ADHD: D is for Disorder

The “Disorder” question was raised the other day by an acquaintance who thought it ought to be discussed. I agreed - to the discussion.

It seems that this person thought that calling ADHD a “disorder” was, perhaps, an insult to other disorders. Or to put it another way, “Is ADHD debilitating enough to be considered a real disorder?”

You would have been proud of me, I kept my cool. I took a deep breath and took inventory of what I wanted to say, what I should say.


Grief, Anxiety, Self Awareness, Loss and ADHD: Emotional Soup

On Monday I went to a workshop on grief for suicide survivors. The speaker was John R. Jordan, Ph.D., author of the book, Grief After Suicide. This isn't a blog about suicide so I won't review the book or the man here, but if you are a suicide survivor this book and this man are compassionate places to start on your journey to recovery.

I was not surprised to find that I didn’t know as much about my own grief as I thought I should. My experience with that very thing began less than four short months ago. The pain is fresh, the situation is current. Shouldn’t I know exactly what I'm dealing with?

But no, as I said, I was not surprised to find I was in the dark - about a lot of things.


You Know We’re All The Same … Not!

You know, we’re not all alike. I love to point out the ways in which we ADHDers mesh. I love to point out that we understand how other ADHDers think and feel, and to a great extent that’s true, but we are not all alike. In fact no two of us are alike.
Spectral analysis
As you’ve heard me, and others, say before; ADHD is a symptom spectrum disorder. To be diagnosed you must present a certain number of symptoms and they must impact your life in a negative way. But no rule says that I have to have the same symptoms as you, although there will be overlap. And while symptoms are either present or not present in any one of us, they manifest at different intensities. It isn’t like having a third ear (and if I had a third ear I still wouldn’t pay attention to things that don’t interest me).


Veteran’s Day/Remebrance Day

It’s Friday, November 11th, 2011, Veteran's Day in the United States, Remembrance Day here in Canada. This is my tribute.

I’m not a fighter, I know full well that I would be unable to do what a soldier must do. Part of this is that I disagree with the concept of war, I know that, in the moment of truth, I couldn’t justify killing someone. That’s me.

But make no mistake, I respect the women and men who have stood up against those who would take away our freedom. And I mourn, without redress, those whose sacrifices have cost them so much. Lost time, lost families, lost limbs and lives, a cost too high, a price they often paid without hesitation.

We celebrate their gain every day of our lives. We celebrate with our freedom, we make good decisions and bad ones, but we make them ourselves. We make mistakes and we learn from them, because we can.


Of Course I’m a Funny Guy, I Have ADHD

“I’m an awful procrastinator ... and someday I intend to do something about that.”
Okay, some people claim that one of the gifts of ADHD is creativity. I’m not convinced.

Yes, there would appear to be a preponderance of ADHDers among the artists of the world (or a glut of artists among the ADHDers of the world), but lets not become victims of false logic here. It may be that ADHD does play a role in creativity, but to date there is no proof of that. Perhaps ADHD and creativity are both caused by the same developmental anomaly.
False logic?
False logic is when one observes that B follows A and concludes that A must be the cause of B. What may not be observed is that C may be the cause of both A and B but because C is not easily observed it isn’t implicated through casual observation.
Having said that ...


I Need Friends

I’ve been trying to make a decision lately about friends. Actually, I’ve made a few decisions about friends already. I’ve decided I need friends, so I’m trying to keep the ones I have. I’ve also decided I want some more.
So what decision is left to make?
I’m pondering the type of friends I want. Should they be ADHDers? Or should they be non-ADHDers? And what would the difference be?

I’ve decided to write this post as an exploration of the problem. My hope is that the answer will become clear to me by the time I’ve finished writing it.

Adult ADHD

The Glass Walls of ADHD ~ Part II: Post-diagnosis

In Wednesday’s blog post, we talked about life with ADHD, without a diagnosis. Today I want to point out some of the problems that may result from having a diagnosis, more glass walls.
I was better off before my diagnosis
Yes, I know, I’m always saying that getting a diagnosis is important. I tell people that they need the foundation of assurance. I tell them there are disorders and contexts that can mimic or intensify ADHD symptoms. I tell them knowledge is power. And all that is true, but I wouldn’t sell you a car without telling you that it needs maintenance and comes with other expenses that you’ll need to be aware of (not that I’m selling ADHD here).

Adult ADHD

The Glass Walls of ADHD ~ Part I: Prediagnosis

For the first 50 years of my life ADHD held me back, but I didn’t know it. It wasn’t good. All my running in one spot was frustrating. With a concerted effort I could make progress, but only so much progress and only for so long. The strain of concentrating on one objective was overwhelming, and often I’d fall behind in other ways.

I never stopped to wonder why “making progress” wasn’t a state of being I could achieve and maintain. I mean, should I not have been able to become a progressive person who could set a course for constant improvement, advancement and promotion?

Why couldn’t I just, in my own awkward way, move not only through, but also ahead in life?


The ADHD Haunted Halloween House of Horrors and Symptoms

I’m having some difficulty trying to decide what to do tonight. It’s Halloween of course, and the obvious answer is to either get dressed up in costume and go out trick or treating, or stay in with a bucket of treats and answer the door.

In fairness, there’s also the option to stay home, bolt the door, kill the lights, hide in the basement and eat candy by the bucket full. I suppose I could also not get dressed in costume but still go out.
Is ADHD a trick or a treat?
Is ADHD a trick or a treat?
All this wondering about Halloween has reminded me of the “gift or curse” discussions surrounding ADHD.  So I thought I’d list some of the more common symptoms of ADHD here and try again to decide whether they are tricks or treats.


ADHD Brain/Dog Brain/Man Brain

I am a man. And I am a man with ADHD. I’m also a reasonably intelligent man, but I’m still just a man (I can hear all you women out there nodding your heads).

What this means is that I have a dog brain. And now I’ll apologize to the dogs out there. What I mean is I have a brain that works like the brain of an excited dog. Not very well.

Okay, true, I can do some fairly complicated math in my head. I can hold all manner of trivial info there. I can problem solve with the best of them but when it comes to emotion, I’m lost.
“And why is that?” you might ask. Well, let me explain ...