Peter Herlihy tells me of somebody who was diagnosed with AAADD – Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. And this is how it manifested itself:
He decided to wash his car. As he started towards the garage he noticed there was mail on the hall table. He decided to go through the letters before he washed the car.
He laid his car keys down on the table and was about to throw the junk mail in the wastepaper basket under the table when he noticed it was full. He decided to put the bills on the table and take out the rubbish.
But then he thought that as he was going to be near the gate, and the mailbox was just around the corner he might as well settle the bills first. So he took his cheque book off the table and noticed there was only one left. He had a new cheque book in the study and on entering the study saw a can of soft drink he had been drinking. Then he decided to put the drink in the fridge to cool it.
On his way to the kitchen, he noticed a vase of flowers on the kitchen counter that needed water. He put the can down, only to discover his reading glasses for which he had been searching all morning. He decided to put them back on his desk after he’d put water in the vase. He put his glasses back on the kitchen counter, filled a container with water and suddenly spotted the TV remote. Someone had left it on the kitchen table.
He realised that tonight he’d be searching for it so he decided to put it back where it belonged, but first he’d water the flowers. He splashed some water on the flowers, but most of it spilt on the floor. So he put the remote back on the table and got some towels to wipe up the spill. Then as he headed down the hall he tried to remember what it was he had been planning to do.
At the end of the day: the car wasn’t washed, the bills weren’t paid, there was a warm can of drink sitting on the table, the flowers had wilted, there was still only one cheque and he could find neither the remote control nor his glasses, and he couldn’t recall what he’d done with the car keys.
Nor could he work out why nothing had got done today. And yet he was tired. He acknowledged that he had a problem and thought of ringing his doctor.
But then he spotted the bills on the table and thought he’d better pay them first.