How American Politics Destroyed My ADHD Treatment
I’d been feeling great about being organized, especially in the wake of moving mayhem.
Then, along came the US presidential debates. An unabashed political junkie, I eagerly tuned in to get my fix.
Doubling my adrenalin buzz, I mainlined the main events while tippling on Twitter.
ADHD symptom sneak attack
During the debates, I sat unsuspecting as several ADHD symptoms launched an ambush. In the days that followed, I was left to sift through the wreckage.
Emphasis on Followed
Watching Twitter during the debates, I was a grizzly standing knee-deep in a fast-flowing stream of salmon. I hungrily grabbed for the juiciest comments as they streamed by, a task made more challenging as my eyes jumped to the debate on my left, then back to the feed, left to the debate, right to the feed, left, right, back and forth, back and forth, giving “rapid eye movement” a whole new meaning.
It didn’t help that the Tweets were far more tantalizing than the unappetizing candidates.
A shiny one swam by: “Wow, he’s funny!” I’d think. Click: “Follow”
Then another: “Woh! She’s acerbic, intelligent, insightful.” Click.
And another: “Man! I wish I’d said that.” Click.
Click. Click. Click.
I was in the grip of a Follow-frenzy. Before I could stop myself, I’d impulsively Followed scores of semi-random people during an election race being held in a foreign country.
Before my debate debacle
Prior to the debate debacle, I’d carefully managed my Twitter contacts. I recognized about 80% of those in my feed, and those I didn’t, I could easily trace back to someone I did. The Tweets were relevant to me. I felt comfortable. I felt at home.
After the final US debate, every time I logged in, I felt that I’d accidentally tripped into a transporter and beamed over to a gathering south of the Canadian border. Disoriented, I didn’t know where I was, but I knew I definitely wasn’t invited, nobody knew me, and I was standing in a room of people and conversation, but I couldn’t think of a thing to say.
One wild night of political passion unravelled my carefully constructed social media circle.
So now what do I do?
Break up with everybody?
Unfollow? That seems so impolite. (I’m Canadian, remember?)
Moral of the story
This fiasco has reminded me of how important it is to stay focused and maintain my defences against impulsivity, even during my down time. Perhaps especially during down time.
I’ve also learned how quickly and easily my efforts to manage my ADHD symptoms can unravel.
There’s nothing wrong with passion or enthusiasm; when channeled creatively and positively, both can be a force to be reckoned with; unbridled, they can wreck.
Now that I’ve been reminded of the difference, I’m going to have to find a polite, Canadian way to break up on Twitter.
I’m sure it’ll be okay. Besides, I won’t be voting in the US Presidential election anyway. Which is a good thing, because I’d probably get lost or distracted crossing the border on the way to the polling station.
Kessler, Z. (2012). How American Politics Destroyed My ADHD Treatment. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 19, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-zoe/2012/10/how-american-politics-destroyed-my-adhd-treatment/