- Mental Health
My daily tussles with adult ADHD - the symptoms,foibles, triumphs and advice for fellow sufferers
Having adult ADHD, for myself, is a lifelong tussle, having been both a bane and a boon in my only too short existence. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can be a pain - and yet, the situations that in can put you in, though absolutely frustrating at the time, can absolutely serve to tickle. ADHD, in particular Adult ADHD, is not a condition that many can fully grasp and appreciate - nor is it possible for to fully step into the shoes of a sufferer. More often than not, we are misaligned, misinterpreted and misunderstood - sometimes hilariously so! Having said all that, there is a way for sufferers to survive this condition that leaves us scratching our heads all too often.
The symptoms of ADHD only became prevalent after a brain tumor diagnosis and removal - I was told that my brain’s structure had altered because I had my pituitary tumors removed.
The chemical imbalance brought on ADHD - a companion, friendly or not, that I have to live with for the rest of my lifetime.
Symptoms of Adult ADHD
The unrelenting symptoms of ADHD
In these stressful times, it can seem as though everyone has stress related issues or mental disturbances of some kind. The symptoms of ADHD can therefore seem so relevant to just about anybody - the forgetfulness, hot temper, and nagging impulsiveness is so familiar to anyone suffering under pressure. For ADHD sufferers like myself, the symptoms are even more pronounced.
Disorganized me trying to get organized
I have always envied those whose talent for organization comes as naturally as water flowing from a stream. They are somehow able to put things together so quickly and seamlessly, which for myself can be an exercise that puts me in peals of tortured laughter.
ADHD sufferers, like myself, find organization more than a chore -it can be an exercise in complete futility.
It is quite normal for someone in this state of mind to put things around haphazardly - desktops (I refer to the physical desk, not the computer) can be all aclutter. I used to like what I call having an organized mess, with documents I needed lying helter skelter all over. I claimed that I could find whatever I wanted easily, though of course, this was far from the case.
Unsurprisingly, I lost countless things in the course of my relatively short lifetime - and the losses have led to expectedly disastrous consequences. I have lost keys - countless sets - thankfully my home has not become a burglar's victim!
Every ADHD sufferer’s nightmare - forgetfulness
This is the frustratingly side splitting bane of every ADHD sufferer’s life. It is common for us to lose keys, wallets, important identification documents - though we swear that we have put them in an absolutely safe location that we will never fail to remember.
Indeed, we can leave things in one place one minute - only to forget where we put them the next! Or, we could say one thing - only to find ourselves repeating it within the next 5 minutes!
Like TNT - being totally explosive
Being an ADHD sufferer is like walking on the ultimate time bomb - one never knows what will set us off. To pay myself a salving compliment of sorts, I am, compared to others, comparatively even tempered - I do not shoot off like a loose cannon as often as some others would.
An explosive temper though, is the hallmark of many sufferers of Adult ADHD - and they are often set off by cumulative events and pressure. It is not at all surprising to find us giving in to the urge to emit shouts of frustration.
Running off the mouth
Often enough, a sufferer of ADHD has the propensity to run off the mouth and say the most tactless of things. On a few occasions, I found myself blurting out the untimely during staff meetings and family gatherings. Some of these blurts, fortunately, turned out to be rather funny - and the unintended humor saved the situation somewhat.
Indeed, thinking before speaking is an unenviable characteristic of ADHD sufferers - one which can drive friends far away if not monitored carefully.
I cannot reiterate enough the numerous times I have made decisions only to regret them later. Such impulsiveness happens to ADHD sufferers more often than to others - we often make decisions based on momentary liking or emotional impulse.
Yes, we can be confirmed shopaholics - I often buy tons of clothes on impulse only to find myself throwing them away because I do not like them as an afterthought. So much for being a penny pincher!
The erratic attention span
ADHD sufferers like myself have an erratic attention span - we cannot sit down for more than a few minutes at a time when completing tasks which are less to our liking (try housework for example, which takes me ages).
On the other hand, If the events are things that I am drawn to (like writing) I can be so committed to it that I can sit for hours in front of the computer without shirking. I can definitely complete well projects that I truly enjoy - tasks that I dislike can sometimes be really shoddily done.
Overlooking details can be a disaster!
This happened often when I was going through documents and vetting them for mistakes - ironically, I made mistakes in the task. I sometimes left out or even added on to the ones that were already there.
This was indeed an inconvenience - I had to correct and re-edit drafts countless times. I must say it was great mental exercise!
Treatment for ADHD
There is no actual cure for ADHD - only medication that eases diseases distractibility. Essentially, it is up to the sufferer to develop effective coping mechanisms - seek the advice of medical professionals who can provide counseling in this area. They can teach sufferers how to cope with low attention and lack of organization.
I am thankful for the drug, Ritalin - it helped me to at least stabilize my mood swings and be in less of an impulsive mood. Such drugs can help, but they do have the side effect of addiction.
As such, I do not depend on it now - I stabilize myself with lots of lists and taking a deep breath before doing any task. Prayer helps too - consult providence before embarking on any projects - commitment will ensure effective guidance!
If you have a child with ADHD
The wonderful benefits of ADHD
It may sound as though having ADHD means unimaginable suffering - indeed, relationship wise, it can sometimes be that way - but there are incomparable benefits that having this condition can really teach you.
Yes, I can be somewhat of a recalcitrant - only to survive. I am proud to say that I am not beaten down by failure that easily - and tough circumstances can tease out the need to rise above them. Many failings and foibles have taught me the need not to take myself - and others -too seriously.
Enjoying getting organized
For myself, getting organized can be such a chore - but I have developed ways of enjoying it. Looking for various effective organizers can be time consuming, but using them can prove to be an enjoyable problem solving tool.
The security of family
Gratitude for one's blessings always goes a long way - and I am thankful for a wonderful husband a family, all who have walked me through the the difficult crossroads of life. A family support system is important for a sufferer - they will be the people who can empathize with you, or at least learn to. Again, you are your best savior - and support system.
So if you or anyone you know suffers from ADHD - it is time to get organized! I have discovered the beauty of information technology - I would have been up in arms against it many years ago - but I have reaped many of its wonderful benefits.
Online stickies like Linioit -found on Linoit.com - can serve as handy tools to remind yourself to buy that bottle of shampoo, or feed the dog. It is ever so handy, and - sort of like Pinterest - many different to-do boards can be crafted. I have one for everything I have to do - a personal board, a board for writing, and so on. They help to categorize the many hats that I sometimes have to wear.
If an ADHD sufferer is not so partial to high technology, do make sure to at least get into the habit of using lists. And keep reading a re-reading them - an ironic thing to do would be to make lists only to forget what is on them because they have not been read in ages!
Keep to a structured routine and have a set place to complete tasks. Preferably, this should be free from distractions - those with ADHD tend to get themselves a little side tracked.
I usually walk the dogs, write, then cook - a neat schedule I like to keep to. Thus far, it has served me really well.
Make use of information technology.
This day and age, the IPAD and similar devices are just at our doorsteps - my advice is to use them voraciously. I use my IPAD for reminders, checking mails and making lists even as I write - it helps me to keep track of things. Even as I write, I can respond easily to Hubpages reminders - I am better aware of things going on.
Do not depend too much on medication.
Ritalin, while effective, can also be addictive - therefore I do not use it these days. Ultimately, battling ADHD is up to oneself - finding effective organizers and schedules!
Try not to take things to personally.
I used to literally give myself a good kick whenever I forgot anything - which can be very often - and cry relentlessly when I failed to remember anything important. For those who can remember details efficiently, it is a gift - do not take it for granted, because it can be torturous for those of us who have shorter term memories to remember things.
For sufferers of this stumbling condition, the thing is never to blame yourself - do something about the affliction instead. Take time to work out a situation that best suits you.
Take the time to think before speaking or making decisions.
This can be a task for sufferers to do - curbing the speaking habit is tough, especially under duress. I usually pass, or take a minute before answering any questions - just in case I end up saying the wrong thing! It has to be habitual, though.
Above all, be positive.
Having ADHD can mean countless failures in work and relationships - so it is important to do yourself a favor and embrace your failings. Only then can there be the correct mindset to forge ahead.
The message of the day for all sufferers of Attention Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder is - Don’t Worry, Be Happy. In that mindset, you attract even more happy situations - and moving ahead towards your goals is ever so much easier! Carpe Diem - cherish your opportunities, and seize them. Au Revoir!
- ADHD in Adults: Symptoms, Statistics, Causes, Types, Treatments, and More
Adults with ADHD may have difficulty following directions, remembering information, concentrating, organizing tasks, or completing work within time limits.
ADHD is not just a childhood problem. Learn what ADHD looks like in adults and what you can do about it.