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Re: Been looking for the positives…

Re: Been looking for the positives…2012-02-29T16:24:19+00:00

The Forums Forums Emotional Journey Ups and Downs Been looking for the positives… Re: Been looking for the positives…


Post count: 169

I agree with you, Tiddler. I see little positive coming out of the ADHD symptoms.

The impulsivity, especially the emotional impulsivity has cost me friends and jobs over the years.

The inability to self motivate for any sustained period of time (or once the hyperfocus has departed) means that rarely is any skill mastered or anything completed. I am not good at networking because I cannot sustain the interest or motivation. The exception is video games as I only play for set time periods, they remember where I was, and I can take months or years to complete it with no penalty.

The fidgety/restlessness is fairly neutral. I just get up a lot. To compensate, I have become very good at chunking and prioritizing items. This doesn’t mean that I work better than others, just I have to go about it in a more regimented fashion and account for the wasted time.

Hyperfocusing or perseveration, call it whatever you want, is great when it is on something I am supposed to be doing. The problem is that I have little control. I often get fixated on something, not in a ritual way like OCD. I just can’t break away from a tangent. This can last for seconds or be reoccurring over days. When it pairs with my impulsivity, it results in fixation on purchasing an item that I may rationally know is not a good investment or wasting time, including something irrelevant in a report that serves no purpose, etc.

I do work fast, but I don’t think this is a symptom as much as a compensation for a deficit. My attention span is like an hourglass, with a set amount of sand. Knowing this, I work very, very fast to compensate as the task will not be completed if the hourglass runs out of sand before I am finished. Also, I try and complete tasks right away as I know anything pushed to the horizon will either be forgotten or never completed.

I do not buy in to the increase in “creativity” that others espouse about their ADHD. Sure, I think thoughts quickly, blurt them out, love to solve problems, but I cannot compare what is going on in my head with that of another given they may be thinking just as fast, but not expressing it like I feel compelled to do. I am not artistic. I have a good ear for music, but have never been able to master a musical instrument, having tried with different instruments repeatedly over the years. I am great a jerry-rigging IT solutions, but I am not sure I classify that as creative, more good at solving a problem with a quick solution that may not be the best in the long-term.

I am not trying to wallow or blame the ADHD. It is who I am after all. I just wanted to point out that the downside of the symptoms outweighs the odd positive and that the latter are often compensation skills and not the symptoms itself. I was diagnosed very young so this is not a new world for me. This is something I have consciously been fighting against for many years. I know that Ned Hallowell has said that he wouldn’t give it up if given the choice, but I am pretty sure that I would as I think it would improve my quality of life. Treatment has helped. Writing about it is cathartic as long as I don’t wallow in self pity.

The point is to stay positive about your life, even with ADHD. Recognize that your path will be different and keep going forward as best we can.