Archives for ADHD Discussion
ADHD is so multifaceted that absolutely nothing about this disorder is simple. Thus diagnosis is complicated by the convolutions of the manifestation of the symptom combinations.
That, was a fancy way of saying ADHD is never the same in any two people with the disorder, so diagnosis can be difficult.
And what makes it worse is that trying to explain the disorder in simple terms often gives the wrong impression of what is happening.
For example, take this statement from the CDC's explanation of one of the DSM's criteria for ADHD: “Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.”
ADHD is all about time. Or more correctly, it's about how we have no sense of time passing. We are poor at judging how much time something will take when we plan. We make bad decisions about how many things we can squeeze in to a specific amount of time.
And of course we forget things that we need to do. That means we often find that we haven't got enough time left for everything that needs our attention and everything that we wanted to do.
I've said that I believe ADHD can be described as a dichotomy model. And sometimes I just get frustrated by how obvious that is ... and how difficult it is to explain.
One example is reading. I'm not talking about how well or poorly I read. I don't have dyslexia, a learning disability that is somewhat more common among those of us with ADHD than among the general population. But I am talking about focusing on reading.
When I was four years old I was desperate to learn to read. So much so that when my grandmother decided to teach me (she was a retired school teacher), I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
Actually, I thought I was finally going to get my hands on some of the secrets that the grownups had, the magic of reading being one that had made me jealous of them for nearly my entire life ... up to that point.
I have a problem. I can't say no. When someone asks me to do something, I feel like I'm letting the world down if I say no.
And I've given this some thought, of course. I think that ADHD might be partially to blame here. Between procrastination and distraction, I've let a lot of people down.
Between those two hounds of ADHD hell, I've disappointed parents, grandparents, siblings, girlfriends, my wife, in laws, nieces and nephews, and pets. If I'd had children I'm sure they'd have made the list as well.
You know you can't just say you have ADHD, right? In fact, if you go around saying it without having a valid diagnosis, there's a chance you'll upset someone who has the diagnosis. Especially if you don't really have ADHD.
And the deal is, that having ADHD, as I've said a thousand times, is a mater of having symptoms that are pretty normal and common, but having them with a frequency and intensity that have a real and constant negative effect on your life.
So you know, if you're going around saying you have ADHD because of things that happen to you or that are caused by you, and you're saying it a lot ... well, you might have ADHD.
I've got a couple of jobs lined up. I said I'd do them and I will. For two reasons, first, I want to, and second, I keep my word.
And I told my boss that as far as jobs were concerned, if he had any to do over the next couple of weeks that he needed me for, I'd be there. And I will.
That sounds a bit confusing. Have I mentioned that I work freelance and I also work for another contractor? Yeah, that would be the boss.
But I'm not taking on any more jobs right now. I'm finishing these few up and that's it for a bit.
There was no diagnosis for my mother. I'm not saying that she was undiagnosable, I'm saying she was not diagnosed.
But the evidence suggests that she could have been.
She tended to hoard things ... just a bit I'd thought. But in the early years of my life I remember my father purging stuff, often. Back then there was no garbage pickup where we lived, so you packed up your trash and hauled it to the dump yourself.
My father would cleanse the house and shed of things that my mother placed value on, without ever asking. He'd decree something to be trash and pack it off and dump it before anyone had a chance to speak on the objects behalf.
This often caused tense moments between my parents. And not to surprisingly, I was on my mother's side.
What is up with my ADHD brain? Yeah, yeah, I know, easily distracted, impetuous and impulsive, long on lists and procrastination. I know all these things, I write a blog about them.
But what I'm talking about is that thing where you put something off until the last minute, and then you burst into action ... and pull off a minor miracle.
Or the other thing where you are only half paying attention and you create something really good.
Some of the things I've written that have made the biggest impressions have been done either when I had left no time to do them in what I considered a proper way, or they were done in what I would call a haphazard or slipshod manner, or at least done without much care for the outcome.
Are you aware that you are more likely to visit the emergency room if you have ADHD? And while I can't say why categorically, I feel certain that it isn't just that you want to.
On the other hand, apparently people with ADHD make good first responders. Could that be because we're familiar with the processes?
Additionally, people with ADHD have, on average, poorer oral health than those whom I like to label as suffering Delusions of Normalcy. That is to say, we have more cavities, more tooth decay, and generally speaking, fewer teeth in the long run.