13 thoughts on “Zoë’s Pet Peeves: Adult ADHD – Looking for Help in All the Wrong Places, Part II

  • June 18, 2010 at 2:43 am

    Yes! We will get through this together!

    Right on, Zöe. Thank you for inspiring the ADHD warrior in me. I have been more openly sharing my own status with an ever-growing list of friends, family members and colleagues. It feels wonderful.

    I believe it was last week when we started discussing teaching on your blog. I have to tell you that my summer school teaching experience this week (we meet daily) has been magical. Magical! On the third day a sweet young student told me that in three years of college he had never felt so engaged! Can you imagine? I melted and felt so grateful. Better understanding ADHD makes me a better teacher.

    Some days it is really hard to come down from the high, you know, to transition to a calmer state, but I am learning more about how the medication effects me and that is useful.

    What an interesting time in life. I am glad we are all connecting via this blog. Thank you, dear Zöe.

    • June 18, 2010 at 7:37 am

      Hi Teresa.

      You are so welcome. I am probably the person who benefits the most from writing this blog! Stories like yours can inspire so many, thank you for sharing. I’m so happy to hear not only that you’re finding the courage to speak your truth, but that it is having positive results. And I know what you mean by being a better teacher because of your awareness of ADHD. We’re smart people, we can figure it out…the truth really is empowering because it allows you to act with intent rather than randomly, trying to find solutions on a hit-and-miss basis without really knowing where to aim.

      I loved your description of your summer classes. Keep letting your spirit shine through! When I teach, and when I interview people, I open my heart, and I know they can feel that and respond accordingly. And you’re right – it does feel like magic!

      Again, you are very welcome, and thank you for participating in this amazing journey.


  • June 18, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Hi. Thanks so much for writing this blog. I do not have ADHD, and reading your essays definitely helps me understand what sorts of things folks with ADHD experience. You’re doing a good thing!

    • June 18, 2010 at 7:40 am

      Hi Martina.
      Nice to hear from you, and thank you for reading my blog. I truly appreciate your feedback, I’m glad you’re getting something positive from the posts. It’s always great to hear that one’s work is having a beneficial effect, that’s one of the reasons I work hard at these posts. Looking forward to any other feedback you may wish to share, any time. It would be interesting to hear the perspective of someone who doesn’t have ADHD. Sometimes I do wonder what we look like to others, especially after we jump out of the phone booth! ha ha ha ha… 😉
      Take care,

  • June 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Right now there is a surplus of information on ADHD in children, but certainly very little published on adults that is readily available. The issue doesn’t seem to be that the information is nonexistent, it’s just that it hasn’t been translated from the published research into something more understandable for the layman. I am routinely amazed at what the research has established in this area that hasn’t trickled out to the public yet. It’s exciting stuff, but so much of it is jargon heavy research language in academic journals. I think this is an unfortunate, but understandable state of affairs.

    Right now, one of the most important roles science, I believe, is that of mediating the flow of information from research to the public. The media consistently drops the ball on this for their own reasons, but bloggers and others outside of it, I think will be the ones to break this barrier down.

    Ok, I’ll step down from my soapbox…..

    Dr. Russel Barkley of U Mass has headed a major longitudinal study following children diagnosed with ADHD and it is in something like it’s 30th year right now. They have gotten some really intriguing data so far and much of it has been published. They have compared and combined data with another major longitudinal study from somewhere in the midwest which has helped confirm some of their own results and raised some interesting questions. Dr. Barkley has published at least a few books on the research which, though still pretty jargon heavy, would be somewhat accessible for many people outside research. I highly recommend looking into it for information about adult ADHD and how symptoms present at the different life stages.

    Uc Davis mind institute posts videos on autism and ADHD on their website which are great as they are primarily people presenting research on these subjects and they breeze through the basic stuff that you might read in a pamphlet. The majority of it is in accessible language, with descriptive slides.

    And finally, if you have the time or access, some searches for meta-analyses and literature reviews on adhd, published in the last ten years, would be a great place to get good information.

    And before I forget; I love the blog! Keep up the good work!

    • June 18, 2010 at 7:12 pm

      Ryan, my goodness, what a great contribution! Thank you SO much for your thoughts, your vent, and your information. I’ll be sure to follow up with the resources you cite, and thank YOU for reading my blog. Keep reading! (And posting your thoughts).

  • June 19, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Thank you AGAIN, Zoe, for sharing your thoughts, frustrations and determinations!!! At last, someone who is speaking *my* language. Someone I can understand. Someone who understands *me!* (Isn’t that a frightening thought! LOL! )

    You are the light, faintly glimmering, at the end of the tunnel….a beacon of hope for the future. :>)

    I thought I was doomed to be *different* – as in strange… Thanks for showing me, by example, that it’s not the case.


    • June 19, 2010 at 10:24 am

      You’re welcome, Sunflower.
      Frankly, one thing that’s helped me is embracing being “different.” I try not to apologize. I don’t expect others to always understand where I’m coming from. But I do want to be treated the way I try to treat others: with respect, without making assumptions, with an open mind, and with a complete willingness to agree to disagree. What a boring, bland world it would be if we were all the same! Another saving strategy is that I learned long ago that I have a CHOICE about who I spend my time with, especially those I choose to call “friend.” And, as I’ve written (see, Best Buds for a Chick-A-D-D – Choose Wisely!), I choose very, very carefully. So far, it’s made my life a lot happier and more peaceful.

      All the best,

  • June 20, 2010 at 3:24 am

    That’s unbelievable about CHADD – their name is even “Children AND ADULTS with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder” – did you ask them why the “Adults” was in the name if adults weren’t allowed to have support groups? And to think they get a bunch of donations from adult ADHD-ers…

    • June 20, 2010 at 6:00 pm

      I agree. I was shocked and disappointed, to say the least, especially at their response when I tried to take this up with them. I’m sure they provide a good service to somebody, but it was the opposite experience for me.

  • June 24, 2010 at 12:18 am

    Maybe your just nuts and it’s all in your head. I mean come on.. Adult ADHD..get serious people. Your just using a cover up for your rudeness and life long inability to cope in a social place. You all cry for attention, but your under appreciated, therefore you must draw attention by claiming you have some sort of mental illness. Get over yourself.

    • June 24, 2010 at 7:04 am

      Jessica, you’re entitled to your opinion, although I’d be curious to know by what authority (degree in psychiatry, research of current literature, etc.) you arrived at it.

      It might shock some (but I’m sure, not most), of my blog readers to learn that at one point, I pretty much shared it. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why I was rude at times and unable to cope, as most do, in noisy crowded situations or highly stressful ones (mostly at work). Everyone else blamed me, so of course, I also believed it must be my fault, and if I only tried harder, I could change. Try I did, just about everything – counselliing, yoga, reading self-help books, etc., etc., etc. I didn’t want to be rude or mean, was highly motivated to change, but couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried. I think your comment implies a tacit acceptance of this behavior, which is not true at all. I hated it more than anyone.

      Yet, would you also criticize the inappropriate blurting of someone with Tourrette’s Syndrome? Did you know some researchers link ADHD with Tourrette’s? Remember, once we all believed the earth was flat…if you thought it was round during that time in history, I might have thought you were crazy, too.

      The Aha! moment came for me when I began to read about ADHD and saw myself reflected there – word for word. Is it a coincidence that only then, plus using medication, could I begin to understand the reason for my behaviours and to figure out – after 47 years of unsuccessful but sincere attempts! – how to change them? Although they have changed, I have no more or less attention now, but I’m much happier. And so are those around me! Do you really think if I, or anyone else for that matter, was satisfied being “rude” and “unable to cope in social situations” that I would have agonized over not finding an antidote? Do you think anyone REALLY wants to be criticized, put-down, ostracized and isolated by their closest friends, colleagues, family, etc. and suffer the shame, pain and hurt of that? If you think anyone but a masochist wants that for themself, my dear, you would have to be much crazier than I!

      Anyway, I have no interest in trying to convince you or anyone else that adult ADHD exists. But I do have a great interest in helping others to learn about it so that they, too, can benefit from that knowledge.

      Perhaps some with ADHD will, as I did, continue to suffer, always looking for that missing key that will unlock the reasons and antidote for why they just can’t seem to move forward in their lives – and they will, as you do, continue to believe it’s “all in their head.” (ie., they are making it up). I did that for the first few months after my diagnosis. But the research mounted (my own, and others).

      Bottom line – even if it IS “all in my head” – I know how I felt doubting it, and how much (really, how little!) progress I made towards my goals while I disbelieved its existence, and how I feel and how much progress I’ve made (tons) believing that it is NOT just me, that it IS a real condition (I don’t think of it as a “mental illness”) – and I definitely am a happier, healthier, more productive, and kinder person going on the basis that adult ADHD does exist and is a serious problem.

      And why would we want to deny that opportunity for happiness to any fellow human being?

      Wishing YOU every happiness,

  • October 1, 2010 at 3:05 am

    Tell Jessica to take a remedial English course..In her comment…It is you’re, a contraction, not your.


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