My wife Claudia was talking to me the other day, and I must admit that my attention wavered a bit.
"Bill did you hear what I said?" scolded my wife.
"Sure" I replied. "I listen to everything that you say."
"What did I say?"
"…uuuh you were talking about the washing machine?"
My wife gave me a hard look "No Bill, I wasn't talking about the washing machine. I asked if you had any washing."
I smiled. "I was pretty close wasn't I?"
Claudia shook her head. "Bill, you're ADHD."
"What's that? Is it bad?"
My wife laughed. "It isn't bad, it's you. You have what they call Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder."
I threw myself down on our couch and assumed a prone position. "Naw. I'm not hyper. I love to sleep."
"Yes," replied my wife "and when you aren't sleeping you are always moving around. You can't ever sit still."
"Heck, I have always been that way. My dad was like that too."
My wife looked quite serious. "ADHD probably runs in families."
"You're pulling my leg." I smirked.
"No, I'm not!
I shook my head. "I guess that explains a few things to me."
A lot of Children are ADD or ADHD, When I was a kid no one knew about hyperactivity as a disorder. I remember when I was in school. I never was a bad kid, but I was always in trouble. I never knew when to stay put. Teachers either loved or hated me. I remember one teacher that couldn't stand me. We were breaking for summer and I recall saying to her "I'll see you next year Miss Clapp."
She mumbled to herself something that sounded like "Over my dead body."
I called down the hall "That's the way I'd like to see you miss Clapp," and quickly exited the campus.
I got away with that one.
I thought that it wouldn't hurt for me read some things about ADD/ADHD.
I discovered that this disorder is highly heritable and that genetics are a factor in 75% of all cases.
Thom Hartman is an author and radio/TV commentator. He has written a number of books about ADD and ADHD. He has advanced a theory that hyperactivity might have been a survival mechanism in early humans. He calls it his "Hunter / Farmer theory. According to his theory ADHD people may be more adept at searching and moving about and less adept at staying put and managing complex tasks over time. He theorized that hyperactive people became hunters, and the people that were not ADHD become farmers. He cites some studies that found that hyperactivity may carry specific benefits for certain societies, specifically nomadic hunters.
I have no desire to become a nomadic hunter, although I do lots of grocery shopping.
Thom Hartman put his theories to work by founding the Hunter School in New Hampshire. The school is for children 5-15 who suffer from hyperactivity. He has seen amazing success. They work with about thirty students a year.
The school does not use drugs, what they do use is patience and understanding.
Many people outgrow their ADHD, but some people don't.
I never seriously thought about myself as being ADD or ADHD, but thinking back others have. When I retired from Soil Conservation work, one of the gag gifts that I was given by my secretary was a gigantic prescription medicine bottle. On the label it had my name, a huge RX with the business name of "Phantasy Pharmacy. LaLaLand, Oregon.
It said Ritalin 1000mg. Quantity "A bunch"
The directions were to take at regular intervals to combat symptoms of severe AADD (Acute Attention Deficit Disorder).
Evidently other people seemed to think that I had a tendency toward being easily distracted and hyper.
After reading some more about ADHD, I looked at my wife and said: "Hey, I understand that kids often grow out of being hyperactive."
She snickered: "I have lots of patience. I can wait even if you are 72 years old. One of these days, if I am lucky, you just might grow up."
I chuckled to myself: "We have only been married for 45 years. Miracles do happened and she just might be right."