View Full Version : Coping.....

06-04-14, 09:08 PM
Hi I am new here and I just need to get a few things out there, because no one really knows what I go through on a daily basis.

I am a 32 year old woman who has been dealing with ADD since the age of 8. i have been off ADD meds for about 10 years now, and I find that I struggle all day every day with what is going on in my head. The only people that know about my diagnosis are my parents, my husband and some very close friends. It is obvious to them why I have some of the difficulties that I have, but that is because they know me on meds and off. I haven't even told my employer, to them I look impulsive, and disorganized. I am neither of those things. If anything I have more mental discipline than they have in their little finger.

I have to schedule everything, I find that, that works the best for me. We have to do things at the same time most days because I can't deal with the chaos when my schedule is thrown off. I am a highly productive person, I just get caught up in the distractions around me, I find that I think way too far ahead and I miss the things that are right in front of me. Does that happen to everyone? This is going to sound odd, but I have to repeat the the things that I need to do all of the time, it seems to be the only way that I can rationalize it. For instance when I get home, I talk to my husband about all of the things that I need to do to get dinner out for the kids, such as I need this, I have to set the table, I have to start the chicken at this time, so on and so forth. My husband is a saint for dealing with this. He just smiles and helps me get through it. My boys have to do homework around the same time every night, they need to bathe around the same time every night so we can get to be bed at the correct time. I have to schedule every minute of my life so that I can be productive, so in turn they are super scheduled too. It's not that I can't deal with variations in my schedule I can, I just don't like the feeling of chaos that accompanies it.

I find that when I am talking to people I so often forget what they have asked me, because I forget and I get off track. I repeat things that they say because I don't want to forget those details, to some people I seem very odd. I am a very social person and I love people, it's just off putting to them sometimes. I have noticed lately that I have been slipping at work, that I haven't been as productive as I can be. I have been working too fast, and not catching the details. Is this happening to anyone else? If so, what are some ways that you deal with it? It has been getting worse for me and I don't know why. I do not want to be on meds, I have the mental control, I just would like to know how some other people deal with it too. That might help me. I don't know anyone in my workplace that deals with this, and I am afraid to tell they as they will see it as an "excuse" for slipping and not catching all of the details.

Thank you for reading this and if you reply, I really appreciate it. I just needed to get something out there and try to reach out to other who deal with this too. I don't know anyone else that actually have this diagnosis.

06-05-14, 02:47 AM
My first thought is: Are you on the right dosis of the medicine? Why not try to get it increased?

My second thought is: Have you checked if you are on the Autism Spectrum (about the repeating what you have to do).
It's not at all uncommon to have both these syndroms.

I have both, and being super scheduled is the best way to go. You and I are lucky for being able to schedule everything. Not all ADHD'ers are.

06-05-14, 04:20 AM
Have you looked into the possibility of OCD?

06-05-14, 09:57 PM
yeahhh..I did this for most of my life. Just tried meds this year and it's SO nice not to have so much mental exhaustion from trying to plan out every second to avoid someone noticing that I'm different or don't have it together. We as women have too much pressure to worry about anyway.

Even if it's for a few years to get me through school or work, I'm going to take my mental holiday. Been strong too long. I learned a lot of skills to cope but it took all of my time and energy. I was constantly worried about every little thing. I had to learn the hard way how to deal with money, time mangement, etc. The basic skills are good but don't rule out meds if you end up needing them. They are there for a reason. I feel like my better self on them and now I know the difference.

08-13-14, 09:56 PM
Even though I just got diagnosed and treated with meds last year, I really don't think I could go back to how I was without the medication. I'm not exactly a fan of having to take drugs every day to be able to function but sadly ADD/ADHD is the kind of disorder that can't really be effectively helped by any sort of coping method. No matter good the techniques are or the effectiveness of meds being taken, the ADD will always be present to some degree. So even though I wish I could tell you that there is a perfect solution to our ADD riddled challenges, there isn't as of yet.

As for your personal experiences with ADD, I can of course relate to a lot of them deeply. It's like in my mind, I am the most productive, insightful, intellectual person I've ever met but when it comes to actually putting what's in my mind into practical use everything is a complete mess. In particular, I have the worst difficulty with trying to convey what I'm trying to say to others during a conversation. What sounds so eloquent in my mind just cannot seem to translate in any sort of coherent manner into what I'm actually saying. I have to continually stop, think about what I'm going to say because I forgot, and I usually just end up forgetting where I was even going with the conversation altogether. I have the terrible tendency of interrupting others, not because I'm trying to be rude or condescending, but because I operate so spontaneously it just comes out without my conscious knowledge and also because if I don't say what I'm intending to say right there and then, it will be totally forgotten in 3 seconds. I get nervous whenever I have to speak to a lot of people or even speak to someone professionally because I know I come off as entirely incompetent or just a "ditzy blonde" which I've been called so many times before. I also have to ask people to repeat themselves so often that everyone just thinks I have hearing problems, when in reality i actually did hear what was said, but my mind didn't take the time to comprehend it.

Like yourself, I also have the habit of failing to catch the details in any given situation. In my experience, ADDers tend to completely ignore details and only focus on the final outcome which can be extremely awful for any job/activity that requires great attention to small details and can be extremely frustrating for others to try to understand/accept. I honestly don't know what to say that would be of any use to alleviate these problems besides considering going back on medication. The meds have been the only thing to help me pay attention to the smaller details rather than the end goal.

I know you say that you don't take meds because you have the mental control, but do you really? ADD and mental control just do not mix.. lol. But i suggest reading up on some various techniques geared toward the more holistic approach. Good luck!!

Mrs Hmmz
10-03-14, 05:38 AM
Reading your post what occurred to me is that you appear to be "hyper-compensating" if that makes any sense; you have your ADHD symptoms under control far better than most of us do without medication because you've managed to build almost obsessive habits into your life to create the structure you need to compensate for the ADHD. The trouble is that this is a completely exhausting way to live and you risk totally burning out if you continue to live like this, and you also have learned the hard way that no matter how hard you try there are still so many things slipping through the cracks. You say it's getting worse, and I suspect this is partly about the huge stress you are putting yourself under trying to maintain this way of life.

I think those that have posted about autism & OCD are kind of missing the point - the behaviours you have that look like obsessive &/or autistic symptoms are just your coping mechanisms. It's like a kind of scaffolding to create the structure you need to keep your life on an even keel.

I recognise a lot of these things from my own life, though I am no where near as productive as you because I can't keep it up to the same extent. I often appear very disorganised & chaotic but the little pockets of my life where I manage to keep up with things are obsessively organised & structured because that's the only way I can do it. But there's no way I can manage to live my whole life that way, I just don't have the energy (I'm not on medication yet, I only recently got the diagnosis after years of suspecting it).

The thing is, you say you are have "more mental discipline than they have in their little finger" but the kind of discipline you have is a bit like a military sergeant, constantly on top of new recruits, keeping them on their toes, barking orders, forcing them to stick to a rigid military regime etc. It isn't a sustainable way to live - "normal" people don't live like this, they don't need to. An enormous amount of mental effort is required to keep up your lifestyle, and as you say you still end up looking disorganised, impulsive, forgetful & "odd" in spite of the huge amount of energy it takes to keep your head above water. The metaphor of the duck/swan springs to mind - looking calm on the surface but paddling furiously beneath the water!! But in reality you're not even really managing to look calm on the surface, your feathers are distinctly ruffled...

Why did you choose to come off your meds, if you don't mind me asking? I can't help but wonder if you might be better off going back on the medication, at least for short periods &/or at a low dose to help you keep up with life?