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  #1  
Old 04-06-18, 09:52 AM
Arthos Arthos is offline
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ADHD in the family

Recently I have been wondering whether there is more ADHD in the family. In particular whether my sister has ADHD. I understand that people here are not medical professionals but I am curious to see whether this sounds like ADHD to you.

My sister does not plan ahead or think about any consequences, not when she was younger and not now at 33. Of course, this is one of the trademarks of ADHD. However, she seems to be so unfazed whenever she is faced with consequences and this is what makes me wonder if it is only ADHD or perhaps something else.

Where most people would freak out if they ordered pizza again while not having the money, if they were out with a baby without diapers again, if they forgot their parent's birthday again, she is genuinely unfazed. (And it goes further to debt, education, relationships, pregnancy, etc.) While this probably saves her a lot of anxiety, I also feel like this mindset makes it virtually impossible for her to learn from her actions.

Most people with ADHD make the same mistake over and over (that's part of the deal). However, I also get the impression that most of us at least have the desire to change and get better, and a lot of the time try really hard. The downside of this is obviously that it affects our self-esteem: wanting to change but barely being able to no matter how hard we try. The major advantage is that, yes, sometimes we DO manage to get better, whereas that would have been impossible without all our effort.

Any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 04-06-18, 11:27 AM
ToneTone ToneTone is offline
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Re: ADHD in the family

I hear you ...

Your sister could be hiding how fazed or unfazed he is ... I think that is a coping pattern for some people ... I'm not sure I avoided that strategy before I was diagnosed ...

This behavior could also just a part of her personality ... not necessarily a clinical issue ... just an oblivious issue ...

Another point, there are people with all kinds of addictions ... spending habits ... tens of thousands of dollars of debt ... I see the debt mentioned in those articles about couples thinking about getting married. One partner might owe some unthinkable amount of money on credit cards and yet be seeming unaffected by this ... while her partner is freaking out ....

It takes a certain amount of strength to admit to your problems ... you got to be willing to allow your ego to take a hit ... Your sister simply may not have that strength right now.

You any thoughts on what clinical condition could be involved ...
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Old 04-06-18, 11:34 AM
Urobouros Urobouros is offline
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Re: ADHD in the family

I'm still in the early stages of accepting and addressing my own ADHD but it sounds like she might be a master of denial. I managed to go 43 years in total and complete denial. The bad stuff would impact me for a few moments before I discarded the negative feelings like a coat. I just accepted it as fact that I was stupid, lazy and forgetful. I didn't want to fix anything because I was just a little crappier as a person. I tried to make up for it in other ways. Doing more around the house, volunteering for or donating to charities, generally trying to balance out the bad with some good. I even had a counselor suggest adult ADD which I promptly disregarded. It took coming seriously close to breaking up my family to consider that something else was at play. When I actually started reading the lists of symptoms and realized there was more than just hyperactivity in kids it started to make sense. When I really dug into the research it hit me like a truck. I don't know if your sister, or anyone else for that matter, had the lights turned on so suddenly but it may help if you can get her to at least look into it. On the other hand, I was tired of so much pain and stress & was ready to find an alternative. Change is infinitely harder when you're an unwilling participant.

I'm still really struggling with letting go of that security blanket of blissful denial. I feels like I'm about to head to work naked and I don't look like Adonis I have done some super crazy, super risky **** in my life but trying to confront this honestly is easily the scariest thing I've ever done. I still have to hold onto my blanket and only let it down in short bursts and wouldn't be surprised if your sister is in a similar boat.

There's no easy answer but you at least have the patience not to have given up on her. Patience and love is the only reason I ever sought help.
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  #4  
Old 04-06-18, 12:44 PM
Arthos Arthos is offline
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Re: ADHD in the family

Thanks for your replies.

That's basically the only thing I can think of, that she is strongly in denial as a coping mechanism. I struggle to grasp how someone would be able to keep that up for 30+ years while (to me) it is so (rationally) clear that a bit more effort could make such a difference in outcome, ADHD or not. If you don't try, it's for sure not going to work out.

More thoughts are very welcome. Reading your perspectives is really helpful
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Old 04-06-18, 01:56 PM
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Re: ADHD in the family

Hi Arthos

Have you ever heard of “family systems theory”?

If your interested, I’ve been referencing “Scattered” published in 1999 written by a physician who also has AD(H)D named Dr. Gabor Mate.

Dr. Mate’s book has introduced me to multiple researchers who study multiple factors involved in “AD(H)D in the family”.

Even though I have been referencing “Scattered” for years I still have more to learn from the book, in regard to “AD(H)D in the family”, etc.

(side note:Thanks for the thread discussion, I have meant to order “Attention Deficits and Hyperactivity in Children”, published in 1994, written by Dr. Stephen P. Hinshaw for years, and introduced to me by Dr. Mate, maybe this time I will remember order Dr. Hinshaw’s book)



Quote:
The analysis of ADD given in this book attempts to synthesize the findings of modern neuroscientific research, developmental psychology, family systems theory, genetics and medical science. (1) These are combined with an interperpetation of social and cultural trends, as well with my own personal experience as an adult with ADD, as a parent and as a physician. To avoid giving the book an academic slant, references are given in the notes at the end, along with further comments intended for the professional reader and for lay readers seeking source information.
-Gabor Mate M.D., “Scattered”. Introduction.


Quote:
Notes

Introduction
(1) In the professional literature Stephen P. Hinshaw, associate professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, has been a distinctive voice, suggesting the possibility of complex biological, social, and psychological interactions together forming the roots of ADD: “Notions of complex causal pathways in which psychobiologic risk factors, problematic family functioning, and wider system influences might combine to shape problems in attention regulation, activity level modulation, and response inhibition have been slow to gain acceptance.” (Hinshaw, Attention Deficits and Hyperactivity in Children, ix.)

-Gabor Mate M.D., “Scattered”. Notes.



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Old 04-06-18, 04:46 PM
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Vex187 Vex187 is offline
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Re: ADHD in the family

I've been lucky enough over the last 4 years to leave in my own place attached to the back of my parents block.

Cool story I know but my parents (and I where I can) also are the the carers of my dad's 86yr old parents. While only one is biological and although it might present itself differently there is a clear and direct adhd chain going from my dad's mum to him to me, most definitely one of my uncles but managed to focus his energy into s successful structural engineering career, you could say he might not had it as severe. Don't see him often but I saw him 2 weeks ago since he lives 4000km away and he is 100% pi like all of us, and most likely just from some brief observations my neice and markers thst COULD indicate when she grew up.

I was only diagnosed last year and in all honesty it's turned my life around that much that I still struggle to wrap my head around it now and not to often go down the path of how much trauma (not to be dramatic) would clearly been easily avoided. Anyway I digress, what it did also mean is i lived 37 years in "our quirky crazy but loveable family" with no understanding of adhd outside of typical social stigmas. Its taken me the best part of the year since my diagnosis reading whatever I can to understand what adhd is and isn't, how that applies to me and either answers unanswerable mysteries or gives clear direction to work on either my self.

Generation gaps and personalities aside I've found this last year.or self searching has made it even easier to join the dots between the genetic/neurological/whatever outside of behavioural side of the disorder that's very clearly and quite comical at times has been passed through 3 generations, and without sitting down with the dam t and a psych if bet my thingamebob we're all PI, with very similar if not the same couple hyper traits I was diagnosed with.

I do also remember reading on pubmed if it was passed on genetically to the child it it was or often is substantially worse. Unfortunately I'm on my phone and out so can't find or link the article. But essentially if it was genetically transferred the general gist was saying it presents itself worse in the child and onwards.

Scuse the edits crap grammar repeating or ramblings. Been a tough month emotionally, mentally, and have had 2 nights of 3-4hrs sleep as I had 4 weeks off dex and it counters what I use to sleep for 5-6 days so head is non compos mentis lol

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Old 04-06-18, 11:44 PM
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Re: ADHD in the family

I think epigenetic inheritance going back 3 to 5 generations can be one of the multiple factors resulting in some infants being born with a more sensitive temperaments that could make the emergence of AD(H)D more likely.

Specifics depend on the individuals inherited temperament and early family environment (circumstances).

Depending on the parents circumstances, social distresses, etc, some siblings may experience more environmental distresses than other siblings in the same family.

The family environment may be more distressed during the early development of self regulation of some siblings, and not so distressed during the early development of self regulation of other siblings.

Some siblings may have epigenetically inherited a more sensitive temperament, and other a more robust temperament.

An aware family environment can also promote conditions that promote the development of self regulation in infants born with more sensitive temperaments and possibly lessen the severity of the emergence of AD(H)D.

There is lots of possible factors within the family environment to consider.



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Old 04-07-18, 09:25 AM
Arthos Arthos is offline
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Re: ADHD in the family

We always joke around that my mum and her siblings all have some autistics traits. One of them is indeed on the spectrum but the others may not be neurotypical either. So I am pretty sure my sister and I got some genetic baggage from that side of the family.

Adding in that our childhoods were not a walk in the park, I can see that the odds were not in our favour, even if our neurodivergence does not necessarily emerge in the same ways
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Old 04-07-18, 01:13 PM
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Re: ADHD in the family

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthos View Post
Recently I have been wondering whether there is more ADHD in the family. In particular whether my sister has ADHD. I understand that people here are not medical professionals but I am curious to see whether this sounds like ADHD to you.

My sister does not plan ahead or think about any consequences, not when she was younger and not now at 33. Of course, this is one of the trademarks of ADHD. However, she seems to be so unfazed whenever she is faced with consequences and this is what makes me wonder if it is only ADHD or perhaps something else.

Where most people would freak out if they ordered pizza again while not having the money, if they were out with a baby without diapers again, if they forgot their parent's birthday again, she is genuinely unfazed. (And it goes further to debt, education, relationships, pregnancy, etc.) While this probably saves her a lot of anxiety, I also feel like this mindset makes it virtually impossible for her to learn from her actions.

Most people with ADHD make the same mistake over and over (that's part of the deal). However, I also get the impression that most of us at least have the desire to change and get better, and a lot of the time try really hard. The downside of this is obviously that it affects our self-esteem: wanting to change but barely being able to no matter how hard we try. The major advantage is that, yes, sometimes we DO manage to get better, whereas that would have been impossible without all our effort.

Any thoughts?
I'd say that what you are describing may or may not be AD(H)D. Symptoms and how we respond to them are different things. I have a coworker that I'm almost positive has severe ADD, as the symptoms could have been written especially for him. But he is more happy-go-lucky than I am: while I stress out or feel bad for having forgotten something AGAIN, in the same situation he just kind of goes "oops", apologizes if necessary, and keeps going his merry way. So people are different in how we respond to our circumstances and difficulties, whether or not we have ADD.

But if you want to do research into whether she does have ADD, look through the full list of symptoms and see how many apply to her. A quick google search will find the symptoms easily, but here's one that is laid out in a way that is pretty easy to read:
http://adhd-institute.com/assessment...agnosis/dsm-5/
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Old 04-14-18, 12:36 PM
ToneTone ToneTone is offline
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Re: ADHD in the family

I'm wondering if you see some positive lining to your sister's denial.

I've come to the point where I think gentle self-forgiveness is a really helpful quality to cultivate if you have ADHD ...

Even with treatment, there's all likelihood that we're gonna still going to forget and mess up in some way ... and do so repeatedly ... And there is a adaptive quality to being gentle on ourselves after those mistakes, so that we don't occupy the brain too much with criticism ... distracting us from the next constructive step we can take.

I get that you're saying your sister doesn't learn from her mistakes and doesn't seem to acknowledge the mistakes in the first place ... and that you see that she can't "get better" if she refuses to acknowledge problems in the first place.

There is definitely a middle ground of working on our weaknesses, getting aggressive treatment ... AND being gentle when we mess up ...
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Old 04-14-18, 12:51 PM
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Re: ADHD in the family

Sounds kind of like me, I tend to seem unphased on the outside, especially when I was undiagnosed because I'd just accepted that I was unable to do certain things on time. Of course on the inside it's different, but when someone asked me why I wasn't doing it I had no answer.
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Old 04-17-18, 01:46 PM
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Re: ADHD in the family

I kindof think.. that if your sister is happy with her life.. there is no reason to worry or try to convince her to change. I know a lot of people who go with the flow.. and while they maynot stick to conventional standards of success.. they are very happy with their lives.

On the other hand, if she is genuinely unhappy, that because of these symptoms she is not getting what she wants, perhaps you have a case to make.

Taking ADHD pills and going to psychotherapy was a very hard pill for me to swallow. I have heard a similar story from a lot of other people.

So, if she is indeed unhappy with the way things are, perhaps you could show her a few pamphlets on the symptoms of ADHD, periodically. The adhd label can be a hard pill to swallow.. but you could encourage her to start with non-medication therapies which dont come with the baggage/stigma of ADHD, and see if improves. If she feels better, she will understand on her own how getting a formal diagnosis and medications would help her get to where she wants to
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