My Forum Comments
It can be hard to take the time for it, but it is incredibly useful. Try taking Headspace 10 minutes every day for a week and see how you feel.
I had heard “meditation is good for you, you should do it!” from so many people, but I need the “why” to be able to care or follow through. This brilliant neuroscientist did so, meditation and science: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La9oLLoI5Rc&
It’s free, doesn’t take that long, and is tremendously helpful for everyone – not just people with ADHD. You reclaim your impulse control and get a few extra seconds to think before getting distracted.
Theanine is another supplement that is quite affordable and helps with anxiety and focus. It calms the mind without making you drowsy. (It’s the active ingredient in green tea)
@Smb – Don’t feel guilty for giving it to your son!
Yes, it can be difficult to live with. I’m still struggling, not gonna lie. But I also feel it’s a superpower too.
Our creative powers are better than most. A lot of entrepeneurs and people in various creative arts has ADHD. And frequent episodes of depression, anxiety and whatnot that comes with it.
It’s nothing to feel bad or ashamed of. We didn’t decide to get it, it’s not our fault, nor our parents. It’s just how it is, and we should all be grateful we didn’t grow up in the 1800’s where it didn’t exist. Then we’d all just be weirdoes. On the other hand, it might not have been a problem without all that stimuli we’re getting in the internet era.
Anyways. It’s a superpower if the context is right. And a dreaded handicap if we try to force ourselves into society’s box. It’s all just BS anyways.
“Do well in school. Get an education. Get a job. Get married, buy a house, and live happily ever after.”
None of it matters. And it doesn’t make most people happy.
Take the required, difficult steps, and carve the path of being true to yourself. And then make it work financially.
Find a job you want to get up for in the morning. Something fulfilling. Create something. Help people.
If you do what drives you from within, that is what you have the potential to get best at. Doing that, you will be your most productive, happy self.
I really believe this is the key for people with ADHD and ADD. Intrinsic motivation. Contemplate a bit, and set a goal for what you want to achieve this year. Break it down into months. Put it up on the fridge so you can see it and feel it every day.
If you do this right, it will excite you to make steps in the right direction more often than not. Because you want to.
Recent studies have even shown that “willpower is a myth” for a lot of people. Willpower means fighting your urges, which takes a lot of energy. Better to avoid it as much as you can and rather do something that doesn’t require that much willpower to succeed.
Ah, that’s good to hear! Seems like you are increasing your understanding of his ADD, and I am sure he will both make steps and appreciate it =)
I was also obsessed with video games. (Still like them, but replaced my addiction for gaming, with music production)
On the other hand, a career in video games is actually possible in the time we live in.
Turning off the internet when he needs to study might help. Then it won’t be a choice/distraction for him, and he will have to do something else. But I would try to talk with him and agree on the times and rules for this so he gets a sense of being listened to. And also, he won’t be able to complain later since he was part of the decision himself.
The fact that he went to the doctor himself is a good sign. Let’s hope the new pills will work better. As for a magic bullet… The pill will rather help him find the right path. He will still need to walk it himself. I am trying out ADD pills for the first time in my life this week, and even though I was hoping I would suddenly get an urge to be productive for a whole day, I still find myself sometimes doing other things. So it obviously needs to be supplemented with some techniques and routines.
As for finding an obsession for him, feel free to send him my way if he is interested in music =)
I have managed to get to a professional/semi-professional level in 2 years or so, way, waaay faster than most people. And I attribute it to replacing my gaming addiction with a kind of music production addiction/obsession.
DOESN’T GIVE A ****: IT IS A LIE – He cares !! he can’t fit in the box he’s expected to so It is easier to do nothing. He’ll suffer through whatever you dish out because he knows there’s another 24 hrs ahead.
Think of how you were feeling when you wrote this post. He feels that way everyday but can’t shake himself out of it. Give yourself a day off and him. That is hard to do but you need a Non-ADD/ADHD day. No Mom wants their kid to go down in flames but if you can get him to see the value in having a few drops of water in his life’s toolbox he’ll be ok. It’s not you (or him) it’s ADD. I wish you luck and joy along the way. ((Hugs))
This. Read this over and over until it sinks in. Not feeling understood and heard over and over is a terrible feeling, for both of you. “he can’t fit in the box he’s expected to so It is easier to do nothing” this is so true. It will probably feel incredibly counter-intuitive, but give him some space. I’m sure he’s feeling a lot of pressure as well, making everything he does harder.
I don’t have time to read everything in this thread, but I’m responding to your original post:
First of all, he has what they call “time optimism” or something. I have that for sure. I very often find myself rushing to make it to an appointment.
People without this usually say things like “just leave 10 minutes earlier” “Then just start earlier” “Take a bus before the one you need to take” etc. BUT, you simply cannot trick your own mind.
If I try to plan ahead and give myself more time than usual, I find that I suddenly have a lot of extra time on my hands. And start doing something else until I’m in a hurry again. It’s a vicious cycle, but it’s hard to fix. I’m pointing this out as you mention he had 1.5 hours to get ready and still wasn’t. Which understandably enough doesn’t make sense to people without ADD or ADHD.
“He was late – I lost it! It is so disrespectful to me, my husband and the professor.”
Let me add that he is probably not trying to be disrespectful at all, and I’m pretty sure he feels bad about it. At least I always do. I hate it with a passion, but it keeps happening still. Over time, this will feed on his self-esteem.
I am also terrible at getting up in the morning, and have a pretty bad insomnia on top. I’m extremely slow in the morning, but fast in the evening.
“Son will not use any of the techniques and is constantly “forgetting” to take medicine.”
Maybe… He gets some side effects from his current medicines? Or what could be the reason for him “forgetting” to take them? Also, are the meds really helping him then? Techniques I can imagine are a bit more hard to get motivated for. He will need some drive and intrinsic motivation to make progress with this. Why does he go to college? Is he studying something he finds interesting? Probably not.
“He was diagnosed with mild depression (doctor says its situational since he failed out) and anxiety.”
Same here. It can make minor things like responding to a text or email feel overwhelming. It paralyzes you, feeds the anxiety, and ends in more depression. Depression messes up your seratonin levels, making you feel less joy, care less, and drains your energy. The combination eats your self-esteem over time if you are unable to fix it.
“We have been told that we have our expectations to high. I am sorry at age 20 you should be able to get yourself up and keep a calendar of events. Truly that is my only expectation – be on time for one day of his life! My only thought now is that it is not ADD, but a serious case of laziness. We have coddled and accommodated him to long.”
You sound like both my dad and my girlfriend. They have zero understanding for mental health issues whatsoever. I completely feel your frustration, but doing the same thing for 8 years with no results also doesn’t sound very smart to me. If you keep telling him he is lazy, he will push you away for sure, it will lower his self-esteem (also happened to me), and he will start thinking that he might actually just be lazy as well. I am just going through this myself. I just recently realized I have ADD. I (am trying) to run my own business, but I have failed to make much progress over time. I set goals, make todo-lists, plan, plan, think, plan, make some steps, fall back, crash, get depression back, more anxiety and rinse and repeat for 2 years. I also started to think I might just be lazy. Maybe I’m not cut out for this. Maybe I should just get a normal job. Maybe I’m not as good as I thought.
Tell him he is lazy over and over, and it’s bound to happen with him as well. He will believe it more and more over time, until there is zero ambitions left in him.
1. Have a proper talk with him about what he wants in life, and how he plans on getting there.
2. Try to make new routines that work. It seems like nothing is working now, so it’s worth a shot.
3. Reward instead of punish. He’s a millenial. And has a depression and anxiety. Punishing him will only make things worse. Try finding a little reward for being on time for a whole week. – Yeah, I know. “I shouldn’t have to do this, he is 20 years old for Christs sake!” Eliminate the “shouldn’t have to do this and that because x”. If he gets motivated by the reward, maybe he will be able to find systems that might work for him, on his own.
4. Consider finding a new career path.
5. Help him find something he gets excited about and loves doing. Possibly something creative.
– I knew I get easily addicted to things. I used to be addicted to playing video games, tried to stop, but ended up getting hooked on making music instead. Better to be addicted to doing something productive, right? I struggle with focusing on boring things, but when making music, I can go in a state of deep focus for hours and hours at a time.
6. Reevaluate the whole situation. You’re spending lots of money on things that aren’t helping. It’s not sustainable. Tell him it’s extremely expensive doing what you are doing, and that you consider stopping with a lot of it since it’s not helping. Ask him what he thinks might help.
Also, look for alternative solutions. Like a life coach or something similar. Because to me, it sounds like he lacks motivation for doing anything.
7. Try a different diet. Have him stay away from sugar and carbs, especially in the morning. I stopped having breakfast, and replaced it with “bulletproof coffee”, and it’s working quite well. On a general note, “fixing” his diet and keeping him away from sugar and carbs, only works if he wants to make progress himself. This applies to the techniques as well. You need to make him want to make progress himself.
P.S. Keep in mind that a lot of entrepeneurs probably have ADD ;o)