How People with Undiagnosed ADHD are Seen in Today’s Society
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD, has been known by several different names over the last one hundred years. Some of the more familiar names are, “brain damaged syndrome”, “minimal brain dysfunction “ ,”hyperkinetic impulsive disorder”, and last but not least “attention deficit disorder (ADD)”. With labels like these, it is no surprise that this disorder has a faultiest reputation with today’s society. ADHD does not just affect children. Adults can be diagnosed as well, but it is the individuals that go through life without treatment that can have devastating results. The first documented cases of this particular disorder were researched by Dr. Still in the nineteen hundreds . The physician noticed certain reoccurring symptoms (mainly in boys), and he referred to these behaviors as "defects in moral control". Over the next several decades, many other educated professionals continued to try to examine and understand the foundation of the disorder. Today, ADHD is much more understood. ADHD symptoms are many and vary in complexity. Most individuals have multiple symptoms at one or more points in their lives, but individuals who qualify for a diagnosis of ADHD have six out of the nine symptoms associated with the disorder. A person with ADHD is often unable to pay close attention to details or easily makes mistakes in a school environment, or for adults, at work. When the individual is able to focus the attention needed to complete a task, it is only sustained for short periods of time. They are sometimes accused of not listening when spoken to directly by another individual, and is often unable to follow through with instructions and tasks given to them. This includes duties in the workplace, at school, and even chores at home. Individuals who suffer with ADHD also have difficulty organizing tasks or activities. Items necessary to complete tasks are often misplaced or lost preventing them from completing important activities at work or school. They often avoid or dislike engaging in tasks that require concentration for long periods of time.
Becoming distracted by outside stimuli and being forgetful in daily activities, is also a continuous problem.(National Resource Center on ADHD) Knowing these symptoms is helpful, but what happens to individuals that are not diagnosed with ADHD? Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. has been counseling adults and children with Attention
Deficit Disorder for many years. In his book Driven to Distraction, he talks about several cases that portray how individuals without this diagnosis are misunderstood by society. These individuals were seen as lazy, disorganized, or trouble-makers. The first client he describes in his book is about a man who goes by the name Jim. Jim had a semi-normal childhood, although he was considered rambunctious in school. Even though he enjoyed getting into his share of mischief, he was able to get through grade school without much trouble. However, once in high school , he was not as lucky. He began getting lectures from his parents and teachers on “moral shortcomings”(Driven To Distraction, 2011, p. 8).The people in his life also made him feel guilty by inflicting on him the idea that he was letting everyone around him down by his inability to keep his grades the level they considered acceptable. His self-esteem began to drop, but he continued to have a positive attitude about life all the way through college. Once out of college, Jim began several computer related jobs but was not able to keep any of the jobs for very long. He described his love for computers to Dr. Hallowell. “I just have this understanding of them, you know what I