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June 10, 2005

Where was I?

ADHD adults struggle to focus.

The longer I live, the more convinced I am that I suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder. I was talking to a friend of mine last night about how I feel like a stone being skipped across a pond sometimes. My mind just flies from topic to topic throughout the day and nothing holds my attention for very long. It takes me all day to complete a task.

Of course, in that day I complete a whole ton of tasks, but the actual work is broken up into non-sequential segments. I'm an excellent multi-tasker. But I feel like a really poor single-tasker sometimes.

I am considering talking to my doctor about it and experimenting with the various medications out there. I don't know that I really want to change the way I think and work, but I do want to see how it feels to focus deeply on something for a while. As long as there are no severe side effects, I might try it.

Update: The Symptoms

I found the symptoms of Adult AD/HD through one of the links in the above article. My diagnosis? Oh yeah. That's me. And several other members of my family.

  1. Poor attention; excessive distractibility
  2. Physical restlessness or hyperactivity
  3. Excessive impulsivity; saying or doing things without thinking
  4. Excessive and chronic procrastination
  5. Difficulty getting started on tasks
  6. Difficulty completing tasks
  7. Frequently losing things (BigWig? Suza? Dad?)
  8. Poor organization, planning, and time management skills
  9. Excessive forgetfulness

I never knew that medication might be able to correct some of these things. There might be hope for me after all! AND I can blame my father. Apparently it's a genetic thing.

Posted by Kehaar at June 10, 2005 11:36 AM | TrackBack
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I have it. I've known for a while.

Posted by: yer sister at June 10, 2005 02:33 PM

Yeah. I saw the description and thought of you immediately after I thought of me. And then I thought of our brother. And our father.

I want meds.

Posted by: Kehaar at June 10, 2005 03:03 PM

Keep telling yourself it's just that.

I mean, come on. We all know it's brainworms.

Posted by: Sigivald at June 10, 2005 03:16 PM

Whiel I was an u ndergrad at the Univ of Michigan, I began to see weird my junior year. gained a lot of weight, lost the ability to concentrate, etc etc. Doctor said it was due to fact that I was in a fraternity, and that I probably ought to cut down on the partying. What he couldnt figure out is this - I told him I am a Mormon, and hence excessive my problems were not due to alcohol, weed, coffee, or any other recreational drugs. So, I got prescribed meds for depression, and went and saw a therapist who was a big fan of the Dworkin/MacKinnon school of feminism, and my condition did not improve.
Finaly a few years later, whe I had a job with a good insurance plan, and I had balooned up to approx 310lbs and found myself going blind, I went to see a better doctor than the doctor and the therapist, both quacks, in my opinion I had been seeing. And they found a very large tumor in my brain - about the size of 2 Altoids cans!!!!

The point of my rambling narrative here is this - just becasue you have a few symptoms, it isnt necessarily Adult ADHD, or ADD. It is a diagnosis that is made to o often. So, if you thing you might have this condition, please also see a MD and insist that you get a MRI too, so that any thing else like a possible brain tumor or any thing else is ruled out.
Best of luck.

Posted by: ronin at June 10, 2005 06:29 PM

I can't believe that you didn't BOLD #2 & #3! Especially # 3. Need I say.... SWITCH?

skip... skip..... skip........

Posted by: Blu at June 11, 2005 08:28 AM

Well...maybe some people notice things about me that I don't notice as much. And I don't deny that 2 and 3 ALSO apply. I just don't WORRY about those symptoms. Those are the fun ones. :)

Posted by: Kehaar at June 11, 2005 11:41 AM

Must've been a good article - I couldn't concentrate long enough to finish it.

Thanks Keehar

Posted by: Clif at June 11, 2005 02:59 PM

Don't worry. Be happy. '-)

Posted by: Blu at June 12, 2005 09:25 AM

Well, although you did not mention Yomamma as having this particular affliction, I have at times realized that I have a great deal of difficulty concentrating on one task at a time. My mind, like yours, jumps from idea to idea, and I usually jump from task to task, rarely finishing any of them. But I agree that a few symptoms do not necessarily mean one is afficted with ADD. Most of my former students who claimed to have ADD were eager to use it as an escuse for poor performance what that was most likely due to excessive TV watching, little self discipline, and parents who were willing to "poor baby" them. One study I have read suggested that the best cure for a child with ADD is parents who work together, who have high standards, who set limits, and who enforce rules.

Posted by: Yomamma at June 12, 2005 01:52 PM

I have many of those same symptoms, and so did my father. In my case they were mitigated by (believe it or not) an anxiety disorder. My means of coping when I became anxious was to obsessively focus on a task at hand, which had the effect of counteracting my natural tendency toward procrastination. The anxiety eventually became too much of a problem for me to work around, and I began taking medication. It's done wonders for the anxiety, but now I'm working on a replacement set of good habits to counterbalance my flightiness. Darn stupid brain.

BTW, If you do decide to try medication, watch out for Adderall. It's got some very nasty and insidious side effects. I'd ask a doctor about one of the new non-stimulant treaments first.

Posted by: Bryan C at June 13, 2005 12:27 AM

Don't ask me to feel sorry for you Kehaar. The Grauniad says I'm suffering from severe autism and a complete lack of empathy for others, along with irritatingly powerful analytical skills. So even if I did care, my illness means I'd just conclude that my observations are that ADHD doesn’t really matter in the long run. Sorry, can't help it, bad brain made me do it. Nor do I want to medicate my problem: as a lifelong Buffalo Bills fan, I really truly don't want to feel the pain. Being a Bills fan would be unbearable if I wasn't as emotionally dead as a hunk of granite.

As for you Ronin… a two Altoid tin sized brain tumor? I suspect your problems didn’t stem from the immense size of the tumor; rather your problems stemmed from its curious strength. At least the docs didn’t find a Fisherman’s Friend inside your head… that would have caused some serious bad headaches.

Posted by: Blackavar at June 13, 2005 07:52 PM

My son has it, and we're seeing signs of it in my grandson. My son describes it as having constant static in his brain, through which he has to perceive the world. Sounds like you should at least be evaluated for ADD/ADHD.

It was my speciality when I practiced child welfare law....once my judge discovered I was fairly knowledgable about it, he assigned most ADD/ADHD cases to me. I was delighted, because ADD/ADHD people are some of the brightest, most creative you'll ever meet. Their brains work so differently, which is simply fascinating to the science geek in me.

Caveat: If you do have it, don't expect medication to cure your symptoms. All it does is help you get them under control so you can learn effective coping skills. It's a tool, not a magic cure.

Posted by: rita at June 15, 2005 07:45 AM
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