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A journal of my acheivements, goals and struggles of being a parent with ADD of an ADHD child along with a homemaker and wife. People take such things as organization and completion of normal daily tasks for granted when those who are struggling just want the simple things life has to offer us each day.
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ADHD? ADD? Which one and how did I not know!??

Posted 09-28-08 at 11:48 AM by Veggymel
Do you find that people do not really tell you the things you NEED to know? lol...I understand it is our own responsibility to get medicated and seek therapy but what about those of us who are blissfully unaware of our strange behaviors? Well...that is me in a nutshell. Since I was a kid I remember just being so afraid all the time of my thoughts, my reactions, interactions and everything in between. I remember doing strange things (not strange to me - lets not forget I am blissfully unaware lol) like sitting in the pine tree in my front yard for hours on end taking photos of birds because I found it interesting while other kids were riding bikes or something. I had a pretty chaotic childhood from my dad being abusive to myself and my mom to the rest of my family creating havoc and turmoil every other day and everything was dramatic - just no normalcy at all. My entire life I have been one of those people that minimizes, smiles and acts as if nothing is wrong EVER. So I basically got through my life fairly simply - by faking. Compensation probably had a ton to do with it also as I look back this past week on specific things I did/said to "adjust" accordingly. I have also always been a chameleon. Wonder if other ADDers are also? The show must go on has been my basic rule through every speed bump along the way which of course can be a good thing, if you don't have underlying issues unadressed ;-) So....at this particular point in my life I have been to the bottom of hell and come back about 6 years ago and honestly the past 5 years have been the best of my life thus far. On my last trip to the Doc I expressed some concern that I lack motivation and everything is started in my home but yet never gets finished. He asked me some more questions and I filled out a small questionnaire. I guess since this is all new to me I don't know how to decipher if its ADD or ADHD or even combined. I was diagnosed with OCD at the time I crashed 6 years ago and I guess I may have been contributing all my "odd" behaviors to the OCD...it just seems the symptoms are so similar aside from the losing keys, never finishing, etc. I should add that I am completely unable to complete a college course - never had finished a semester and at this point I have no desire for college. Yet, in high school I got acceptable B's and C's. I have been told I have a high IQ and that I have alot of "potential" so maybe I have missed the ADD all this time? Dang....that is so odd. I wonder if anyone else feels like this when newly diagnosed hmmmm
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  1. Old
    SolarLife's Avatar
    When I was first diagnosed with ADD/ADHD (which one was never clinically specified) I felt liberated knowing my behavior was NOT laziness, stupidity, sin, or any other pejorative one could apply. I was different but not bad. It can be jarring wondering "had I been diagnosed years ago, would things be different today?" Maybe. But we can't change the past, we can only resolve to live life to the fullest NOW. Not easy when you don't want to get off the couch and walking to the kitchen seems like a marathon. I know.

    Medications can help, but it can take time finding the right one(s). No two people are alike; what helps one person can make another miserable. Be patient.

    Also know that one can have ADD/ADHD and OCD (or whatever). I've been diagnosed with comorbid ADD/ADHD, OCD, depression, and GAD (generalized anxiety disorder). Most doctors would not prescribe me a stimulant medicine such as Adderall because it can cause anxiety. Finally, one did and it made me calmer and less anxious making me wonder if the ADD was not causing the anxiety? It's hard to know for sure.

    Now, unmedicated I struggle daily. I'm slowly developing skills that help focus and direct my attention. I try to shift my attention from my feelings to things about me and find this act of intention greatly reduces my hyper-focus on my feelings, but it does takes focus and work.

    Learning you have ADD answers lots of questions, but it can also cause you to be angry because of all the time you've wasted. Again, I know. Try to focus on the exciting new path you've found and use this knowledge to learn about yourself and to help others who will be in your shoes before long.
    Posted 09-28-08 at 01:06 PM by SolarLife SolarLife is offline
  2. Old
    Veggymel's Avatar
    Thanks Solar...did you have denial about the diagnosis? I seem to be struggling with it.
    Posted 09-28-08 at 01:12 PM by Veggymel Veggymel is offline
  3. Old
    SolarLife's Avatar
    In a way I've denied it. Initially, I thought it was wonderful I could point to the reason I was "not living up to my potential." However, later as the enthusiasm wore off and the medicine was gone, I had to ignore it for the sake of coping. I had to believe that I may have certain tendencies but that I could ultimately control my actions and get things done. Despite irregular study habits I finish two semesters of full-time college medicine-free getting straight As, which in a way proved I could accomplish something despite the diagnosis (never mind the stress of the last minute cramming and paper writing!). Medication made me feel I could overcome ADD, without it I thought I'd be lost. But I wasn’t lost, I just had to adjust and learning new strategies. Bad habits still persist, but now I laugh more.

    Daily I learn to embrace my unique way of seeing the world: I am extremely visual, I think holistically, I love color and symmetry, I enjoying walking mile after mile instead of smoking or watching TV, when plans change I am quick to anger but also quick to forget, I have a child's curiosity of the world, I hate change but am glad when I take the risk, etc.

    Whether the diagnosis is right about you or not, you need to first accept yourself for who you are. Whatever the label, you're unique with talents and gifts that you need to explore and exploit. We are all evolving and not static; be open to new adventures even while trembling.
    Posted 09-28-08 at 02:16 PM by SolarLife SolarLife is offline
  4. Old
    Veggymel's Avatar
    Ty Solar ;-) Hope it is ok I added you as a friend - Mel
    Posted 09-28-08 at 04:42 PM by Veggymel Veggymel is offline
  5. Old
    SolarLife's Avatar
    My pleasure. Thanks for asking me.
    Posted 09-28-08 at 05:03 PM by SolarLife SolarLife is offline
    Updated 09-28-08 at 07:24 PM by SolarLife (omitted a word)
 
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