Alles over ADD
Wat is ADD?
Heb ik ADD
Dagelijks leven met ADD:
thuis, liefde, relatie, werk, school etc.
Verschillen ADD en ADHD
Verschillen ADD en HF Autisme
Diagnostiek / behandeling
Wat is Levente
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Bericht van Karin
Stichting ADD Nederland
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Boeken over ADD
Klik hier voor alle boeken van Karin Windt
ADD - Onzichtbare obstakels: zoeken naar omwegen
ADD - 175 Veel gestelde vragen en antwoorden
ADD - 200 Veel gestelde vragen en antwoorden
ADD - Hidden obstacles: navigating the detours
ADD - Gids voor Gemeenten, UWV en Rijksoverheid
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The Saudi Gazette 2015
Neurosciences (Riyadh), 2015
ADHD medication usage, 2015
Arab immigrant Muslim mothers, 2011
ADHD in the Arab world, 2009
ADHD North-West of Morocco
Ritalin in Morocco
Rabat: Mental health in Morocco
Studies ADHD-PI (ADD) Worldwide
No more studies available
Dutch culture shocks
How to deal with the Dutch?
Escape the expat bubble?
American in The Netherlands
Are the Dutch greedy?
Dutch people direct... or rude?
Dutch Stereotypes Explained
Introduction to ADD & ADHD English
The below text was written in English, to be translated and recorded (narrated by Zain) in Arabic.
Dear listeners, (salam alaikum or something?)
First of all, I would like to thank my wonderful narrator Zain! I think I found a needle in a *haystack by finding someone with the inherent qualities he possesses, to translate this document from English to your language, while maintaining the spirit of the text.
Today is my turn to return his blessings tenfold and forward some to you. Did he tell you this? Let me know! Anyone in the world can whatsapp me anytime trough my website: www.levente.nl
Zain is currently 26 years old and lives in Marrakesh, Morocco. He is a growing Youtube personality with a wide variety of interests and many talents. It is kind of ironic that you are listening to a male voice, while I am a woman. The big advantage is that this will help to ensure that both men and women feel addressed and that everyone can identify with the message. (Edit: * This well-known Dutch saying is meant to be complimentary but has been adapted in the audio because it is perceived as very offensive when translated literally)
Let’s start. My name is Karin Windt. About 17 years ago, when I was about the age of your narrator, I first started writing about the subject I will be talking to you about today. It was nearly unheard of. It only existed in 5 lines of text in the world of psychiatry and science. I was born in the late 70’s. Growing up and in school, it was just still completely unknown. Therefore, people had expectations of me that applied to the larger masses. This caused me to experience failure a lot more than others and my talents were overlooked. You more or less fall through the cracks of the system. Not once or twice but with every new stage of growing up and in every area of your life, pretty much all the time. Like at home, in your private life, your work environment, socially and in your love life. It kind of seems as though nothing can ever go normal.
The main topics of today will be a combination of someone with concentration problems, chronic procrastination problems, boredom, forgetfulness, modesty, shyness, loneliness, burnout or depression, anxiety, arithmetic problems, susceptibility to addiction, chaotic behavior, bad working memory, slow reaction times and slow information processing. I realize that I am posing a challenge to Zain now (translating in Arabic), because in the Netherlands where I am based and also in the English language, we have a word for people who possess the larger majority, if not all of these qualities (onoplettendheid). Do they apply to you or someone you know? Keep listening!
It is important to note that these people, despite of all of these challenges, are usually very creative, mindful, thoughtful, easy to get along with, warmhearted, gentle and they cause little problems. They are the somewhat sensitive kind. They do not stand out because they are not a nuisance to other people. They are not hot-tempered people, quite the opposite! Usually they are a bit lonely. Their challenges remain invisible for the outside world. Few of them have one specific extraordinary talent, most light up in a wide variety of different areas. Though they have some trouble finishing the many tasks they take upon them.
The British museum made it a point in a special documentary that Leonardo da Vinci was most likely one of us. Most of his work never got finished. To the annoyance of his clients. Usually because we tend to overthink things and also because we get bored a lot faster than most people. It is a lot easier to start something new: a new challenge that refreshes your motivation and gets you activated. We are suckers for novelty and things that are a bit different than usual. Yet tasteful I might add (smiley). In contrast, to great annoyance to ourselves and adding to a sense of continuous failure and harsh self-talk, we have great eye for detail. This too can stand in your way greatly and holds you back to accomplish or finish things. Like a continuous dissatisfied feeling that you didn’t do enough.
In most cases though, we may not be one of the best like this famous painter, but noticeable different: able to think out of the box and we do achieve remarkable things at times. Especially with a little help in areas that are difficult. To be honest, actually …a lot of help. It is nice to be handy or creative, but at the same time things can get a little messy with tools or other items lying all over the place all the time. Mainly because we tend to be working on different things at the same time. Not that a little clutter would bother us so much, but it can be very frustrating for the people around you. Another side hazard is forgetting sight of other responsibilities, that eventually start to accumulate into a huge mountain that becomes too difficult to climb. Finances for example.
Some of us are known to end up in high positions still. Things get a lot easier when you can delegate the tedious, boring and rather frustrating tasks to others, or when your lucky enough with a helpful parent, relatives or partner.
The problem is that this word we have for people who cope with all of these things (in the western world), does not exist in the Arab language. Neither in Moroccan nor Turkish. “It is called Attention Deficit Disorder, the predominantly inattentive type. In short ADD. I need to do a lot more explaining but it can be a blessing, or a disorder (handicap) that stands in your way. It very much depends on what your life looks like, some external factors, the expectations you set for yourself and those others have from you. People with ADD who do not experience it as a dysfunction, obstruction, handicap or disorder, usually end up on the other end sooner or later. Especially when life circumstances suddenly change. For example, around 20 years old, when life’s responsibilities start to weigh on you for real, and when you have lesser options to play around or fail anymore. This is when many people with ADD start to experience signs of burnout, depression or anxiety for the first time.
The brain of people with ADD is actually different from people who don’t have ADD. All though the amount of scientific research done to ADD is disappointing, this has been proven without doubt. Personally, I don’t consider it to be a flaw, my brain just works differently and that is what makes me slightly different. For those who are religious, it is in fact designed that way, yet different from the general population. So, you are born with It, it remains with you and it definitely comes with pros and cons. Some people would argue people with ADD are often highly intelligent. We are practical beings, learning better and quicker by actually doing things than learning from books. They call it auto didactical. Our group is small, much smaller than for example people with autism or ADHD.
Yes you heard it right, there is another type of this. Usually people with ADD have close relatives with ADHD. Those with ADHD are highly impulsive and/or hyperactive. I won’t explain about ADHD too much, but they are very common and well-known. You know… those who can’t sit still for a moment, they can’t wait, they are loud, very expressive, lots of humor, they get temperamental in a split second, but it is also forgotten just as quick. You can read much more about them in my books. Both ADD and ADHD are hereditary. Usually someone with ADD has a brother, sister or parent with ADHD. They are so “present” that the sibling with ADD often gets missed.
Even a third kind is possible, the combination of ADD and ADHD. This is called the combined type. The majority of people with serious concentration (focus) problems, are the combined type.
The confusing part is that the hyperactive type, ADHD, was called ADD in the old days. That’s is why there are many books and resources around about ADD, that in fact only talk about the hyperactive and impulsive type and do not mention the predominantly inattentive type at all. Like I said before, it was nearly unheard of. As far as I know, I am still pretty much alone in this throughout the world. In 2006 I even started my own foundation, but it was hard to manage two website’s at the same time that pretty much contained the same information, plus being the only one, contributing on the content. I closed my foundation in 2020 and kept my personal website active and ongoing. Thanks to my narrator, I can now bring you additional information, that you can comfortably listen to privately from your own home. Please let it be a subject of conversation without shame or finger pointing. You can laugh about it, mock it, joke about it, I think it's all fine and at my parents’ home we all do it. Everyone needs a laugh each and every day. Plus, it sometimes helps your environment to diffuse some hidden frustration. ADD is no subject of embarrassment what so ever. But please do take it seriously when someone you care about feels “this is me”. People are hurting, they feel misunderstood, underappreciated, often very insecure and they are wrongly viewed as lazy or disinterested. The truth might be surprising to you and even recognizable.
Officially the predominantly inattentive type is categorized as a subtype of ADHD. When I first started my website around 2004, it made no sense to me to refer to someone that is anything but hyperactive as ADHD. I removed the “H” systematically in all of my writings and the name ADD became the name that is now widely used in Dutch psychiatry, as are the three books I wrote. One of my Moroccan friends joked about one of my books, he said it is even thicker than the Quran.
Someone else who consequently talks about the predominantly inattentive type as ADD is Professor Adele Diamond. Her lab is in Vancouver, Canada. She taught me so much about the human brain. She points out ADD and ADHD have different genetic and neural (=brain) bases, cognitive profiles, responses to medication, and patterns of comorbidity. (Comorbidity means additional problems like for example a sleeping disorder that causes you to have difficulties waking up early or falling asleep in time). Therefore, she too thinks ADD and ADHD are two distinct disorders. Meaning they are very different from each other. She also states people with ADD are not so much easily distracted, they are easily bored instead. It is indeed not a problem of too much stimuli around you, or the pressure of “modern life”. Though I definitely try to avoid having 7 user accounts of different types of social media.
For me personally, the biggest challenge still lies in the fact that ADD is not so noticeable. People tend to overestimate me at times. From someone who has written 3 really successful books about ADD, you might expect that it is no longer a problem for me at all. Nothing is further from the truth. No pill, education or different kind of upbringing, can change the makeup of my brain. People often think I'm so nice, wise and sensible. "You'll be fine!" only the closest to you sense the real truth in a second. For example, turning pale white in the late afternoon, after a full morning of focusing on something that requires concentration/attention. It is a lot like my brother, who is visually impaired. He can only see about 10% through a very small hole and walks with a blind cane. He wakes up early and goes to sleep at 7 p.m. just because he is so tired from trying to see things, despite his impairment all day long. It just takes loads of energy. It is very much the same when you have difficulties to concentrate on one thing, while your brain registers every little detail that goes on around you. “inattention” is in a way a wrong word too; it is more like “over-attention”. Your brain works overtime. We also tend to think a lot about things. Being very emphatical brings about a lot of thinking and considering things from each and every angle: philosophical, questioning things, learning about all kinds of new things, new ideas popping up all the time, and so on. In short, we tend to have more thoughts than others. I remember very well how I took off sick days from work many times, just to catch up with my own thoughts, sleep and be alone. To charge my batteries so to speak. It was the only way to avoid burnout. People with ADD very much need this kind of processing time. Likely because of a bad working memory too. More thoughts take up more time to process. When Busy, day to day life doesn’t always provide that option. I always say that I have to leave a lot, to stay upright a bit. I wish people could believe me right away when I tell them something is difficult for me. Like, how can I write 3 books, hundreds of pages, but need a calculator to know how much my new shirt with discount will be. I couldn’t work a cash register at a friend’s Turkish bakery. Yet I did presentations about ADD to groups of people who went to university for years on all kinds of subjects. And yes, even some of them have ADD. Usually people with ADD change jobs very often in all kinds of directions. I’ve worked in hairdressing, airport security, photography, IT, web design, a butcher shop, as a secretary, the list is looooong. I’ve talked to famous musicians who play for thousands but, like me, their mom or dad still need take care of their finances and worry sick about the future for when they are gone.
Slow response times become clear when playing football or other ball sports, I just never notice the ball coming towards me in time and got hit, full in the face, more than once, while looking at some people laughing and passing by in the street. Even try to avoid a little kid, the birdie, duck or butterfly, while aiming for the wrong goal. I’m just not quick enough to give anyone the finger, when a driver rushes trough the red-light, nearly running me over. And when someone yells at me I’m so stunned by the stupidity that comes out, so that I don’t even respond and let it go. Later on, when alone, and have time to process, my own frustrations about myself (or situations I went through) run wild, unable to stop this stream of thoughts I cannot control. We do need to sort of unload at times. I can’t imagine living in a culture, where people wouldn’t be able to talk about their own feelings and emotions from time to time, especially to the ones they love. Unconditional loyalty, to the point of ridiculousness, is how my family would describe me. I am not sure if this is a special trade of ADD but I often recognize it in others with ADD.
I’m nearly to the end of this recording. So just to scratch the difficult part, where does it all come from? Well, ADD is a neurobiological disorder. It is very much related to the chemistry in your brain. Imagine a car that is out of gas and wont start. That is pretty much it. The most important chemical people with ADD are short on is called dopamine. This happens to be the same substance (well one of them) that rushes through your brain when someone gets really angry or when playing sports. And of course, your dopamine goes up when you smoke, when you eat certain things like sugar, chocolate or nuts. When you use lots of alcohol or drugs. This is why people with ADD have to be dead scared for addictive substances. Even coffee raises your dopamine-levels. Unfortunately, all of these are very short lived. The main problem of ADD is not being able to focus (concentrate) very long on just one thing (unless it is a true passion) and lacking the motivation to begin a boring task. From these two things stem all of the negative consequences mentioned earlier. Like procrastination, forgetfulness, feelings of depression or even anxiety and panic when things really start growing over your head. The barrier is pretty low. We are also night owls. What works best for me is to simplify my life wherever possible. Learning to enjoy the little things, not making excuses for myself but always be as honest as can be and not aiming for the top. It means less work, less money and less luxury but a big smile on my face. At the same time, I can say I’ve seen more and experienced more in my life than most people and still have years to go.
So dear people. I’ve got to end this recording. Especially for you I’ve tried to put as much information as possible in one sitting. I don’t think this was ever done before in your language (Moroccan and Arabic), so I gave it my very best. Up close and personal so to speak. Let me know what you think. Please share it with people you know and love and who knows, we might meet one day. Please take care of yourself -and each other. I send you love!
ADD - Hidden obstacles