My Forum Comments
I don’t even have a smart phone. Hate the information overload of a screen full of apps. 🙂
I’ve never had medication or therapy of any kind, because I can’t afford it. Just saying that while treatment is nice for those who can afford it, it is definitely possible to deal with ADD without it. I wouldn’t push the issue of medication if he’s not interested in taking that approach.December 19, 2017 at 3:16 pm in reply to: ADD and redundant/lengthy explanations drive me crazy! Anyone else? #71181
What I’m finding really interesting is that I have ADD and I get frustrated with a friend who does NOT have ADD because it takes a lot of effort for me to focus on communicating clearly, and she cannot ever let me finish a thought. She finishes it for me, often incorrectly, and then goes on to argue against the point she just made on my behalf. Only, it wasn’t what I was going to say to begin with. By that point, I’ve lost the flow and it’s too much effort to pick up the thread again. She also constantly interrupts by snapping impatiently, “I KNOW that already!” or “You’ve said that before!!” However– like most normal people, she’ll vent about the same work issues over and over — a secretary who’s lazy and seems to delay jobs out of spite, a supervisor who’s always a jerk and makes bad decisions. She would consider it rude if I were to cut her off to say I’ve heard it before. I guess you don’t have to have ADD to have filter issues!
I just came across this link from a google search. It’s not very helpful because everyone is just saying, “I know! That happens to me too!” But it is interesting that it’s on a forum for social anxiety, which does rather point it back to being anxiety related.
My sister once mentioned a friend who, after brain surgery, would just break down crying, but in the middle of it would say, “Don’t worry about this. I’m emotional. It’s just a side effect from my surgery.” I think that was pseudobulbar affect, but it wasn’t connected with conversation at all. It would just happen randomly, the way someone with allergies might suddenly have a sneezing fit.
The best advice I can give is, get outside and walk. So many people with ADD do better outdoors that there was a big move for a time toward teaching ADD kids outdoors whenever possible. I have no choice but to walk a couple of miles a day because I don’t have a car, but even on the weekends, I make sure it happens. Sometimes I’m so exhausted and tuned out that I just want to sit on the sofa and binge-watch Supernatural, and on those days I coax myself out of it by telling myself I’ll just walk across campus (I live near a college) to the Starbucks and get a cup of coffee. Once I get started, half the time I don’t make it to Starbucks because I got distracted by photographing ducks or water drops, or ice crystals, or spotted some raccoons. I just need the excuse to get the ball rolling. Also, I carry a camera constantly. You don’t have to be really into photography or have an expensive camera (mine’s a cheap superzoom). I’ve just found that carrying it makes me look at the world in a different way. I notice things I wouldn’t have noticed before — the way the setting sun makes the campus sprinklers look like they’re scattering gold. Frost crystals on the juniper hedges. Small birds. Sometimes I barely look at the photos later. It’s not about the photos. It’s about taking them.
Also, I find it helps me a lot to be involved in something that makes a difference. Without my snake rescues in the winter it’s harder but there are still little things. Last week I met a homeless guy who I’ve seen many times in the same location, so I spent some time crocheting a couple of warm things for him and putting together a practical care package. When I gave it to him, and told him I’d made some of the things in it, his eyes filled with tears and he said, “But you’ve only met me once!” Seeing how much he appreciated that little gesture… where am I going to find better motivation than that? With ADD, motivation doesn’t come to us readily. We have to go out and look for it.
I’ll check out that book. It sounds interesting! Yes, it would be very cool if Dr. Hallowell weighed in on this! My sister, who teaches Psych says it sounds as if anxiety is triggering the parasympathetic system somehow, but can’t tell me why or how to stop it.
I was also very frustrated with all the things you mentioned and for a very specific reason. Because of my ADD, I lack coordination & especially fine motor coordination. Anything physical from sports to musical instruments started out being fun — until I hit the inevitable wall and everyone else continued to improve, leaving me behind, feeling stupid. I’d avoid pushing him into those areas. However, you mentioned that he’s good in math and science. I’d look into local robotics clubs. He could excel there, without being hampered by motor issues. Also, if he’s good in social studies, he might enjoy getting involved in something like a local political campaign. Having something he excels at and enjoys may make school more bearable for him.
I wouldn’t allow him to refuse to go to school, however. I would have refused to go to school if I could have gotten away with it. There were times when I actually considered suicide because I felt it would be better than going to school.To this day, the sight of a school bus gives me an unpleasant chill. But, as an adult, I’m glad I wasn’t allowed to get away with not going, because the world is a tough place for those of us with ADD, and I don’t think we do kids any favors by letting them think they can use it as an excuse to get out of life’s requirements. As an adult, he’s not going to be able to just not show up for work, or not do the work assigned to him because it’s boring. If he wants to get into a career he enjoys, it probably will require a degree, and that means showing up for classes he doesn’t enjoy, and completing assignments. It’s much harder to learn those lessons as an adult, if we’ve learned as children or teens that because we have ADD we don’t have to do things we don’t want to do.
I have ADD and LOT of trouble sleeping and staying asleep. Recently found a solution that makes a big difference. I turn in early, knowing I won’t sleep immediately, and take a tablet to bed with me. I use the TuneIn app to play audio dramas, Blindy TV or audiobooks. My tablet is a Kindle, so I can also have it read to me. Because I can do this with the screen off, there’s no blue light. I’m lying in the dark with my eyes closed, listening to something that takes my mind off whatever anxiety or racing thoughts I’m experiencing. Lately, instead of being frustrated that I can’t fall asleep, I’ve been annoyed that I fell asleep halfway through the Dimension X episode or the chapter I was listening to. If I wake up in in the night (which I still do), I go back to sleep much more quickly with the same practice. For a 7 year old, you might want to just use a Kindle or Nook and let it read to him in in the dark, since most of the audio dramas aren’t written for children that young.
I don’t know whether this will be helpful, but I’m an adult with ADD, and one thing that’s been consistent in my life is that I’m happiest and most motivated when I’m involved in something that matters in the big picture. Hobbies are great but, for me, usually fleeting. My motivation comes from the satisfaction of doing something that makes a difference. If there’s something your son has an interest in, you might create an opportunity for involvement, even in a small way, based on his existing skills.
I have a friend who, although fully adult, is much like your your son. Nothing ever seemed to motivate him. He’s morbidly obese, because even the threat of death isn’t enough to motivate him to move off the sofa. When I lost my driver for my snake rescue work last year, I got him to go out one night and drive for me. He wasn’t interested, but did it as a favor for me. That night, I picked up a gopher snake who was lying in the middle of the oncoming lane, and I carried him to the car for my friend to see before releasing him. While I released the snake, a car ran through the lane where I’d picked him up, and my friend made the connection — that specific snake, who he’d held in his hands and whose eyes he’d looked into would have been crushed to death by that car if we hadn’t been there. Because of that moment, the man who couldn’t be bothered to move off the sofa is now driving for me seven nights a week during rescue season, and has been gradually modifying his car — adding interior shelves for equipment and specialized lights that make it easier to spot small snakes on the road. Sometimes it just takes the right opportunity at the right time to create motivation.
It’s interesting to see that others with the same issue come from similar backgrounds, where any expression of emotion was forbidden.
Thinking hard about this one, because in most cases, I simply have no choice. “Stay off it” sounds so simple. I even have crutches. But you can’t use crutches and carry things, so if I want to eat, I have to drop the crutches to carry my plate. If I want to feed my feline and chelonid “kids” I have to carry their dishes. If I want clean clothes, I have to carry the laundry. Having a cane or crutches, though, is a reminder for me. I may start to get up and then see the crutches and remember to grab them. I wonder, in your son’s case, though, if another solution might be better. What about talking to the doctor about having him use a walking boot for most or all of the day? That way he can actually walk on it safely. Normally they wouldn’t put you to that expense for less than a fracture, but the doc might consider it under the circumstances. Another possible solution that would be a lot cheaper would be to put something in his sock. That way, he’ll be bothered by that before he lands enough weight on the ankle to do any harm.
I would definitely reconsider the wedding. When anyone says, “I’m about to be married and I’m miserable in the relationship,” it seems clear to me that the two concepts are (or ought to be) mutually exclusive. Making a contract to spend the rest of your life with a man who makes you miserable is not fair to either of you. Once you’re legally married it’s harder — and often quite expensive — to walk away. And, if he loved you enough to make a marriage work, he wouldn’t be treating you the way he is. I have ADD, and no access to treatment, but I don’t go around treating people the way he treats you, because ADD doesn’t mean you’re of less than normal intelligence. He’s an adult, presumably of normal intelligence, which means he’s fully capable of understanding that it’s wrong to treat you that way, but he’s choosing not to be bothered worrying about your feelings. That’s on him… ADD is no excuse, and if he were interested in changing, he’d have taken steps before now.
For me, part of the solution is just keeping in mind that being pleasant with customers — even the ones I hate — is what I get paid for. Basically, I separate my feelings from my actions. I’m free to feel whatever way I want but, when I’m on the job, I’m being paid to behave in a certain way.
A couple of other thoughts that might help you. They’re lessons I had to learn the hard way!
1. The moment you allow someone else to make you react in anger, you’ve given them power over you, and they win. Don’t give them that power.
2. If you don’t like or respect the person, you have no reason to care about their opinion of you. So, there is no reason to feel hurt if they don’t like you, or if they insult you. Their insults are just meaningless noise that they’re making because they’re not strong or mature enough to take charge of their own emotions and behavior. When I have to deal with adults who get verbally aggressive, I see them as toddlers, because from the age of 5 on, humans have the developmental capacity to choose not to act on their emotions. So when I see an adult making a scene to try to change my behavior, they think they’re being intimidating, but in my mind they are simply behaving like a child of 4 years old. A four year old is not intimidating. And I’m not going to have any respect for an adult behaving like a four year old.
Thinking about your difficult customer in this way, might make you more confident in dealing with him, and that may reduce your stress in dealing with him.
Never heard of any connection between pain sensitivity and ADD, but I have ADD and a high capacity for tolerating pain. I don’t generally have the option of getting injuries treated, nor do I have paid sick leave, or a car to get me to work. So, I just figured that having suffered any number of injuries and illnesses without medical care I had just gotten used to dealing with pain. I had a recent leg injury that looked really ugly, but … I have over a mile walk to work and no paid sick leave, so for a week I was walking 2 miles a day on it. Like they said in the old Kung Fu TV series: “Of course it hurts. The trick is not minding.” Finally got to see a doctor in a free clinic. He was shocked when he saw the state of it and said I was probably going to need orthopedic surgery. I didn’t need surgery after all, but apparently my response was way out of proportion to the severity of the injury, and I could have done severe damage by ignoring the pain and continuing to walk on it. So, maybe there is some connection between ADD and high pain tolerance.