My Forum Comments
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!
In the 20 years since my diagnosis I have tried just about every adhd drug except concerta/Ritalin and I can tell you one thing: every medication affects everyone differently, even at different times in our lives. This is in part because other things besides meds have an impact on our neurotransmitters, like exercise, stress, protein intake, etc.
Unfortunately, finding the right medication or combination of medications is trial and error. And medication is not a cure-all for adhd symptoms. You may do better to think of it as a step ladder to help you reach and use the other tools in your adhd toolkit.
There’s a great YouTube video from How To ADHD called “Climbing the Wall of Awful” that you might find really helpful. It talks about *why* it’s so hard to get started sometimes (hint:overwhelm!) but also how to get past the wall and actually get started.
For me, if it’s overwhelm from too many tasks, I just pick one thing and dive in, even if it isn’t really the “beginning” of the task. Just anything to get started is better than mulling over what to start on and how.
Good luck on your medication journey and remember that it can be a long time til you find what works, but that doesn’t mean nothing will or that all meds are bad!
June 10, 2019 at 10:04 am in reply to: Seriously how do you meditate with a brain that never stops?! #119277
I echo the active meditation stuff. For me it is walking or, even better, roller skating.
Tibetan singing bowls are cool for some less active meditation that still allows you to “fidget” too.
Firstly, there’s nothing I will say that hasn’t been said.
My emotional flare ups have been THE HARDEST symptom to manage in my 20 year diagnosis. Medication is essential for me, but it is not the only thing. I need a combination of meds, the right therapist, and the right LIFESTYLE to keep my emotional responses under control.
Even with a great therapist, psychiatrist, and meds, I still have problems right now because everything else in my life is stressful (too much desk time at work, buying a house, etc).
I try to be aware of this and tell my partner when I need to be alone or need a break from a conversation because I feel myself getting heated. Try and come up with a signal to pause a conversation or argument that EITHER of you can use as a “time out” signal to walk away and regroup. Have the other person write down their talking points so that you can finish the conversation at a better time.
When she is getting explosive she should make sure she has: eaten recently (quality protein especially), slept enough, gone outside for a short walk, etc and if not, try to find a way to encourage her to do that. I know if she’s already in exploding mode it will be hard and she will probably feel offended by your suggestions so try to talk them out when you guys aren’t in a heated moment and plan ahead.
If your wife is in therapy and on meds already, you two should evaluate their efficacy together and also look at lifestyle things that may be increasing her ADHD overwhelm and prohibiting her from better examining and managing her outbursts.
Best of luck to both of you. She probably feels a ton of guilt and anger towards herself for behaving this way, so do remember her anger is likely coming from somewhere internal.
I would see if there’s some kind of program that links the phone to your work computer to give you a visual cue that the phone is ringing. I had to share a cube with someone who has Tourette’s with really bad, regular outbursts. I got noise cancelling headphones and moved my phone to be right under my monitor so I could see the light flash when my phone rang. Good luck!
March 2, 2019 at 4:39 pm in reply to: I can't remember any of the useful ADD strategies I've read about #110252
Write them down as you read them in addition to highlighting them. Even if it’s just writing down keywords to jog your memory. Maybe a note pad or even just putting a post-it on your kindle screen so you don’t interrupt the flow of reading would help. Then you could write it down again in a master list of tips. Writing it willl also aid in remembering. Good luck!
Firstly, I’m sorry you’re feeling this way and you’re not alone. I’ve felt like this many times. One thing I’ve been doing in the last year is not calling it ADHD. People assume that means I am just hyper and also on “legal meth” which is just wrong. Instead, if I feel the need to explain my symptoms I simply say “I have a neurological disorder and it makes it difficult for me to remember things/think clearly in distracting situations/regulate my emotions/whatever the symptom I’m struggling with is. Once I have explained that some ppl will pry more and I will tell then I have adhd. That seems to ALWAYS lead to more curious questions on their end. They are always surprised at how ADHD affects me in so many ways and it becomes an empowering moment for me.
That’s my personal choice and everyone needs to decide for themselves if disclosing is appropriate but for me, it always makes me feel better. If someone chooses not to understand, especially if I call it a neurological disorder, then I assume they are uncompassionate twats.
January 20, 2019 at 11:15 am in reply to: What would you do with all these half read self help organising books? #107123
Get rid of them! Decluttering is the ultimate self-help act for an ADHD brain. Do you see the the irony of keeping a pile of self-help books that you aren’t even using to help yourself? If they have useful bits, take a photo of those pages and print them out into a collage or sell your books to a consignment book store and get the kindle versions.
I too had a pile of half-read and underutilized self help books once. When I did a massive stuff-purge, they went with it and I never looked back. It felt way better to just have fewer things than it did to pretend I was going to read all those books.
January 4, 2019 at 8:08 am in reply to: How do you prioritse all the things you need to get done when all seem important #106169
I love using the Eisenhower Matrix to help prioritize when I have a ton of stuff to do (and a little time to write down my prioritization).
There is a helpful site I found about it here: https://www.developgoodhabits.com/eisenhower-matrix/
Basically, you categorize your tasks as urgent or not urgent, and important or not important. Tasks/items that are both urgent and important get done first; items that are important but *not* urgent, you plan for at a different time (in the near future); urgent but not important tasks you are supposed to delegate (hard to do when you’re home alone, so maybe alternate these with the important/urgent?); lastly, the not urgent and unimportant items you just say no to.
This isn’t a perfect system but I’ve found it really helpful when I’m feeling overwhelmed!
I’m sorry to hear you went through that. As a survivor of abuse myself, I can completely empathize.
As an ADHDer, I can say that while it isn’t an excuse, sometimes we literally have ZERO CONTROL over our reactions and to anyone reading this PLEASE understand that means that we need HELP. we are not monsters, we are people with a neurological disorder. Sometimes outburst of rage are a SYMPTOM of this and it CAN be fixed.
Just like people with Alzheimer’s or ASD can become physically violent as a result of the impacts on and functions of their brains, emotionally charged outbursts from ADHDers can be a result of ours.
Abuse is never okay and ADHD isn’t an excuse. But we aren’t monsters. We are people with a medical condition who are already regularly treated by the whole world like all the “bad” things we do — like forgetting, getting distracted, talking out of turn — are intentional. We are people who, without the proper medical care and social support, are prone to depression and anxiety and rarely feel understood.
I’m not asking anyone to forgive or excuse their abusers, but I’m asking you to please recognize that there can be serious negative impacts as a result of having a Lifelong “problem” with your BRAIN, especially if you’ve gone most of your life undiagnosed and to please recognize that we aren’t evil. We aren’t monsters. And a lot of time we really, truly can not control our emotions.
Like at all. Like it’s as if we were 5 years old. And it feels that way to us too.
Can you even imagine what that’s like?
I’m not asking you to forgive your abuser. I’m asking you to have compassion for people with brain issues.
I just want to say your post is amazing! I hope that your partner can see, if not now, one day, how lucky he is that you are willing to keep at it gaining information and looking for answers. I know your kids will benefit greatly from it. I want to thank you for them as someone who knows how much it helps to have someone like you around and the sacrifices you make to do so.
I’m not saying that this kind of behavior isn’t abusive but absolutely can be directly caused by adhd. Because so many of us lack any sense of control over our own emotions, thoughts, and actions, unchecked adhd especially can be expressed through controlling behavior. That doesn’t make the behavior right, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t directly a result of adhd either.
Hi Dianne and welcome! It’s great that you want to understand your friend better and improve your friendship! First, if she says she needs space then you need to respect that and give it to her. She may not know for how long and if you want to help your friend an your friendship, you need to try and accept that.
Second, you mention that your OCPD adds to the stress for her. My boyfriend also has OCPD and, like you, asks a lot of questions in an earnest effort to understand. The problem is that his OCPD leads to *obsessive* questioning that feels like an interrogation. His need for perfectionism and his staunch view that his well-calculated way is the best way quite often lead to me feeling like he is forcing his way or opinion or questions down my throat. And any time I answer a question he ALWAYS has an opinion about it or some suggestion to make it better. He is trying to help but it makes me feel like he can’t just let me be me sometimes.
Now, he doesn’t mean it that way but I take it that way. And because I have ADHD, I have Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria, a hallmark symptom present in almost all ADHDers, that makes me feel rejected by him for what I see as him telling me I am not good enough or my way isn’t good enough. And I feel emotions extra strongly so it can be crushing.
How do we get through navigating each other’s idiosyncracies? Space. Mental AND physical space. And when we do not give the relationship enough space, our dueling “neurosis” combust and we have emotional arguments.
When your friend is ready to catch up, try and be supportive and try to be mindful not to ask too many questions. Instead, make your questions more meaningful. For example, instead of asking a bunch of logistical questions about her vacation (how’d you get there? Where did you stay? What did you do?) you could ask something like “do you feel more relaxed from your trip? What was your favorite moment or event?” Etc. Does that make sense?
You need to find a compromise on communication style, too. If she doesn’t like to talk on the phone, you can’t make her. Maybe you schedule a phone call once a week and text the rest of the time or something like that, but be congnizant if her boundaries (as well, she should be cognizant of yours).
I think you’ll find a lot of useful resources on this site that help explain what ADHD feels like and the ways it can negatively (AND POSITIVELY!) impact our lives.