Do you have ADHD all the time?

I know I do.

Science tells me that you do to, that is to say, if you have ADHD, you have it all the time.

I am consistently amazed at how many medical professionals I am aware of who don’t seem to think ADHD needs to be treated all the time. Essentially, the definition of ADHD includes the concept that the symptoms are present in multiple aspects of your life. It’s not just about school, work, or social situations. Though it may be more or less of an issue in different areas of your life, it will always be there in one way or another.

I can’t think of another medical issue that doctors seem content to treat for a select few hours a day. No one would suggest that it’s okay to have high blood pressure as long as it’s only after 5pm. No one would tell me that I only need to wear glasses (for an astigmatism that affects my near and far vision) during my work day. I don’t think it would be prudent for a diabetic to manage their blood sugar Monday through Friday and take weekends off. How about being managing depression and anxiety during the school year but taking the summer off?

Of course the one caveat to this is if there are substantial side effects that don’t allow for being medicated full time.* In most cases, with a competent physician, side effects can be mitigated enough to allow ADHDers to be medicated the amount that they need to be.

Speaking only from my own experience, I need my medication to be the best version of myself in all aspects of my life. Yes,it allows me to be the coach that I want and need to be, and it allows me to be a better business owner. But it also allows me to be the husband, father, friend, and man that I know really am. Yes, sitting at my desk right now and typing blog entries take plenty of attention. But so does making dinner every night, planning my garden for this year, fixing the bathroom sink, playing tennis with my wife, going food shopping, getting myself to the gym, reading the same Berenstain Bears book three times in a row, putting my kids to bed.

It may not be as glaring how much attention is required for these activities as opposed to “work.” And it may be harder for a neurotypical person to understand how much attention all of life requires. But for those of us who aren’t born with the ability to concentrate at will, we deserve to pursue a solution that is effective for the whole of our lives, not just pieces of it, because it all take focus.

Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.

*This includes stimulant based insomnia. See next blog entry.

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