FOR AS LONG as I can remember, I had a hard time
sitting still for any long period of time. It was also
difficult to stay focused and I would often drift off to
another world or daydream during classes. Reading a book
or an article was quite difficult as well. I would get distracted
easily and had to re-read a page several times to get the gist
of the subject matter.
While studying psychology at NYU, I finally understood why I
had been struggling with staying focused all my life. After a class on
various disorders and a research project that I completed, I diagnosed
myself with ADD. Years later, I developed the courage to go to a
hospital in New York and to get properly tested and diagnosed.
The symptoms of ADD include inattentiveness, impulsiveness,
and hyperactive behavior. Nearly 10 million people in America
have been diagnosed with ADD and there are millions who have
the disorder but are not diagnosed. The exact cause is unknown, but
is thought to run in families and I often wondered if it was related
to my epileptic attacks. While ADD can be effectively managed by
medication, I chose not to take any medication. I felt that over the
years I had developed effective coping skills to manage at work,
home, and on a social level. Although I have developed these coping
skills, living with ADD is still a daily struggle. I am blessed in that
I felt comfortable enough to disclose this to some key people in my
life, as I believed they would not judge me or look at me differently.
I still have not disclosed this to many of my family members and
friends, so I suspect it will be a surprise for many people reading this
book and learning about it for the first time.
I know that there are many of us out there, living with ADD, and
are afraid of admitting it or getting properly diagnosed due to fear
of what others may think and how they might react. It has taken me
a long time to share this with others, because I had similar fears;
but I am at a stage in my life where I am confi dent and feel good
about myself. I live a decent life and know that with God’s help I am
You should know that some of the most famous, creative,
innovative, and imaginative people have ADD or ADHD. A Google
search will provide a long list that includes the names of Albert
Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, John Lennon, Bill
Gates, Michael Jordan, Tom Cruise, Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg,
and Babe Ruth, to name a few.
THIS IS PART OF A CHAPTER IN “FINALLY REID”