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View Diary: KosAbility:ADHD in a woman--it ain't pretty (194 comments)

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  •  From my recent research (14+ / 0-)

    Because of son with ADHD, people with ADHD are 6 times more likely to have an additional psychiatric or learning disorder. Includes ODD, CD, anxiety, bipolar disorder. We are going ahead with a psychoeducational eval for our son within the next week or so. He's only 11 and I'd like to have things in place before he gets older and less compliant. It's a hard road. Good luck to your niece.

    •  Yes!!! (14+ / 0-)

      You are so right about the co-occuring issues as well as likely learning disabilities. And when we think about learning in it's most straightforward meaning, we learn from mistakes. One of the most difficult issues w/ AD/HD is its impact on learning from mistakes, so that people must make mistakes many times before they see the patterns essential to making different choices to produce a different result. That's why it's a lifelong disorder.

      We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.

      by Tookish on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 03:42:03 PM PST

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    •  and good luck to you (11+ / 0-)

      good to know your son and my niece are in good hands...and getting proper attention before the teens hit.

      All the best....

      Responsible people leave neither loaded guns nor paranoid, eliminationist ideologies laying around for the mentally ill to play with.

      by KenBee on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 03:43:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That rings a bell for me. (16+ / 0-)

      In addition to ADHD, I have tons of anxiety problems, including what is most likely agoraphobia, depression, and "traits of OCD".  Who knows what else is there in my brain that hasn't been diagnosed, though I imagine it would help if I was actually seeing a psychologist over it all, but having bad experiences in the past with mental health care professionals has made me deeply apprehensive about the idea.

      •  Anxiety (15+ / 0-)

        My doctor explained that the anxiety I've experienced for most of my life may be related to undiagnosed ADD, in that there really was a reason I couldn't keep my desk neat, focus on things I found boring (while hyperfocusing on other things), remember appointments, not lose things, etc etc etc etc.  

        I've had three bouts of major depression (two treated with SSROs), and they may have been triggered by stress from undiagnosed ADD.  A fascinating thought.

        •  I remember after my ADHD diagnosis... (13+ / 0-)

          ...reading a long list of symptoms and I came across the hyperfocus bit.  It seemed so contradictory to my concept of ADHD, but it was also so very accurate for me.  It helped explain how I could have so much trouble reading, but every once in a while I'd blast through a book like there was no tomorrow.  Until I had encountered the idea of hyperfocus being an ADHD symptom, I had always thought that my reading difficulties were always me just be lazy.  Even though such reading problems still bother me, I am glad to at least now understand that the problem is that every little bit of new stimuli my brain has to process is done mostly with my conscious mind instead of with the subconscious like most people.

          Sometimes I think "attention deficit" is something of a misnomer.  People tend to see it as meaning that someone doesn't pay attention, when, at least for me, the problem is that I pay attention to everything.  Like, I've found myself feeling amazed to see how other people are unaware of things.  For example, being at my best friend's house hanging out in her living room and her mom in the kitchen holler in a question at my best friend.  To see my friend sit there and be able to continue watching tv and be unaware the question was asked amazes me, as I can't not hear it.  I'm so adapted to it that people will want to ask me something and they'll start but stop and stand there waiting while I'm doing something.  I have to let them know that I don't have to look at them to hear their question -- that happens a lot when I'm busy doing something on the computer and my mom wants to ask me something.

          •  I'm slowly (14+ / 0-)

            working on turning and looking people in the face when I talk to them.

            For the longest time I always figured that I only need my ears to hear, not my eyes.  Then I realized that Other People apparently need the reassurance that I am actually paying attention to them so now I pander to their preferences.

            I'm not entirely sure how successful I am.  

            Show me the POLICY!

            by Fabian on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 04:43:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Attention deficit (16+ / 0-)

            needs to be understood as an issue of being able to attend--in the broadest sense of that word.  When research starting to be done on all the sub processing that we use to learn to read, it revolutionized our understanding of why some people might have difficulty with that task. We don't have that level of specific understanding of all the thousands of subprocesses that go into our ability to attend.

            It affects our ability to shift focus. We have difficulty moving from one task to another, refocusing on the new task, holding information in our working memory, shifting back to the previous (or another task), and all of that shifting, when one has attention deficits, can be painful. Then you add in the emotional regulation when the demands of a situation exceed your cognitive load and you can't keep up or respond-you don't feel or sometimes can't be reasonable. Forget remembering the last thing you were doing or what was on the list. That hyperfocus is a peaceful place to counteract the intensity of demands we are faced with moment to moment throughout our days. It also often corresponds with an area of strength (as in, we often hyperfocus on things we have internal scaffolding--internal understanding of) and so it is effortless, while everything else is effortful.

            We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.

            by Tookish on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 04:43:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  aka "DON'T INTERRUPT ME!" (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rhubarb, eru, KenBee, KelleyRN2

              When I'm doing a task that I am averse to, I jump straight in and go like a speeding freight train until it is done.  I know anything, any interruption at all will make it that much harder to get back on task.  (Plus I've probably been putting this task off and need it done yesterday.)

              Anyone who does interrupt me will not be treated with understanding and compassion.  "Okay, what is it?  Make it snappy!"  I'm a nice person, really - you just caught me at the wrong time.

              I don't like interruptions at all.  The not looking at people who are asking me a question is because I'm Staying On Task Dammit.  If you live with someone who has AD/HD, you should be aware that trying to get on track is not easy and often not pleasant.  We have to work so damned hard!

              Show me the POLICY!

              by Fabian on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 02:18:32 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I felt that way in my previous workplace, where (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Fabian, KelleyRN2

                I had many menial tasks to get done and usually several onerous ones (such as taking about 2 hours to get a pain med scheduled, calling the MD, calling the pharmacy and then usually playing phone tag when the rigors of prescribing, say, a schedule II narcotic had not been met.  Then documenting all of the above in a waterproof, regulation sort of way).  On top of that, I had 50 patients and a building full of subordinates, most of whom seemed to need prodding, always, and direct supervision at times.

                So, staying on task was not just painful, it was nearly impossible.

                I likened that whole experience to working under a busy 3-holed shitter.

                Unscrewing the inscrutable since 1965

                by rhubarb on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 02:30:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  "Quirky brain" (18+ / 0-)

      When we (my husband and I, plus the teachers and counselor in elementary school) were trying to figure out how to help my son, it became clear that he didn't fit comfortably in obvious categories.  I started saying he has "quirky brain," for lack of a better label!  He is highly intelligent and imaginative, but he didn't learn to read until 2nd grade and he just couldn't focus in class.  They thought he was somewhere on the autism spectrum, and we accepted that diagnosis because it gave us accommodations that definitely helped him.  Once I read about ADHD, particularly the non-hyperactive type, I took him to a psychiatrist who made the diagnosis and started medication.  His incredibly positive response to meds shows the accuracy of this diagnosis.

      But I know his "quirky brain" has other components.  It's also pretty clearly genetic, as my father and brother share assets and deficits with my son.  I'm glad that medication gives him real help, and I hope that as we learn more and more about brains, I'll be able to figure out just what "quirky brain" entails!

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