Focusing on the issue

Lena Donovan and Anjali D'Souza

There has recently been a rise in cases of ADD among teens. One Liberty student shares his story of getting diagnosed and how he deals with this attention disorder.

   “I have trouble focusing,” senior Donald Weber* said about his ADD. “I space out really easily, especially if it’s something I’m not interested in. I can’t just sit there for an hour and a half and absorb information, and it never occurred to me that I had ADD at all.”

   Weber has spent three years of high school struggling with the effects having ADD has had on his school work. Since his lack of motivation and inability to focus in class are relatively common amongst high school students in general, he ended up blaming himself for bad grades.

   “I gave up super easily when I didn’t learn something right away.” Weber said, “If I hadn’t been diagnosed with ADD, I’d still be thinking I was just a screw-up. There’s still a lack of motivation, but a lot of the problem is that it’s really, really hard for me to just focus.”

   The summer before his senior year, Weber’s parents decided to send him to a counselor to see whether or not something else was impacting his scholastic performance. It turned out that Weber had many symptoms of ADD.

   11 percent of Liberty students have been diagnosed with ADD, which is similar to the national statistic of nine percent.  Another 21 percent of students have not been diagnosed with it, but believe they have ADD or ADHD. Many symptoms of ADD are common symptoms of other problems such as anxiety, depression, and drug addiction and it is recommended that it be looked into if it interferes with school or daily activities.

  After Weber discovered he had ADD, he had the option of getting medication, but chose instead to work with his counselor because of possible medication risks.

   “My perspective’s changed in that I’ve stopped looking at it as a lack of motivation, and I feel like I have a better handle on it now,” Weber said.