ADHD never been a good thing for me

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    • #123131

      Hi all,
      Kind of taking a risk posting here, but it’s better then being depressed about my situation, so here goes. I’m 41 years old, diagnosed with ADHD when age 6. I struggled in school, took meds in college, take meds now. I’m on a great dosage and it works for me. Iv’e been on this stable dosage for a while now, so no problems there. My career and educational background is engineering, with a masters degree in engineering. Here is the problem, I have never had a job, or been anywhere with anyone, where ADHD has ever been a good thing. All the advantages, creativity, hyperfocus, and so on, have never been a benefit. I have always felt like they get in the way. I have been called,”too damn creative,” by bosses before, it wasn’t a compliment. So, now I am trying to figure out how to feel about ADHD all over again. Basically ADHD has hurt me socially, and so on. I guess this post is mostly me complaining. I don’t mean to complain, just trying to figure out how to accept things even at this age, when it seems like no one else accepts me.

    • #123202
      Penny Williams

      To thrive with ADHD, you really have to accept it and change your mindset about it. It’s not a benefit in all environments, but there are many great qualities of each individual, even those with ADHD. Move past thinking about how you feel about having ADHD by working through those emotions. That alone will lift a weight off your shoulders.

      There are a couple great ADDitude Webinar replays on this:

      Listen to “Overcoming My ADHD Shame” with Edward Hallowell, M.D.

      Listen to “ADHD in Adults: Accept & Value Your Differences” with Sari Solden, M.S., LMFT

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #123214

      Thank you. You just replying, means a lot. I appreciate it.

    • #123280

      ADD is a condition that predisposes us to inattention and impulsiveness. When you honestly sit back and assess that, you can’t say for certainty that it made you more or less employable or a ‘better’ friend or partner. If you wanted to fly Navy jets or be a rodeo clown you just don’t have the brain to do that as there is no margin for errors due to distraction.

      I don’t see that being ‘creative’ should be a pejorative in the workplace. Then again I don’t know what kind of field you work as an engineer. If it happens to be in building nuclear power plants or space-craft, see above for that advice as they too have no room for error*. I have found that what I can do is combine a wider grouping of ideas, concepts and practical knowledge together to find solutions. As my mind is not always on a single path or rut I frequently find that the stuff bleeding into it offers ways to do things that may not be conventional, but a good fit. The best way I can describe that is I am always looking for solutions that have the least amount of ‘moving parts’, cutting out the processes or variables that will make a task mindlessly repetitive or require more oversight.

      This may be of interest to you. My field of expertise is Information Management (not IT, working with data) and I find that having tasks that are not project-based works best for me. Ones that require problem-solving on demand and getting clients’ expectations to be reasonable based on the resources and time available.

      *if you ever feel that you might have made a really careless error at work, read up on the story of ‘The Demon Core’ AKA what NOT to do if you have 14 lbs of sub-critical plutonium lying around in your workplace

    • #123780

      The way I see it, you have ADHD- it doesn’t HAVE YOU. It’s something that affects you, and your work, and it’s always there, but it doesn’t have to be a core pillar of WHO you are.
      I do personally benefit from some of the creativity and hyperfocus in my job, but that’s me. Sometimes it helps me, and sometimes it’s like having brown hair- it’s just there- and I can change things with medication- but it will always come back.

      For me, being diagnosed was such a relief as a child because I thought I had a slow brain and might just be stupid- no matter how hard I worked to change it, I couldn’t. But after being diagnosed, and learning about options, I could change the parts I didn’t like. And it didn’t change my personality or interests, but it made hard things easier- and then I could be who I wanted to be.
      I don’t like when my brain feels foggy, when I can’t remember things, “blanking out” all of a sudden and slowing my work. I don’t think I have to like those parts either. But it’s there, I was born with it, and I deal with it. I keep it under wraps and under control when it gets too “uppity” the best I can.

      But I will say, with the right mood at the end of the day- I do not need a beer to forget the stresses and relax. That I can get with a comedic show and my ADD. Hah! Cheap thrills.

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