I caught part of a documentary "ADD and Loving It" on PBS today. Everybody always characterizes someone with ADD as constantly losing things, forgetting appointments, and struggling to succeed in work/school. Now why the heck do I call myself ADD when none of this applies to me?
I lose things occasionally, but only because my office and garage are so horribly messy and disorganized. In a day-to-day way I generally don't lose things too much although it does happen from time to time and drive me crazy. I keep my keys hung on the wall, my wallet and phones on my nightstand, and my work bag tucked away safely in the corner or in my home office.
I rarely forget appointments because I keep everything on my Google calendar.
I never miss paying a bill because just about everything is automated. Just don't ask me what my power bill normally runs or what it was last month because even if I looked at it closely I won't remember. And certainly don't ask me how my retirement accounts are doing.
I always did well in school although a great majority of my learning took place studying on my own. I never did well learning in lecture settings because it always overwhelmed me.
I'm very successful at work but organized to the extreme because I feel I have to be to keep things straight.
I think I've answered a lot of my own questions: I've learned to compensate. I do the things I hear people telling other ADDers to do, and I'm starting to incorporate other things into my life.
Two things I have not figured out how to handle:
My up and down roller coaster emotions. I think part of this has to do with my inability to break my focus away from the things that push my buttons or frustrate me. This is where my hyperfocus comes in. I can't seem to shake some things.
Forgetting to bring things when I'm leaving to go somewhere and having to go back to get them sometimes once, sometimes twice, and sometimes even three times. It's so annoying and frustrating, but maybe that's just who I am.
I feel the same way. I manage it, I'm functional without medication, but I still have some issues. I think of the state of my house as "productive disorder."
Yes, I still have emotional issues. Food is a major button for me, being hungry and having no chance to eat really upsets me. Oddly enough, buying presents for people is this huge source of stress, too. I mean, I have to decide what other people want! How am I supposed to do that?
The Following User Says Thank You to janewhite1 For This Useful Post: addventurous (12-09-2011)
I'm with you on buying presents. It's been so stressful for my wife and I that this year we told everyone that we are foregoing buying presents for adults and instead gave what we would have spent to a family that needed it so they could provide Christmas for their kids. It's a win-win situation for both families. This is the best I've felt at Christmas in a long time.
As for being functional without meds, that's definitely true about me, but I'm going to pursue meds. My first few tries were through my family doctor, and that didn't work out like I had hoped. I'm seeing a neurologist next week in the hopes of getting some professional guidance. When I took meds they were helpful, but I just didn't know what to expect, how to determine what dosage to take, when to increase or decrease my dosage, etc. I probably could have worked through it myself, but every single stinking stimulant med I took -- Ritalin, Adderall, and Vyvanse -- gave me bad migraine headaches. And Strattera? Don't even mention that horrible drug to me. I'll never touch it again.
Here is my humble take on a few of your observations.
Hyperfocus is as abnormal as hypofocus. You, me and a bunch others can and do get so focused that we appear to be space cadets. I find hyperfocus to be significantly more detrimental than hypo. Hyperfocus falls well into the ADHD class maybe more so than hypofocus.
Lectures suck. I've always hated being "lectured." Wanna know what? Some teachers suck while others held my attention like a scantly clad hot babe on a sunny beach. I had a flight instructor who was a good pilot and an even better teacher. Many flight instructors are excellent pilots but suck as teachers. Teachers that "lecture" suck. It is their fault, not ours.
Tenure? BS. They should be fired - on the spot.
On other points you brought up:
I too never miss paying a bill. That is because I never bills. Bills are wicked. I never miss paying a bill because wife pays our bill. Problem solved.
Many of us to varying degrees learned to compensate for our attention deficit. While beneficial, it often leads others to believe we have "selective" attention deficit. "You can write software but you can't organize your office or garage." More recently, "you can do electrical work, masonry work, why can you NOT find your tools? And why are both of your hands a bloody mess?" Quoted from "my woman."
Super organized at work: It looks like OCD but isn't. It is a desperate attempt to find a very small measure of order in our extraordinarily chaotic brains. It never work for me. Too much organization is worse than chaos. Flexibility is within the normal patterns of human thinking.
Roller coaster emotions can either be caused by ADHD or can be co-morbid with ADHD. The former will become managed with the management of ADHD. But not the latter. Comorbidities must be addressed as stand-alones.
On forgetting to bring things, I got a fix for you. I carry with me a digital recorder. I record the list of stuff that gotta go with me. Sometimes the act of recording alone works. Other times, listening to my playlist repeatedly while preparing to go always works. The more stuff that gotta go with me, the more I use the "repeat" tracks mode. Never fails. - Honestly.
My wife and I invested in real estate. Real estate prices dropped like a lead balloon with every thing else in our economy. Oh, well. Still worth something. We did better than stocks.
How much worth? I don't know. Don't wanna know. Too depressing. My wife is CFO.
Last edited by Administrator; 12-10-2011 at 01:57 PM.