Shhhhhh! I have ADHD! Can You Keep a Secret?

Do you out yourself? Do you tell people that you have ADHD? Do you tell at work? Do you tell the boss or just your co-workers? Do you tell people in lineups at the bank or grocery store when you’re bored? Does your dentist know? Your clergy? Your papergirl? Your friends?

Jessica (not her real name) works in a profession where she deals with co-workers,her employer, and the public at different times throughout her day.

Adult ADHD

The Importance of Diagnosis: Sharing Symptoms ADHD Style

ADHD is a Symptom Spectrum Disorder. You’ve heard it before. If you don’t know what that means, I’ll explain it in broad strokes. The subject in question manifests a requisite number of symptoms from a set list that collectively have a known negative effect.

ADHD is not being easily distracted and it’s not being forgetful. It’s not being hyper-active. It’s not being impulsive. Nor is it being able to hyperfocus exclusively on something to the exclusion of other, possibly more important things. ADHD is not any of these things, but it is many of these things and in extreme cases it is all of these things and more.


Mental Health Day: Thankfulness Regarding Mental Health Stigma

It’s Monday, October 10th. It’s World Mental Health Day, and it’s Thanksgiving here in Canada.

I’m not going to list off all the things I’m thankful for here. While I’ve had my share of difficulties this year, the things I’m thankful for are far to many for a single blog post.

But there is something else I want to say, one other thing I’m thankful for. I’m thankful for the advances made by the mental health advocacy community, advances that have reduced the social stigma surrounding mental illness.
The stigma has been reduced?
Wait, the stigma has been reduced? Why wasn't I called?"


An ADHD Lesson On Voting in Canada

Yesterday was election day here in Ontario, Canada. And I haven’t missed voting since I was old enough to vote. Yesterday was no exception.

In Ontario, each eligible voter receives a card in the mail that they bring with them to their polling station. If you do not receive your card, or have misplaced it, no worries, You simply need to prove your address and your identity. A property tax bill and a drivers license is what I used yesterday when I discovered that I couldn’t find my voters registration card.

That’s right, I received my card in the mail several weeks ago and with complete ADHD inspired confidence, I put it someplace safe.


How Familiar is My ADHD Life?

Okay, I confess. I was a little lost. This isn’t new for me, being lost, but admitting it is. I’m a guy, right, I don’t want to ask for directions, don’t want to admit that I’ve lost my way. But I can tell you now that I had.

I wasn’t wandering around the streets of my town, looking in vain for a familiar street sign or landmark. I was wandering through life, looking for the familiar. I was wanting some place to be that felt comfortable.
"Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore ..."
And so much has changed in the last little while that it often feels like nothing will be familiar again. For example, I’m no longer that quirky guy I used to be, I’m now a guy with ADHD. And I’m not a husband of 27 years anymore, I’m a widower.


I’m an ADHD Failure at Success

Or should that be “I’m an ADHD Success at Being a Failure?”

You know, I can be successful. I’ve succeeded at many things, really I have. But there is something I’m not good at. Succeeding.

Whenever I accomplish something well, I don’t do well. I’m not sure why this is, but I have a couple of theories.
Theory one
When I was a younger person, I suspect that success, and the subsequent celebration there of, made me less than attentive to my responsibilities. This allowed me the opportunity to follow up a success with an immediate failure or string of failures. I’d be basking in the glory of a job well done and just simply forget that other jobs awaited my attention.


Honesty in ADHD Blogging – Part II

On Wednesday I told you of my wife’s recent passing, my personal loss. I received condolences here and by email, thank you.

And while dwelling on it isn’t very pleasant for me, I need to share it with you in order to blog about my ADHD without having to censor myself. Modifying my personal anecdotes that illustrate ADHD-related information by leaving out my current and past marital status is possible, but it isn’t my style.

The following is an example of an anecdote that I could not have told adequately without having told you about my wife’s passing:
Executive function gone awol
I’ve been aware for some time that my wife was the greater half of our “couple dynamic executive function.” But I’m just now finding out the staggering extent to which I relied on her to play that role.


Honesty in ADHD Blogging – Part I

My desire to write this blog was to talk about life as a person with ADHD. That included the views of being a man with ADHD, a biker with ADHD, a songwriter and poet with ADHD, an uncle, nephew, brother & son with ADHD. And a husband with ADHD. I had also hoped to bring a mixed marriage point of view (ADHDer / non-ADHDer) to my blog. And I had hoped to be able to bring you both perspectives by providing, on occasion, the views of my wife.
That won’t be happening
This is not an easy topic for me to address, but I’d feel dishonest if I kept it to myself. My wife and I had been married for 27 years when she passed away in July of this year, 2011.


Hobbies and Romance – Learn and Burn

How much does our ADHD affect our everyday lives. We’re going to talk lots about ADHD at work, but today let’s talk about play, specifically hobbies and romance.
Let’s start with hobbies
I create stained glass art, when I’m not boating. Or biking ... hiking, uh – fishing, playing guitar & singing, reading, taking pictures ... hmm. Maybe I have too many hobbies?

The problem with hobbies, as I’ve come to see it, is that I perceive the challenge of learning as the activity itself. That is to say that the learning is what attracts me, the line between acquiring the skill and putting it to use is blurred. Once the skill is mastered, once I cross that unseen line, I feel a sense of accomplishment and lose the drive to participate in the activity. It no longer has that “new experience” feeling.


ADHD – Climbs Trees!

I helped a friend move a few weeks ago. It was good timing, I needed to take my mind off some problems I've been dealing with lately and she needed the help. This friend has ADHD, as does her son.
Spiderman, Spiderman, does whatever a spider can
At one point my friend asked if I could figure out how to lift and hang a giant wreath on an existing nail, some 14 feet up. I looked at the wall and my mind started clicking and whirring (it doesn’t really do that, I have to make the clicking and whirring noises myself, and I don’t do that very often any more because of the looks I get).