By Mike Rademacher, Guest Writer

Imagine waking up on a normal day and getting ready to go to work. You get dressed, eat breakfast, and head out to your car. But once you get there, you realize that you forgot your keys, so you need to go back inside and get them. Now, you do not remember where you last left your keys, so you have to spend time searching for them. When you finally find them and begin to head back to your car you are stopped in your tracks because a news story on TV catches your eye. Before you know it, 30 minutes has gone by and by the time you finally arrive at work, you are late.

This is a typical day for Adam Greene, who suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). ADD effects Adam every day, as he is constantly forgetting about things that he has to do and where he places his belongings. It is a disorder that many suffer from and it ends to cause problems for the professional and personal lives of many. Adam says that managing this disorder is a real challenge at times.

“I go out to my car and I’m leaving for work I forgot my keys… then I have to go back and get my keys, I come back to my car, I forget my wallet… and I might have to go back five or six times and then I’m late for work,” said Greene.

It is a tough problem to deal with. “It’s just a struggle every day, all day long,” Greene said.

Some days are better than others for him, but the smallest things sometimes create the biggest problems when dealing with ADD. Greene said that he is constantly losing things like his keys, wallet, or phone.

The constant forgetfulness and inability to focus is not something that can necessarily be cured. There are only ways to cope with the disorder and many choose to turn to medication for help.

But, medication is not something that Adam necessarily condones for ADD. “I used to take medication, but it just made me really dependent on it,” said Greene. He did not like that he had to have a pill to help him focus he said, “Because of the ADD I would forget to take the medication… and I couldn’t function, I couldn’t do everyday tasks, so I stopped taking the medication.”

He became so dependent on the medication that any time he forgot to take it, his whole world fell apart. He felt that just simply reminding himself of what he needed to do and where he last left his belongings was a better way to manage it. “… [D]o I have this, do I have that, do I have this, and I just feel it works better for me doing it that way,” said Greene. Many experts also believe that medication is not a very practical solution when dealing with ADD and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Russell Hyken, Ph.D, a therapist who specializes in ADHD management and coping strategies, feels that while medication can help, it is not always the most appropriate solution. He said, “For a student with minor challenges, coaching and accommodation may be the perfect solution.” Medication is not necessary for everyone, and Hyken believes that the decision to medicate or not should not be taken lightly.

Just like Greene there are many others who have decided that medication is not right for them. The thought of being reliant on a pill to deal with a focusing problem is not a reality that most want to live in. Just managing the problem without any medication can be a huge relief.

However, figuring out how to manage the disorder is sometimes the hardest part. It is a frustrating situation, not being able to do simple daily tasks without getting sidetracked or forgetting something. While some days may be worse than others, once a solution is found it only gets simpler. Greene said that recognizing the problem is the first step and that controlling ADD becomes easier with each day.