Yes, ADHD has made me the success I am today. Without it I’d be … well, I’d not be me. I’d be someone else.
And who that person I might have been is, I will never know.
The question is, would I have been that much better off if I didn’t have ADHD?
My stereo has three modes, on, off, and standby. When it’s off, it is right off. When it’s on, and when I manage to have the right combination of controls in the right place, it plays music, news, sports, and weather for me.
When it’s on standby, it is supposedly ready to fire up instantly, just turn it on and it is working.
And it is. It’s just instant. But it can’t turn itself on, it has to be done by me.
It’s Thanksgiving here in Canada, and soon it will be Thanksgiving in the U.S.A.
Maybe we could be thankful for something unique. What about our regrets?
What regrets you ask? Well, for starters, we forget. We get distracted. We make poor decisions. We practise deluding ourselves. And as a result, our lives suffer.
But all these things are parts of many peoples lives. True, we do these things and others to extreme. But it’s the phrase “we do these things” that is at the root of our regrets. We make bad choices, bad decisions.
Why do they say “pay attention?” Is it a debt we owe? I’ve noticed that paying for something after I’ve already gotten the thing I’m paying for, is really boring.
Maybe if we had different terminology for the act of being attentive we’d be better at it … but I doubt it.
We’re not attentive to things that aren’t interesting because we can’t shut out things that are interesting.
The trick, I’ve found, to making things more interesting, is to make things up.
Last Sunday was the three year anniversary of this blog, ADHD Man of DistrAction. So this is my anniversary week, so to speak.
How did I celebrate? Glad you asked. This is a blog about ADHD, so I did the same thing I do every week. I performed perfect examples of ADHD symptoms. And now I’m going to write about some of those things, just to reassure others out there that they aren’t alone. Maybe some of you will comment in the hope that you’ll assure me that I’m not alone.
Let’s start with Monday. I was on the road, taking turns navigating and driving on a fifteen hour drive home from another province.
What is overwhelmed? Overwhelmed is when something that needs attention is so intimidating that it stops you from being able to attend to it.
Sometimes what overwhelms us is not an individual task but the prioritization of several tasks.
I’m there now. And it isn’t fun.
Prescription stimulants are the things that help many of us focus.
Why do they help us focus? Well, it seems that they actually make the part of our brain that functions in a … shall we say “scattered” way, work better. That means that the part of our brain that should focus our thoughts is unable to do that well, allowing our brains to wander from this to that. Stimulants seem to stimulate focus.
There also seems to be, in the ADHD brain, an increased speed of thought that isn’t regulated. When our focus is more easily controlled, that rapid firing of our brains is either also controlled, or since we are better able to focus, not relevant. The speed of our thinking doesn’t matter.
You may have heard me quote from the International Consensus Statement on ADHD from January 2002 before. I rather like what it has to say. Basically, it tells us that there isn’t the “the jury is out” scenario that some journalists would have us believe.
I borrowed the title of this blog post from that statement. The full quote I wanted to use as a title was too long …
ADHD is not a benign disorder. For those it afflicts, ADHD can cause devastating problems.”
Today is the first full day, since the birth of Robin Williams, that we will have to make do without his presence in our world. For so many of us that is going to be difficult.
I’m not prone to fame fuelled hero worship. A person has to be more than well known for me to admire them. Admittedly, it is easier to determine whether or not a person is worthy of admiration if they are well known.
Mr. Williams was thought to have ADHD, though he never confirmed that. He was known to have substance and alcohol abuse issues, and was reportedly known to have Bipolar Disorder and Depression.
So many people think that Depression (with a capital “D”) and depression are varying degrees of the same thing.
Like all health issues, an ADHD diagnosis requires that you manifest a certain percentage of the symptoms that define the disorder.
But there’s more to it than that. You also have to manifest those symptoms in more than one setting.
And still you may not receive a diagnosis. There is one last requirement. You see, these symptoms also have to impact your life negatively.