My Forum Comments
ADHD occurs on a spectrum do not everyone will experience to the same degree you do. The severity of impact on one’s life from their adhd behaviors can also vary across the life span.
I actually think upwards of 25% of the population could have some level of true adhd but there’s still a lot we don’t know about it. The increase in data and information over the last decade will OF COURSE lead to more people being diagnosed — GOOD! Many of them have probably been struggling up to the point of Dx.
Then there are those whose lives allow them to flourish with adhd and never get a diagnosis so they aren’t counted in the statistics.
Then there are all the varying co-conditions that most of us have at least one of. Combine that with life experiences, access to resources, and levels of social privilege and of course not everyone diagnoses with ADHD will experience it just like you do. Or even similarly to you, sometimes.
So a lot of these things can be remedied by writing them down and keeping your lists with you. I like to keep sticky notes in multiple rooms in my house and in my car and I always have a pen on me so I can write things down as soon as they pop in my head and I can put the sticky note on the cover or inside a notebook that I carry around.
Make a checklist for the day on a sticky note and put it on your bag. Start writing the checklist a day ahead and throughout the day or if it’s mostly the same list every day get custom stickies made with your base list on it and room for extra things. DO THIS FOR GROCERY LIST ALSO.
Fill your water bottle before going to the toilet. Think of the toilet as your reward for filling the bottle. You probably won’t forget to pee between classes.
As for the timer, for me I need to visually see and interact with the time passing to help me not be distracted. I love using hourglass timers for that because they catch me visually when my mind starts to wander and remind me to stay on task and see how much longer I have left. I’m interested in trying a Time Timer as well …we shall see if Santa thinks I was good this year for that.
An expensive suggestion for the calendar thing is something along the lines of an Apple Watch. I love mine bc I tell Siri to put it in my calendar right away. I also use it to set timers and alarms. I can set reminders like “turn off coffee maker” too 🙂
Other things that may help in addition: getting a full and restful night of sleep, drinking enough water, eating enough protein, reducing intake of toxins in foods/skincare/etc (which can cause inflammation in blood-brain barrier), eating foods that support cognitive function, avoiding added sugars and simple carbs, getting more movement into your day even if you’re already active, avoiding marijuana (sorry but the benefits are likely not going to outweigh the issues if you’ve got severe brain fog) and alcohol, getting enough positive social interaction (can increase dopamine!).
Also, stimulant medication if you’re not on it.
Do you take your meds only in the morning? That could be part of it. For me, my meds have mostly worn off by the time I get home and the rebound sets in and I’m very tired so it’s hard to focus on stuff after work. Perhaps talking to your doctor about taking a half dose of an immediate release med an hour or so before you get home would help without impacting your sleep. Just a thought!
First, your son is very lucky that you care and are taking the time to try and find the best ways to help him as best as you can. Kudos to you, mom!
I agree with everyone who has said to talk to your son. Also, sometimes we just need a medication break. For me, after 5-6 months on even the most effective adhd medication, I tend to need a month or two off. I start to not quite feel like me. That was especially true when I started meds and was in the throes of puberty, so keep that in mind in coming years!
Maybe he needs a different med or maybe he needs a break for a month or two. If he does take a break, make sure he understands that he then needs to support his brain in other ways like playing outside, doing creative things, limited sugar/artificial anything, taking vitamins, etc.
Our symptoms ebb and flow throughout our lives so you will do your son a great service in helping him learn many different ways of managing them when they are being problematic (they aren’t always a negative!) — whether that’s time is now or when he is older and perhaps more equipped to self-manage. Good luck to you and him in finding the best solution for today 🙂
September 23, 2019 at 7:20 am in reply to: I can’t concentrate on my job – colleagues constant chat! #128780
This, among related issues with a sit-down-and-focus desk job, led me to use the Americans with Disabilities act to seek out reasonable accomodations from my employer. I am now allowed to work remotely when the project allows for it, and they were required to give me a quiet workspace where I can close the door and be uninterrupted. I don’t always have access to it, but when I have something requiring intense focus now I can plan to use the vacant office. I still hate by job, but it’s way less distracting now and I am more productive, which was the ultimate goal.
Have you heard of chronotypes? Your chronotype is essentially your natural circadian rhythm, as dictated by your body’s hormones that help regulate sleep and energy patters. So, night owl, early bird, etc.
When I was having the most trouble with my insomnia, it turned out my work and life schedule didn’t align well with my chronotype (I’m a super night owl). When I was able to change my work hours, it improved my daily energy and sleep patterns a lot!
Obviously we can’t all just quit our jobs and get a new one or a new schedule, but learning about your chronotype might help you find better ways to work with it and improve your sleep and energy without having to take more medication.
Here’s a video that explains it well: https://youtu.be/wY51Sfh55mg
September 16, 2019 at 12:02 pm in reply to: High Calorie small quantity school lunch ideas, please #127729
I am similar even as an adult. Sometimes I have such an aversion to a certain food (randomly, my body will just say no!) that I can’t even force myself to swallow it! I started pre-making a bunch of fruit/veggie smoothies with avocado or coconut oil and protein powder in them and then put them in the reusable babyfood squeeze pouches in the freezer. They are small enough to be able to eat it all in one sitting and give me enough protein and fat to keep me going til dinner, when a meal is for some reason more manageable for me.
FWIW I think for me sometimes my daily tasks at work are so overwhelming that taking time to eat and be present overwhelms me more because I can’t be in my head processing my day. Not sure if your child may be feeling similar, but perhaps worth exploring if only lunch is the hard meal.
Hi! I’ve struggled with racing thoughts and random insomnia since I was a teen and I am now 35. Keeping in mind that everyone is different, what has helped me the most is: NO SCREENS after 9pm or wearing blue-blocker glasses at night if I just HAVE to watch tv or be online. I also started using them during the day at work when I’m on the computer.
I also do a 10-15 min bedtime yoga most nights, I just search for videos on YouTube. This helps me chill my mind out and connect it with my body.
If I’m still restless or anxious — what usually triggers my insomnia — I will take .25ml of a high quality, certified/tested CBD tincture.
These are the things that help me. Hopefully some of the suggestions everyone has given will help you. Good luck!
This, among other adhd-related issues that cause my work performance and mental health to suffer, is why I have begun the process of filing for ADA accommodations, which include flexible start time within 30 minute window, flexible schedule so I am not stuck doing hours on end of boring work I can’t focus on, etc.
It’s not been easy, for sure, but having my employer understand that I literally can’t help it and it is a genuine neurological “disorder” has helped reframe the way they look at why I do certain things they view as “problematic” which has in turn helped them recognize my good performance.
No surprise, having my accommodations in place has made me way more productive and efficient at work, plus has helped me feel more valued which improves my confidence.
Yes, I so agree about the physical handling for help! I do something similar for my own meds — I put the bottle upside down when I’ve taken it in the morning, then every night when I lay out my notebook and work bag for the morning, I turn the bottle right side up and place it on top of the notebook so I know for a fact it’s ready for the next day. Wish I’d thought to do that like 2p years ago!
Following because I’d love tips on this too! I’m the same way — all gung-ho for a few days then something happens and I skip a day or don’t do it perfectly and it all falls apart and I can’t get a groove back.
The most useful advice I’ve gotten around this is regarding self-care in general. A friend who is also a life coach told me it doesn’t matter if I do the same thing every day (work out, eat clean, whatever habit) so much as it matters that I make the conscious effort to do kind things for myself every day. It took a lot of pressure off me about sticking to new habits but it didn’t help me actually stick to any consistently!
Oooh I love the idea of talking through tasks as you complete them to remember!!
Also I agree about spending on a coffee maker with auto shutoff. To me it is *always* worth saving up for the item that makes my life easier. I have timers on several lights in the house that I used to forget to turn off all the time.
And for keys and wallet a command hook by any main entrance doors or a basket as soon as you walk in is a great location to make a habit of putting those things in one spot.
November 20, 2019 at 8:42 am in reply to: I went from a service industry job to a desk job! HELP #134921
Okay, your reply gives me SO MUCH RELIEF! I’ve been at my desk job 2 years. I make ridiculous money for not having a degree…I finally have health insurance and paid time off…all the things I thought I wanted when I left the restaurants. BUT IM MISERABLE!! I’m not physically, intellectually, or socially stimulated. Plus I feel extra alienated being around neurotypical people who don’t ever seem to understand me. Restaurant folks are just a different breed. My partner is worried about me going back, constantly reminding me of what I didn’t like about my old jobs but I keep trying to explain that I just really thought the grass was greener. It’s not. I need insurance I guess but all I use it for is mental health support that I didn’t need when I had a job I liked.
Ha — I didn’t even see your comment about a med holiday, but I had a similar sentiment. I like your idea of journaling the observable differences. Sometimes I need a med break to both reduce tolerance but also to remember what my brain feels like without it and how it can help/change how I act, think, and feel.
September 24, 2019 at 7:53 am in reply to: I can’t concentrate on my job – colleagues constant chat! #128930
Thanks to HIPAA you do not have to disclose what your disability is to qualify for accommodations. The ADA does not list specific disabilities; rather, it defines “disability” and your medical team will report what symptoms need accommodating. For example, mine listed poor working memory and that as an accommodation, I need my tasks and deadlines in writing instead of just being verballed to me randomly. And executive function dysregulation which requires access to a private, quiet workspace.
Any workplace where disclosing your disability is a “slippery slope” is in violation of the law. Just because we have ADHD doesn’t mean we don’t have rights to a happy and healthy — and non-discriminatory – workplace. 🙂