My Forum Comments
I’m an artist as well and can completely relate.
I’m still amazed I managed to get a degree, although I had to do it as a mature student as I dropped out the first time around.
I have many projects I’ve started and never followed through with. I found I could do the work when I was at university because it had to be done. If I didn’t do it, I’d fail. It also helped that I was set briefs.
I struggle now with motivation and procrastination, my problem is actually starting work. So at least you’re getting started, even if you’re not finishing.
The only thing I can suggest is writing a brief, setting yourself a detailed project and a timeframe in which to complete it and stick to it, as if you have a deadline and someone needs it. I’ve seen other people suggesting using briefs from competitions, you don’t have to enter the competition but use it as a way of setting yourself the project and having the deadline, but you don’t have to submit the work if you don’t want to.
Also don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re having a day when you’re just not feeling the work. Take time to do something else and then come back to it. At uni we were encouraged to go to the library and flick through books and magazines for inspiration. Sometimes you just need to give your mind a break and then you can get right back into it.
May 4, 2019 at 7:25 pm in reply to: How long is waiting time for ADHD referral in the UK #115933
I recently got my diagnosis after being referred by my Doctor about a year ago. My referral was in Leeds. I wouldn’t have been able to afford to go private, and I’ve waited this long (I’m 38) so waiting for this, whilst it did seem a long time, what’s one more year! At least I have my diagnosis now.
I did keep ringing the service to check I was on the list, and they’d update me and tell me exactly how many people were in front of me, and how long they’d think it would take.
Good luck, you’ll get there! 🙂
I did okay in school, but I was a massive daydreamer. But because I was creative and loved art, my daydreaminess and struggling with exams and not being very academic was put down to that. I didn’t bounce off walls, I was polite and stayed in my seat. I don’t remember a great deal from childhood either, but I remember that I was never really happy. I always felt different, and that’s carried with me into adulthood.
ADHD presents itself in many different ways and is different in males and females. I recently received an inattentive ADHD diagnosis. When I first started thinking about ADHD it was like a lightbulb going off in my brain. Suddenly everything made sense.
I’m incredibly untidy, but can be amazingly organised at work. I have a million notebooks and organisers, and boxes for everything. But then I don’t put the stuff I need to tidy into the boxes. My things always end up in piles around my room, until they get too much. Then I find them a better, more tidy home, and the process starts again.
I always forget something when I leave the house, and I’m always rushing to be on time. In order for me to get to work on time I will have had to skip breakfast, or put less makeup on. And then I’ll still have to go back for something, or realise I’ve forgotten something when I’m halfway there.
I get bored incredibly easily with mundane tasks, I talk to myself, my brain is never quiet, it’s always thinking, remembering stuff I don’t want to think about and I hate spending long periods of time without mental stimulation. Sometimes at work when we have no customers, and there’s nothing to do I feel like I could rip my hair out it’s so dull. It’s like torture!
I used to think my life was fine, but then I have never pushed myself to achieve as I was always scared of failure. When I got promoted the stress (and a bunch of other stuff to do with nasty work colleagues and a bad manager) meant I had to change stores and take a demotion and reduction in my hours due to being signed off work with stress and anxiety.
I was really impulsive as a teenager and into my twenties, and did some really stupid things that I won’t go into here. Some people wouldn’t even believe that I would do such things.
I always refer to myself as being a mass of contradictions. I’ve always known that my brain wasn’t the same as everyone else’s, and I’m also noticing that I’m drawn to other people who have similar brains to me. My boyfriend and I believe he has ADHD and I’ve also noticed the symptoms in some of my good friends too.
May 4, 2019 at 10:21 am in reply to: Worried I may get misdiagnosed with anxiety after evaluation #115905
When I had my evaluation there was mention of my anxiety, but it’s very common especially in women to have anxiety and depression because of ADHD.
It sounds like the person doing your evaluation doesn’t really understand how ADHD can present in women and girls. I was a quiet child, daydreamy. As long as I did my homework, then everything seemed to be fine. Even though I often struggled to follow the class or understand properly. I think I was quite middle of the road and seemed to do okay. So I didn’t stand out as having any problems.
But throughout my life I’ve struggled with organisation, lateness, procrastination and forgetfulness. But I also went on to get a degree in my late 20’s after originally dropping out of university in my early 20’s. I believe I was able to get the degree because I really really wanted it. Also, it was the only thing I had to concentrate on at the time.
My diagnosis was inattentive ADHD. I can really recommend the book Delivered from Distraction by Edward M Hallowell and John J Ratey. Which is often mentioned a lot when people discuss ADHD. You’ll see from that book that there are many different symptoms in ADHD and that we might not have them all. I often talk about myself as being a mass of contradictions 🙂
I’ve struggled with anxiety and panic attacks my whole life, to a severe level. I recently started CBT therapy and we turned a bit of a corner the other day when my therapist and I made the connection with the fact that it’s possible that my phobia and surrounding anxiety is actually a coping mechanism for my ADHD as it seems to particularly flare-up at times when I’m under a lot of stress.
If it makes you feel any better, I was going to tidy my room (it’s in such a mess), read my book and do some drawing, but I seem to be on these forums reading posts. I did get some washing done though, so that’s something 😀
I understand too!
I only recently received my diagnosis. I’ve realised that a lot of my behaviour over the years can be attributed to ADHD.
For me it was always about the thrill of the chase, which I can now see is the stimulation my ADHD needed. I liked the conquest, but actually when it came down to it, more often than not the sex wasn’t even that good. I became bored with the same people, and relationships never lasted long, but I would still be incredibly hurt if someone didn’t want me, even if I didn’t really want them.
There’s a real shame associated with this behaviour when you’re a woman. If we were men, it wouldn’t even be questioned. But as a woman, we’re not supposed to do this, so we feel bad about it.
I can’t change what I did. But I feel a little better now that I know that actually there was a reason behind it, and my brain was craving something fun and stimulating.
Because we’re different, we’re constantly berating ourselves for not doing what is expected of us. But what is expected are the rules according to a non-ADHD world. I think if we stop being so hard on ourselves and realise that we have limitations, and we can’t help it if we don’t get everything done.
Instead of setting all of these tasks because we think we should be able to get them done, just aim for one or two. The 10,000 steps thing is also a myth that was a Japanese marketing campaign. the 10,000 ideal was plucked out of the air because it sounded good. So that’s one thing you don’t have to worry about 😉
Worrying about not getting everything done, often leads to us not getting ANYTHING done. Which makes us feel worse. Maybe set aside a couple of days a week when you’ll cook a special meal for yourself, so then you don’t feel so bad on the day’s you cheat a little. I always find that lists help me a lot.
But above all, just go easy on yourself.
Yes I agree. Before my ADHD diagnosis I believed there was something wrong with me, why did I always seem to mess up, why did I always get things wrong, or make the wrong decisions, or just generally cause more trouble for myself.
Now with the diagnosis I can see that a lot of what I thought were my ‘choices,’ were actually not and I was moving through life in the way my brain knew how without even realising. I was only messing up in the neurotypical world because I didn’t fit in with it. But in the neurodiverse world my decisions make sense, my reasoning makes sense.
Our limitations and differences shouldn’t be another reason for us to pour scorn on ourselves. We’ve done that for far too long.
This is how my colleague has always been but I was working for the business well before she started. She’s actually quite new to the business and came on as a supervisor. So she’s maybe only been with us a few months.
I work for a small company but within one of their stores so our team is quite small. It’s not possible to limit interactions with anyone, as we all have to work closely together in order to function.
She’s really lovely, I just think sometimes I find her a bit much and quite overwhelming. I suppose it depends what mood I’m in, and how able I am to cope with the intensity of her personality on top of trying to control my own 🙂
Hi LoriR, thanks for the reply.
It’s honestly like she doesn’t even realise she’s interrupting. Even if you carry on talking, most people would realise then and stop talking but she just carries on. It’s as if her brain is on its own thing, or she sort of knows she’s interrupting because she sometimes apologises for it, but then does it repeatedly.
With her being my supervisor it’s sort of hard to say something. I’ve noticed that everyone else is a little uncomfortable with it too, she even talks over the top of our manager. I think everyone is just far too polite to say anything. Also, I feel even if you were to say you needed to finish your point, and I have been quite firm at times with carrying on what I’m saying to get my point across, she still carries on interrupting.
I guess it’s one of those things that I just have to put up with. I just find it a little hard at times.
Before I had to change jobs (another long story 😉 ) and before my diagnosis my boss came to me and said she needed to talk to me as she was having trouble understanding how I organise tasks. She’d noticed that some things weren’t getting done.
She gave me a good idea for organising my time and tasks for the day.
She said to write down all the things I needed to do that day, and then look through them all and work out which one’s really had to be done, and which one’s weren’t a priority. She said to put a letter A next to all the important one’s that had to be done, and a B next to the one’s that needed doing, but didn’t have to be done that day.
I started doing this, and I have to say it really helped. It stopped me from starting a task before I’d finished another, and getting sidetracked by other tasks that actually didn’t need doing.
The ADHD brain does have a massive problem with prioritising and procrastination. I’ve found for the procrastination problems that I shut my phone away in a drawer when I don’t want to keep getting distracted by social media. If I don’t see it, I don’t pick it up. Also the screen time feature has helped a lot with that.
Plus I try and work on rewards for myself. So if there’s something enjoyable I really want to do, but I know it’s not really productive or what I should be doing, like playing a game. I tell myself that I can’t do the enjoyable thing, unless I’ve done all this other stuff first. So I reward myself. Sometimes I find that actually I don’t need the reward, because once I’ve got started with the other stuff I didn’t want to do, I actually just carry on and move onto more jobs. My problem is often with the getting started.
I also always forget when I’ve opened things in the fridge. Because i have food that only I use, and it has to be eaten/drunk within a certain time, when i open it I write on the top the day and date. If I don’t, I can’t actually remember when I’ve opened it, get panicked about something being bad or spoiled and end up throwing it away. It’s because I have difficulty remembering and judging time and day’s, so sometimes it feels like I opened something a week ago, when actually it’s only been two day’s. I keep a Sharpie near the fridge so I remember to write on everything.
That bloody impulse control! 😀
It sounds like you could possibly have it. I recently was diagnosed with inattentive ADHD. I’ve found the Delivered From Distraction book by Edward M Hallowell a really good read. It also mentions how everyone’s symptoms can differ and sometimes our own even change as well. My Dad definitely has it, and it often runs in families.
I’ve seen a change in myself since I was younger. I was very impulsive then, whereas I’ve calmed down a lot as I’ve got older. Also, you learn new coping mechanism’s to try and manage and hide what’s really going on.
My problems and diagnosis came about after an extremely stressful period in my life and also problems at work after being promoted. I’ve never managed to excel at anything, even though people are always telling me how great I am in all the jobs I do, how well I can do them, that I can do them with my eyes closed etc etc but I’ve only ever stayed at entry level, because I was scared of responsibility, and then when I did get more responsibility, I couldn’t cope with it. Also I had some really unfair accusations levelled at me, and staff bullying me too (long story). Usually I get bored of most jobs, and I always put it down to me being creative, but now I know it’s probably a mixture of both and that my creative ADHD brain just cannot stand not having creative stimulation. But then when I have the time to be creative, I can’t motivate myself to do it, and I procrastinate because I’m scared of not being successful. Urgh, it’s all really ridiculous!!!!!! :-/ 🙂
May 5, 2019 at 4:36 pm in reply to: How long is waiting time for ADHD referral in the UK #115944
I went to my GP too and he was really understanding. But I was referred to a specialist Adult ADHD service in Leeds. It has such a long waiting list because there only a really small team, and they have so many people to see.
It sounds like provision for adult ADHD is really lacking. My GP asked me why I wanted a diagnosis and for me it was for a greater understanding of myself and the reasons why I do certain things, and plus it also means that provisions have to be made for me at work. Since my diagnosis I’ve also been getting CBT and I’m starting to realise that the anxiety and panic attacks I’ve been having for years, are a coping mechanism for my ADHD.
As for the label, it definitely helps. It doesn’t mean it has to define you, but it makes things a hell of a lot easier to understand. I used to think I was lazy and stupid, now I know there’s a reason why I struggle with certain parts of life and I can work towards doing something about it, to make my life simpler and easier for myself.
I wonder why people who don’t go through these struggles seem to decide for us how helpful a label would be. Maybe actually we need the label, that we should tell everyone yes I have ADHD. It’s the fact that all these labels, people have decided to hide away mean that we have less understanding of each other and others problems. We need to understand ourselves and each other better and that’s where a diagnosis and labels can help. And whilst there isn’t a ‘cure’ (and I’m not sure I’d want there to be as I kinda like my crazy, creative, whirlwind of a brain), medication can help us manage better. 🙂
I have anxiety and have bouts of depression which they believe is caused by the ADHD.
I have recently started CBT and my therapist believes that the phobia I developed in my early twenties, which is the cause of my anxiety and panic attacks, is a coping mechanism for the ADHD and it seems to be particularly bad at times of high stress in my life.
Have you had an ADHD diagnosis?