Maliha’s Story

So, after a lifetime of extreme difficulty and struggle, chaos and underachievement, I have the answer. Here in the UK, ADD is not really well known about, so I was lucky to actually find out about it, and get myself referred by my doctor, to a psychiatrist who specialises in adult ADD. I was just diagnosed last year as having ADD.

I seem to suffer from just about every aspect of ADD. The ones that have caused me the greatest trouble are the difficulties with sleeping and waking. I can lie awake for hours and hours, no matter how tired I am, and in the mornings I’m like a grumpy teenager who just can’t/won’t get out of bed. (It’s been very many years since I was a grumpy teenager, doesn’t stop me behaving like one). The other is not being able to finish tasks, or even sort out or prioritise tasks. Getting up and facing the day is painful, because life with all its myriad decisions to be made, just overwhelms me. I’m happier at night, when there are fewer distractions. I used to think that I was deficient in some way because I just couldn’t make up my mind about what to do next. It was such a muddle for me.

The best thing about having a diagnosis of ADD, is that I can stop blaming myself all the time, and I’ve stopped going to the therapist, trying to figure out reasons for why I can’t function. It isn’t a matter of psychology, or will power. No amount of willpower can compensate for the fact that different parts of your brain aren’t communicating with each other properly. You need to figure out strategies that work for you. When I realised I had ADD, last year I enrolled to do the Dore Programme, at the considerable cost of about £2000. It claims that it cures ADD (as well as dyslexia).

Well, it doesn’t, but it has helped in a lot of ways. It hasn’t touched the sleeping and waking problems, and I still find it hard to engage or focus my attention, but it does help with distraction, and prioritising information. When I used to go to the supermarket, I’d spend an age wandering around getting panicked by all the possibilities, Now I just walk in and pick what I need.. The best part of the Dore programme, though, is that the depression that was such a constant part of my life, has just about gone. Apparently, ADD and depression go together quite frequently. I don’t feel I’ll ever get as dull and low as I used to, my brain feels quite healed in that respect.

The Dore programme consists of doing balancing/co-ordination/eye-tracking exercises along with mental tasks, that are supposed to get the different parts of your brain talking to each other. You do them for 2 x 7 minutes a day, for about a year, and in that time the tasks should stimulate your brain to form new pathways. Well, it’s been over a year and I’m still doing the exercises. The course should be over soon, and I realise that I’ll always have ADD. Life is still a struggle, but not as severely as it used to be. I think there are similar programmes available in other parts of the world.

There’s one heck of a lot of scientific research been done on ADD, and since I have a background in science, I’d quite like to write about it, and explain the science behind it, in a simple way.