Focus Pocus

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This stuffed zebra parachuting from the ceiling in a pink dress at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville would be distracting to anyone, let alone someone with ADD.

Sarah Hartung

Some of the most gifted and inspiring people around have ADD. While a great number of people with attention disorders go undiagnosed, there are at least two billion Americans between the ages of thirteen and twenty with ADD or ADHD.

So what is ADD? Attention Deficit Disorder is best known for causing the worst of all hindrances: distraction. An inability to focus on the task at hand or maintain that all-important train of thought spells nightmares for children, students, and professionals alike. ADHD enters the picture when the symptoms include chronic restlessness, constant movement, and excessive talking. While these disorders are very difficult to overcome, those already diagnosed have support and good advice to offer.

“Plan ahead,” said one professional with ADD. “I know my strengths and weaknesses. I take my medication, stay caffeinated, and stick notes everywhere.”

In regards to coping with the appointments, gatherings, and many schedules of a fast-paced society, which can become overwhelming to someone with ADD if not handled properly, they said, “[I have a] calendar full of reminders. I email myself, text myself. My advice for others with ADD? When random thoughts or idea pop up, channel them…do you need to remember it later? Post-it!”