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Muck, Muddle, Mess— the three words that define the ADD / ADHD mind. While movies, books, and TV may show our teenage years as a music-montage of friends, fun, and frivolity, we know that those images only paint half the picture. The rest is those three M’s. Hormones bombard our brains, social situations swirl, and we feel the need to constantly keep in touch, and keep up. Being a teen is a full time job.

For those of us with ADD / ADHD, it’s even harder. Our minds are racing even faster, and although physically we’re growing and changing just like our friends, we’re developmentally still a few years behind. Too often the muck, muddle and mess of our ADD / ADHD years gets labeled as “lazy, crazy, stupid, and manipulative.” We’re not— and we know it— we’re just doing things our own way.

Imagine getting your license as an eight year old or being able to drink when you’re thirteen. Picture dating someone five-to-eight years younger than you. For those of us with ADHD, we need no imagination— that’s our life. While it may not seem like we’re developmentally behind— we look the same, after all— our brains haven’t matured in the same way as our peers. This delayed development is especially difficult in high-school where the need to fit in feels so important. We would laugh at our younger brother or sister if they tried to talk about high-school topics, yet we’re doing just the same thing. Usually, where we were once valued for our spontaneity, love of adventure, or mysterious personality, we are now more prone to take one or all of these traits a bit too far.

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