The BYU Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Club is working to give students with ADHD a sense of community and a supportive environment to thrive in. The club, founded in 2018, has grown to almost 200 members.
The club offers a variety of resources and activities for its members including video games, crafts, study groups and social activities. The meetings are unstructured which allows for members to focus on what its attendees are needing that day, ADHD club member Andrew Jones said.
The club also works to raise awareness and understanding about ADHD on campus. When asked what misconceptions the club works to combat, member Isaac Graham answered that ultimately “the most significant misconceptions that we experience are the ones that we tell ourselves.”
Graham said he is commonly misconceived as someone who is hyperactive and unable to maintain focus to complete a task. He combats this misconception by explaining that people with ADHD can focus extremely well when something is of interest to them.
Graham uses a metaphor to explain people with ADHD think like a tree, not a train. The metaphor suggested those who do not have ADHD think and speak going from point A to point B in a straight line, similar to a train. On the contrary, those with ADHD have their thoughts going in many different directions, like branches on a tree.
Graham said to treat his ADHD, he was prescribed Adderall. In Oct. 2022 the FDA announced a national shortage of Adderall, attributed to a variety of factors, including manufacturing issues and increased demand.
The shortage has sparked concern amongst students like Graham who rely on medication to manage their symptoms.
He described the medication as “a tool to fall into tasks and maintain them.” In the meantime during the shortage, Graham says he will use other strategies and coping mechanisms.
Jones recommends combating symptoms by going on a short walk, fidgeting or doing a brain stimulating activity, such as having a social interaction. Club meetings provide a social atmosphere for such stimulation. Having the opportunity to be part of a club where people think in similar way has been a positive experience for Jones.
The club meets Tuesdays and Wednesdays 7-9pm, Tuesdays in JFSB 1131A and Wednesdays in JFSB 1141.