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All Or Nothing ADHD

all or nothing
… and no in between.

In so many ways, ADHD is the disorder of “All or Nothing!”

When we are on the ball and focused, we do it all. All the things we need to do get done.

And that’s a good thing? Right? Well, except for when we give people the impression that that is our standard operating procedure, our S.O.P.

But when we go off the tracks with rampant symptom experiences we can just as easily get nothing done that was required of us.

We might even, at that point, get all the wrong things done. A different kind of “all” that results in “nothing.”

I could just hyper-focus …

And whether you call it hyper-focus or perseveration, when we are in that “place,” we have all the attentive abilities of a super computer. But when we’re there, we also have nothing in the way of control of that so called focus.

If, on some occasions, we are lucky enough to have pointed ourselves in the right direction and tricked ourselves into “hyper-focusing” on what needs to be done, then we’re very lucky indeed. I wish I could do that all the time.

We have it all

The thing we have the most of is symptoms of annoyance. That’s right, annoyance. My symptoms are annoying. But they are annoying to the point that I am constantly dealing with that, all the time!

When it comes to peace of mind and getting a break from those symptoms … I got nothing.

Really? Nothing?

Well, I can actually get a break from being constantly persecuted by my symptoms. All I need to do is ignore them.

And the easiest way to do that is to allow myself to hyper-focus, or perseverate, on something.

But the easiest way to allow myself to perseverate is to allow myself to be distracted and that means I lose control of what I’m doing.

And that’s letting my symptoms take over my life again … which is going to lead to me eventually having to admit that those symptoms have taken over once again …

Pretty annoying?

You want to believe it. All the annoying, nothing of the peace I sought.

And I am afraid there is little help for this problem. I’ve thought it over and I’m unable to find any way beyond what I’m already doing to deal with this problem that seems to be best described as “all or nothing.”

And what am I doing?

Well, I’m trying very hard to keep my ADHD in mind “all” the time. That usually triggers my thoughts to return to what I’m supposed to be doing.

Because if I don’t, I’ll wind up accomplishing “nothing.”

All Or Nothing ADHD

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live on the traditional lands of the Chippewas of Nawash in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or 7 generations and my First Nations friend's families go back hundreds of generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I am a freelance writer and I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about living with ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2016). All Or Nothing ADHD. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from


Last updated: 19 Sep 2016
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