August 5, 2011 - submitted by Anon, United States of America

Q. TEAM ORACLE QUESTION #35
"I am a very forgetful and inattentive person and I'm very insecure about it. Sometimes I zone off in class and when I get home to do homework, I have trouble focusing and doing it. I believe I have a form of ADD/ADHD, but my parents don't believe me. I think being tested could help me, but I can't convince them. My friends think I'm being ridiculous, too. What should I do to get help?!"


The Oracle replies:

ADD/ADHD can be easy to misdiagnose and equally, as may be your case, easy to ignore and blame other things rather than the condition. It could be that you are just naturally forgetful or a bit of a daydreamer; you may be bored. One common misconception is to label rather than see that boredom arises from not being challenged enough hence finding it hard to hold attention. Ask yourself if there are any times you see the opposite is true. It may be that you are only focused in things that you are interested in or like doing. I was certainly easily distracted at school and during homework times. I was the opposite if it was a passion, like music. I could lose hours in dreaming or going off on a tangent but I didn't and don't have ADD.
I am a firm believer in knowing your own body and to some extent, mind. If you feel there is more to this than simply being unable to concentrate then you owe it to yourself to get tested. Whether the reason your parents dismiss the notion is one of stigma, financial or simply disbelief is irrelevant. I think you need to check all areas of your life to see if there's a pattern. You could start with some online research into testing for ADD/ADHD. If you still feel the same, you should seek medical help. Over to you.

If you truly feel that you do have ADD/ADHD and if your parents nor friends believe you, I'd say get help from your teachers. Most likely they have had students with ADD and or ADHD and they can not only help you and give you advice, but also they can convince your parents if you do have ADD or ADHD. Also dont feel ashamed if you do have them, you're not alone. I hope all goes well for you. Billy N.

Try researching ADD/ADHD on the web and take an online test and examine your results. Look up some of the symptoms, too. Do you notice that you are inattentive all the time or only during shool? Zoning off in class and having trouble staying focused on homework (especially when you are distracted or your mind is elsewhere) can be rather common in student life. If you can watch a movie without interruption or maintain a steady conversation with friends, then you might not have ADD at all and the problems you are experiencing might just be a lack of interest in your studies. Not getting enough sleep and consuming too much caffeine might be factors as well. If you want to be sure, you should ask your instructors if they have noticed any type of ADD behavior during class. If they have, you can arrange a parent-teacher meeting in order to provide an outside opinion that your parents can take into consideration. Hope this helped! Blake.

I always have been forgetful and insecure like you. But over the years, I have learn that you have to take care of yourself, you have to survive what the future have prepared to you, it always will be difficult to adapt to different situations. But this have to be your own purpose. You really have to put effort for success, you have to focus on what you do until you are satisfied with its result. And do not give up until you get what you want; remember that always worth fight for what you want most. Organize your life. You will notice that this way is easier to succeed. Be optimistic and you'll see. Emilia.

I was in a very similar situation that you are in. I was doing utterly terrible in chemistry, and I was convinced I had a learning disability. Funny thing is, I was just bad at chemistry. Now I'm not trying to say You don't have ADD/ADHD, those cases exist, and you have to understand that your parents wouldn't want to come to the realization. However, you'll need to get a confirmation, if there are any specialist in the field of ADHD in your area, then search ADD/ADHD Specialist Contact on the internet, I checked and there are plenty of ways to personally contact a physician in this field, and they could help you really detect symptoms to see whether you have it or not.
Now if it turns out you don't have it, don't worry, you'll just need to overcome the trouble you're having with concentration. This might sound corny, but I often found myself writing the word "FOCUS" on my hand in case my mind began to wander. It's going to be hard to get down and concentrate, you've got a wandering mind, but I'm certain you can overcome this! Best wishes, Bradley H.

I actually do have ADD and it took years to diagnose as everyone just thought I'd had too much sugar or was hyperactive. I was seen as a problem child for so long and was very frustrated. I can relate to what you're saying but there's only one way to find out. Get tested! Rather than feel insecure about it, tackle it head on then at least you know what you are (or not) dealing with. Good luck!

Thank you all for your replies.
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