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You are not me

Sometimes I get frustrated when people just dismiss the idea when I mention to them that I have adult ADHD because in their heads they are thinking about crazy kids running around the room. It’s just because they really don’t understand the effects that is has on one’s life.

When people read through the below symptoms, they think well many of these apply to me as well and I don’t have ADHD, but I’m telling you imagine you have ALL of these symptoms all at the same time and they occur every 15 minutes or so. Then can you try to imagine what life is like for us?

Disorganization and Difficulty with Task Completion-

– Poor organizational skills
– Chronic procrastination or trouble getting started
– Working on many projects simultaneously
– Trouble with follow through on promises or commitments
– Changing plans, enacting new schemes or career plans and the like
– Difficulty structuring time and setting priorities (e.g., chronic lateness)

Impulsivity-

– A tendency to say what comes to mind without considering the timing or appropriateness of the remark
– Difficulties with self-control
– Spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment behaviors or comments
– Frequently interrupting others when they are talking
– A tendency toward addictive behaviors

Hyperactivity-

– Physical or cognitive restlessness
– Craves excitement, frequently searching for high stimulation
– An intolerance of boredom

Attention Problems-

– Easily distracted, trouble focusing attention (e.g., tunes out or drifts away in the middle of a page or a conversation)
– Chronic forgetfulness
– Inaccurate self-observation

Emotional Instability-

– An ongoing tendency to worry excessively, that may alternate with disregard for actual dangers
– A sense of insecurity
– Mood swings
– Chronic problems with self-esteem
– Frequent boredom and discontent
– A chronic sense of underachievement, of not meeting one’s goals, regardless of actual performance

Low Stress Tolerance-

– Impatient, doesn’t deal well with frustration
– Easily flustered, tense
– Exaggerates the significance of negative events (i.e. makes “mountains out of molehills”)
– Short temper, likely with a history of explosive episodes

Others think that this is just an excuse for my flaws or underachievement, which sometimes is easy to turn to but to try to turn these weaknesses into my strenghts is totally a different story. I have lived with ADHD for 30 years now and only in the last couple of years was I introduced to this term and learnt about it. Luckily enough I am just a borderline case and I can pretty much get on with life with only mild disruptions, although that is not to say that my aspirations and goals have not been affected drastically by this. Also fortunate is that our minds are smart enough to teach ourselves mechanisms to cope better and to mitigate the damaging effects but some things are just out of our control and we must surrender to professional help.

I’m a big fan of Jodi Picoult’s books and couple of months ago, I read ‘House Rules’ where Jacob has Asperger’s Syndrome and his behaviour can be related to most teenager boys. I quote below line from the laywer, who tries to mock the symptoms of Asperger’s displayed in Jacob’s behaviour. “Not connecting with his peers,Being the centre of his own universe. Self-preservation is the one inviolable rule. Temper tantrums and anger management issues…Sounds to me, Dr. Murano, like Asperger’s is the new selfish.”

Even those closest to me who witnesses my symptoms on a daily basis and tries to cope with my behaviours can never really truly understand, because in the end they are not me.

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  1. August 21, 2012 at 11:12 pm

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