I think I might have some sort of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. My mind is constantly wandering and I can never seem to pay attention to anything. When somebody asks me a question sometimes I know that I know the answer but I just can’t seem to find it and it literally feels like there’s nothing but blur in my head. I guess the bottom line is, I want to get professional help with this but I am only 14-years-old and I do not know how to approach the question with my parents. Do you have some advice?
I am very proud of you for taking the initiative to get some advice and learn about yourself. No matter what –you have done the right thing in trying to understand yourself better.
According to emedicinehealth’s website, these are some ADHD symptoms and signs in teenagers.
“While symptoms of hyperactivity in people with ADHD tend to decrease with age, most of the differences in symptoms of this disorder in adolescents compared to children and adults have much to do with the tasks that tweens and teens are called on to do at this stage of their lives. For example, teens with ADHD tend to show lower grade point averages, lower levels of class placement (for example, remedial versus honors or advanced placement), and higher rates of course failure. Also, teens with this diagnosis tend to complete and turn in a much lower percentage of in-class and homework assignments and are much less likely to be working up to their potential. Adolescents with ADHD are significantly more likely to be absent or tardy from school, and they can be over eight times more likely than adolescents without ADHD to drop out of high school. ADHD teens tend to be more impulsive drivers and have more accidents due to risky behaviors. Research has also shown that ADHD teens have more difficulty making and keeping well-adjusted friends. Unfortunately, in the face of the unique and significant impact that ADHD can have on their lives, teens tend to be the least willing to receive treatment compared to their younger and older counterparts. Research shows that adolescents are often more likely to have a negative perception of treatment and to be more likely to expect to have a bad experience as a result of ADHD treatment. Substance abuse is more common in teens with ADHD than their peer non-ADHD population.”
They also list potential treatments for ADHD in teens. “There are a variety of treatments available for managing ADHD during adolescence, including several effective treatment medications, educational or vocational interventions, nutritional interventions, as well as specific forms of psychotherapy.”
Here is a link to an overview with some more good information about ADD and ADHD.
Take this quiz. If your answers reflect that there seems like there is an issue, make an appointment with the school guidance counselor or social worker. Explain that you have an issue that you can’t talk to your parents about. The quiz isn’t official, but it may give you something to use as a way to start a conversation with your guidance counselor. He or she can help you find a way to talk to your parents and perhaps get some testing done. ADD/ADHD has many facets to it and may have symptoms that look like other things, or may be nothing. Your guidance counselor is a good first step. But if you have a physical with your physician for the beginning of the school year, he or she can help you with this, too.
Wishing you patience and peace,