November 8, 2018 at 12:47 pm #103426Wagner2020Participant
It’s actually incredible to hear other people describe what I have come to know as my normal. I have some ADHD in me, but have outgrown a good portion of it. I still, however, have a few things – like when people give me the evil eye as I’m incessantly tapping my foot on the floor – no matter where I am. I can’t help it – and I’m not really thinking about when I’m doing it, so unless somebody points it out to me (hits me over the head), I keep doing it. Eye contact is an interesting topic for the ADD’er. If I make eye contact, I’m lucky if I can remember even part of what the conversation is – things go almost totally blank. For me, gazing around while having a discussion is a compensatory mechanism to stay focused on the discussion, which most times is not such a good thing in life and/or business dealings. It feels like people don’t take non-eye-contact people as serious as others – or, it could be that the executive function / short-term memory required to think fast on your feet isn’t there – and, therefore, no matter how intelligent you are, no matter how many good ideas you might have – interaction and collaboration with people just doesn’t flow like it does with non-ADD’er’s – at least not consistently enough – especially in business dealings.
Lack of eye contact combined with a poor short-term and executive function (thinking quick on your feet) equals underachiever – especially for the inattentive-type ADD folks like me. In my opinion, not enough is written or discussed about the inattentive type ADD’er’s. We deal with it in silence and doubt – where the higher profile ADHD’er’s, like Richard Branson’s of the world, who have amazing intellect combined with normal executive functioning, but have the “H-yperactivity” are impulsive, reckless, etc. So once again, it comes down to the squeaky wheel syndrome – those that get the story and the attention are those that are most gregarious, free-wheeling and adventuresome – not those who are equally capable but second guess and over analyze virtually everything – ultimately slow (if at all) to act and/or react in any given situation (personal, work, etc.).
In my observation (and my entire extended family is riddled with ADD and ADHD) most ADHD’er’s typically have normal executive functioning, however, they have H-yperactivity high-energy aspect to their personality – impulsive, start things and don’t complete them, grow disinterested easily, etc – but still possess good executive function and short-term memory. Which is why, given the right set of circumstances, personal drive, and raw intellect are often high achievers. Not all of my family and extended family have ADD or ADHD, but at least 20 members of my direct or extended family DO have either ADD or ADHD. Those with the H-yperactivity version are all high achievers – with varying degrees depending on personal circumstances (raw intellect, personal drive, etc). Those with ADD (relatively similar intellect, drive, etc.) are all either average or below. They don’t make much noise, so they fly under the radar and people just chalk it up to “that’s just how they are – quiet and keep to themselves”.
Those with poor executive function and short-term memory difficulties can do okay, but it’s a different mountain to climb. One of the biggest difficulties is thinking quick on your feet – which is an absolute necessity when collaborating with one or more people. Under normal circumstances, the person who thinks quicker on their feet is generally the leader of any given situation. It’s normal interpersonal interactions. So, even though ADHD’er’s have the issue of hyperactivity and everything that goes with it, they still have the ability to think quick on their feet and collaborate with others. Don’t get me wrong, ADHD’er’s will eventually need help keeping the ship moving in the right direction, but, if their ability to collaborate is used appropriately can still summit the peak. ADD’er’s, on the other hand, rarely even get started – given the same intellect, the same great ideas, the same drive, the same pursuits and goals – but lacking the linchpin of executive function. While the ADHD’er’s are summiting the peak, the ADD’er’s are still wondering how many things could go wrong, riddled with self-doubt and talking themselves out of the pursuit – frankly, never able to collaborate well enough to convince others to help them.
In fact, take a look at the experts in the field of ADD and ADHD, they help prove this point. Most of them are self-proclaimed ADHD’er’s, which totally makes sense. Almost by definition experts in the field are the Richard Branson type – outgoing, gregarious, etc. Why else would they be jumping on youtube, posting blogs, etc – answer: they have little fear and are risk takers. ADD’er’s would overthink it, doubt they could do it, talk themselves out of it and simply be paralyzed by fear of not having all the answers, or worse – appearing as if they don’t have all the answers by getting caught not thinking fast enough on their feet. Result: ADD’er’s perceive it as too big of a risk and never get started. If there are any doctors with the inattentive type ADD, I’d be very interested in hearing from them. There may in fact not be any of the inattentive-type due to poor executive function. Poor executive function is not conducive to completing the curriculum necessary to become a doctor in the first place. I have a top 2% IQ and, and with maximal effort, score in the average range when it comes to standardized testing. Reading and re-reading, re-reading and re-reading again is my norm – and even then, I probably don’t have all the facts straight in my head. Average standardized testing won’t cut the MD curriculum; the rigors of academia are simply too overwhelming for those with poor executive function. I’m not downplaying my capabilities, I’m merely speaking from objective past experiences. I’m okay with not becoming a doctor – I’m simply trying to appeal to professionals in this field to take more of an interest in those that have the inattentive-type of ADD. We might not be the center of attention, but there are a lot of us out there.
November 22, 2018 at 10:21 pm #104226Ella CParticipant
Yeah I’m innatentive type ADD and I wasn’t diagnosed until 16. I spent my whole life being scolded for my problems and compared to my friends. I’d be asked why I’m not functioning like them and I really did try. I just always thought I was lazy and stupid. I got diagnose and prescribed a stimulant. I remember the first time I took it and I was able to truly focus. With time (I’m now 21) I’ve grown more accustomed and used to my ADD. I can crack jokes about my symptoms and I’m not so hard on myself about them any more.
I have always had a crazy imagination. In my middle school years I’d be able to create stories in my head and zone out to entertain myself.
I’m also “blonde” I locked myself out of my dorm 5 times alreadY… I have come up with some pretty good coping skills for school related stuff, but some things never change I suppose
I don’t know if this has anything to do with it but I’m also a pretty darn good lucid dreamer.
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