What Is ADHD Like In Adults?
So you wanted me to explain what it’s like to have ADHD, of course that depends because everybody’s different, as you may know the brain is complex. It also depends because it’s situational, so when I’m on stage doing comedy in front of a thousand people I am calm clear and focused.
If I have to sit down and read through the contract to appear in front of a thousand people
it’s painful, it’s like Superman with kryptonite. It’s it’s ugh paperwork, but what it’s like to have ADHD really depends on whether it’s undiagnosed and untreated or whether you
know what’s going on.
What Is Undiagnosed ADHD Like?
Undiagnosed and untreated it’s like five radio stations playing in your head all day long or
three kids pulling at your sleeves, you know what you could do, you know what, here’s something really funny, look there’s naked people above what but, what, what, what, what, what?
And it’s not just attention or focus obviously if this is an executive function it affects your
emotions and the ability to manage them. Horror movies can’t do it, overreact, anxiety and then sensory input, noisy rooms. Go to an ADHD conference, everybody’s off in pairs and quiet rooms trying to talk to each other.
And yet we can hyper focus you should see my model railroad it’s astounding. Paperwork,
always a mess, always late with my taxes. It was drudgery and every month a hundred dollars or more in like late fees, fines for the tax department.
At the time did I think jeez I wonder if I’m low on certain neurotransmitters in my Neuros? No! I thought I’m a selfish lazy father who just wasted more money that could have paid for my kids university education.
Ignoring My Child
Before I was diagnosed sitting in a sports pub you know those family restaurants with
like 10 TVs in my purview, each with a different sport, none of which I’m particularly interested in, and meanwhile my daughter’s pouring out her heart and I’m like you know mm-hmm. I may even be listening but probably not.
Now what is she gonna think if I’m doing this the whole time? Is she gonna think geez dad seems to have issues with his prefrontal cortex? No she’s gonna think I guess I don’t matter, I guess my dad isn’t interested in me, I guess he doesn’t care about me.
Getting The ADHD Diagnosis
After the diagnosis everything changes, but getting the diagnosis in adulthood is a shock. A woman who heard a radio interview I did talking about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder went and did our online ADD test. She watched our videos about ADHD
Eventually she got diagnosed and she called it the biggest turning point of her adult life.
Now until then she had thought she was too unreliable, too flaky to have kids, but now she knew what was going on and she could deal with it and get it handled. Sadly she didn’t get the diagnosis until she was too old to have kids.
That’s the tragedy of this, people are wasting lives, marriages are destroyed, childhoods lost, careers lost, businesses go under.
How To Improve ADHD
So everything changes. I have a bookkeeper to take care of things I use. Online organizing tools, Thank You Trello. I have an ADHD coach.
I take medication when I need it, I do yoga, mindfulness which is amazing. We’ve even made videos about the mindfulness and medication .
I chunked up big projects, on and on and on .
Even my structures that I use, I change those up because adults with ADHD, well me with ADHD, I love novelty.
So with the right tools and some really great ADHD friendly strategies I’ve actually been able to produce scores of videos on ADHD, 15 full length programs on everything from sleep and anger to careers and college and who to tell, disclosing and so on, and how to deal with that tornado of emotions that can come when you discover in adulthood that
you’ve been in a wrestling match with an invisible opponent your whole life, and you didn’t know.
Perhaps you were misdiagnosed with depression or anxiety, and you’re living with this invisible saboteur in every area of life 24/7, and you assume life’s like this for everyone.
Then to discover it’s not, that you’re not actually lazy, that you’ve actually been working harder than anybody else, there’s anger, there’s regrets, the whole kubler-ross menu, and
then of course eventually relief hope even excitement about the future, and maybe you even go on to create a website about it.
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