By Deanna Izurieta
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD/ADD, a neurological condition characterized by impulsivity and inattention most commonly associated with hyperactive children, but also affects adults. Some surveys suggest that as many as 4.4 percent of American adults have ADHD while 9.4 percent of children in the United States have an ADHD diagnosis (https://www.additudemag.com/statistics-of-adhd/).
Riverview resident Deanna Izurieta was diagnosed with adult attention deficit disorder without hyperactivity at the age of 49 and at first didn’t quite believe the diagnosis. During a routine exam, she happened to mention to her doctor that she was transposing letters and numbers and had trouble concentrating. Her doctor suggested she take an ADD test. The test consisted of a series of behavioral questions regarding the inability to complete tasks, to keep still and the desire to interrupt during conversations, to name a few.
Still not convinced that she exhibited all of the symptoms of a classic ADD sufferer, she read more on the subject and talked with her doctor again. He explained that one of the indicators of adult ADD is when performance does not match with potential. That explanation seemed to click. Although a good student and a reasonably successful marketing professional, she always felt like an underachiever compared to her peers. She changed jobs often, got bored fast and was not able to focus on a career path and follow it.
Another trait those with adult ADD exhibited as children was daydreaming. That also hit home with Izurieta. In elementary school, teachers would comment that she was a bright child but was a daydreamer, always looking out the window, distracted and seemingly in her own world.
This disorder can be treated with medications, but the side effects are unpleasant. In Izurieta’s case, she felt like there were more positives to just being ‘herself’ rather than feeling medicated. Being ‘different’ had made her more well-rounded, creative and able to think outside of the box and not be satisfied with the status quo.
She has found solace in the fact that she is not alone and has found a variety of support groups online for adults with ADD.