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Old 01-03-10, 12:24 AM
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adhd and laziness - can you tell the difference?

so i want to know where adhd ends and laziness begins. i mean there has to be a line. there are lazy people out there without adhd. and even i (with adhd,) can be ****ing lazy if i'm in the mood to be. so where do you draw the line between adhd caused intertia and being downright lazy and not acting at all in adult manner?

if you can't already tell i have a certain person in mind. a family member... so i can say this **** and get away with it... because you all know we save the best for our families. /sarcasm.

he has severe adhd and has a had a few (less than 4,) failed attempts at keeping a job/getting a job in his field. so he came home at the age of 27 and has been playing WoW in my mom's house and his friend's dad's house (he was living there,) for almost a year now. he has the most experience working in grocery stores because he did that as a teen. but he won't work there until something better comes up (even though he is in debt with student loans and credit cards,) because it bores him too much. the monotony of stocking shelves and bagging groceries. so now he's slightly situationally depressed because he feels like a loser. he mostly just feels this way because about once a year (on dec. 25th) he becomes aware of the fact that he doesn't work and therefore can't buy christmas gifts for my mom.

is this ALL adhd or am i right in thinking he needs a good boot in the ***? seriously... if adhd is a license to be a waste of skin, playing video games for a year, please tell me because i have moderate ADHD, bipolar disorder and OCD so surely that entitles me to a couple year's vacation. i feel like a dumb **** for not realizing that i can use my adhd as an excuse to quit my part-time cashier job which is coincidently boring and monotonous too!

so where is the line? what is adhd and what is laziness?
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Old 01-03-10, 12:59 AM
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Re: adhd and laziness - can you tell the difference?

That's not an easy question to answer, but a lot of those issues have to do with inadequate access or production of dopamine so common with ADHD. Dopamine is responsible for energy, motivation, feeling good, and a lot of other things that keep us being busy and productive and happy. Compound issues naturally caused by that lack with subsequent failures to perform up to one's own standards and those of society and our culture and you have depression and anxiety issues, low confidence and self-esteem, etc., which slow one down even more. I'm nearly 100% sure that no lazy-appearing ADHDer is happy that way, it's just often very difficult to recognize in themselves and to their friends and family.

Video games produce dopamine and other feel-good chemicals in the brain, and is why so many ADHD enjoy them and can easily spend hours on them, and it is one area they feel productive and good about themselves (in a non-reality sort of way).

You didn't mention if this person is diagnosed or is receiving treatment, but someone with this scope of issues should seek out or be encouraged to seek out proper medical and therapeutic treatment, and possibly counsel for the main and underlying issues they are experiencing. This person is on a slippery downward slope. It's very painful for the entire family.
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Old 01-03-10, 01:29 AM
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Re: adhd and laziness - can you tell the difference?

Hi Indy! Happy New Year!

While I don't know either of you, your disdain and disgust are pretty apparent! I get it though, I would probably feel this same if I was watching this. Especially if I was busting my A*ss every day. Working through my own issues.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a expert on all things ADD or depression.

I have found from personal experience, that it sounds like depression is the culprit here. Is there a chance he is more depressed than you think? Some people are really good at hiding it. ADD can mask it too. Just a thought.

So, here's my reflection on ADD, depression and laziness. Keep in mind, I was only diagnosed 2 years ago. I am 37 now. Of course I have always been ADD, I was oblivious to it until about 4 years ago. I can however look back and see a "cycle" of sorts, how I dealt with things and got through some pretty hard crap. I think this is true for alot of ADDers. Whether we realize it or not.

I had no idea other people didn't work as hard as I did. Being raised by a single mother with ADD and a host of other mental issues, I didn't know any better. I would just put my head down and drive hard forward. I certainly went through periods where life got really hard. When I made mistakes or was used by others. I never called this hard time depression. I never felt depressed. More confused and frustrated than any thing else. This is when I would "lay down" and rest. Sometimes it was a day on the couch in my jammies. Other times I would just distract myself by "doing" things. This is the Hyper active part. When we are facing something we can't figure out, we can't think, so we do. While we are doing I think we work things out somehow, in a subconscious way really. I am sure I didn't look depressed. I was accomplishing tons, especially because my hobbies include home repair and creativity. I never was a fan of video games. I needed physical activity to distract myself, to work out my problems. Because we suck at that whole linear thinking thing, the hard issues took years. My therapist said sometimes, if we are the lucky ones, ADD and depression sort of balance each other out.

Fast forward to 2003, I was a professional fire fighter and paramedic. I was eternally greatful for having found a career I loved and excelled in. I owned my own home and car. I was working out EVERY DAY. (which I now know to be self-medicating) I had never been so happy in my entire life. All those years of working 2 or 3 jobs and going to school. Having to pay for every thing by my self. It all paid off.

At the end of 2003 my life took a unexpected and terrible turn. I broke my back at work putting out a fire. I subsequently went through 3 back surgeries, 8 screws and 2 rods hold me together now.
Through all this I got married, gained a instant son (my husband had full custody of his boy). I got pregnant for which I had to stay in bed the entire time. By the time my baby was 1, I suffered a nervous break down. For the firs time in my life, working my a s s off was not helping me achieve my goals. Why couldn't I accomplish anything even though I was on my feet doing from the time I woke up until 2am every morning. This made no sense no matter how I thought about it.

By the time I was diagnosed in 2007, life had got so difficult. I spent 15 minutes just trying to get out of my car to goto a doctors appointment. I would literally walk in circles because I couldn't remember what I was doing or what I wanted to do. Really scary stuff.

For 2 years after being diagnosed and medicated I just literally lay down. I spent 2 years in bed and on my couch. Other than caring for my kids. And that took every ounce of energy I had. Life had gotten so darn hard I didn't do anything. I was exhausted. Who could blame me. I had spent 30+ years running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I didn't really understand ADD, how it effected me now or in the past. Now I realize I was going through the grief process as well as being exhausted.

During all of this my husband accused me of being lazy, not carrying, being a slob.... You name it, he accused me of it. I couldn't defend myself, I didn't really know why I was like that. I knew I was NOT lazy, I did care. I didn't really feel "depressed" though.

About 2 months ago, I got off the couch. I had found this forum and all the wonderful people from my planet.!! I started learning. I had finally accepted this ADD thing. Now I am learning to use it to my advantage. Looking back over the last 2 years, I think I was simply afraid to do anything. I had gotten used to everything being so darn hard.... I was afraid to keep failing too, despite working so hard. I forgot that there was a time when life was easier.

I am not trying to be who I was. I am taking it one day at a time. I no longer kill myself to accomplish things. I have been able to prioritize and do the best I can. I have a crappy back and 2 kids. One with ADD who"s 9 and a three year old who is a little tornado. My plate is full. Full of really important stuff. I choose to slow down and be the best mom I can. Everything else has to wait. Including my need to go back to school and figure out what I want to be when I grow up. AGAIN!!

This has turned into a really long post. Sorry. I hope this gives you some idea of whats going on with this person.

Take care. good luck.
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Old 01-03-10, 02:18 AM
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Re: adhd and laziness - can you tell the difference?

It's usually not just about ADHD.
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Old 01-03-10, 03:27 AM
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Re: adhd and laziness - can you tell the difference?

probably a lot of stuff other than ADHD. Gotta fix one problem at a time.
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Old 01-03-10, 04:50 AM
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Re: adhd and laziness - can you tell the difference?

ADHD seems to rarely walk alone. Depression and anxiety issues can complicate things quite a bit.
I sometimes prefer to think of "laziness" as a symptom of one or more mental health issues depending on their circumstances of course.

For myself, I feel lazy when I haven't got off my butt to even try doing my housework during the day, whereas running around cleaning all day with nothing to show for it can be very frustrating, but I don't feel lazy on those days!

Sometimes I just don't see the point of working hard to clean the house only to get the same results that I got when I did nothing at all. This can definitely spiral downwards into depression and then I have to deal with extreme laziness due to depression.

So, laziness to me indicates that the person has given up trying and there can be many, many, many, reasons for that.
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Old 01-03-10, 11:39 AM
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Re: adhd and laziness - can you tell the difference?

I'm confused about where to draw that line myself.

But I do think that as long as he gets away with it -- as long as Mom tolerates and supports it -- he'll have no impetus to change.

Going through that with my own brother at the moment. Don't know if he has ADD -- his brain is so scrambled by years of vodka that it's hard to know what it might have been naturally. Sometimes I get upset at why is it I'm working so hard, and he doesn't do anything. Nothing at all. No, not even any tiny thing resembling work. But I can't change the situation so I just have to take a breath and put it out of my mind.
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Old 01-03-10, 01:05 PM
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Re: adhd and laziness - can you tell the difference?

I often ask that about myself - not knowing where the laziness is and where the ADHD is.

To address your question:

Quote:
Originally Posted by indy
if adhd is a license to be a waste of skin, playing video games for a year, please tell me because i have moderate ADHD, bipolar disorder and OCD so surely that entitles me to a couple year's vacation. i feel like a dumb **** for not realizing that i can use my adhd as an excuse to quit my part-time cashier job which is coincidently boring and monotonous too!
This is purely my opinion. I'm not an expert, I've only been diagnosed for a few months, so take everything I say with a shaker of salt (much more than just a grain!): I don't think ADHD is a license to be a waste of skin. I strongly believe that once someone realizes they have ADHD, it's a responsibility to learn ways to compensate for the challenges.
  • Cleaning: Trying to find ways to make it not suck quite as much.
  • Communication: Trying to find ways to listen to people and not interrupt.
  • Time Management: Trying to find ways that work for the individual. Whether it's getting a cool day planner, or an awesome cell phone that makes it fun to manage the time.
  • Organization: Learning how the ADHD brain works in regards to organization, what methods of organization work for the ADHD brain, and trying to implement them.
It definitely sounds like there could be some depression involved. As I'm writing this reply, I'm actually getting a little bit anxiety and starting to freak out because I'm like, "Oh crap, I need to get my $#!* together."

I wish you luck. Hopefully he wants to change. Because a person usually won't change unless they want to. The first step in this is when the person realizes their life isn't working the way they're living it. That things are unmanageable. At that point, if they want help, they can get it. It takes work, but change can happen.

-i
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Old 01-03-10, 03:22 PM
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Re: adhd and laziness - can you tell the difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoReally View Post
I'm confused about where to draw that line myself.

But I do think that as long as he gets away with it -- as long as Mom tolerates and supports it -- he'll have no impetus to change.

Going through that with my own brother at the moment. Don't know if he has ADD -- his brain is so scrambled by years of vodka that it's hard to know what it might have been naturally. Sometimes I get upset at why is it I'm working so hard, and he doesn't do anything. Nothing at all. No, not even any tiny thing resembling work. But I can't change the situation so I just have to take a breath and put it out of my mind.
Just some thoughts for you to think about when looking at behaviour:
* what's in it for them?
* what do the people involved get out of their relationship?
* is someone enabling dysfunctional behaviour?
* what is your brother's diagnosis? could it be wrong or incomplete?
* most healthy, young, people want to be independent, not dependent
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Old 01-03-10, 06:28 PM
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Re: adhd and laziness - can you tell the difference?

I can tell the difference. I have ADHD, and everyone else is lazy.

Oops, I better get back to the cleaning I was doing.
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Old 01-03-10, 06:39 PM
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Re: adhd and laziness - can you tell the difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by indy View Post
so i want to know where adhd ends and laziness begins. i mean there has to be a line. there are lazy people out there without adhd. and even i (with adhd,) can be ****ing lazy if i'm in the mood to be. so where do you draw the line between adhd caused intertia and being downright lazy and not acting at all in adult manner?

if you can't already tell i have a certain person in mind. a family member... so i can say this **** and get away with it... because you all know we save the best for our families. /sarcasm.

he has severe adhd and has a had a few (less than 4,) failed attempts at keeping a job/getting a job in his field. so he came home at the age of 27 and has been playing WoW in my mom's house and his friend's dad's house (he was living there,) for almost a year now. he has the most experience working in grocery stores because he did that as a teen. but he won't work there until something better comes up (even though he is in debt with student loans and credit cards,) because it bores him too much. the monotony of stocking shelves and bagging groceries. so now he's slightly situationally depressed because he feels like a loser. he mostly just feels this way because about once a year (on dec. 25th) he becomes aware of the fact that he doesn't work and therefore can't buy christmas gifts for my mom.

is this ALL adhd or am i right in thinking he needs a good boot in the ***? seriously... if adhd is a license to be a waste of skin, playing video games for a year, please tell me because i have moderate ADHD, bipolar disorder and OCD so surely that entitles me to a couple year's vacation. i feel like a dumb **** for not realizing that i can use my adhd as an excuse to quit my part-time cashier job which is coincidently boring and monotonous too!

so where is the line? what is adhd and what is laziness?
hmm.... 27 and playing nintendo at moms all day, sure video games are the only thing he is "self-medicating" with

not an excuse AT ALL

kick him out , he will find a job real fast

oh and interesting i didnt know video games produced dopamine

Last edited by daveddd; 01-03-10 at 06:40 PM.. Reason: add
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Old 01-03-10, 06:51 PM
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Re: adhd and laziness - can you tell the difference?

In my own life I've found that unless I can do something that stimulates me mentally I procrastinate terribly. Its depressing to do something you hate whether you have ADHD or not and frankly, I think when you have ADHD you have to find something you can be passionate about just to keep your momentum up. Its just too easy to get into video games that stimulate and challenge your mind and ignore the rest of the world.

He should talk to a career counselor to find out what jobs he is qualified for that will allow him to feel challenged but not be overwhelming. If he needs to go back to school then he should.
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Old 01-04-10, 04:51 AM
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Re: adhd and laziness - can you tell the difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by indy View Post
so i want to know where adhd ends and laziness begins. i mean there has to be a line. there are lazy people out there without adhd. and even i (with adhd,) can be ****ing lazy if i'm in the mood to be. so where do you draw the line between adhd caused intertia and being downright lazy and not acting at all in adult manner?

if you can't already tell i have a certain person in mind. a family member... so i can say this **** and get away with it... because you all know we save the best for our families. /sarcasm.

he has severe adhd and has a had a few (less than 4,) failed attempts at keeping a job/getting a job in his field. so he came home at the age of 27 and has been playing WoW in my mom's house and his friend's dad's house (he was living there,) for almost a year now. he has the most experience working in grocery stores because he did that as a teen. but he won't work there until something better comes up (even though he is in debt with student loans and credit cards,) because it bores him too much. the monotony of stocking shelves and bagging groceries. so now he's slightly situationally depressed because he feels like a loser. he mostly just feels this way because about once a year (on dec. 25th) he becomes aware of the fact that he doesn't work and therefore can't buy christmas gifts for my mom.

is this ALL adhd or am i right in thinking he needs a good boot in the ***? seriously... if adhd is a license to be a waste of skin, playing video games for a year, please tell me because i have moderate ADHD, bipolar disorder and OCD so surely that entitles me to a couple year's vacation. i feel like a dumb **** for not realizing that i can use my adhd as an excuse to quit my part-time cashier job which is coincidently boring and monotonous too!

so where is the line? what is adhd and what is laziness?

I also doubt that your brother is 'slightly situationally depressed", there's more going on here than just adhd. I doubt kicking him out, or a good boot is really going to help. Severe ADHD means severe problems. He's avoiding dealing with those problems and I assure you that treating him as if he's 'just lazy' is only going to make him crawl farther into that hole.

As someone with ADHD I think you're probably aware that we have motivation problems. How helpful are demotivational messages? Not being an ***, it's just something to look at.

He's hiding, he's avoiding, and my guess is it feels like hell. Throw in almost non-existant self esteem, depression. anxiety and then top that off with disapproval and I don't think that's the recipe for laziness.

I don't recommend sitting down with him for a loving talk until you truly can be loving. You need to be able to listen without jumping to conclusions and he's not going to receive anything from a critical tone. He needs help and I'm sure as frustrating as he is you do love him.

All the best.
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Old 01-04-10, 08:08 AM
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Re: adhd and laziness - can you tell the difference?

And then there is the question of how well he in fact did, while working at the grocery store. I will say there is nothing worse than doing boring, monotonous work that you are in fact not very good at -- while doubting that you will ever be able to do anything else.

I am having a meeting this morning with my supervisor at the janitorial firm I have been working at. I can't say that being dismissed troubles me much. Unfortunately I have no other options. Nor do I have a couch that I could crash on for a year, either.

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Old 01-04-10, 12:37 PM
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Re: adhd and laziness - can you tell the difference?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imnapl View Post
Just some thoughts for you to think about when looking at behaviour:
* what's in it for them?
* what do the people involved get out of their relationship?
* is someone enabling dysfunctional behaviour?
* what is your brother's diagnosis? could it be wrong or incomplete?
* most healthy, young, people want to be independent, not dependent
All good questions.

Kind of related (in my mind at least) is whether you believe people are basically good, and do bad things because of circumstances, mental illness, etc.? Or are some people just basically selfish, mean, whatever?

In the case of my brother -- he was a sweet little boy. I remember him having some problems with depression and authority growing up. Maybe ADD, I've wondered -- very much an insecure underachiever, always comparing himself to people he thought were more successful. Always needing approval, but going about it the wrong way -- trying to be cooler, tougher, etc. than the other kids.

As many times as he's been through rehab and the mental health system, it's probably a good bet that he's received one or more diagnoses, but I wouldn't know what they are. We can't ask the doctors directly, and if we ask him he just lies.

I wonder if over the years of making so many compromises to support his drug (and then alcohol) problems, he just got too used to lying & cheating until he'd crossed the line so many times he can't even see it anymore?

All of which I had sympathy for, and still cared, and wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt -- thought "he's a nice guy underneath it all." But now in the last few years, with our dad having to be in a nursing home with early-onset dementia, and mom coping with the stress and grief, my brother's reaction has been to take advantage of the situation. Dad was the tougher one (very kind, but tougher than Mom), and with him out of the way my brother has been playing Mom like a fiddle. She has bought him a car, a house(!), pays all his utitilies, pays tuition for classes he never finishes, believes all his promises and plans, and requires nothing from him in return. She used to be tougher too, but I think right now she's losing Dad and is afraid if she doesn't take care of my brother, she'll lose him too. This is the point where I have stopped making excuses for him and started feeling bitter -- he's hurting her the most and doesn't seem to care.

Sorry for the derail there! Like I said, it relates in my mind -- are some people truly just lazy? Selfish? Even if they also have ADHD or other issues? Even if they don't?
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