adult adhd/add – making it work for me

16 Jun

*I absolutely am not trying to make light of this condition, however, my coping mechanism is humor!

As I mentioned before, I am finally able to see a light at the end of the tunnel.  While I still haven’t talked to my doctor about an official diagnosis (appt next month) after doing a lot of research there is no way I DON’T have ADHD/ADD.  Even talking with my brother, we have both discussed how we have most of the symptoms ADD.  And I am beyond convinced my mom did too.  It has been shown to be highly genetic so this makes a lot of sense.

The good news?  I finally don’t feel like such a failure in life!  I am surrounded by colleagues and friends who don’t seem to have the same struggles I do (but truly, what do I know about the inner workings of someone’s life and brain?) but I often compare myself to them.  How are they NOT procrastinating this task?  How do they stay so organized?  How to do they GET organized in the first place?  Why can’t I remember someone’s name?  Why can’t I be a functional adult?!  So understanding that it’s not just laziness but actually how my brain is wired is a relief.

Like I mentioned, after reading and doing research A) I know I am not alone and B) I am beginning to learn tactics to help reign in some of these aspects of my brain/personality.  The other day, I utilized pinterest to read about organization tips.  The problem?  They were all titled, “Easy ways of getting organized!”  “Be organized this weekend!”  “Organize your whole life in 10 days!”  Okay, so this is a bit of an exaggeration but honestly, these articles make no sense to me.  I have read hundreds of these but they never seem to be feasible for me.  Seriously, how do I even get started?!

hmmm… this looks all too familiar

Of course while doing this research I had a pile of laundry the size of Mount Everest just waiting for me.

it would be too embarrassing to actually take a picture of my own laundry mountain!

I found this article on the blog, ADD Consults, Helping Women Get Unstuck and on Track.    After reading a few articles, this website is going to be a huge help to me.  Connecting with others who are dealing with the same issues I am while getting advice on how to cope and strategies to function better are going to be very helpful.

Maybe I will never have an official diagnosis.  Maybe my doctor will think, “is there anything this woman DOESN’T diagnose herself with?!” (and maybe you are thinking this too) then I can still utilize these tips since so many of them match up with my difficulties.  On the flip side, so many of them coincide with my STRENGTHS.  I am able to use my resources well.  I think outside of the box more often than inside.  And I can always find a solution to issues that stump others.  I am creative, artsy, and can see the big picture.

this is important too, you know!

Anyone else dealing with adult ADHD/ADD?  (I’ve read conflicting articles that say ADD as a diagnosis no longer exists and that it is all referred to as ADHD so I am still trying to figure out this one.)  I would love to hear how others work to control some of the procrastination and organizing woes!

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12 Responses to “adult adhd/add – making it work for me”

  1. Amy C June 16, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    I didn’t get diagnosed with ADHD until I was about 24, I can’t function at work without my medicine,

    • amysrecipefordisaster June 20, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

      24? I never knew people got diagnosed later in life until recently. Thanks for sharing!

  2. luanaaraceli June 16, 2013 at 3:39 pm #

    I actually just started going to a psychologist about a month back and he ended up telling me that I have ADHD. The first thing he recommended was what you were already doing: research. The second thing? You need to have medication.

    I’m still working on getting an appointment with a physician to figure out the medication angle, but all the research I have done says this: Treating ADHD without medication is like trying to treat vision impairment without glasses. It’s pretty much ineffective.

    I don’t know how true that is, since I’m still not on medication, but I know how much I’ve struggled with procrastination.

    And I’d recommend staying away from quick-fix organizational ideas. Those people have no idea what it’s like to look around a room and go “where the hell do I start?” because they don’t have a problem getting started. They can see one corner and go “okay, we’ll start here and it’ll be fine.”

    I look at a corner and go “But why should I choose this corner over that corner, when I could do this and this and maybe this and make it look more like this?” with pretty much everything.

    ADHD as a diagnosis definitely does still exist- I have no idea where you have found information indicating otherwise. These are some of the best sites you can use when it comes to finding accurate and relevant information on the condition itself:

    http://www.chadd.org/
    http://www.additudemag.com/index.html
    http://www.add.org/?page=helpfulful_resources

    Also, my psychologist made an interesting point the last time we talked: Sometimes physicians treat the underlying conditions of ADHD instead of the ADHD itself, because a lot of times, ADHD can be present alongside things like anxiety and depression. So if a physician is treating anxiety, but you have ADHD, then he’s not treating the root cause of the problem. It’s why I went to a psychologist instead of a physician first, because I figured if I felt stuck (which I did and do feel a lot of the time), that I should talk to someone who deals primarily with the mind.

    • amysrecipefordisaster June 20, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

      Thank you for the sites and suggestions. I totally agree that organization tips that work for some people sincerely don’t make sense to me. It definitely helps to know I’m not the only one who looks at a room and has no idea where to start! I like the idea of seeing someone who works with the mind and may look into this next. Thanks again!

  3. lovinghomemade June 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    Even if you don’t get given a label at least you are working out the best ways to deal with things.

  4. susan @ suddenlysusan.com June 16, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    I have adult ADHD. I was diagnosed in college, and went on medication. I hated every second of it. I stopped about 6 months after the medication and just found coping methods that work for me. A lot of that includes lists, I always have a notebook and pen to create lists, check off lists, and I use a lot of alarms on my phone to remind me of things to help keep me on task. I started meditating (soooo slowly at first, like 2 minutes a day for a few weeks, then 4, etc) to help me focus on just being present and focused. That helped a ton!!! I used guided meditation to help with that. I exercise daily, again, something small, like 20 minutes, just to keep routine and to help me structure my day around something.

    these are two sites I’ve used in the past:

    http://www.helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_adult_strategies.htm
    http://www.hi2u.org/adhd/adhd_50tips.htm

    • amysrecipefordisaster June 20, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

      Thanks for the sites! I’ve just started carrying a notebook in Feb and it has saved my bacon. I am also going to start trying to meditate – I really like this idea and hope it will help with the anxiety. Thanks for the response!

  5. Audrey Wilhelmsen June 17, 2013 at 4:42 am #

    Hi! :)

    I am 28, have never been diagnosed but found an article about adult ADHD a few months back (http://www.helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_adult_symptoms.htm) and concluded that there is no way in hell I DON’T have it. Everyone I have mentioned it to since have replied with “well of course you do, I could have told you that years ago.” So here I am now, trying to do a lot of research to create a method of coping that works for me.

    I have just miraculously finished a Bachelor’s degree in Music (after dropping out of college 4 months before graduation in 2004 and taking a time-out working a soulsucking full time for 5 years), and the last year has been particularly tough; I have struggled with staying organised and on top of things, left every assessment till the very last minute and thus handed in average work. Even though I have been passionate and invested in all of it I have just not given myself enough time to do my best, and every single time I have sat in tears the night before the hand-in because I know I am capable of doing a better job and my grades won’t reflect it.

    I did manage to scrape through however, and now I’m taking another time-out to listen to myself and sort my cluttered life out. I haven’t decided yet if I am going to see a doctor to get an actual diagnosis, I think I will see how I deal with it on my own first. Medication is something I really want to avoid at all cost, if I can manage to pull through on my own that is definitely my prefered option. I may be naive, but I figure it’s worth a shot.

    Anyway, thank you for writing this blog, it definitely helps to read about others in similar situations! *Bookmarked* :-)

    Audrey.

    • amysrecipefordisaster June 20, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

      Thank you so much for this comment. I identified with a lot of what you said and I can’t even say how much it helps to know I am not the only one! I would love to hear how non-meds are working for you and what methods you utilize. I’ve been reading more on the subject so I will be sharing some things that work for me as well. And congrats on getting through school! It was tough for me too

  6. Kristie June 23, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    I’ve been working/struggling with ADHD as well. I wasn’t diagnosed and put on medications until undergrad though. Throughout grad school I took medication but in the last year decided that I really didn’t like what all the meds do and so I stopped them.

    I think especially in our field being ADD/ADHD can be very challenging. I do the notebook and found it very beneficial too. For remembering names I will often write them down on my notepad. SA is so name and people based that it’s a must to remember them and I just can’t. If I don’t have paper I will do notes in my phone with names right away. With work I set alarms with times to do things. 30 minutes on email and only email. 15 minute alarms set for fb, personal email, etc. I try to keep as few tabs open on my desktop as possible. I also am looking into two monitors so I can keep my email and music on one monitor and the project I’m working with on the other.

    Hope those help and good luck! It can be so very frustrating and at times very hard to explain to those who don’t have it.

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