The problem with ADD

So I think I have finally figured it all out; no, not the answer to the great question about life, the universe and everything, that would be 42! What I have I finally realised is why I have so much potential (or at least people keep telling me that I do) but fail to use any of it.

About three weeks ago I re-enrolled on 2 modules that I failed 2 years ago when I took the Foundation Year in Technology the first time. So I am back to being a student at the University of Plymouth; the computers may have gotten faster, but they broke the Intranet system!

Hurray for me; so why so glum, you ask?!

When I was a kid, I had trouble learning maths, tables would never stick in my head, I would always use a calculator when I could. You’re probably saying “but most kids do that!”. Well giving into the calculator is fine when you’re just adding up a few numbers, but when you are trying to factorise quadratic equations or solve simultaneous equations, you kinda wish you hadn’t given so easily.

Maths is the foundation of the Universe, it is also the foundation of electronics, communications and every form of engineering. Everything I want to do over the next 5 years relies on maths. So the fact that I can’t do maths at around high school level is a problem.

I said this was about all of my problems not just maths, right? Well I give in too easily, so therefore I never exercise my brain enough to keep it going. So my brain atrophies and I get more frustrated that I can’t learn new stuff and get past this foundation year.

You know what the biggest problem of all is? Doctor’s don’t believe me, apparently I do not have ADD and all of my problems can be explained by Asperger’s. Maybe I just didn’t explain myself properly or perhaps I come across as someone who might abuse stimulant drugs. I don’t know, but my suspicion is that Adult ADD is just too controversial for the British National Health Service (certainly at a local level here in Plymouth) and so I will never get referred to someone who actually knows what they are talking about – something I have been asking for for the last two years, ever since my trip to Newcastle.

Perhaps the worst thing is that I can’t put the required effort into CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) because I give up and think its a load of BS! So I can’t cure myself of my wanting a silver bullet for the ADD or the giving up on everything.

So I am going to try again to keep going and not loose hope in my course and myself, but its hard. When I was younger I didn’t give in so easily, but now I guess I give in before I have really tried most things.

Perhaps getting this out there will give me some hope, but I doubt it…

2 thoughts on “The problem with ADD”

  1. That’s a tricky one. I personally don’t know my tables, but somehow I found calculus relatively easy. Mathematics as a subject is odd at a non-degree level because you are learning techniques and methods, rather than making great leaps of intuition. Once you learn the shortcuts a technique suddenly becomes easy. I can’t do tables in my head, but I know the tricks to do multiplication really fast from a small set of answers – so I can fake it.

    I can’t really comment on doctors. My worst affliction is mild excema, not something that is particularly difficult to diagnose. I do recognise the worth in sticking with something though – you’re surrounded by people in similar ‘got to stick this out for a bit longer’ situations. Take comfort from that!

    On a personal note, if there’s anything we can do to help (short of the doing the washing up or cleaning or paying anything) just say.

  2. Seth, don’t panic. Really.

    If you need any help with any of the maths, let us know. We will do EVERYTHING to help you. Believe me when I say that the maths aspect is the one thing people on foundation drop out trying to do. The only thing you can do is pull through as best you can.

    Plus, and very importantly, don’t let the Foundation Maths grind you down. Once you’ve completed it, you won’t need to touch the greater majority of it at university-level, unless of course you take a pure-maths course. I haven’t used much of what I was forced to learn at Foundation, and I expect it’ll be the same for you.

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