June 13, 2011 at 4:55 am #89706
AnonymousInactiveJune 13, 2011 at 4:55 amPost count: 14413
I have always been somewhat disorganized and have had some trouble with concentration. I dealt with school as a child by bringing toys to school to keep me focused and gobs of hard work and determination. I dealt with college and graduate school by only working sparsely and spending tons of time on schoolwork and..more hard work and determination. I was known as slow, inflexible, obstinate, and bad at following directions with my first important job, but I survived (barely) with enthusiasm, high energy demeanor, good quality work, and high client satisfaction. I have never in my life considered that I had ADHD or that I should be tested for it.
Now, I am in a very fast-paced strenuous job. I can no longer compensate. i cannot throw extra time at it. Slow work will fail. I now spend 11 hour days to do 6 hours of work and will need to do 8s or lose the job. I need a time management, prioritization, increased concentration push or I lose the career I have worked so hard to get. I am an extremely ambitious person, so completing a less compelling career is not an option for me.
Questions I ask myself:
-Do I really have ADHD or is my job just too hard? (although I do witness others doing it with much increased speed. still no one finds it easy or not stressful).
-I am talking to people about symptoms and I keep getting the “oh I do that. everybody does”. Am I medicalizing normal everyday symptoms?
-What if I am giving myself ‘speed’ to do a job? that would be totally unacceptable. however, not medicating myself for a legitimate illness and losing my career is also unacceptable.
is modern life just too hard to keep up with? the 24/7..digital..productivity obsessed society.. always something to do and think about.. I’m tired of always having things I have to do. I hate making to-do lists.
I’m just frustrated that I’ve functioned decently for 27 years and now it is not enough. Sure it was annoying in school to spend twice as long as others on school work, but I managed. I have always managed. I forget all sorts of trivial stuff, but make important engagements. I have social problems, but people I really like find me unique, entertaining, and genuine. I waste hours upon hours of life, but I think I could improve with a concentrated effort. Not coordinating food and issues with grocery store distractions is annoying, but I don’t die of starvation. A dirty house filled with random papers is annoying, but is manageable as long as I can still find stuff, do what I need to do, always have clean underwear, and don’t get sick with some kind of random mold. now it is no longer ok.
Do I really have ADHD or is my problem the fast pace of modern adult life?
ps. I do understand that other people are much more impaired than I am with these symptoms. I only imply the above, relating to me. I score on the border of every ADHD test I take. Am I trying to neuroenhance myself into something too hard? do i exist on the border of the normal spectrum of attention deficit/hyperactivity?
thanks for listeningREPORT ABUSEJune 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm #104948
quizzicalParticipantJune 13, 2011 at 1:53 pmPost count: 251
Wow, this is me, and so naturally, I am listening!
Me as in, I’m doing fine, I’ve had some successes in my life, I don’t feel myself to be at the same level of impairment as a lot of the folks I’m reading about here and in the ADD books.
On the other hand, yeah, there’s been a fair amount of craziness behind the scenes of a lot of my accomplishments. And I certainly haven’t accomplished as much as the folks around me. (Although I do have to remind myself I live an a crazy town full of hyper-achievers ) Still, I’ve no doubt that I could have accomplished much more without all the craziness.
And I’ve spent a lot of time feeling like I need to legitimize my concerns about possibly having ADD. Because, like you, everyone I talk to says “No, you don’t have it, and I’m like that too.” But somehow this doesn’t reassure me, because, deep down, I can’t let go of the idea.
I wish I had some useful advice and/or answers to your questions – Again, because, well, they’re my questions, too! Only difference is that at my stage of life I’m not dealing with the stressful work situation, aside from the parenting stuff, which is, of course, by no means a small thing. And, wow, you want to talk about getting the “Oh, I do that too” answer, just wait till you’re trading parenting notes.
I think what we’re finding out is that it can be nearly impossible to have perspective about this one, especially when we’re talking about a spectrum disorder. Could it be better? Yeah. Could it be worse? Sure. Funny thing is, if it turns out we do have ADD, well, that means we lack even MORE perspective, because supposedly this is common with ADD’ers.
BUT – what we lack in perspective, we make up for in experience. As in, nobody has seen more of your life than you, your own self. Maybe you can’t interpret the picture, but at least you see the WHOLE picture.
So the question is, Do you have ADD, but really, the *immediate* question is, Can you handle things? and from the sound of your post, I think the answer is, not right now, without help. The fact that you managed for 27 years doesn’t change what’s going on right now, this second. And the fact is that there’s something keeping you from getting the job done. The other people in your office are getting the job done. They’re stressed, but they’re getting it done. You are not getting it done, despite trying very hard. To me, that is a hugely legitimate reason to consider that an illness might be a factor.
Is it ADD? Maybe. What if it isn’t ADD? Does that mean you’re just not cut out for the “fast pace of modern life?” (A worry for all of us here in the land of the not-yet-diagnosed).
Well, here’s the epiphany I had last night: there’s SOMETHING going on, something that is worrisome, something that is nagging at you and me. It could be ADD, it could be depression. Or anxiety. In short, it could be something that is treatable, fixable. Something that could be helped by a professional.
We owe it to ourselves to make an appointment and get it checked out.REPORT ABUSEJune 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm #104949
AnonymousInactiveJune 13, 2011 at 3:12 pmPost count: 14413
SG – Here’s something I read that might put things into perspective for you. It is in my own words, because I can’t find the source, but I use it to remind myself of why I am seeking help.
It went something like this….
ADHD is a spectrum disorder, unlike pregnancy where you are either pregnant or you are not. As a result, there is no true cut off point to say someone has ADHD or not, despite the DSM criteria. A child who rates as having moderate ADHD according to the DSM criteria but who has tolerant, patient “saints” for parents, and is at an accomodating school that suits the needs of an ADHD child may be considered as not needing medication or treatment, but the child who does not quite meet the DSM criteria but is failing at school and whose family is barely hanging together by a thread may be treated regardless of the fact that they do not quite meet the criteria.
So, it is all subjective. If you read about the research on those ADHD children who have grown up, they classify them into groups based on how their symptoms affect their lives, as well as the symptoms themselves. So you may only be borderline on the ADHD tests, but if you are not coping, then you need help, regardless of the cause.
One thing you said was “I functioned decently for 27 years”. Do you really think so?? Do you think that spending twice as long as others on school work was functional? Sure it got you through, and you coped, but was there a cost? Was there problems? Looking back, I can see how much difficulty I had in school and university, but I coped, like you did. It doesn’t mean I didn’t have a problem though. My life could have been very different if I had been diagnosed and treated back then. Not that I dwell on it, as I am pretty happy with where I ended up in life, but I look back and see that while I did cope, I could have done so much better – kept friends, saved money, not worried my parents so much, finished my degree the first time I went to uni instead of the second, got my driver’s license earlier (driving was soooo overwhelming), not crashed my car, and so on. I coped, but I don’t think I functioned particularly well at all, but I just didn’t know any different. I figured I was lazy and unmotivated, as I could never measure up to my peers. It wasn’t until ADHD was brought up in relation to my son that I did some research and discovered adults could have it and that it fit me to a T. Now I look back and see that it would explain so many of the troubles I have had over my life, as well as being a very plausible explanation for the parts of my life that I feel are out of control at the moment. It may be ADHD, it may not. I am scared it may not be, like all of those currently in the pre-diagnosis limbo out there, but I figure that at least seeking a diagnosis is the first step on the path to getting help, regardless of what form the help ends up taking (I say that so easily now, but the stress of making those first steps was overwhelming, as I am sure you know).
Another thing I read was that as teens with ADHD progressed into adulthood, their symptom self-reporting changed. In their early 20s (I think), their parents would report that their child’s ADHD was having a big impact on their lives, but the child did not see many issues. It was not until the late 20s/early 30s that the parent and child’s symptom reports matched more closely. This was believed to be because the child had left home and started work and begun to notice the full effect their symptoms had on their lives, as well as having developed a better sense of self awareness. Taking on more responsibility seems to be what ADHD sufferers do not do well. It was certainly what led to my son’s diagnosis (starting high school and having to deal with multiple teachers and classrooms, more work, and getting himself to and from school).
Anyway, enough of my dribble. Sorry for an all-over-the-place post. I hope things work out for you. ((((HUGS))))REPORT ABUSEJune 13, 2011 at 3:51 pm #104950
AnonymousInactiveJune 13, 2011 at 3:51 pmPost count: 14413
“Taking on more responsibility seems to be what ADHD sufferers do not do well.”
Oh how true this is for me!! Every time I try to take on more (which is a particular pattern for me), I get slapped back when I inevitably can’t handle it. I prefer non-structured activities and workplaces, but the working world just doesn’t seem to be organized that way! So I have learned the hard way that I should just show up and do, rather than wanting to do more and manage others. It usually turns out to be disastrous for me.REPORT ABUSEJune 13, 2011 at 4:56 pm #104951
memzakMemberJune 13, 2011 at 4:56 pmPost count: 128
@sugargremlin I believe part of the definition of ADD is the impairment. 11 hrs to do a 6 hour job? That sounds impaired to me. I was working 10 to 12 hours to do an 8 hour job and ended up losing it due to mistakes. I was under pressure to process as much as 150 invoices for payment in a single day. The best I could do, on a really good day, was between 80 and 100 and mistakes and were inevitable. The mistakes were the main reason I lost the job.
Just keep educating yourself about the symptoms and looking at your life and how much trouble things really were to do and how much it cost you to do them. I have been looking at my life in this way and realizing sometimes to my horror how much it cost me to get as far as I did. I also realized that I have been in denial about some of the symptoms. I have been denying the hyperactive part, I had just gotten very good at hiding the fidgeting, disguising it as doodles and “exercising my legs under my desk” etc. Also I would drop my click pen on the desk so it would bounce while I was on the phone or I played cards while waiting for technical assistance on the phone at work, etc.REPORT ABUSEJune 13, 2011 at 5:27 pm #104952
AnonymousInactiveJune 13, 2011 at 5:27 pmPost count: 14413
I read your post and instantly went back to before I was diagnosed. We also ‘just get by’ and we feel like we’re doing enough, but we’re exhausted. We’re irritable because of the stress of trying to get things done, but just not being able to, and we second guess everything. You ‘got through’ 27 years, but you could be more successful, and that’s not because you are lazy, or my mom’s favorite phrase “half assing” it. It’s because you have a very real issue. It’s like with anything, that first step is saying that there is a problem, even if you don’t truly believe it’s ADD, you know that you can no longer keep up. If you were thrown from a boat and you couldn’t swim, would you just say “Well, I take baths a lot so I should be okay here in the ocean?” Or would you yell and scream for someone to throw you a raft. Get that raft sugargremlin.
The way that my doc explained it to me is that adults with ADD, AD/HD do well until we don’t. We ‘survive’ because we’ve learned to train ourselves to hide our problems because we’ve been criticized for our behavior, or we’re ashamed. Most of us are very intelligent people and therefore, we’re ‘too smart’ to have the problems that we do. Sooner or later, we hit a wall and it all comes crashing down, be it losing a job, losing a relationship, or other devastating life issues that we felt we had absolutely no control over. I call it losing your fence, and when we don’t have boundaries, no matter how crazy our lives already out, we’re floating.
Get help, talk to a professional, take the tests, and go from there. You don’t know til you know and finding out can be the most liberating, scariest thing ever, but you have a starting point, you can start to fix things. You CAN repair what is broken, just don’t wait for so long that the list of things that you have to fix seems overwhelming. We all started somewhere and as varied as our lives and experiences are, we can tell you that getting through that first step, getting the diagnosis, is tough, but man, does it help to see the next steps more clearly.REPORT ABUSEJune 13, 2011 at 5:34 pm #104953
memzakMemberJune 13, 2011 at 5:34 pmPost count: 128
Well said Stephie101! How is your hand?REPORT ABUSEJune 13, 2011 at 7:43 pm #104954
billdMemberJune 13, 2011 at 7:43 pmPost count: 913
This should make ADD/ADHD folks feel better – the answer to the original question as stated in the subject of the first post is yes.
Should say a BIG YES.
There’s evidence to back up that statement as experts around the globe worry about our fate.
Multitasking? It’s a lie, farce, joke, myth. There’s now studies to back that up, even though I’ve been stating it for years and no one would believe me. Even non-ADD folks are impacted and ruined by it – by management’s insistence that it’s possible, and good, and you need to do it to be MORE productive.
Do a search and find “The Myth of Multitasking (Buzz About Science) and other related articles…….. doing a search you’ll find a lot of info on this.
Studies show that over time, attempts to multitask like is being insisted upon by “management” can actually burn you out – cause ADD-like symptoms in later life. Trying for years makes it harder to concentrate on even one thing in later life. Sound familiar???
Myself I’ve noticed that it’s gotten much worse now that I’m in my 50s. I’ve always been this way, but now the last couple of years my life is a disorganized disaster.
My “issues” with ADHD have been made only worse by the lifestyle and jobs I’ve had.
So the answer to the original question – YES. ADD or not. With ADD/ADHD it’s worse, without, it can cause you to be a mess in later life.
Now folks want Facebook access while driving?REPORT ABUSEJune 14, 2011 at 7:57 am #104955
AnonymousInactiveJune 14, 2011 at 7:57 amPost count: 14413
quizzical. i’m so glad you relate. I feel kind of crappy talking about ADHD when i have managed a really solid education. Job stuff has always been a bit more sketchy. I don’t think I would have accomplished more at this point if I had been treated. I will push myself to the point of collapse to achieve! but perhaps it would have been nicer to not have had to push that hard??? I also have some other usually more serious problems like bipolar disorder and anxiety stuff. My mood is completely stable right now and I am connecting the dots that this disorganization and time management struggle is consistent no matter what the mood and has been over my lifetime. I just had to deal with the more pressing problems first. Also the disorganization increases my anxiety. What a neurochemical mess! and you are right that there is definitely a problem. Other people in my position and even with my level of (lack of) experience are able to do my job when i cannot. I am being told that I am very intelligent and I have received a lot of praise..but.. i just cannot do it in a timely organized manner..so extremely frustrating.
I’m not depressed (which you are right that it can kill concentration and motivation). Nor am I hypomanic (true mania is very rare for me). I am a very anxious person, but my time management actually gets worse when I am more relaxed.. because I just space out and disengage without pressure.
so far, the meds have been helpful and have not sped me up in any way. except when I added to coffee and sleep deprivation..never again!!!!!!!
thank you so much for the encouragement. It is possible that this is not my answer and it is some bipolar thing (although I feel like I ruled everything out). but the problem is not my imagination.
I have been enjoying our interactions on this site . I was one of those kids with a very stable predictable home. My parents devoted their schedules to me. I devoted most of my time to school. I have only had sporadic jobs while going to college. I haven’t really have much responsibility besides school. However, this could have been an entirely different story if I had had to work and go to school or had family drama. My time management is so crappy that I am limited. If I had chosen a less intense career path, I could totally live life without treating this. But well, the career chose me!
>_<driving. I have totalled two cars and now have a large titanium rod in my hip from running a red due to daydreaming .
memzak. thanks for validating my ridiculous 6 hour day >_<.there is something wrong here.
Steffie, yes very well stated. This problem was never really addressed I think because of all my mood and anxiety problems. At this point, I have found that these symptoms are always present no matter how much anxiety or the mood. I actually focus less under less anxiety. I actually did convince a PCP to give me meds. cheers for some trained medical babble! I was terrified that i was going to have a million anxiety attacks and go manic, but I was so desperate (drowning as you say). I think he was suspicious I was an addict . However, rather than anxiety attacks and mania, I immediately accomplished 7 hours of work in 11 and hope to develop better habits to make my way to 8. It now feels achievable.. within my grasp. all done with decreased anxiety.
billd- what is your opinion on medicating a person such as myself? perhaps though, this society just really weeds out those with ADHD or those who are borderline with this ADD culture and throws them into the current. Other people are distracted and impaired, but they can compensate. a lot of interesting questions really. I am choosing medication because I’m going to lose my job and face problems in my chosen career in which I have toiled much of my life to obtain. I am hoping to use the meds to springboard and practice better habits. Maybe one day I will not need them. You are right that something in society will give.REPORT ABUSEJune 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm #104956
billdMemberJune 14, 2011 at 4:37 pmPost count: 913
My comment/opinion on medication:
Leave that to the educated professionals who have experience dealing with different levels,types, whatever, of ADD/ADHD.
My youngest son took meds and was pretty well where he needed to be most of his teens as long as he took them. It’s a sore subject for him, he went off and his life was ruined. I hear now that he sounds like he’s got his head on straight, can concentrate and is working. That’s probably the most I’ll ever know about him. Myself – I believe I need something in my case. I’m pretty extreme, and knowing my youngest son, and my mother – I’m going to contact a professional to see if they agree with my “self-diagnosis”.
As far as anyone outside of myself or my youngest son and meds – I’m not about to say you, they, she, whoever, “needs” medication. I won’t even say “see a doctor and get some drugs”. I will say only “see a doctor” and if they aren’t experienced or you feel no progress after time, get another opinion.
This is one case I know where to draw the line………. I tend to avoid drugs in general, however, I know drugs have saved my butt in certain areas, so know they can do good. I have meds for meniere’s, raynaud’s, and a couple items that medical experts never could figure out or give a name to, so I carry drugs to counteract the effects no one can diagnose. For the meniere’s, I also went through some specialized therapy that taught me and my body how to cope – in an effort to avoid surgery and more drugs.
do YOU need drugs? I’ve never met you and only know your posts here, you might simply need some friends!
As far as the original question, YES, modern life is too complex and fast-paced for people to keep up with, ADD or not.REPORT ABUSEJune 15, 2011 at 2:04 am #104957
Curlymoe115MemberJune 15, 2011 at 2:04 amPost count: 206
Most management are told to craft a nearly impossible task for employees so that they “stretch” to meet them. If your co-workers are able to cope with what you are doing in 11 in the usual 8 then see if you can ask management to allow you to job shadow another fellow employee that does the same job in this short period of time. But honestly your time management skills may not suck as much as you think they do. And a lot of organizations actually pit employees against each other to foster competition to allow you to do more (or at least fake it better).
But a lot of office environments can become pretty toxic. They are cliquey and they usually scapegoat one person. Wolves go after one lame lamb. A lot of fellow employees often go along with the office bully for fear of being the next target. You don’t have to have ADHD to have a lot of the problems you describe but it certainly sounds like you do. If medications help you just have to ask someone you trust to watch and make sure that you are not using these as a “drug” and are actually medicating the problem. A lot of non drug addicts find that they get more accomplished when they take Ritalin and other stimulant medications. Because unlike an ADHD brain that is soothed by the stimulant their brain is sped up.
Chronic stress can also lead to a lot of the problems that you see at work and home. If you can try to hire out a lot of the tasks that happen around the home. 11 hours plus commute time is a long enough day without then having to go home and add another few for shopping, cooking, cleaning ect. And unless the fate of the world is on your shoulders and the power company will fail to deliver electricity if you do not do a full 11 hours while being paid for 8 try to stop after 8. YOU are contributing to the problems in the office by trying to be Superhero. Most likely if you are having this many problems there are a few more at work that are also failing to keep up. If not then again ask your boss about that job shadowing. There are only so many hours that you can put into the office before your body finally rebels and everything just stops.REPORT ABUSEJune 15, 2011 at 6:09 am #104958
AnonymousInactiveJune 15, 2011 at 6:09 amPost count: 14413
I have shadowed people quite a bit (I’m a new grad). I watched so intently and I can see how I should be able to theoretically do it, but just can’t put it into practice. I’ve practically surgically analyzed every action..every word..every progress note. [although I would make my preceptors run late too.. infectious!] so very infuriating!!!
you are right that this workplace would work me until I drop if I let them (non-profit cash strapped organization… (I would never let a greedy corporation do this to me!!!). Part of my problem is time management, but there is also a moral component to this. This is health care so I have this opportunity to make these important impacts on people’s lives. Certainly worth 11 hour days to give it my all and get paid for 8. However, the getting paid for 6 and working 11 really sucks! I’m cheap labor, but I take up office space which could be used for someone more productive. (I work part-time and do part-time school). I always tell people more than I should and intend so I admitted the 6hr in 11hr to one of my big bosses (why???????? >_<). Face was hard to read… puzzlement.. ie. what is her problem?
I have been telling some friends about my ADHD experiment. It has been a really really uncomfortable subject, actually. I think I will ask people to observe the changes in me. this is a good idea.REPORT ABUSEJune 15, 2011 at 1:56 pm #104959
billdMemberJune 15, 2011 at 1:56 pmPost count: 913
sugargremlin you said ‘I score on the border of every ADHD test I take. ‘
I do, too – on the TOP border. If there are 80 points possible, I typically get 78-80. If it’s a 1 means not, 6 means possible, 10 means you need help fast, I score a 11 out of 10.
I’ve never “failed” or come close to failing an “indicator test”.
No shock since my youngest is ADHD in the extreme and must take meds, and my mother we just realized is the same way.
Tip – if you have not already, watch the video Rick and Patrick were in. Plain talk, no hype, no scare factor – just facts – from folks who truly know.
I finally after MONTHS went through the agency where I work and asked the director if he knew of a counselor that might know a bit about adult ADD. He wasn’t sure but pointed out a couple of names. I contacted one – and lo and behold, he is ADD himself and oh, yeah, knows a lot about it. He gave me some names and numbers of local doctors. He handles his with no meds, but isn’t against meds, just that in his life, he seems to have used other means for his own brand of ADD.REPORT ABUSEJune 15, 2011 at 2:23 pm #104960
AnonymousInactiveJune 15, 2011 at 2:23 pmPost count: 14413
sorry, I meant the other border. On your 1-10 scale, I would get somewhere between a 5-7. Although my intense school aspirations may be underscoring me at times.REPORT ABUSEJune 15, 2011 at 2:52 pm #104961
Curlymoe115MemberJune 15, 2011 at 2:52 pmPost count: 206
So basically what you are saying is that you are volunteering to do an extra 5 hrs every work day. Non-profits always need cheap labour. Good place to get your feet wet, so to speak, but they need the help so they will not tell you to cut back. While you have friends monitoring how the medications are affecting you, you also need to be diligent with your workload. Borderline 5-7 is not a no. It could just mean that you aren’t there yet. If you are ADHD the more stress factors that are introduced in your life the more you are answering yes to questions that you previously thought were a no.
With your bi-polar and anxiety the more stress you are under the more you can destablize. If you surgically analyzed the job coach you were with and you still are not able to make enough changes to do the job then this may not be the job for you. Keep applying for other work while you are working here. As I tell my daughter, it is a lot easier to get a job when you are already working. When you find your niche all the chips will fall into place. My problem is the opposite. I often work myself out of a job. I can take a months worth of work and complete it in a week and a half. Biological imperative to get it done. Today. Then they walk in and find me not doing anything. In fact I start snooping for extra work. End up taking on tasks of other employees. It only takes one or two of these in the workplace before your co-workers are gunning for you, and you are inadvertently making everyone else look bad. Even though I am incredibly bright I usually come across as a cheerful moron. So they figure that if I can do it, then a trained chimp should be able to do it equally well. Gotta love working for others. 😆REPORT ABUSE
Is modern life and work just too complex to keep up with?2011-06-13T04:55:49+00:00
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