Emily is a 13-year-old from Corona Ca. She enjoys reading, writing, and swimming, and her favorite subject is history because it inspires her to learn about other cultures
There are hundreds of articles that explain ADD and ADHD from the medical perspective. I’m not saying those aren’t informative and helpful but, growing up around them I have noticed very few fully address the affects it has on the members of the family without it, let alone one I could relate to. My dad and older brother have ADD and my younger brother ADHD. Since there are three of them, frustration is a common symptom in my family. Now that I am in my teenage years I am able to comprehend the differences between my life and the lives of families’ without it. The differences are not severe however they definitely exist.
The primary distinctions based on time are mornings and nights when the medication has worn off. As anyone who lives with someone with it knows they are far more likely to be disturbed during that time frame. It’s not even their fault, without the medication they can’t process their emotions as rationally they would normally. This creates some complications when I want to have slumber parties or occasionally just getting breakfast. Growing up and having no other choice but to endure the confusing mood changes has given me a better understanding of mental disabilities. Though ADD and ADHD are not nearly as distressing as many others; having multiple people in one family does strengthen the likelihood for conflict.
Throughout my life I have made many non-medical observations on how my brothers and dad interact with each other during moments of stress. The most significant concept I’ve created is that when one is agitated the others are sensitive to it in ways both good and bad. I often times cannot tell the strength of their emotions and the chance of offense to be taken but there is usually a mutual understanding amongst them. That is of course when they are getting along peacefully. Because during mornings and evenings the tension is significantly increased most of their arguments occur within that time frame. What I have always found amazing is that though those conflicts sometimes appear to be severe grudges are rarely ever held. Not taking offense to insults that are shot at me when they are off medication is the most considerable burden. Since I don’t completely understand the disorder there is uncertainty on how much of their outbursts are intentional. Also it can be exceedingly troublesome for the first words I in hear the morning to verbal blows because I accidently disturbed someone. Though this happens infrequently it certainly leaves its’ mark. Other affects which are more annoying than harmful include only being able to have slumber parties with certain friends and getting lectured when I make snarky retorts to my brothers after bother me because “it’s not their fault.”
Overall, my life really isn’t too noticeably different from other people. Every family has their own unique struggles and this just happens to be one of mine. Since I’ve grown up around ADD and ADHD for me everything it involves is normal. Though there are times I wish I lived in a family that doesn’t have to deal with all the drama that comes with it; at the end of the day I wouldn’t change that about my family because it has taught me so many valuable lessons. I wrote this article for the parents who are in the same situation as my parents are where multiple, but not all, members of the family struggle with the disorder. Informing those with little knowledge about this was my other main goal.
Flickr image from chris.corwin