Friday, December 31, 2010

This is my personal journey with ADD

There are numerous misconceptions about it. Does it even exist? Yes, it does. I know because I have it. When I was younger I had trouble in school, I didn’t know it at the time but I was absolutely unable to focus. I thought that I just wasn’t trying. But it was so much more than that. I got tested for ADD and they said that I definitely had it. I was so ashamed though. At my elementary school they have this program for children with learning disabilities, sometimes they get longer periods of time to write tests/quizzes, if the class is studying a novel the kids with learning disabilities will get books with bigger font, etc. I did NOT want to be identified with ADD because then I would have to be in that program, and then everyone would think I was so stupid. My mom begged and pleaded that I get identified, she didn’t want me to struggle anymore. But I told her absolutely not. So I almost failed grade 8.

Then I went to high school, and did pretty bad in grade 9 and 10. Through the whole time I was visiting my psychiatrist. He doesn’t prescribe people meds easily. He knew I had ADD, anxiety disorder, and depression for years before he prescribed me anything. So like half way through grade 10 I was about to have a nervous breakdown because I was in Academic math and it was sooo hard, I was struggling terribly. To make it worse, I was also going to a tutor twice a week. WIthout my tutor I would have never passed. But anywayy, I was about to have a nervous breakdown because I was under so much stress with school. I went to my psychiatrist appointment like usual and I told him how much I was struggling and everything, I had no idea it was linked to the ADD, I just thought I was stupid. I wasn’t telling him this so he would give me meds, I was just genuinely letting it all out. He prescribed me adderall, the lowest dose. At first I was so stubborn to take it, I was convinced that ADD wasn’t even real, I didn’t want to take the easy way out. I thought that only stupid people made up ADD as a shield. But I took them anyway. Things started changing after like a month, I could actually focus! It was sooooo weird. I had never actually realized how bad it really was! Then I went on a higher dosage, and omg I was a new person. I could actually carry a thought! I was actually able to pay attention in class! It was all so new to me. That semester I was honor roll with high 80’s and low 90’s, all in academic classes. So I went from 50’s and low 60’s in grades 9 and half of grade ten, but then honor roll the other half of grade 10 and all of grade 11. I was so proud of myself, I was working so hard. I was spending hours on my homework, because for the first time in my life I could actually focus. I would come home from school and work on my homework until bed, not even having a break for dinner.

I really am so thankful that someone invented this medication, and saved me. Where would I be if I didn’t have it? I have no idea. I totally changed my life too. It made me so much more motivated and realize I have so much potential. I also lost 25 lbs. I weighed 130 lbs at the beginning of grade 10, and then I dropped to 105 lbs! I had always had a problem with my weight, because I was unable to focus, I was always bored and I would just eat and eat and eat. Now that I can focus, I only eat when I am actually hungry. Now I’m actually a normal person.

So I just wanted to share my story, because I always judged people with ADD as stupid, or pathetic, or whatever. But thats the farthest thing that I am. ADD is actually real, its not just made up. Trust me.

If you read this whole thing, thank you so much. It means so much to me and all of the other people in the world with ADD.

2010 Memories

This girl has been my BFF for years. We were partners in crime. We have so many memories its insane. Esther and I are very alike. Both of us are extremely lazy, food is our passion in life, we are so sarcastic, our sense of humor is the exact same, we have to push ourselves to accomplish tasks, we always leave things until the last minute, and like I could just go on forever. I can't even count all the days at 8:00 AM I would receive a text from this woman saying "I'm still in bed..." to which I would reply, "me too...". Then we would walk our sorry late asses to school and I'd get you to forge a note for me. But all of that changed when at the end of August you moved. Honestly I didn't even know what to expect, you had lived across the street from me for so long it just didn't seem real to me that you weren't there anymore. School was so different without you this year, I missed you insanely. It just wasn't the same. I hate myself for letting us drift apart a little. But even if we don't talk for months, I know that I could just call you and it would feel like no time went by at all. Thats how good of friends we are. We don't need to constantly talk, because we just know we will always reunite. I love you so much.

These absolutely incredible people are my art friends. I call them that because I met them through art class. This year I really became friends with Carly, Mara and Jerrod. In grade 10 I had art with Carly and Mara and I don't think I said one word to them. Carly's locker was right beside mine that year and she told me she remembers me saying to her "your wearing stripes, plaid, and polka dots.". I don't recall saying that, but it sounds like something I would say, hahahaha! That just really makes me chuckle. Then in grade 11, in Ms. Bell's class, I was assigned to sit beside Carly, I was so intimidated by her because she is like an amazing artist! But then we became great friends and I told her all my secrets and we would laugh our asses off all class. Mara and Jerrod would move their seats over and sit at our table, along with Teresa and Esther. But then this semester Esther and Teresa are gone, so its just Carly, Mara, Jerrod, and I in painting and drawing together. These 3 people are honestly the most awesome people, the inspire me to the be the artist that I truly am. They know all of my weaknesses and strengths. I never thought I would be friends with people like them for some reason, but I am SO glad that I am.

2010 Memories

Volunteering at the Relay for Life at the end of grade 11 with Jerrod and Carine

Going to Shadow Lake with the Air Cadets, sharing a room with like grade 7's, cleaning the cabins and carrying furniture around, playing football in the freezing cold, then going cross country skiing. The cross country skiing was pretty hard and rigorous but I only fell once and had a total blast. I will definitely do it again!

When Shannon Clarke-Black was presenting her ISU in Anthropology, Sociology, and Psychology, her topic was abortion and she showed a movie where this girl was getting an illegal abortion done and I fainted and David Broda caught me, then handed me to Connor. How embarrassing.

In November all the art students went downtown to go see this play called 'Studies in Motion: the haunting of eadweard muybridge' which was so amazing. There were a lot of nude people in the play. Right at the beginning a bunch of nude men were dancing across the stage, I always wondered how a naked mans body looked when he moved and it was extremely weird at first. I was sitting beside Carine and Jerrod, and Carine and I couldn't stop giggling for the first 5 minutes. It made me really realize that the human body is the most beautiful thing in the world.

On my birthday Connor got me this really adorable coach purse and matching little wallet. I cried! I just didn't think at all he would have such good taste and know me so well.

Christmas Connor got me this adorable bracelet from Ben Moss, its kind of like a charm bracelet and it has a little key dangling on it, and the key has little hearts as the teeth. I cried when I got it. He also gave me a box of chocolates from Laura Secord, these chocolate caramel balls from Laura Secord, and an adorable pair of pajamas from La Vie en Rose that are powder pink and say 'dream' all over them in cursive. The top was too big though so I'm going to have to return it. But I loved my gifts and it made me realize how well he knows me.

In September this woman came into our visual arts class and we made shadow boxes. I did a field landscape with little flowers in the front. It is my first piece of artwork that I actually love! I want to make another one soon.

Connor and I went downtown in the fall and we went shopping in the Eatons Centre. We each bought to American Apparel sweatshirts. We went to this restaurant in the Eatons Centre called Mr Green Jeans and it was so good. This random woman was sitting beside us wearing sheepskin boots and decided to tell us her life story. She was a nut to say the least. I got my fettucini alfredo to go and I put it in my American Apparel bag, and on the train ride home we realized it spilled on the hood of my new sweatshirt! Oh well, it didn't stain. Oh and also on the train ride home, I was kissing and caressing Connors cheek, putting my hand under his sweatshirt, etc. and he was getting so embarrassed because people were watching. Later on he told me how turned on he was though and I know he totally loved it.

Connor and I were watching sex and the city in my family room and somehow we smashed heads so hard.

For moms work christmas party we went to the science center, and instead of dad coming Connor came. We went to the whale exhibit and the mythical creatures exhibit and one other one and thats it. We had a huge lunch/brunch as well. It was fun.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Just some recent pictures.

My sister and Cheico on a hike.

Esther and I.

All About ADD and ADHD

What is ADD/ADHD?
Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD/ADHD, is a psychological term currently applied to anyone who meets the DSM IV diagnostic criteria for impulsivity, hyperactivity and/or inattention. The diagnostic criteria are subjective and include behavior which might be caused by a wide variety of factors, ranging from brain defects to allergies to giftedness. ADD, as currently defined, is a highly subjective description, not a specific disease.

Confusion and controversy is caused by the tendency of some mental health professionals to assume that everyone diagnosed with ADD has some mysterious, irreversible brain defect. This assumption has its roots in the very first group of severely ADD people ever studied, who suffered from encephalitis, or a swelling of the brain. We also have learned that birth defects and brain injury from toxic chemicals such as lead often cause ADD. However, over the last several decades the ADD diagnostic criteria have been so broadened as to include many people with no brain defects at all. Experts in the fields of temperament and creativity have objected that perfectly healthy people are being classified as disordered. Huge numbers of these new types of people being added to the diagnostic pot have changed the way ADD is viewed in some circles, including people like Thom Hartmann, who popularized the idea of ADDers being "Hunters in a Farmer's World". On the other hand, many argue that such people aren't ADD in the first place. Both may be correct. This website was started with the first viewpoint in mind (hence the title), but as time passes I find myself more likely to just say that many so-called ADD people are simply not ADD in the classic sense.

Profiles of ADD

Sara is quiet 40-year old woman with three kids. As a child she got average grades and was not a discipline problem. Her imagination was so vivid that she daydreamed a lot and had trouble focusing on the teacher, and she was harassed by her parents for being so far away and "in the clouds". Her entire life has been marked by disorganization and procrastination. Her IQ is 152 but she feels stupid. She loves her family but is overwhelmed by the daily routine. Sara has the rarest MBTI temperament: INFP. This temperament is associated with the best writers in history and is said to have the "soul of an artist". She naturally focuses on her inner world and is inspired by imagination. Unfortunately, this perfectly natural temperament trait has caused her to feel different from others and to be looked down upon. She has been unable to find her niche, and she suffers from anxiety and depression, both of which cause an inability to concentrate and mental fogginess. She is also a perfectionist, a trait associated with giftedness, which is one reason she cannot seem to get started on the many artistic projects she dreams up in her head. Her natural tendency to think divergently causes her to be disorganized and her house is always a mess. She has a strong tendency to blame herself and to try and meet everyone else's expectations, which is one reason she is so depressed. Her depression makes it even more difficult to accomplish anything, so a vicious downward cycle has left her feeling completely overwhelmed and worthless. She also has a fatty acid deficiency that became severe after her three pregnancies, which has seriously increased her depression and inability to focus.

Doug is a twenty year old college student suffering from sleep apnea triggered by allergies. Because he is always extremely tired, he has trouble concentrating and learning new things. He's also unorganized and depressed because he's so tired. Note that a brain scan would probably show abnormal glucose metabolism that researchers would cites as "proof" of brain damage, even though it really shows a lack of sleep and accompanying depression and anxiety. When his sleep condition is treated his "ADD" clears up.

Jessica was a very unhappy, colicky baby for her first year. She rarely slept and cried constantly. As a toddler she was hyperactive and had constant temper tantrums. In kindergarten she is simply impossible: unfocused, impulsive, and constantly getting into fights with other children. Her moods are unpredictable, and she complains of headaches. She also has a chronic stuffy nose and dark circles under her eyes. Jessica's real problem is an allergy to wheat, milk and food colors. When her allergies are treated she becomes an entirely different child.

This is somebody who would be labeled with having ADD, but doesn't actually have it:
Ryan is a seven-year old boy who is naturally active and has an IQ of 120. His mother is very passive and neither one of his parents have ever disciplined him appropriately. They nag, yell and threaten, but NEVER follow up with a consequence. As a result, Ryan is a major behavior problem in school. He constantly talks when he's not supposed to, gets into fights, and refuses to do schoolwork. When he doesn't get his way he throws a tantrum. He lies about other kids, tattling on them to the teacher. He's not very fidgety, he just likes to run and chase balls. He doesn't have motor problems, and is actually pretty coordinated. Ryan is essentially a spoiled brat. He, like most kids, also has a fatty acid deficiency which exacerbates his negative behavior.

There are two major types of ADD at this time (this aspect of ADD keeps evolving): ADD with hyperactivity (the traditional type of ADD) and ADD without hyperactivity ("inattentive" type). Here are the DSM IV diagnostic criteria in a condensed form:

Inattention (must meet six of the following to a degree that is "maladaptive"):

Often fails to give close attention to details or makes mistakes in schoolwork;
difficulty sustaining attention in tasks;
seems not to listen;
fails to follow instructions or finish work;
difficulties with schoolwork or homework;
loses things like school assignments, books, tools, etc.;
easily distracted;
forgetful about daily activities.

ADD with Hyperactivity (must meet six of the following to a degree that is "maladaptive"):

fidgety in a squirmy sense;
doesn't stay seated;
runs or climbs excessively (or feelings of restlessness in older children);
difficulty playing quietly;
often "on the go" or acts if "driven by a motor";
often talks excessively;
blurts out answers to questions;
difficulty waiting in lines or waiting turns;
often interrupts or intrudes on others.

For information on how ADD is diagnosed, how ADD brains differ from regular brains, common misconceptions about ADD, and more, visit this website, which I got all of this information directly from. Please visit this website and take 5 minutes to read it. It really is fascinating.
Born to Explore - what is add

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Perfect Red Lip

I am totally going to try this look!
I've been wanting to wear a red lip for the longest time, but I didn't think I could pull it off. But with this tutorial I think I can :)

The Albino Squirrel

The Albino Squirrel
Originally uploaded by wenxue2222

Albino squirrel

Albino squirrel
Originally uploaded by wenxue2222

The Albino Squirrel

The Albino Squirrel
Originally uploaded by wenxue2222
OMG, too cute to handle!