Does someone you know and love exhibit the following behaviors?
- Short attention span.
- Saying or doing things without thinking them through.
These are all symptoms or early warning signs of ADD / ADHD, and if left untreated, or improperly treated, can lead to more problems. Some also believe ADD is a children’s problem and we outgrow it as adults. ADD contributes to school problems, marital problems, workplace problems, and many more areas. It’s not just about misbehaving or wanting to cause problems, it’s about some serious imbalances that cannot be controlled by the person.
The hyperactivity associated with ADD (ADHD) is sometimes missed as we expect these kids to be very active and sometimes bouncing off the walls, and many times they do but they may also be bouncing off the walls inside their heads… and we never see it but they live it.
We can also mistake signs of ADD for improper diets consisting of high carbohydrates or sugar, which can create bizarre behavior in anyone but in an ADD person things can become magnified greatly – and you might see a crash afterwards or even sadness (depression), forget about trying to learn or perform a task. Poorly thought out diets can accentuate these problems or planned diets with protein and supplements can help sufferers to better control their little or big brains, easier on us.
Another thing to keep in mind is ADD can be caused by a head injury or whiplash injury from vehicle accidents or extreme sports (soccer ball off the head, being tackled, puck to the head), a fall off a bike or fence, etc.; they all look similar or the same. If we look at the many athletes who are able to function well and play their sports very well due to their training and conditioning, we might wonder why – or might some of them been able to harness the power of an extremely fast (ADD) brain – do some of these guys/girls have substance abuse, sex abuse, or family problems?
There have been many studies over the years – see the Archives of General Psychiatry – linking ADD / ADHD to substance abuse. Some might question whether ADD suffers seek relief from depression, anxiety inability to learn or complete tasks or just not living up to parents or schools expectations. It’s just a problem of not knowing how to cope with or manage this challenge.
However, if we look at human lives in general, we will see that those problems are struggled with by many of us. I believe we turn to substances or sex-related solutions as they provide some type of relief. It may be temporary, but it is still a relief.
Sometimes the temporary relief might be taken too far and turn into a full-blown addiction, but we don’t always think about the long term as many of us are not geared up to think beyond the stresses we are experiencing and we lose track of where we are trying to go in life. Besides, it’s just a little bit of relief and just for right now. These drugs and activities stimulate the reward center of the brain to release dopamine, bringing more temporary relief.
Another good source of a little dopamine is starting a fight with siblings or parents. Some may look at it as attention getting but it may also be a source creating a confrontational or chaotic situation which may produce a little or a lot of dopamine to provide a naturally produced drug to help one cope with the problems occurring in one’s head.
Acting negative is another form of gaining some stimulant which progresses into depression and also being oppositional. This is also seen in the workplace, just another coping device. No wonder ADD and addicts hang together: nobody else wants us.
Today, getting help is even more important because of the easy availability of video games, high impact TV shows, sports viewing and participation which, when used obsessively, can result in our brains creating the chemicals we need to obtain relief. We claim we just need our downtime or a break from studying, but what we really need is our “fix” or we become grumpy or miserable – which is similar to a drug addict craving their drug. Parents can certainly argue, I need some peace and quiet and it’s the only chance I get is when the kids are sitting quietly playing video games.
Many of us didn’t come with manuals or receive training or information from our parents or schools to help us cope with or manage our ADD /ADHD. So, being the bright people we are, we look for ways to cope – and some of those ways prove to be damaging. And many of us had these problems and got to be parents and we then struggled throughout our lives with our compensating behaviors and managed to cope somehow, but what about our kids? Does life or behavior change cause we wish it to be? We only have to look and see if there is a conflict in our household or our lives.
Many doctors tend to treat ADD with medications and many of us tend to treat ADD with illegal drugs or other forms of relief replacements – such as booze, video games, aggressive sports, sex, etc. What is the difference as they all provide only temporary relief, but no cure – just, possibly addiction. We don’t learn how to cope just continue down a path towards addiction.
Drugs in any form can provide a temporary platform to enable us to learn how to cope, manage, or deal with our problems and then figure how to get off the substance before we become really hooked. But do we learn how to cope, manage, or deal with our ADD / ADHD? Apparently not.
What are the long-term effects of untreated ADD (see 7 types of ADD) and addictive behavior? All are very similar in nature as they both cause long-term brain damage which further impairs our ability to learn, cope in the world or even deal with or manage our problems.
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