Dr. Umesh Jain
is now exclusively responsible
for TotallyADD.com
and its content
Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 43 total)
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  • Fearwidg
    #88158 |

    Early on, I learned that ADD rarely arrives on its own; it frequently brings some friends along. <g>

    Our messed up Brain Chemistry frequently comes with “Shadow Syndromes” – slightly less-virulent strains of other neurobiological disorders.

    In my case, I have Severe ADHD with Motor Tics, or Mild Tourettes Syndrome (I’ve been given my choice of titles <g>).

    But …

    I also have the following “Shadow Syndromes”:


    In the talks I’ve given at various schools re ADD, one of my “Dog and Pony” tricks is to verbally spell the word “Antidisestablishmentarianism” in 3 seconds flat.

    I’m a pretty good speller – BUT – I can’t spell words that MIGHT have double letters.

    e.g. Apalled. Appaled. Appalled … They ALL look wrong to me (Thank God/Ra/Whatever for Spell Check.)

    Also … In school talks, I tell the kids that – even though I’ve been an Executive Story Editor on two TV series, I just barely grasp English Grammar (which I failed consistently in school) .

    How I’ve got away with it for as long as I have, is beyond me.

    If I’m called on some grammatical point, I just shrug it off and remind my Producers that CTV’s Drama Chief used to call me “The Fastest Pen In The East.” <g>


    I also point out to kids that I have severe “Dysgraphia” and can’t even write my own name!!!

    I can PRINT it, but haven’t a CLUE how to write my own name in Cursive!

    (I used to demo this by trying to cursively write my name on the blackboard … but it brought back too many painful school-memories and I actually dissolved in tears once {so I don’t do that anymore <g>}.)

    Again – Thank Zeus for Computers (though a friend had to GIVE me one before I’d agree to even try it <g>.)

    Oppositional Defiance:

    OH YEAH. <vbg>

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:

    Yeah, I got a bit of that, but it turns up in weird ways.

    Example: In my whole adult life, I’ve only let 3 people cut my hair. I’ve been with my current “Stylist” for more than 20 years. I KNOW it’s “crazy,” but I just can’t let anyone else cut my hair. Weird. <g>


    Hmm. A mixed message here.

    As far as I’m concerned – No way.

    As far as my partner, Michelle is concerned: “Glenn’s the most depressed person I know.”

    (She’s wrong. <g>)

    Oh – and re those Motor Tics that have plagued me for the past 60 years … it took my newest Doctor only two tries to find a medication (Clonazepam) that ended my Tics in less than half an hour.


    If only I’d known sooner.

    #91741 |

    You might be interested in a book by Dr. Ratey- “Shadow Syndromes”. It discusses how to tell when you have just enough of an additional disorder to have it mess with you.

    Dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia are so commonly associated with ADHD that they are often considered to be a part of the disorder. (Barkley, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Second Edition, Guildford Press, 1998)

    Common thinking is that Depression with ADHD is a result of being misunderstood for so many years. Sounds tragically correct for so many.

    While OCD is a commonly considered co-morbid, we tend to not have the ritualistic behavior associations. It appears that our OCD springs from a need to “do what works” and is really more of a coping mechanism.

    In general, the foundation of what appears to be ODD is really frustration. Our brains actually work faster and certainly differently so we are more prone to being frustrated. I just tell people that I have a low BS threshold.

    Odd note- I don’t write, per se. I DRAW when I am writing. It would be interesting to hear what a handwriting analyst makes of my hand written thoughts.

    #91742 |

    I never could write longhand and touch typing is out of the question. On the other hand my manual

    dexterity is superhumanly quick and accurate. I type one-handed fast enough to get by and tend to

    pick up and really master physical skills like archery or badminton in seconds instead of weeks.

    Depression seems to be hard-wired with the ADD but Wellbutrin has solved that one for me.

    My IQ is truly monstrous but I don’t want a cure for that one! ;]

    #91743 |

    Re the above comments.

    Tigger – thanks. Already have Ratey’s “Shadow Syndromes.” Found it very helpful.

    Have dysgraphia, a weird version of Dyslexia (can’t spell words which may have double letters {apalled, appaled, appalled ALL look wrong to me}, and a touch of OCD.

    Re Aaron’s comments on typng:


    I’ve made my living as a Writer since the early 70’s, BUT I still type with one finger! (And I have to look at the keys. Still don’t remember where they are, though I am blazingly fast. Weird!)

    Re I.Q.: I once attended a lecture by ADD Specialist, Dr. Daniel Amen and he said, “Over an I.Q. of 160, EVERYONE has ADD”!

    Haven’t seen the documentation on that … but it sounds right. (I know quite a few people with monstrously high I.Q.’s, and they’re all ADD).

    As for me – missed “genius” by two points.

    Damn. <vbg>

    (IMPORTANT NOTE: Meds do NOT affect your I.Q. If anything, you’re probably “smarter” because you can remember more.)

    #91744 |

    Shadow syndromes:

    I know I have an anxiety disorder. So much, that I was taken off of the medication Dexedrine and put on Staterra.

    OCD is part of my daily experience, being best friends with anxiety or course. I was never diagnosed with OCD but I’m 100% sure I have it. I’m still going to do research just to be sure.

    My doctor told me that that I am “gifted” with ADHD. Whatever that means… lol

    As for dyslexia, written and reading I don’t have. As for verbal, sometimes I mix up words when I say them. But I always assumed that was because my mind is moving at 500 mph. Lots of questions for my next visit to the doctor…

    Patte Rosebank
    #91745 |

    That’s funny (strange, not ha-ha). My mom was a teacher before I was born. She started teaching me how to read, almost from the time she brought me home from the hospital. I can’t remember ever NOT knowing how to read, and I also can’t remember LEARNING how to read. It gets better. When Mom signed me up for nursery school (when I was 3), she had to warn the teachers never to leave anything private where I could see it, because if I could see it, I would read it, even if it was sideways, upside-down, or backwards. And I am obsessive about correct spelling and grammar. My family and friends will often phone to ask me how to spell a word, because it’s faster and easier than consulting a dictionary.

    Math, on the other hand…

    I was great at math when I first started school, but that was when I was in a really shitty school that catered to the lowest common denominator, so I didn’t even have to try to get straight As. When I was transferred to a school that actually taught the proper curriculum, I struggled terribly with math. And I discovered that I’d never been taught a lot of very basic concepts, like the Rule of Nine (i.e., if the digits of a number can be reduced to 9, then the number is divisible by 9. For example, 45 is divisible by 9, since 4+5 = 9.) In high school, it was even worse, and I ended up passing Grade 12 math by 1 mark.

    So it appears that, while I have all sorts of advanced skills where words are concerned, I have dyscalculia, big-time. This is okay with me, because a blackboard covered in funny words will make people laugh, but a blackboard covered in math calculations will just frighten people.

    #91746 |

    I was diagnosed with a Learning Disability at the same time as my ADHD. (I don’t have a name for it like dyslexia, because those terms are a) considered outdated and b) never really were used in Canada in the first place. In any case, I’m pretty sure I don’t meet the criteria for dyslexic).

    As a child I was good early reader, I just could not use phonics. (Hooked on Phonics would NOT work for me!) Instead I had a large bank of sight words, and would use context and syntactic cues to figure out unfamiliar words. If it was a word I already used in my daily language, I’d know how to say it, but often I would be in a situation where I could understand what a new word meant, but have no clue how to pronounce it. When I came to a word I didn’t know how to pronounce, I’d try to get someone to tell me how to say it. Then I would stare at the word and repeat the pronounciation until I could remember it.

    My handwriting is a mess. They used to pull me out of class during spelling time to practice my handwriting with the Special Ed teacher. Then I’d get behind on spelling (which I was also terrible at, surprise, surprise ) and they’d pull me out of art to get caught up on spelling exercises. Looking back on it, letting me participate in art probably would have helped my fine motor skills more than making me sit writing out line after line of letters.

    It was also the era when teachers taught by writing out notes on the blackboard, which the students dutifully copied out. They’d fill two blackboards, and then go back and erase the first one so they could continue. Invariably, I wouldn’t be done the first board by the time the teacher was ready to erase it, and then I would given a hard time for being too slow. I spent many a recess catching up on my note copying.

    Did ok in Math, with the exception of Transformational Geometry until Grade 10. After that I didn’t have a clue what was going on a fair amount of the time. OAC Algebra Geometry with it’s X,Y and X axes made my brain hurt.

    My biggest program has been though that I have always been an organizational disaster. How much of this is the LD and how much is the ADHD, I have no clue. In the end, does it matter?

    Anyways, no one ever considered that I might have a problem (except for the handwriting, but then that was attributed to my left-handedness, rather that anything else.) because my verbal skills also happen to be in the 97th percentile, and I have an excellent memory for things I read. (My friends call me the human encyclopedia.). All my problems with organization were me being lazy, wilful, etc as far as my family was concerned. Heck, even my sister, who had a BA in Psychology, and teaching certification in Special Education in Virginia didn’t think I had anything wrong with me.

    #91747 |

    Larynxa, I found what you wrote about math very intersting and it just reminded me of my own troubles. I always thought I was just bad at math??? I have this weird ability to do advanced stuff (like math) but have no concept of the basics. This worked great for a while but once I hit high school I just couldn’t keep up.

    I’d like to think of myself as intelligent but for some reason I can’t write an essay to save my life. When considering Univ. I almost went with psychology because someone told me all the exams were multiple choice, now that I can do!

    I remember am exam in college where I wasn’t sure how to answer the question so i basically wrote down everything I knew on the subject, regardless of whether or not it pertained to the question in the hopes that the prof would see that i had studied. I think it comes down to memory vs applied knowledge.

    Patte Rosebank
    #91748 |

    Psychology exams are multiple-choice???

    DAMN! Now I really wish I’d studied that instead of English!

    Even if the exams weren’t multiple-choice, I’d still have found Psych a hell of a lot more interesting than 90% of the stuff I studied for my English B.A. And there’s a reason why there’s a song called “What Do You Do With a B.A. in English?”, but there ISN’T one called “What Do You Do With a Degree in Psychology?”.

    #91749 |

    LOL, apparently it’s only the first year courses since they use that year to weed out all the ppl who are taking a psych degree just for the heck of it!

    Not sure where you are but where i live it seems like EVERYONE has a BA in psych and it’s pretty much as useless as an art degree in terms of getting a job in the field. For most people it’s that degree requirement for jobs that don’t care what your degree is in!

    #91750 |

    Hey people , i hear you about spelling. I recall about grade 6 or 7, everyone had to take a standard test in all subjects. i forget what they were called but you had to take them every few years. the prinsible called my parents in because of an inconsistancy. i was spelling at a early elementry school level, but my reading comprehention was early college level. no ever mentioned that this was a form of dyslica until i started resreaching ADD. i look back and realize that i have to stop and think about my left and my right. i remeber the special ed teach one year spent the entire year teaching me to spell ‘said’, i now wonder what i would be like if someone had said this girl has a learning disability.

    #91751 |

    This is fascinating!

    I’m excellent with grammar and spelling, but consistently confuse “b” and “p” both when writing and typing. I never thought that my mild disgraphia had anything to do with ADD.

    I’ve been on and off anti-depressants for several years, but they never fixed the problem completely. Because of the ADD?

    I have some behaviors that I would classify as OCD as well, like skin picking *blush*


    #91752 |

    Hi. I am trying to keep it together. I am in my late 40’s and only 2 yrs ago was diagnosed with ADHD. When I was young I was told I have an LD and I was always awkward with my peers and people. I still have problems coping with school, classes and anything dealing with learning and listening and relating to people. Since I never learned social skills when I was younger, I just had to wing it and I still avoid people. Its a very lonely and isolating life. My anxiety is sky high now as well. Does anyone else suffer with extreme anxiety and communication problems? these problems have really affected my life greatly.

    #91753 |

    OMIGAWD, Larynxa! The rule of nine?!!!!! NEVER heard of it! And I LOOOOOVE it! Goes with an other rule of nine (from numerology): any single digit # plus nine, when reduced to a single digit # equals the original # (7+9=16,1+6=7)

    these are both too cool!

    I’ve always loved numbers,my ocd tendency always involves numbers–however, never did well with higher math. This I attribute to one particularly haughty, arrogant and AWFUL high school geometry teacher who could never accept the fact that I was always able to come up with the right answer MY OWN WAY!!!! He always thought I was cheating (and accused me of such, loudly) and as a result,despite having perfect scores on the tests and having done all the homework, gave me a “D” in the class. I pretty much gave up on math after that!

    #91754 |


    fantastic thread!

    I’m a recent ADHD comer-outer (following a 10 year denial period) and the posts on this subject connect so many dots for me…

    It’s amazing after all these years of attempting to hide all my ticks, tacks, quirks and perks

    there’s a whole world of people out there just like me, “different”.

    THANKS to you, this web “sight” and me barely catching the PBS special, ADD and loving it…

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