ADD.. an excuse, or a legitimate disorder?

United States
March 24, 2007 7:53pm CST
I am currently taking medication for attention deficit disorder, and I am always conflicted emotionally. I honestly feel like the medication has helped, and that I am justified in taking it because well, doctors know, so if a doctor tells you you've got ADD, you've got ADD.. right? But the way my mother was raised, and therefore the way I think, mental disorders like ADD and ADHD are excuses, cop outs, and when you do poorly in school or forget things, it's your own fault, and you did something wrong. So every morning when I take my pill, and every time it comes up in conversation, I feel guilty and useless. But since I've started taking it, my grades have gone up, I'm happier and getting things done, and my life has generally improved. So.. what do you think, and why? Is ADD a justified medical disorder, or are diagnoses like ADD and ADHD just excuses for personal laziness?
3 people like this
8 responses
@kurtbiewald (2627)
• United States
25 Mar 07
I have mixed feelings about it SOmetimes they misdiagnose things sometimes they do know what they are talking about see if the diagnosis makes sense to you, not if its right or not, maybe you don't know enough to say that, you DO know enough about your symptoms and how you feel to see if it makes sense though maybe get a second or third opinion to confirm if you doubt it I think I heard they get it wrong 25% of the time, often later they change the ADD diagnosis to Bipolar Only you yourself can know if that pill helps or not. Pay very close attention to how the pill makes you feel. Even write a journal of a it maybe, SHare it with your doc maybe. If the pill makes life better (increases your total quality of life) then its a good thing and you should take it. Otherwise no.
• United States
26 Mar 07
I'm fairly sure I'm not bipolar =P But as painfully indecisive and second-guessy as I am, I'm never sure if the pill is helping, or if my life is improving just because I think the pill is helping. I've never felt a definite change of mood or anything when I take the pill, but there's definitely been a remarkable improvement in my life. My grades this quarter were exceptional. Now I wonder if this is the counseling I'm getting along with the pill. I wonder if I'd keep doing this well if I stopped taking the Adderal but continued counseling. It's all very frustrating to think about.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Mar 07
these disorders are not excuses. the brain is an organ, and can get disorders like every other organ and can need medication again like every other organ. if the medication helps you, bingo! you've got a physical disorder!
• United States
12 Apr 07
Doctor's may not always get their diagnoses right and we may not have a real understanding of what's happening yet but I do believe that ADD is a real disorder. People who are natural born organizers with memories like elephants can't even begin to understand what it is like to be so scattered all the time. In their minds people who can't do what they do must be lazy but that is a very damaging mentality. Even if the ability is there but the person won't perform just trying to force the issue is usually the wrong response. For example, if you owned a horse and the horse for some reason refused to leave the barn you probably wouldn't sit there and beat the horse. Most people would realize there is something wrong and try to solve the problem logically. Then if they couldn't resolve it they would call in a specialist who could help the horse. It's really too bad that we can't do the same for each other. We need to approach such problems with reason rather then with scorn and brute force. (which it sounds like you are doing...good for you!)
2 people like this
@AmbiePam (56654)
• United States
29 Mar 07
ADD is real. I am bi-polar and I know some people doubt the real causes and effects of the disease. What you have it real, and medicine is essential, but perhaps if you got counseling as well, it would bring you to even a great level of confidence and fulfillment. I see a counselor once a month just to make sure everything with my bi-polar is not getting to me. Sometimes I go every couple of months. It's like maintenance for your mind in addition to he maintenance to your body that the medicine gives you.
@kelly60 (4548)
• United States
17 Apr 07
It is a justified medical disorder. I have two sons with ADHD and one with ADD. My youngest son has needed several medication changes over the years. Once they got his medications right, his grades came up drastically. The other two also were diagnosed with depression problems and given antidepressants.
• United States
17 Nov 09
well, if you have a disorder that makes you hyper and wacky, then do something. especially running outside. or streaking at your graduation! agh!!!
• United States
11 Dec 07
I am a teacher and I have seen first hand how getting proper medication for ADD can benefit a student. It is like night and day! From what I have heard and read, ADD is just like Depression, etc.-it's a chemical imbalance. It's not an excuse and not a cop out. My daughter's father is against any kind of medication and thinks it's all in what you eat. I can see how the diet can affect you some, but if you have a DISORDER, I don't believe changing your diet alone can cure it.
@lizzyt2007 (1312)
• Craig, Alaska
7 Dec 07
I have ADD and its a real thing. I used to take Adderall for my Add and it worked for awhile. My life was truly different. I could focus on my tasks everyday that needed done. before I touched this medicine I was always delaying getting this done. then on the medicine I had a great memory, I was amazed how much I remembered my shopping lists and what people told me and where I was going. I loved it. I felt smart for once in my life. Then the bonus that I have never had before the medicine is I was calm and I laughed off my clumsiness and I was happier, not stress. Now that I am not on my medicine because of insomnia everyday. I can tell the difference with and without the medicine. Add is a real thing, if you got it, its horrible to be without medicine. I hate not being on medicine. but I am going to see a new doctor soon and hope he can get me on something better than Adderall.