Living With ADHD

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Brutus1964, Jul 30, 2005.

  1. Brutus1964 We are not alone! Registered Senior Member


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    Recently I was diagnosed with Adult Attention deficit disorder or ADHD. I have trouble paying attention to what I should be, and overly concentrate on my own thoughts or other things that are going on around me. Looking back I know I’ve had this problem my entire life. I have no idea what caused it. Perhaps it was from watching too much Sesame Street and Electric Company when I was a kid?

    In school it was very difficult to listen to the teacher with my mind constantly on other things. It was easier if the teacher was discussing something interesting, but if the subject was boring it could never compete with all the thoughts racing through my mind. Unfortunately I was not being graded on my thoughts.

    Since my diagnosis my Doctor has put me on medication. Sorry Tom Cruise! As long as I’m taking it I do great, but if I get off of it for a significant amount of time my ADHD comes back into overdrive. A couple of weeks ago I had such an occurrence. I ran out of pills for about a week. I started this blog about the same time and sure enough I was completely wrapped up into it. I didn’t even notice the time I had been spending on the computer until my wife asked me if I had been taking my medication. She can tell when things are not quite right. It was pretty obvious that I was hyper-concentrating on the blogging and becoming oblivious to all else. After I got my pills again things went back to normal pretty quickly. I was able to get my mind off my blog and onto other things. I still work on my blog, but I make sure it doesn’t consume my every waking hour.

    Having ADHD is can actually be a good thing if I can channel my attention to a worthwhile project. It gives me a burst of creativity, and I can come up with some pretty cool things because I’m able to concentrate my entire efforts into it. When I went back to college in my late 20’s I did very well because I was able to direct my attention into my schoolwork. As a result I got A’s in my classes. So the trick to controlling my ADHD is to consciously divert my attention to important matters and not let myself be distracted by meaningless pursuits. It doesn’t always work that way, but when it does great things can happen.

    Now that I’m back on my medication it has been much easier to pay attention to other things. At home I can pay more attention to my family, and work has been much better since I can keep my mind on the job and not be so easily distracted. I wish I had of been diagnosed years ago. It would have saved me from a lot of problems.

    I do worry that the medication will do away with those bursts of creativity, but so far it doesn’t seem to have happened. I’ll find out when I go back to college this fall. I may even do better since I’ll be able to pay more attention in class, even if the teacher is boring.

    Now, what was I talking about again?

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    Last edited: Jul 30, 2005
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  3. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    Meh. Me too, but as far as I can tell, I've adapted. I don't take the meds because the whole thing is just a pain in the ass. For the most part I hate shrinks. I think I know more about the mind than they do, as my hyperfocus goes into that subject for the most part. Not studying what people have written about it, but exploring my own ideas in the field. You have to see a shrink to get the meds, so screw that. I can deal with life as it is.

    I'm not even convinced it's a "disorder" so much as "some people just work that way". I do however condone meds if you want them. It's your right IMO, to do with your mind and consciousness as you see fit.
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  5. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    Why is this even considered a disorder?
    Where do you get it?
    Knowing how the brain is wired, I have a hard time beleiving the brain can get some disease like this that would affect concentration.
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  7. Brutus1964 We are not alone! Registered Senior Member

    I don't consider it a disease. Just like I said it has its benefits. The only reason I take medication is it interferes with my present job. Ultimately I want to get a job where the ADD is a benefit rather than a hindrance. I need a job that is not working directly with customers because they are a constant distraction. I need a job where I can concentrate fully on one or two things. That is why I am going back to college and study graphic arts or something creative. Then the ADHD will actually help.
  8. Xerxes asdfghjkl Valued Senior Member

    I will say it again: meditation does wonders for concentration.
  9. lixluke Refined Reinvention Valued Senior Member

    I fall asleep.
  10. Watcher Just another old creaker Registered Senior Member

    My only comment is that ADHD isn't an acquired problem so much as an inherited neurological characteristic, so you don't "get" it at some point in your life, typically.

    I would also speculate that 100 years ago ADHD didn't matter very much. It is only because we live in a highly technological, fast-paced, high stress modern environment that ADHD-type brains struggle to deal with the continuous overload of sensory input that we take for granted.

    Ever see the film Koyaanisqatsi? It portrays this constrast very effectively. The focus of the movie is "life out of balance". My theory is that our brains are not well adapted to dealing with the highly altered environment that we have created through engineering and automation, so, we have a proliferation of mental health problems like ADHD. Just a theory.
  11. river-wind Valued Senior Member

    The best description of ADHD I have run into is this:
    "Everyone sees their life as a TV. You can watch a show, then change the channel, then go back. Whenever you want.
    People with ADD, though, have 50 TV's, and most of the time, they are all tuned to different channels.
    Sometimes, all the TV's are set to the same channel, and the person can hyper-concentrate, to the point where the world around them doesn't exist.
    People with ADD/ADHD tend to be of above average intelligence - the trick is learning to harness that intelligence and creativity" (rough quote from a shrink I saw in Middle School)

    I'm with Xerxes - meditation has been shown to significantly improve both the overall attitude and success of the subjects involved. To the point where fMRI studies of ADD patients showed an improvement of focused blood flow during times of extended consentration.
    After 8 years of medication (Tofranil+Seldane, Paxil, Welbutrine, and more), I got tired of being dependent on something else to be functional. I went to college, and refused my medication - I was going to succed on my own, or fail (much to the pain of my mother).
    After much hard work, and many failures along the way, I did succeed in graduating.

    In my situation, the meditation is what allowed me to become functional enough to hold down a job and buy a house. Medication allowed me to be centered enough to learn meditation.

    so I don't think medication is bad, though you need to decide if you are ok with taking it for the rest of your life.
    It may be that you will fare much better by taking it. Or it may be a required step towards both being functional and independant through other means.

    cool skill - you should try meditation mid-morning, in a sitting position. Lying down or meditating early in the morning/late at night will just make your body used to falling alseep in the middle of your practice.

    edit: late edit to clean up language
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2005
  12. Blandnuts Registered Senior Member

    I'm having a hard time taking all this in. It's seems to be more of a fad lately, with more and more people being diagnosed with add/adhd. It's almost as bad as this whole depression push I see on tv. I think there are very few people who actually have this problem (if it truly exists).

    Edit: Also, one with add/adhd is more intelligent because? I know I always did better in something when I wasn't bored with it.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2005
  13. river-wind Valued Senior Member

    I did a comparison study about 10 years ago, and found that while it appeared that people in more wealthy areas were over-diagnosed (more inkdividuals/1000 were diagnosed that medical research on the subject would expect), the nation as a whole is very much under-diagnosed. This was an undergrad study, and I don’t have the file anymore, so you’ll have to take my word for it (or just ignore me

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    I know many people, adult and child, who are blatantly ADD/ADHD, but are unaware of it. I’ve also know perfectly fine children who have been put on heavy doses of medication because (IMO) their parents were to selfish to put any effort into parenting.

    One of the main reasons for this separation between disease and diagnosis is that there have always been people of this type, there just wasn't a name for it before. Now that we can call it something, 25% of the nation suddenly says "Hey! That sounds like me!" For some people, this is a grand realization, and big help for them. For others, it’s a cop-out.

    Because of the lack of a simple Yes or No test to diagnose ADD (doctors use personal behavior anecdotes and short observational sessions to determine if a person has ADD or not), there is no easy way to know who has ADD, though there has been a large number of studies which have shown that there are physical and chemical differences between ADD and ‘Normal’ brains.

    It should also be noted that it is a misconception that someone is either "ADD" or "Normal". Everyone has varying degrees of ability in the areas effected by ADHD and its sibling ailments. Some people are so far off the scale to disorganised that they cannot function w/o some form of medication to help balance out the chemical generation and use in the brain.

    Many people claim ADD or ADHD for sympathy, or for the purpose of medicating themselves or their children in a lazy attempt to make their lives easier. This is, IMO, terrible. Not only does it make them dependant on a drug to be functional, it also supports the worsening state of The Medicated Westerner.
    It also takes away from the valid problem that people who truly have ADD deal with, because it makes people question the reality of it.

    As to your edit: I don't think that a person with ADD/ADHD is more intelligent *because* of having ADD - they, in my personal experience, tend to be more intelligent. Not because of the ADD, but the other way around. My personal feeling is that there is a non-causal correlation - the more intelligent an individual, the more likely the person to have multiple active thoughts going at once. Hence, the likelihood of that person appearing to "bounce from one topic to another at random", and having trouble focusing, goes up considerably. Also, the likelihood of a particular thought, regardless of that thought’s importance, to get lost in the jumble is astronomical.
    They are just thinking about more than everyone else - their "bouncing" is just the little bits of all the simultaneous thought processes that escape to the world outside their own minds.

    BRUTUS1964: I meant to bring this up earlier, but here is something I found exceedingly useful, esp. in college.
    The brain has two parts to it – the data itself, and the path to access the data. In other words, you’ve got an office assistant and a filing cabinet up there. You hand a file off, and the assistant files it away.
    Later, you ask for that file, and the Assistant can’t find it. It’s not where it’s supposed to be! It still exists somewhere, but there is no easy way to locate it.
    M files are under A, Q files are in the F section, some files are on the floor. The worst part is, you didn’t make the mess, nor can you fix it yourself. Not only is finding files hard, but it’s very easy to forget what you’re trying to find, when you’re ‘A’ section is full of random tidbits from everywhere else.
    SOOOOO……the trick is to file the more important things away 50 times. Basically, force the assistant to do the job enough times that, statistically, he’ll file everything right just by chance.

    “April’s birthday on the 10th. April’s birthday on the 10th. April’s birthday on the tenth. I want sushi for lunch. No! Bad. April’s birthday on the 10th. April’s birthday…..” so on and so forth. This method is very effective for me.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2005
  14. Russ723 Relatively Hairless Ape Registered Senior Member

    I know this is an old thread. Oh well

    I have severe ADD.

    I usually repeat to myself focus...focus.....focus... then I'll catch myself thinking about something else.

    It feels like there is lost time between when I told myself to focus & when I catch myself thinking about something else.

    "I was trying to focus when did I stop!?!"

    It is frustrating.

    This s why I rarely respond to long threads. Even ones I like.
  15. Crucifixor Light must endure burning. Registered Senior Member


    a common misconception about adhd is that it needs a dysfunction in the brain to exist. this being true, i may as well elaborate. adhd is a chemical imbalance in the cerebral cortex... this is either over stimulating or fatiguing, regardless, it leads to dysfunction.

    another issue with adhd is that it is an LD (learning disability). It screws up the process of reading, and often writing with similar if not definitely linked to dysgraphia.
  16. Crucifixor Light must endure burning. Registered Senior Member

    just so you know, im studying psychology at STU, been doing prestudy for a while and I am working with their students with disabilities administration; because i have ADHD-C and Disgraphia. It sucks hardcore... I even clench up when i play intense games because my motor functions are severely debilitated.

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  17. duendy Registered Senior Member

    i know wat i am about to say may cause you to get angry, turn off, challenge...whatever, but i want you to know i MEAN it.
    'ADHD' is a pseudo disease, concocted by a greedy evil indutry called the pharmaceutical industry whose corruption involves the establishment it sponsors, psychiatry and psychology and all teir branches, which are proliferating in culture all the time.

    ADHD is a total bogus disease. there is no proof whatsoever, scientifically, to PROVEit is a disease.

    what it IS is a label being put on more and more children--and adults--which stigmatizes them, and poisons their growing organisms. fukin evil

    it is SOCIAL CONTROL! moods, differences of behaviour, are being pathologisied by elite groups of so-called professionlals round a table.

    THER IS NO PROOF ADHD IS A PHYSICAL DISEASE. so get wise and dont believe those people who tell you otherwise!
  18. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    Duendy, I agree with you. But in today's cultural environment, we invent "diseases" in order to explain certain behavior and/or social problems that we can't understand. Then we spend billions of taxpayer money to "find the cure". It's like a giant and neverending circle ...economic circle, perhaps?

    We've also invented a society which is reluctant to blame the individual for any of his/her actions. So inventing a new "disease" is another way of deflecting the blame for people's actions. A woman kills her newborn infant, so instead of calling it murder, we call if post-partum depression and let her live she can do it again!!

    Maybe we just don't have enough to do to keep us occupied?

    Baron Max
  19. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    No offense, buddy, but that explains why you are a rabid republican, you don't have the attention to follow subjects through. Their short sound bites, catchy unthinking slogans and groupthink would appeal to someone with a short attention span.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2005
  20. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member


    spidergoat, you're an arrogant dipshit sometimes man. what an ass.
  21. c20H25N3o Shiny Heart of a Shiny Child Registered Senior Member

    When you are off the meds, what is it that you want to concentrate on? What were the meaningless pursuits that your mind wandered off to? Were they meaningless by your standards or someone elses standards? If 'allowed' to think of them in 'any' terms at all without predudice, would those pursuits be meaningless or not?


  22. Roman Banned Banned

    Good to see you back, acid.
  23. wesmorris Nerd Overlord - we(s):1 of N Valued Senior Member

    It's just too much hypocracy that leftist dickweeds that all think alike talk about how "rabid republicans" are republibots eating "groupthink and catchy unthinking slogans" for hate-fuel, while being absolutely BLIND to their own indulgance in leftomatic trash of the exact same nature. Ah, superiority - how blind yet vain is thy nature.

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