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The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Diagnosis changes mind on ADHD

Lisa Diaz (The Inquirer)

I first learned of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, sitting in my fourth grade classroom, next to a particularly rambunctious, unruly classmate.

My classmate bounced off the walls and, quite frankly, acted like a wild animal.

The constant trips to the nurse’s office to take Ritalin did not stand a chance in easing the situation, as my classmate was sent by my teacher to see the principal every day, like clockwork.

I left fourth grade with a clear comprehension of long division, California History, and how ADHD had left my classmate out-of-control and a prime subject for bullying and torment.  

ADHD is frequently associated with temper tantrums, aggression, inability to learn anything academically, stubbornness, and constant interruptions.

Even though those associations are accurate, they dismiss the positive affects ADHD has on the brain and the different manifestations of ADHD in different people.

Three weeks ago, I found out that I am one of the “different people.”

Growing up, teachers never complained of me bouncing off walls or having rampages, but emphasized the potential they saw in me.

With my potential shown in my intelligence, creativity and fearless personality, I could accomplish anything … if I just did my homework.

To make my very long academic story short, I succeeded by acing tests and turning in late assignments until I got to a four-year university. As it turns out, homework in college is nonnegotiable.

As hard as I tried, I just could not do it. What did not help was that I attended Arizona State, where raging pool parties made for a fun alternative.

A year and a half later, reality came bearing down on me, evaporating the Don Julio margarita out of my red cup and illuminating my horrendous transcript.

With my preconceived notions of the disorder, I never would have guessed I had it and would have argued with anyone who told me otherwise.

When I was referred to take an ADHD class, I protested but the experience changed my life. I learned what made me impulsive and that others go through the exact same thing.

I am not ashamed, but I am proud of my creativity, sense of humor, compassion and charisma that all stem from my brain not being wired “normally.”

I no longer am good at beer pong, but realizing I have ADHD has inspired me to wake up every day and strive for a successful career.

My ADHD makes me different, but in those differences I can accomplish great things.

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About the Contributor
Lisa Diaz
Lisa Diaz, Opinion editor
Opinion editor, fall 2011. Staff member, spring 2011.

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Diagnosis changes mind on ADHD