I felt a cleaving in my Mind--
As if my Brain had split--
I tried to match it--Seam by Seam--
But could not make them fit.
The thought behind, I strove to join
Unto the thought before--
But Sequence ravelled out of Sound--
Like Balls--upon a Floor.
--Emily Dickinson (1864)
Most people can probably identify with the poem above as being true for them occasionally, when their thoughts become tangled and disjointed. However, for the child or adult with ADHD like me, this is a normal, everyday thought process. ADHD is a neurological syndrome whose classic defining triads of symptoms include impulsivity, distractibility, and hyperactivity or excess energy. About 15 million Americans have it today, and a majority of them do not even know that they have it. The condition occurs in children and adults, men and women, boys and girls, and it cuts across all ethnic groups, socioeconomic strata, levels of education, and degrees of intelligence. It used to be thought that this was a disorder of childhood alone, and that one outgrew it during adolescence. We now know that only about a third of the ADHD population outgrows it, meaning two-thirds have it through adulthood. I myself have had ADHD since I was age six.
When we are young, we go through many phases or obsessions of what is the cool thing to do or what we have fun doing. Well when I was 8 and a half years old, my obsession was with roller coasters. Every year I went up to the small town nobody knows about of Port Clinton, Ohio during the summer to visit my grandmother. This was the year I was going to beg her with all my might to take me to Cedar Point; the greatest amusement park in the world at that time which happened to be only a half hour away. “I’ll take you” she said “But you have to bring a friend because there’s no way in hell I’m riding those huge loop-de-loop rides with you.”
So it was settled. We arrived with one of my friends who lived down the street, and I...