re a symptom of neurodivergency and should be taken just as seriously as any other symptom. People in a state of hyperfixation sometimes mimic symptoms of depression and anxiety like irritability, lack of care for their future, and distancing themselves from other things they would usually like to do.

I hope that this article helps people understand ADHD and its symptoms better. Remember to look out for your friends or family who have ADHD to make sure they’re taking care of themselves.

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