My dad recently I might have ADD. At first I was like, “No way! That can’t be!” But then I started researching, and lo and behold, I found myself identifying more and more with articles I read and papers people diagnosed had written. Now I’m starting to be more objective in watching how I’m thinking, and realizing that my mind isn’t quiet like I thought it was. I’ll preface this by saying that around age fourteen (though it might’ve been later, no sense of time), it suddenly felt like my mind had broken, because I realized that I wasn’t thinking a mile a minute about ever single little thing in detail. I tried to get the feeling of thinking like that back (it really scared me since that was how I’d always thought) and couldn’t. My mind felt really empty for a few weeks before I stopped noticing. Now I’m getting the racing thoughts back again, but it definitely isn’t anxiety, just a general sense of being really interested in everything all the time. Since there is so much to cover, I’ll make a list of stuff that make me suspect I have ADD:
1. This is one that has frustrates me a lot so I’ll start with it. I am HORRIBLE with directions/navigation of any sort. This has caused me to miss or be very late to many important events, recently including my best friend’s wedding, where she had to come get me after the ceremony. I was crying hysterically and usually do when I’m lost. My dad has offered to get me a GPS, but I keep forgetting to do anything about it. There is a LONG list of examples of my directional challenges.
2. I have no sense of time whatsoever. This mostly is evident when I try to tell people when something happened, and I’m off by weeks or months. Things that happened a week ago to me actually happened two months ago. It’s very frustrating. I also miscalculate how long it will take me to do something by quite a bit.
3. PROCRASTINATION. That should speak for itself but I feel mine is a little different because mostly these are not things that I am consciously avoiding, even unpleasant things, it’s things that I am truly forgetting to do. I’ll get home from school and stay there, even if I had meant to go do a bunch of errands. I’ll get sucked in to crocheting and it’ll be 11 pm before I know it. The things I was supposed to do get kicked into the “I’ll do them this weekend” category, which I promptly forget about. I’ve procrastinated on stuff like registering for classes, or sending in resumes, or you name it, and these have all led to college and such taking much longer than it needed to take, which needless to say is a big deal, and quite costly when I’ve had to take extra classes.
4. Forgetfulness. I suppose I already explained this above, but I forget things. Lots of things, even stuff I just heard about a few minutes ago. I remember a lot of things that aren’t terribly important, and do better with things that I need to do for other people, rather than myself. If someone gives me an errand or job, I won’t forget to do it (for the most part), but if I need to do something for myself, it goes out the window. Part of this might be because I’ve always been eager to please and am terrified of letting people down. I also regularly have to go in and out of the house about three times before I’ve got everything I need, even if I’ve thought ahead and placed it all by the door. I’ve left without putting on my glasses and even got to school without them. It’s not a big deal because my eyesight is pretty good without them, but they really are helpful and I notice if I don’t have them. Not enough I guess, to leave without them being on my FACE! I also try to keep a running tally of my bank account amounts, but can’t seem to hold on to them, and have overdrawn my account many times, leaving me without money at some critical times. This has been costly in fees and embarrassment, but I cannot seem to remember to write it down or carry a calculator in my car or anything to manage it. Every time I forget something, I’ll tell myself it won’t happen again, but it ALWAYS DOES.
5. Inattention. Looking back on my high school and middle school years, I would attribute a lot of my school frustration to lack of attention. I would almost NEVER do homework, which of course led to less than optimal grades, even in subjects I was interested in. I realize now that rather than simply not wanting to do the homework, which I really did, to bring my grades up, I could not for the life of me bring myself to sit down and do a worksheet or read a section of a book, or any small task. I would look at a worksheet, which were the bane of my existence, and my mind would go off the charts with the idea of doing them, even if I understood the material that was being taught that day. Big projects were fine (I’d procrastinate then cram overnight), and they’re probably the only reason I passed school. I am in college now at a community college, and though I somehow did really well in two math classes (always a HUGE problem for me, I failed a class because I didn’t do the homework and couldn’t concentrate), I think it was the teachers. They were fast paced and I suddenly remembered everything I’d learned in high school even though I never remember listening or being able to understand a single thing. The fast pace kept my interest enough to pay attention a little more. Now I’m in a math class with a very slow rambling teacher and my usual school doodling has run rampant and I leave the class realizing I hadn’t looked at the board almost the entire class and my grade is suffering. Today I really tried to focus and caught myself not focusing, but that just distracted me more. I realize now that I drift in and out of focusing on what people are saying to me, because I’m thinking my own thoughts over them, and I’ve started to notice that sometimes I’ll kind of snap out of “something” and realize that while I was talking or listening I hadn’t been seeing my surroundings even though my eyes were open. People think I’m paying attention but I’m not. My one friend actually told me he feels he has to be more animated around me to keep my attention. That really surprised me! I can look back and attribute almost every single one of my “problems” at home and at school to my mind feeling like it’s going haywire when faced with something I had to think through. Also, if faced with a long string of text, like the one I’m writing now, or some of the posts on here, I simply cannot read it, and have to skip around to get the meaning. This doesn’t happen when I’m writing, and reading and writing were always my strong points at school. I read a lot and always have. I find myself having to go back over whole pages of text because I’ll tune in and realize I don’t know what happened to get to that point in the story. Libraries drive me absolutely insane. I love getting new books, but the quietness in the quiet sections let me hear my brain with the ocean sound in my ears and looking through the bottom of a glass like nobody’s business. I can concentrate on a task much better if there is a lot of noise, preferably loud indistinct talking, as I get distracted by music since that’s something I tune into. I didn’t mention that we had seriously considered sending me to an alternative style high school, where you could work at your own pace, and though the idea appealed to me so much that I really wanted to go, I felt they were for “troubled kids” and didn’t want to tell people I went to one. Probably should have because the traditional classroom setting is hellish.
6. Going haywire. Like I just said, sometimes my mind feels like it’s going haywire. A good example of this would be when I am trying to read board game directions, then play the game for the first/second/third time. It takes me a LONG time for my brain to shut up and play the game without feeling really frustrated. The reading of directions is the worst part though. This happens sometimes reading other things too, but I’ll be looking at it, and catching words here and there, but my mind can simply NOT comprehend it. It’s like looking through the bottom of a glass with the ocean rushing in my ears. Really frustrating. This haywire feeling also happens for other reasons, I can’t think of another specific example so that must mean it happens a lot, mostly the rushing sound in my ears as I try to understand something. For example, sports rules, or how to make a sundial on the beach (always wanted to know how to do that but it’s one of those things by brain can’t listen to!).
7. Mood swings/depression. I have had several teachers approach me about how I’ll come in some days and be super bubbly and happy and talkative, and then other days a total grouch, stubborn, and angry. This was literally on a day to day basis. It doesn’t happen so much anymore, but I’ve always had a touch of depression lurking away. In high school it was at it’s worst and I would sometimes cry myself to sleep for no reason. Thinking now it was most likely frustration.
8. Disorganization. My entire teenage and young adult life, my mom has been trying to get me to use calenders and write things down. She doesn’t seem to understand that once I write things down I will not remember to go back and look and them, thus rendering them useless. I almost never know what the date is or even what day it is until I get a vague nagging in the back of my head to check, and sometimes due dates or deadlines have past. This has caused MAJOR problems for me. I keep my room pretty organized now, because I have roommates and don’t want them to see how I want to live. My truck is a refection of that however, and the last time I cleaned it out, there was stuff that I had been looking for for six months or more. I have a bunch of things in my truck that I really need to take out but they’re still in there because I never remember them until I get in my truck again.
I just realized how loooooonnnnngggggg this post got to be, so I’m going to leave it here for now, but there is some more stuff I’m wondering about. Mostly these things happen to me often enough, and are a problem enough, and have been happening my whole life, that I’ve noticed that I’m a little different from other people. I basically started to wonder why nobody else seemed to have these problems. If you made it to here, thanks for reading! By the way, I keep forgetting to do something about my medical insurance, so it’ll be a while before I can go see anyone about this.jojosephineMember
I am not a doctor but in my opinion you have ADD.
I am waiting for treatment. and I am focusing all my attention on it too. researching and noticing behaviours in myself and others.
Just knowing that this is what I are dealing with is a huge relief.
The best thing you can do till you get treatment is hyper-focus on finding helpful tips for a non-medical treatment approach.
This is exciting.
All the best.seabassdMember
I also wanted to add (hahaha!) that when I was working as a cook at a nursing home (I worked by myself), I would sometimes serve the meals at the wrong times, usually too early. I once served out an hour early. There IS a clock in the kitchen right about the door, there’s a clock on the microwave, there’s a clock on my phone! I HATE analog clocks because I find reading them very difficult even though I’ve been practicing of a while now (this is kindergarten stuff, learning how to read a clock!) but I always figured I knew what time I was serving out! It was really embarrassing and of course that meant the patients had to change what they were doing to eat at the wrong time. Fortunately my co-workers are really sweet and laughed about it, but I realize now that it happening so many times probably was an indication of something else. I also wanted to put markers on the clock for the different meal times, but didn’t. Should have!
Also thank you both for responding, it was really comforting to know I’m not alone! I also wanted to note that sometimes I get EXTREMELY restless, but I’m usually alone and hate doing things by myself(but I will if I have to), so I just sit there and try to let it pass even though it’s almost physically painful. Or sometimes I go for a walk, which is free, and free is good. It helps a little and I’m going to take up swimming at a pool nearby once I get a suit.
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