Category Archives: ADHD
Hi there! I have neglected you! The past few weeks have been busy and overwhelming and when the overwhelm comes, I typically go hermit. I think its a fight or flight thing. It’s definitely an ADHD thing. This brain of mine, while capable of achieving incredible things, is also incapable of managing the mundane. Things like making sure there is enough toilet paper in the house and remembering to actually look at the to-do list I naively wrote on Sunday night, convinced that this time I’d actually look at it and cross things off. If you know anyone with ADHD, you’ll know well their pure intentions to do things. Depending on your level of interaction with them, you’re likely to be frustrated by their constant earnest promises to follow through and their subsequent failure to deliver. I’ll let you in on a little known fact: the person you’re disappointed in is exponentially disappointed with herself. That person is so beyond frustrated by her own broken promises that self-flagellation has become her default. That person who has let you down again doesn’t trust herself anymore because of the countless times she’s been proven wrong and discovered that her memory has failed her again. And then, someone tells her ADHD isn’t real. Today I want to share with you 9 things people often say to people with ADHD and then I’ll addmy two cents.
ADHD Myth #1You’re right. Everyone does have “ADHD moments”. Everyone forgets things sometimes, everyone gets distracted now and again, we’ve all struggled to focus on boring tasks from time to time, we’ve all experienced walking into a room and forgetting why we’re there. Absolutely. These are all ADHD traits and there’s not a human alive that can’t relate to every single one. But, and this is a big BUT, the difference between neurotypical people and ADDers is that people with ADD / ADHD experience all of these traits all of the time. Let me be clear – there is not a moment in our lives when we have a clear head and uninterrupted thoughts. There isn’t a day when we experience the peace of knowing exactly what we have to accomplish and know that we can do it. Every conversation with other people is a fight to stay focused and quiet not only the outside distractions but also our own internal dialogue. It’s like attempting to hold a conversation in the middle of a kindergarten classroom – every thought is loud and demanding immediate attention. Our brains are noisy and chaotic. Every time we attempt to remember what we are supposed to be doing, another mental crisis jumps the queue and BAM, we’re fighting distraction. This is not a ‘sometimes’ thing. It is perpetual. Day and night. (Hello, insomnia!) It’s why we drive you insane with our interrupting and talk at the speed of a running-late bullet train. We are trying to expel the thoughts from our heads to make space to be able to listen to you.
ADHD Myth #2:Spend the day in our shoes. No, scrap that – spend a day in our heads and then say that again with a straight face. The drug companies that make ADHD / ADD medication are most definitely making money off people diagnosed with ADHD / ADD, no argument on that front. So are the drug companies that sell insulin to Diabetics and Viagra to people with Erectile Dysfunction. As are the companies that sell glasses to people with Vision Impairment and hearing aids to the Hearing Impaired. ADHD / ADD is no less real than Diabetes, Erectile Dysfunction or Vision and Hearing Impairment. Would you tell a Diabetic to try harder to manage his diet because his Diabetes isn’t real and his sugar crashes are simply a result of his own laziness and lack of effort to manage his own sugar intake? After all, you also have sugar crashes from time to time so really, we’re all a little Diabetic, if you think about it. No? Because that’s ridiculous and insulting, right? It would be an insensitive and uneducated stance, wouldn’t it? It would, in fact, make you look like an ass of epic proportions and you’d never think of thinking it, never mind saying it. Now, try to imagine the frustration that we ADDers feel when we hear this statement, again and again, delivered with a smug expression and a truckload of judgement. Read the rest of this entry
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As an adult ADHD sufferer with severe organizational and time management issues (and by severe, I mean crippling, suffocating, chaos-causing issues), I have found myself becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the volume of housework, kids’ school organizing and personal to-dos in the past few months. In true ADHD style, I find myself dealing with a zillion unrelated to-dos by running around in circles, flapping my arms and yelling at everyone. Here’s a heads up: this method does not work. Read the rest of this entry
An insight into your child’s ADHD experience.Let me ask you a question. If you found out that your child had Diabetes, would you deny him Insulin? If he was short-sighted, would you deny him glasses and tell him to just sit nearer the front of the classroom? Well, then why – if your child was diagnosed with ADHD, would you decide to withhold medication? Since I wrote about my own ADHD diagnosis, I have been overwhelmed with private messages from distraught parents whose children have been diagnosed with ADHD. Their distress is exactly the same – they are afraid to medicate and are certainly not going to share the diagnosis with anyone, for fear of the negative stigma. Their relief upon reading my post was almost palpable – for most, it was the first time someone had spoken about medicating ADHD in a positive light. This really made me sad. Incredibly sad. All I could think was “Those poor kids.” Before you judge me as a drug-peddler, let me begin by saying that I absolutely understand the fear of the scary monster ADHD drugs that are out there. Read the rest of this entry
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been administratively challenged/off with the fairies/ditzy. I’ve had a diary in my bag, on my phone, on my fridge. I’ve had post-it notes flapping off door frames, my computer screen, my forehead. I’ve set reminders and alarms. And I have consistently forgotten my best friend’s birthday, lunch dates, my own head. Most of the people in my life love me regardless (or I’d have no people to speak of!) and the rest decided long ago that my forgetfulness translated into lack of care. To those patient, kind and forgiving ones, I am grateful beyond words. To the others – I don’t blame you. I’d have ditched me too. This little personality quirk (isn’t that a lovely phrase?) of mine has caused me endless stress and heartache too. I have spent what adds up to my entire adult life feeling terrified that I am about to let someone I love down and equally depressed about the fact that I just did it again. The “I can’t believe I am so stupid and unable to remember the most basic things” burden gets heavy, I tell ya. A few months ago, I started to get really anxious because people would talk to me about conversations we’d had and I had no recollection at all. None. Darren would recount an entire dialogue and I’d look at him blankly. I cringe at the thought of just how uninterested in what he had to say I must have seemed. I decided that this was beyond normal forgetfulness. This no longer fit in the “quirky” category. I made an appointment to see a shrink. I sat in the waiting room of the psychiatrist, and tapped my feet. I read a few sentences of a magazine. I poured a cup of water. I checked my messages. I tried to not think about the horrendous thing that must be wrong with my brain. Read the rest of this entry