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Re: My story – Diagnosed at 29

Re: My story – Diagnosed at 292010-12-07T19:11:30+00:00

The Forums Forums What is it? ADHD/ADD in Adults My story – Diagnosed at 29 Re: My story – Diagnosed at 29


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No worries ghisino.

As a young child, I excelled in both reading and math. I started school young and skipped the first grade (though held back in the fourth grade). I was in the gifted program in school, despite my grades being a B to C average. In high school, my teachers would call me out for staring out the window all the time. In the latter part of high school, I stepped up my grades and got Bs and As, and got accepted to a top state school in the Midwest. I think the academic skills compared to my brother allowed my parents and teachers to overlook the obvious ADD symptoms I had as a child.

I am very strong in math, and always have been. There’s a big “instant gratification” factor in math problems. I always found math incredibly easy, and got a 36 on the math section of the ACT, and recently got an 800 in the quantitative section of the GRE. So, I can focus when I feel stimulated and be successful with my skills.

However, in my engineering career, I struggle with the open-endedness of the problems I deal with on a daily basis, and struggle with processing all the other factors involved (other design groups, budgeting, etc). I recently left my job in part because I struggled with managing my ADD symptoms with the demands of my job. I am going to grad school in the spring.

My biggest struggle is reading. Certainly, I know how to read, but can’t process the words my eyes go over on the page. I either get too impatient trying to get to the point of the piece I’m reading, or get distracted by something else before I can finish, or second guess whether what I’m reading is relevant enough to continue. I really have to struggle and concentrate to pull the words from the page to my brain and get them to stick. I feel this problem has grown over the years…

In college, I liked exams because they were the clear end-goal, a clear dividing line between the past and future subjects. Today, all my tasks blend together, overlap, etc, and with no feedback in my day-to-day tasks (at home or work), I struggle with not knowing whether I did something fast enough, good enough, or correctly.

Me and the internet… I’ll go to check my email, the news. Then I google something, then something else, and so on. I’ll tell myself “OK, gotta get offline, right after I read this next Wikipedia page on the History of Slovakia”, and then before I close out, I’ll check my email, the news, play a game, etc, and the cycle continues, sometimes for fifteen minutes, sometimes for three hours. I rarely ‘long’ for it if it’s not available – I’ll manage to find something more productive to do.

I really kick myself over it sometimes. I can get down on myself for wasting so much time when there are other things I KNOW I want/need to do. I’m coming to terms with the fact that it will happen more than I want it to, and learning to forgive myself for it, but it’s hard.

My medication does help me avoid getting into that trap. I think of my lines of thinking like a wall of TVs, all blaring at full volume. The medication mutes most of those TVs, and allows me to focus on one thing at a time. The videos on this webpage have made me more comfortable with the fact that I need the medications, whereas before, I felt embarrassed by it.

As far as personal interests, I find I really like doing hands on things. Tangible results of my work give me the most satisfaction. So, things like gardening and woodworking are my favorites. I struggle with doing things on a computer, due to the internet being available, and the fact that the product is typically digital, and not physical. I don’t play an instrument, and don’t know if I could… I have a hard time seeing the end-goal of it, even if the learning process is the point of it all, if that makes sense.

Hope that helps… it’s a long reply…