July 1, 2011 at 2:42 pm #105355
AnonymousInactiveJuly 1, 2011 at 2:42 pmPost count: 14413
Like all of the other “features” of ADHD, my impairment does not seem to be a constant. Sometimes I feel okay and other times I feel I have absolutely no control over my “run-away” mind. And it seems to have gotten worse as I age. I’ve always gotten frustrated at times, but now my temper flares so white-hot that I can barely control my outbursts. Deciding to do something on my own initiative (something I “should” be doing rather than something I’ve been asked to do) is nearly impossible.
I’ve developed all sorts of anxieties and depressions and a pathological need to “get things right.”
So yeah, it’s great when things “feel fine,” but when they don’t, it’s like I’m lost within my own skin.REPORT ABUSEJuly 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm #105356
DistractedCindyMemberJuly 1, 2011 at 2:59 pmPost count: 9
@toofat and @ curlymoe Thanks for saying a lot of the things I wanted to say but cannot get from my brain to this post! Everyone is different and one thing I’ve learned from this site is that there are many levels in having ADD and I hate to see the friction between the people here. We all can learn something from each other.
Having been recently diagnosed at age 49, I’ve learned a lot from this community. (I fall more on the inattentive side of ADD, although I can get hyper and chatty!) Sometimes I feel out of my league with some of you who have high IQ’s but, it doesn’t put me off from learning from you. (Some things that I’ve learned here I’ve shared with my therapist that she didn’t realize was a part of ADD).
I don’t know what my IQ is and I really don’t care at this point in my life.
I read many stories and get many ideas here in these forums because I want to learn more about ADD and find solutions, so I don’t have to struggle so much everyday just trying to get things accomplished because I’m not on any medication to help me focus. (Some ideas work for me and others don’t and that’s ok. ) I’m not sure why my therapist doesn’t want to put me on anything, but I guess she feels that since I’m working at home, there’s no urgent need for me to take anything to help me focus. She needs to be my shadow one day!
@trashman I believe everyone has something to offer the world and you are not worthless. We all have our own challenges to deal with and work out.REPORT ABUSEJuly 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm #105357
AnonymousInactiveJuly 1, 2011 at 3:07 pmPost count: 14413
Nellie is right–it’s not important what some test says about you. I’ve seen intelligence defined as (1) the ability to adapt your environment to suit your needs and (2) the ability to learn from your mistakes. Everyone with ADD has problems in these areas somewhere: We cannot adopt our office to be organized; we cannot learn from our mistakes and avoid the same argument with our spouse over and over and over again.
But this doesn’t mean we’re not intelligent. @trashman, I’m sure that if you look at your life carefully, you will find there is one area where you are cleverer than most. It may not be “book learnin'”, but maybe you’re good at carpentry or solving unusual problems. One of the features of ADD is the outside-the-box thinking. As I used to tell people, when I was a kid, and I’d look up at the clouds, all my fuzzy bunnies were big and blue. That doesn’t play well with an IQ test designed around boring people.REPORT ABUSEJuly 1, 2011 at 4:17 pm #105358
memzakMemberJuly 1, 2011 at 4:17 pmPost count: 128
I wrote the following early this morning. I don’t have internet at home so I have to wait to log on. In reading through the additional posts I just want to say STOP APOLOGIZING!!!!! My husband’s best friend does not apologize for being 6’5”. The kid at McDonalds that has Down syndrome and does a wonderful job cleaning the floor does not apologize. The sun does not apologize for being bright. Now if you step on someone’s toe you should apologize for stepping on the toe not for the fact that you were distracted by the bird landing on the window sill. We should not apologize for being who we are. Pete-puma I love the blue bunnies. I see things in life that other people don’t see and it always amazes them that I saw/thought of “that”. Now on to what I wrote this morning.
Librarian_chef – I understand your frustration. After reading your post yesterday, I went to the CADDAC web site and watched Dr. Russell Berkley’s whole lecture on ADHD. I have seen bits and pieces on youtube and many have made reference to it, including yourself. There are parts of the lecture that I had not seen before but a couple of things struck me.
1. ADDers tend to underreport their symptoms and tend to have a more upbeat attitude about life. I know that before I watched the show, I thought even at 58 years old that I could still “fix” myself, I could still find that perfect job if I tried a little harder to be organized I could straighten out my life. I have lost two jobs since I was diagnosed last year but I still tend to go back to the upbeat attitude.
2. We as a group, need to stop looking at ADD as a gift. None of those successful ADDers reached their success because of ADD. Dr. Berkley says that each one of them has gifts that they were able to use in spite of their ADD. I also have gifts that I would like a chance to use, especially to make some money. I am finding gifts that I didn’t know I had because I have been trying to “fix” myself and ended up suppressing things that didn’t need suppressing. I was trying so hard to be “normal” that I overlooked parts of my personality that are, quite frankly, very interesting. In some ways I feel freer now than I have ever felt. Unfortunately that is backfiring on me because I am not holding myself accountable for anything right now and that is bad.
3. Dr. Berkley was talking about accountability. We need to have artificial and more immediate “consequences” to make up for the fact that we can’t see the delayed consequences. I had actually looked at a piece of his lecture a few days ago and started setting up a way to be held accountable to someone in my family without actually going into detail about what I am actually doing. Now I am sitting here crying because that was 4 days ago and the things on my list to do are still not done and I have not finished setting it up. I was having trouble deciding some of the details. I am doing this because I can’t afford a coach and believe me if I had the money, I would be on the phone with a coach right now. Coaching is one way to have the artificial consequences Dr. Berkley talked about.
Personally, I think what you are seeing is a struggle in some of us between trying to keep the upbeat attitude so we can at least try to move forward and a natural desire to deny that things are so bad that we need to be medicated in order to function. I know I spend a lot of time in the Land of Denial. I also think that it is natural for you to be angry about the differences. The forums are here so we can vent. So go ahead and vent. There is no need to apologize and no need for any of us reading your post to feel the need to apologize. Sorry, the subject of apologizing is a pet peeve of mine. That’s another post.
I sometimes get angry/jealous at people who have no trouble walking because I have trouble. Then I think of my husband who has no feet and who has decided that he will never walk again even with the prosthesis and feel lucky that I can still walk. It’s all a matter of degree. At least you don’t have Asperger’s!
And Trashman, there is always going to be someone smarter no matter how smart a person thinks they are. I have a nephew that has a phographic memory and his IQ is so high that they can’t measure it. My IQ is high but next to him, If I let it happen, I could feel really stupid BUT I have always taken the attitude that I can learn something from EVERYBODY I meet. Just keep learning.REPORT ABUSEJuly 1, 2011 at 6:00 pm #105359
AnonymousInactiveJuly 1, 2011 at 6:00 pmPost count: 14413
@memzak: I completely agree we should stop apologizing for stuff out of our control. The 6’5″ thing is a good analogy. As I mentioned, I’m 6’5″ as well, and I do think it’s a “gift” in the same way. There are pros and cons:
- I can see over people in crowded rooms
- I can reach the top shelf easily
- It’s easier to get respect (and to intimidate)
- I don’t worry about walking down a dark street at night.
- Basketball is easy
- I love to travel, but airplane seats are excruciatingly small
- I’ve never fit comfortably in a car, truck or van
- Chairs, toilets and every form of furniture is too low to the ground for me (my feet press into the floor like I’m standing all the time!)
- Chandeliers and ceiling fans are hazardous to my head
- Bugs that fly a few inches over your head fly right into my mouth.
- Normal clothes don’t fit.
So, on the basketball court, or at work, or in a place with high ceilings, being tall is a gift. In airplanes, while driving, or standing up in a room with a chandelier or fan, or when I’m buying clothes, it’s an impairment.
But in both cases, it’s not a defect. Or a disorder. Or a disease. I’m just tall. The world is built for ordinary people, and on the bell-curve of height, I’m waaaaaaay over on the right. Doorways, seats, apparel are not made for me–I need special handling.
I can’t help but think of ADD in the same way. When I’m doing a deal, or focused on something that interests me, my ADD lets me hyperfocus. I can bear more pain and physical stress because my ADD quiets the pain signals. I can see the big picture clearly and quickly. I can problem solve in non-linear ways. It really is an asset. I don’t overcome it, I leverage it. I use it to my advantage.
But when I have to do my objectives for the year or my “Individual Development Plan” for HR–it’s a huge liability. When I have to wait in line, or in traffic–it drives me insane. When I respond quickly by email–and misspell my own name–impairment. But just like seating, clothing and ceilings, these frustrations are with a world designed for the others. For the “norms.”
It is arbitrary how far a seat is off the floor. If we were in nature, a normal person would sit on a small log, I’d get the taller one. But chairs are mass-produced, so they have to go for the average. I’m left out because I’m one of the 1% of the population that is too tall for comfort.
So too, HR and all forms of bureaucracy are arbitrary. Why is school structured? Why do we have to describe our jobs to our employers who tell us what to do? Why is letter-sized paper 8.5 x 11? It’s all man-made. They have to motivate and track people who don’t deal well with crisis; who need to be turned on and who need to be pointed in the right direction. ADD does that for me, so having to catalog it is frustrating. And boring. and tedious, and other synonyms, too.
What we need is a world, a job, a life, that is the ADD equivalent of a Big & Tall store. Stuff designed for us–the 5% of people who have this different way of being. Is it any wonder why ADDers are 300% more likely to start their own company?REPORT ABUSEJuly 1, 2011 at 6:46 pm #105360
memzakMemberJuly 1, 2011 at 6:46 pmPost count: 128
I love the “Big & Tall store” for ADDers. Thanks for the laugh. This site is the closest thing I know of to that store.REPORT ABUSEJuly 2, 2011 at 2:20 am #105361
AnonymousInactiveJuly 2, 2011 at 2:20 amPost count: 14413July 2, 2011 at 2:25 am #105362
Curlymoe115MemberJuly 2, 2011 at 2:25 amPost count: 206
Well there are only two countries in the world where my height would be above average. Malaysia and Indonesia. At 4 ft 101/2 I am on the short side. Except not having to get a crick in my neck when looking on the bottom shelf and able to crawl into small areas (except my weight is higher then average) there are not a lot of upsides to my height. DH is 5 ft 7 so he puts everything on the top shelf and I am forever having to get things to push it off the shelf or get out the ladder. As the population in Canada is much taller on average even petite now ranges from 5 ft 5 and below. So that means that every pair of petite pants I get I have to chop off 6 1/2 inches. Clothes just don’t fit right. Imagine climbing the shelves at the grocery store that refuses to front their products. How many times have I been scolded by store staff for climbing a ladder to get something they refuse to put low enough. I appreciate a person of height. They can reach everything that I can’t. I always have dangly legs on seats and couches. Most companies also get shoes in 7, 8, or 9 because that is what the “average” woman now buys. My size they bring in 3 pairs and I am battling 60 year old women for them. To join the military I had to have special permission because I was too short, and the average checked pace was 10 inches and mine is 8. So I was always running to keep up. For every 1 step a tall person takes I must take 2. Good thing I walk pretty fast.
So maybe that is why I find ADHD just like any other problem in my life. Everything I want to do is 2 paces away when for everyone else it is only 1. And sometimes I am just too tired or too weak to keep pacing.
Trashman- I wouldn’t put too much store in IQ tests. A lot of factors can change your IQ score including ADHD which can distract you from a good test result. Spend your life doing things that make you happy and therefore live the best life possible. My aunt was hit by a car when she was 4. She can remember every birthday and remarkable things about all of our lives but she has been assessed as functioning at a 13 year old level. She is 62, raised 2 children, volunteers regularly at schools and nursing homes, and is generally a loving woman but she needs help in a lot of aspects of her life. At 45 she finally graduated from highschool. She was also the main caregiver of her mother for the last 3 years of her life. We are all different abled doesn’t mean completely disabled. I have had pneumonia a couple of dozen times in my life, I now suffer from asthma like conditions and get winded. But my grandfather has ALS so he has trouble even breathing on his own. So it could be worse. Focus on what is going right and not what is wrong and you will make it through the day. When we spend so much time focusing only on the negative it is hard to have the energy to carry on.REPORT ABUSEJuly 2, 2011 at 2:34 am #105363
AnonymousInactiveJuly 2, 2011 at 2:34 amPost count: 14413
I love how all these people are telling you to not be offended and just skip ahead to the next post…
something they’ve proven themselves incapable of doing.
I feel your pain. I didn’t expect to hear the same garbage that I’ve been told all my life on this website (although it is a great website and I’m glad I’ve found it).
Maybe some of these posts are evidence of the “over-diagnosis” we’ve heard so much about?
I love meditation, yoga, eating well, and getting excersize. But my ADHD is an obstacle that prevents me from participating in these activities on any sort of regular or consistent basis, and I don’t see how anyone with ADHD can believe that these would “cure” what ails them.
As The Buddha said:
“All experience is preceded by mind,
Led by mind,
Made by mind.”
I hope you’re picking up what I’m laying down.REPORT ABUSEJuly 2, 2011 at 2:58 am #105364
AnonymousInactiveJuly 2, 2011 at 2:58 amPost count: 14413
@wreckedangle: i totally pick up what you’re laying down. THANK YOU. (although you’re directing your comment to librarian_chef, in this forum setting: I GET IT, I HEAR IT, AND I APPRECIATE IT.)REPORT ABUSEJuly 2, 2011 at 3:04 am #105365
AnonymousInactiveJuly 2, 2011 at 3:04 amPost count: 14413
Active post or what????? Librarian_chef…..you got a cooker here!!! Opinions, emotion….gift, impairment, high IQ, low IQ….angry, happy, ambivalent…..Whew……………. too much………..but stimulating none the less.
Time for “Anecdotal Corner”….. maybe???
Where we can attain common ground maybe is…. that we are all present in the world. We maybe can agree we also all have a vision which we each can claim as our reality. As I understand it, our vision develops over time (a lifetime actually) starting at infancy……..the older we become, the more embedded and complicated that vision can be. Some of our vision is derived from our parents vision, some from our external environment, some from just circumstance, needless to say, if that is true…. every person’s vision is quite likely, unique, and flawed onto it’s self. Our emotions and how we respond, adapt and adjust to that vision will likely be just as unique as our perception and, our interpretation of our reality….yes???
Our brain (to my understanding) continues to take in new information constantly, (vision, taste smell etc etc) and balances that new information against what is already stored, and reshuffles and organizes that together with the previously stored information, into comfortable patterns for us, based on our vision of our reality. In the end….we tend to put these pieces of our puzzle together differently…..all of us, because we all have our own vision and reality, through which we filter and organize and categorize that which is new and existing into comfortable manageable segments.
Maybe for some rigidity is a trap of sorts, and maybe doubt is an enemy too….who knows. Some people may not be comfortable with flexibility and only prefer to use a small sample of information to determine their vision/reality and attain comfort……I don’t know…….maybe??? What life experience does tells me is, some folks share their vision and their reality emphatically…. as if it is a universal truism??? More information or pieces, or changing information can be contrary, too chaotic. For me….. I view either way as fine, I embrace new information and don’t mind the chaotic……. for others…..????? I also don’t have problem with emphatic views….I don’t need to really do anything about or with that……..other’s views are theirs……who am I to judge and try convince another to adopt my vision….it’s mine, I am comfortable with it…..it works for me today……who knows what new information I will take in and have to assimilate tomorrow…….it may all change in the blink of an eye……….maybe????
All i know is my life, my reality, and my story (so far) works for me………..at this minute (there have been highs and lows for sure)…….. today. How I view, and what I share is just that, my view, nothing more…..if people find it upsetting, or controversial… it is not for me to make it comfortable for them. They have choices that I cannot and would not impede if I could. It is not my place…..
Thanks L_chef for the stimulation……..
toofatREPORT ABUSEJuly 2, 2011 at 5:01 am #105366
AnonymousInactiveJuly 2, 2011 at 5:01 amPost count: 14413
*thumbs up* to the posts about the valuable experience of belonging to a group with such diverse personalities and backgrounds
I’m enjoying reading everyone’s thoughts.
to trashman: intelligence is not related to worth.
(my opinion)- nice people who are sensitive and care about others are gold.REPORT ABUSEJuly 2, 2011 at 5:26 am #105367
AnonymousInactiveJuly 2, 2011 at 5:26 amPost count: 14413
@toofat: “yes” ???”” YES. “common ground is farily “simple” (OR intemsly uncomfortably.) tthings (everything- EVERY THING) are relative. we know SO LITTLE about the brain. but thank god for all of us for exploring this. agreed; THANK YOU librarian_chef for SPARKING this conversation . . . and THANK YOU ALL (TRULY) for ALL Of YOUR posts. TRULY i am inspredaREPORT ABUSEJuly 2, 2011 at 5:35 am #105368
WgreenParticipantJuly 2, 2011 at 5:35 amPost count: 445
L-C. It is true. Some of us are from Venus. Others are from Mars. Your comments, for example, generally speak to my condition. Other comments don’t. I’m sure other forum members—including those in the “gift” camp—have had the same experience.
Those of us who have battled with broken wills, broken dreams, and broken lives find little consolation in motivational anecdotes and pithy aphorisms. Clearly, others find them inspirational and useful. There it is. For us, it’s not about mindset. For example, I could listen to pep talks all day and never be able to run a marathon. (I’d charge off the starting line, jog along for a mile or two, and drop dead.) Well, ditto for my ADD.
At the end of the day, I suspect we’re talking about neurological apples and oranges. What today we call ADD/ADHD is too large a tent. It’s akin to saying we’re all members of the same political party—a distinction to be sure, but often a largely meaningless one. Maybe one day researchers will partition our “spectrum disorder” into more discrete afflictions. If and when that day comes, we might all know what color t-shirt to wear…REPORT ABUSEJuly 2, 2011 at 5:52 am #105369
AnonymousInactiveJuly 2, 2011 at 5:52 amPost count: 14413
Jeez……it’s late, but….. I had to come back for one more peek at this thread……….before nighty night time. I must say again…..great discussion from where I sit….thanks all.
Anger due to the differences between severe and mild sufferersBibliophile2011-06-30T13:07:24+00:00
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