My life long story with ADD

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    • #170813

      I wanted to share some of my life long issues with ADD. Having grown up during the 50’s and 60’s not much was known about ADHD or ADD. It was a struggle to make average grades and to hear that common phrase of “You just need to try harder” everyday in class. I did not get a firm diagnosis until my late 50’s. Just recently I discovered why so many things were just hard for me. Dyslexia was always something that people had where they mixed up letters in words. To me, that was just an issue with writing and I always thought I wrote just fine. Besides, my issues were with recalling names, dates or road signs. I blamed all that on ADD. I managed to become a computer analysis and programmer. Before that happened, my issues in a class room were just trying to recall information for tests. I would either fail or get low grades. No one could understand why I was so stupid. I had to lookup Dyslexia a few days ago because I had an employee that was entering bad info into one of my programs and I wanted to be sure I understood the correct meaning for Dyslexia. As I went through page after page of what that was, it became painfully obvious that I was reading about me. It described the fatigue I got after reading for as little as 15 minutes. I could read, but it was a challenge to get through a page. Then I remembered the problems I had with reading as a child. I wasn’t getting things mixed up, I just had to slow down to understand what I read. My brain needed more time to sort out the meaning of the words. So much time that I just tired myself out and had to stop. Misspelled words are also an issue. However, I always used a spell checker and never gave it a thought. Pronouncing odd or long words. When talking with my wife it became a joke when I mispronounced words. No harm done. Just another symptom. Then, a little note at the end that explained that Dyslexia is linked to ADD. I almost fell out of my chair. All of this explained my childhood issues and is now shedding light on my adult life.

      So, what to do? First, understand that your brain will multi process all the time. People with ADD will do this at an accelerated pace. At least it is for me. Here is an example, listening to music while working. I have even written computer code while watching TV. I could be deep in thought and grab the remote to mute the commercials while going directly back to my program without missing a beat. To be productive, you need to give those parts of your brain that want attention, something to do, so that you can work. That might mean playing music while you work. If you don’t, it will drive you crazy hashing out parts of old tunes over and over until it becomes distracting. All of your senses are at work and will be poking you in the head just to let you know that it’s cold or your back hurts or it’s too dark in the room. Prepare for that when you can and don’t give your brain a reason to keep poking you in the head.

      Ok, so now what ? Learn to hyper focus. If you are doing something you enjoy, all your little people living in your head will shut up. Yes, that’s right, I have little people living in my head that all want to help. They rarely know how to help but that does not stop them from trying. If nothing else, they are my collective creativity. They rarely make sense but they get great ideas. The biggest problem is that they can be very distractive. Thus the reason for my ADD. They can make me laugh out loud when no one is around or irritate me by trying to read every sign and license tag while I am driving. They are all a part of who I am. By humanizing them, I can cope with the distractions, you can too.

      Sorry for the long story. If you are suffering with ADD, don’t forget to read up on Dyslexia. And don’t wait until you are 67 years old to do it. Understanding what is causing your problems is the first step to finding a solution.

    • #188641

      Hey man. New here. Ivy-League youngster student struggling to keep up in a high-pressure academic environment while trying to manage impulse control issues. Also dealing with a ton of shame — parents are extremely high-achieving distinguished academics who never understood why I have trouble motivating. Any advice for dealing with impulse control i.e. avoiding problems and impulsively watching videos etc., especially under stress?

      Much Love, Your story is inspiring to me during dark times.


    • #188643

      Ok my little brother or sister, here are some things to consider. In regard to being impulsive, keep in mind that there are other things that will cause that. For example, for the guys, testosterone. The more your body makes the worse it gets. The older you get the less it makes and that is when it all makes sense. Simply understanding what can cause a problem can be a big help in controlling it. In your case, you might want look for a way to direct your impulses into a positive thing. You sound like you know when this is going on. Try to reverse direction from watching movies to doing some light exercise for a few minutes. Don’t forget to turn off the TV before you start. Refocus on what you need to do and see if that puts you back on track. With ADD, those little people in your head get bored very easily. They will focus on some of the most weirdest things. They might see a colorful leaf on the ground and try to focus on it while you are in the middle of a conversation. The end result is neither gets done well. Don’t get upset, just blame it on the little people. I do, and get over it. The only way to deal with them is to lead them astray by forcing them to do something stupid. Once you stop laughing, keep your eyes on your subject and finish the conversation. It took me a long time to figure that out because I was a lot older before I realized I even had a problem. Oh, and one more thing. Don’t tell people you have little people living in your head. They might think you are crazy. I can get away with it because I am old and don’t care what other people think.

      Hope this helps.

    • #189121

      Really informative post.

    • #189126

      Thanks for this post.
      I have an appointment for assessment in January 😁
      I’m going to read up about the links between dyslexia and add as I often mispronounce long or unusual words and couldn’t cope without spell checker and my mum proof reading my assignments when I was at Uni!!
      I have always managed well academically but struggled with revision and not leaving everything until the last minute (I do this at work too 🙈) also I either remembered things or I didn’t and no matter how hard I tried somethings just wouldn’t stick!!
      It has taken me a long time to understand how I learn and work best, I’m still working on it tbh
      I enjoy your idea of all the little people in your head, I can definitely understand that!!
      I have to have the TV or radio on whilst I’m working to help me focus/concentrate. My colleagues and family don’t understand how I can get work done, I’ve always needed background noise and get bored soooooo quickly if sitting in silence.
      I have spurts of activity, I guess hyper focus and other times where I cannot focus no matter how hard I try!!
      Bit of a rambling reply but I took a lot from your post thanks for sharing 😁

    • #189131

      Thanks for reading my post. Just wanted to throw in a note about ADD. If you have it now, you have had it all your life. For me, I was born in a time where no one new much about this. There is no cure as of yet. You need to develop ways to cope with it. Also, keep in mind that others in your family also may have it or a related condition. For example, being Bi-polar. My mother was bi-polar and never knew it. It was only after she died from this condition that I found enough information on the internet to explain what was causing her deep depression.

      Something else you should know, people with ADD are very creative. This makes them good problem solvers. Sometimes, it pays to give the little people something to do. When they are happy, they leave you alone to get important things done. Now, what do you give them to do ? If you like to listen to music, play the stuff you love to listen to. I play mine really loud sometimes. Learn something new. Not school stuff. Find something that surprises you. Something curios. I do this by reading news articles on the internet or just surfing key words to see what comes up. Sometimes I fact check crap on Facebook just to see if is really true.

      Just Remember. FEED THE LITTLE PEOPLE! They get hungry too.

      Have a great day.

    • #189132

      Thank you
      I have only recently become aware of ADD/ADHD and being diagnosed as an adult. I always had the misconception of the hyperactive side and mainly boys being diagnosed.
      I only began to recognise signs/symptoms since becoming a mature student and qualifying as a social worker however I can see the signs/symptoms have been there throughout my life but I have always ‘masked’ them without realising I was.
      I have family with history of depression but not any other related diagnosis. I was looking into ADHD being linked to head injuries in childhood as I had a head injury as a 4 year old but no follow up the wound healed fine and there was no obvious changes to personality etc.
      Looking forward to my full assessment in January and then I’ll know if it is ADD or something else entirely 😂 but everything points to this at the moment 😊

    • #189133

      This is a story about me to mate. word 4 word!. I am curently unemployed. have been for 14 years dew to my ADHD. I am going to embark on ann ITcourse to chainge the direction of my life. I am an artist, but when I tryed to go freelance and do it as a job!!!!! lol… you know the rest.

      This is is how i spell, my reading is exactly the same as yours. The wayb you described your reading is word for word how it is for me.
      I know I am dyslexic i was dagonosed when i was a kid!. But only just diagnosed with ADHD 3 years ago.

      I am going to do a story of my life too like you have done, I had this idea one week ago. So when I seen your story! Yes, It helped me when i read it and has boosted my motivation to get on and do myown.

      Also, I am trying to desid what part of IT to go into, My frend has offred to put me on a aprentiship. … Well, atleast the online cours part. I wont be actually working witch is not good, as I want the work experiance. But we are thinking of ways around that. Any way I have a one shot at making the right disishion in choosing the corect course… I am thinkinng Inferstructure Techition…. But what do you think? What dose that involve in the most bacic need to doos. I like trouble shooting IT problems from hardwhare to softwhare. I dont want to do a 1-2nd line support role as the wages are minimal and I feel I can do better than that. Networks are something I want to get into… But Math and english is not my strong point as you can see… Any way. Thanx 4 sharing your story. It is good to read about other people who suffer like me.

    • #189137

      Sharing your experience is a great way to help us all learn. Like I have said before, find your ways to cope with your ADD. Understand it when it flares up and don’t be afraid to tell your little people to shut up when needed. For those moments when you have trouble recalling things like names, write it down. It will help. Use your phone to keep notes of important information you may need for later. I worked in IT for 40 years. I was a systems administrator, a data analysis and a network administrator. No, I never went to school for any of this. If I can do all of this without formal education, you can surely do as well with schooling. The key is to pick something you love and don’t ever give up. Having ADD and reading problems will never go away. so I leave you with the Marine credo “IMPROVISE, ADAPT AND OVERCOME.

      And always take a minute to laugh out loud at some of the things your little people come up with.

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