“Fake” Diseases I Probably Have

I’m taking a really cool software training class this week.  I’ve been wanting to learn it for a long time, and my boss finally agreed to pay for the week-long training class for a coworker and me.

I hope it doesn’t sound conceited if I say that I’m picking it up a lot more quickly than some others in the class, despite the fact that I’ve never actually used the software before.  Part of it is that they’re not computer-savvy (is it offensive if I mention that they’re from an older generation?).  Part is that they’ll immediately ask for help if something goes wrong, whereas if I miss a step, I’m able to navigate back and figure out what went wrong.  Maybe it’s just that I tend not to blame the software or the teacher, which are both awesome.

Anyway, my only complaint about the class is that it moves a little slowly, and I’ll be several steps ahead waiting for the rest of the class to catch up.  This is a very bad thing for me.

I’ve always had a problem focusing.  In elementary school, I used to keep a stash of toys in my desk so that I could play during lesson.  Sometimes I’d read, the book hidden in my lap where the teacher couldn’t see.  Luckily, I was also a smart kid, so I still managed straight A’s.

This is a problem that has persisted.  I am a doodler, a daydreamer.  Sometimes I’ll be in a meeting, listening, but all of a sudden I’ll snap back to reality and realize I missed 10 minutes of conversation.  This also happens in social situations.  I forget names as soon as they’re spoken.  I never remember to call – my older sister is the same.  We’ll talk once every 3 or 4 months, but pick right back up where we left off.

Anyway, I think it’s likely that I have undiagnosed ADD.

I’ve pondered the idea before, since I really do have focus issues.  To some extent, does it even matter?  Obviously I’m no slouch, even with my constant state of distraction.  Then I think, well, what kind of dynamo could I be if I could just focus?  What kind of evil supergenius could I become if I could just stop getting distracted by shiny objects?

During one of my many “breaks” in the training, I googled ADD tests and took a couple.  I sent a couple to Chad, just for fun.  My scores were DOUBLE what his were.  I even tried faking some test answers, pretending that no, I don’t tend to fly off the handle randomly.  Still high.

I talked to my mom about it, and she said that my older sister was just diagnosed with ADD (which is funny, because we’ve talked before about our “quirks” – forgetting things immediately, losing objects that we just had 2 seconds ago, our inability to hold a conversation without spacing out).  I’m not sure if she decided to go on medication or anything (since I haven’t spoken to her since my birthday almost a month ago, even though she’s supposed to be coming to visit in the next few weeks).  I’m not sure if I’d take medication for it – maybe just knowing would be enough?

I might go see a doctor about it, but I probably will forget.

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4 Responses

  1. A coworker recognized in college that I flipped the last two numbers when I wrote a series. I did this consistently. I went to the university learning studies department and tested for dyslexia. I have it. It didn’t do much good to know that late in life, but it did help me understand some things (like why I suck at math and spelling). However, just knowing it’s there does help me concentrate more when I know I’m likely to make that kind of error. Maybe just knowing for sure would make you feel better?

    • That’s what I think – it would definitely explain a lot!

  2. I prefer to call it boredom! What are you supposed to do if you’ve finished and are waiting for someone else? You might go to the doctor and forget why you went. I’m only half joking, though… I view these new diagnoses and diseases with cynicism and have a half baked theory: we are using our brains so much more these days and it takes some adjustment.

    • Well, there’s all sorts of research on how the internet has changed the way we think, giving us shorter attention spans, etc.

      I know that ADD is considered to be over-diagnosed, and I’m not sure if I’d take medication for it. And in reality, I’m probably not ever going to make it to the doctor because scheduling a doctor appointment has proven to be impossible for me. 🙂

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