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Old 05-04-2012, 02:20 AM   #1
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The Subjective Experience of ADD/ADHD?

Only recently I decided to take this disorder -ADD/ADHD- and own it (self-advocate). All I really know right now is how to medicate and the benefits of reprogramming functional habits via repetition to override dysfunctional behavior patterns etched in the unconscious mind. I am compelled to learn more about the causal effects of ADHD (human physiology, biochemistry, social dynamics, etc.) to expand my current awareness so that I might be able to explain with laser sharp focus the subjective experience of managing this "disability."

I am kindly requesting references to noteworthy research and literature. I hope to expand my knowledge beyond the over-simplified and over-rehearsed typecast description of the "afflicted."

Basically, what the heck is this ADHD?


Thank you.

 
Old 05-04-2012, 05:13 AM   #2
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Re: The Subjective Experience of ADD/ADHD?

I forgot to mention in the above post...my current mental healthcare provider helped me to manage my anxiety disorder and I am grateful to be done with panic attacks, but I don't think he knows much about ADHD...he insists I'll grow out of it and I won't require medication (Adderall) much longer now that I am an adult. What if I don't grow out of ADHD...then what? I am peeved.

 
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:10 AM   #3
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Re: The Subjective Experience of ADD/ADHD?

Your mental health professional believes you will grow out of ADHD? Perhaps you should find a different mental health professional. That theory was debunked decades ago.

Some people do adjust as they get older to the point that they don't require treatment anymore. Certainly we learn to hide our more obvious symptoms, and we don't usually get up and run around the room at inappropriate times the way ADHD six-year-olds do. And if you are lucky and clever, you can find a job that plays to your strengths, where your ADHD symptoms are less of a problem than they might be now. However, ADHD is a brain difference and it will always be there.

I have never outgrown it, but I have learned techniques to compensate. You might know the proverb about "God help me accept what I cannot change and change what I cannot accept." I've lived by that with adult ADHD.

For example, I have to file taxes, I have to somehow get the bills paid, preferably on time, I have to keep the house clean enough that it is not a major biohazard, and I have to keep up with my basic responsibilities at work. ADHD doesn't want these things to get done, but I change that, because I cannot accept failure.

However, I will lose my keys several times a month. I don't stress, I just deal, maybe I grab the spare key from that shelf in the kitchen, and then my keys usually show up eventually. My house will not be orderly enough to be featured a magazine spread. I will space out during meetings sometimes, especially if nothing important is happening. These I accept, I cannot change them, and blaming myself will just make me unhappy.

What is ADHD? The current neuroscience believes that it is low "executive function." That is, the part of our brain that helps control what the rest of our brain is doing. Stimulants treat this by increasing brain activity. (They also increase heart rate.) It would be nice if there was a more selective drug to do it, but that's not even on the horizon as far as I know.

 
Old 05-04-2012, 06:49 PM   #4
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Re: The Subjective Experience of ADD/ADHD?

I've apparently had ADHD all my life. Problem is, I also had heart surgery when I was 4, so my mother made excuses for me for the rest of my childhood. Once the childhood morphed into troubled early teenage years, I got pregnant and the rest of my bad behaviour became my (1st) husband's problem.

Many, many years have passed since then, I had a breakdown a couple of years ago, and because I was off work because of it, the insurance company paying my LTD benefits sent me to a psychologist, who discovered that I have ADHD. I turn 59 tomorrow.

So, do we grow out of ADHD? I think not. My brain remains as scrambled as it always has been. I'm calmer thanks to antidepressants. Treating the ADHD is not possible in my case (a heart problem), but I'm back at work now (after 18 months off) and scared of the first time I face a really stressful situation.

 
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:59 PM   #5
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Re: The Subjective Experience of ADD/ADHD?

Thank you Janewhite1 !!!

I do believe it is time for me to start looking for another healthcare professional. I am hoping to find an ADHD specialist to work with so that I might have the best possible opportunity to become a better version of myself. My dr. also mentioned that he doesn't normally treat women with ADHD. I don't know what he meant by that. I let my adolescent insecurities get the best of me and kept quiet when I should have asked more questions.

I still get frustrated with my forgetfulness. It is impossible for me to put carabiners on everything and even if I did manage to...I can't clip everything to me. Its silly.

I am beginning to believe most doctors don't view ADHD with any sense of urgency and so they leave it up to the patients to fend for themselves. Maybe ADHD patients are a liability or I am slow to understand. Either way, I think it is in my best interest to find a therapist who specializes in adult ADHD.

The four distinct levels of consciousness...I think is beta, alpha, theta and delta. So, the challenge of ADHD is to toggle between these states? Stimulants work in favor of the alpha state? I may be thinking too hard for nothing about all this, but I really want to understand more...that way I can intervene on my ADHD reactions. Does this sound like control freakery or what?

I do well with physical labor...I can start a project right away and see it through to completion...usually ahead of schedule. I do get into this zone where I tune everything else out. It is a problem when other areas in my life become neglected. This has got to be ADHD related.

 
Old 05-04-2012, 11:07 PM   #6
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Re: The Subjective Experience of ADD/ADHD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jasmine80 View Post
The four distinct levels of consciousness...I think is beta, alpha, theta and delta. So, the challenge of ADHD is to toggle between these states? Stimulants work in favor of the alpha state? I may be thinking too hard for nothing about all this, but I really want to understand more...that way I can intervene on my ADHD reactions. Does this sound like control freakery or what?

I do well with physical labor...I can start a project right away and see it through to completion...usually ahead of schedule. I do get into this zone where I tune everything else out. It is a problem when other areas in my life become neglected. This has got to be ADHD related.
I don't think it has anything to do with states of consciousness, really.

But "getting in the zone" is definitely an ADHD thing. It's called hyperfocus, and it seems to show up more in adults than in children. It seems to be part of the whole adjustment thing that we learn.

Trying to understand as much as possible is a good plan. I'm fond of the book "You mean I'm not lazy crazy or stupid?" specifically about women with ADHD. It was written back in the 90's and was probably the first book about ADHD in women. (When I was a little girl in the 80's, far too many doctors believed this disorder was for boys only!)

 
Old 05-05-2012, 03:37 AM   #7
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Re: The Subjective Experience of ADD/ADHD?

This ADD/ADHD makes no sense. It feels like learning to drive a manual transmission with one leg half asleep and the work of everyday is to level the clutch and gas just under 2 RPM so I can get into first without burning out.

 
Old 05-05-2012, 10:46 AM   #8
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Re: The Subjective Experience of ADD/ADHD?

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Originally Posted by Wootton View Post
I'm back at work now (after 18 months off) and scared of the first time I face a really stressful situation.
You deserve to be your best self in the midst of any situation.

 
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