Thursday, October 23, 2014

I Get You

I have to say I am blessed to have so many people in my life I can say "get" me... Or at least love me for who I am!


Friday, October 17, 2014

11 Things You Should Never Say to Someone with ADHD

I can say I have heard a few of these... or at least felt like that's what people were thinking...

11 Things You Should Never Say to Someone with ADHD


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

6 Stories On Living with ADHD

Here are a few people who have shared their experiences with living with ADHD...
6 Stories on Living with ADHD

Monday, October 6, 2014

15 Problems All People with ADHD Know To Be True

I saw this on Buzzfeed and thought, "Wait, this isn't normal??"  So yes, welcome to my normal...

Saturday, October 4, 2014

2 posts in 1!! Includes a video!

So, I had hoped to get past day 3 before missing a day... Oops...So, here's 2 posts in 1!!

One of the questions I've been asked a few times is "What was the turning point that made you get tested/help?"  It really started shortly after the holidays when everything was getting back to normal, but for some reason, things weren't for me.  I started finding that it was getting harder to do the things I should do, but without the deadlines of the holidays, I was finding other interesting projects to do.  So rather than doing the dishes piling up, I was online looking at Lego's website writing down all the blue individual bricks you can order, and virtually built my own Tardis that was as close to scale as possible (which turns out to be a 12" tall structure and when you put Lego people inside, they look so small so it's bigger on the inside!). And for those who don't watch Doctor Who, just know I spent a lot of time playing with Legos.  And the more I tried to focus on what I should be doing, the more distracted I got.  I hadn't thought much of it at this time since I've gone through waves like this before, and didn't really think ADD because like many others, I held the stereotypical image of ADHD looking like Dennis the Menace hyped up on sugar stuck constantly in motion, and my sedentary lifestyle didn't reflect that.

One day I was perusing the internet and stumbled across a Buzzfeed video-10 Things Only People with Attention Problems Undetstand (see post below).  So I watched it, and of the 10 things they mentioned, I had almost every single one of those happen to me regularly. And weird little things - I swear my keys had legs and ran around at night playing hide and seek.  Every morning was a hunt for the keys, and I have found them in the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, in the couch cushions, and even in my hockey bag.  I have had days where I get up from where I'm sitting several times in a row.  I have walked in the room and wondered what I was getting, but many people have that one so I didn't put much stock in it.  But when I started realizing just how many of those things I've done, it got me wondering, so back to the internet!  And I found several symptom checklists, and after taking them, every one of them said to go talk to someone (and we believe everything on the internet, right??).  And some of these symptoms were pretty, what seemed to me, irrelevant to ADD like chronically late, difficulty getting to sleep and then up in the morning, "zoning out" when people talk even if it's just a conversation, starting projects and never finishing them, impulsive decision making (how many majors and minors did I plan for? 10, completed 5), can lose interest quickly (how many musical instruments can I play at least a decent song on? 13 and that's counting all percussion as 1 and soprano/alto/tenor saxophones as 1), and sometimes adrenaline seekers (oooh! ice hockey...oooh! demolition derby...oooh! squirrel!  Oh, wait, wrong section).

So after looking into insurance coverage, I found a psychiatrist. I knew that I had tried some coping strategies, and they had gotten me this far, but that if there was something, I wanted the option of medication to help, so that's why I chose someone with a medical background (plus I wanted to make sure that medical conditions would be factored in) and psychology focusing in adult ADD/anxiety/depression (since I didn't know what it was).  While it may sound like I am seeking out drugs, please understand, I am not. I wanted the options available to do what is best for me right now, and to work with a professional to make recommendations and monitor what's going on. 

So long story short, it was a buildup over time, and having problems getting done what needs to be done, and a chance viewing of a Buzzfeed video got me researching and finally convinced me to talk with someone.

And now for the 2nd post in 1... Buzzfeed video time!!

10 Things Only People with ADHD Understand

Thursday, October 2, 2014

What is Inattentive ADD??

So if you read my blog from yesterday, you'll know it's ADD awareness month (go orange!) and heard the term "inattentive ADD".  I'm sure some of you are wondering what that is... so here you go...

Inattentive ADD (as described by Dr. Daniel Amen)
"Primary ADD symptoms plus low energy and motivation, spacey, and internally preoccupied. Type 2 tends to be diagnosed later that than Type 1, if at all. It is more common in girls. These are quiet kids and adults, often labeled as 'lazy', 'unmotivated', or 'not all that smart'."

Common symptoms include:
-Being easily distracted
-Difficulty sustaining attention span for most tasks in play, school, or work
-Trouble listening when others are talking
-Difficulty following through (procrastination) on tasks or instructions
-Difficulty keeping an organized area (room, desk, book bag, filing cabinet, locker, etc.)
-Having trouble with time, for example, frequently late or hurried, tasks take longer than expected, projects or homework are last-minute or turned in late
-Having tendancy to lose things
-Making careless mistakes, poor attention to detail
-Being forgetful
-Daydreaming excessively
-Complaining of being bored
-Appearing apathetic or unmotivated
-Being tired, sluggish, or slow moving
-Appearing spacey or preoccupied

So with Classic ADD (or ADHD) you often see people having problems sitting, constantly fidgeting, blurting things out when it's not their turn, driven by an internal motor that keeps them going, etc. so it's easy to see those outward signs.  As you can see with Inattentive ADD, there aren't as many noticeable signs.

My doctor was the one who recommended looking into Dr. Amen's research for more information and coping strategies besides medication.  You can see more at http://www.amenclinics.com/

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Going Orange!!!

Every month there seems to be something for which people are raising awareness.  April has blue for Autism, October has pink for breast cancer, February has red for heart disease, and so on.  For October, I plan to something different... this October I am going orange...

Orange in October is to raise awareness for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD or often times ADHD).  But I'm not stopping at my profile pic... you see, just over 9 months ago I was diagnosed with inattentive ADD (yes, at age 33).  It's something I've had since I was little, and for various reasons, it was never caught or suggested with seriousness that I talk with a professional about it until this past winter when I could tell something just wasn't right.

So this month, to help raise awareness, each day I plan to post something relating to ADD, whether it's something from my life or something I've read/seen online.  You can also email me or post questions in the comments and I'll address them as well throughout the month.  I know many have knee-jerk reactions and opinions about ADD, and I'm not here to tell anyone they are right or wrong.  I just want to open the door to dialogue, to give a first-hand account of experiences (realizing not everyone has the same experiences), and to raise awareness about ADD.

So I leave this post with my first question to my psychiatrist after she told me I had every symptom of inattentive ADD (which I'll explain on future posts)... "Is this normal, not to be diagnosed until I'm adult?"  Her response was yes.  First off, I'm a girl, and most people are looking for ADD in boys, not usually girls, especially when I was school aged (research has come along since the 80s).  I also don't have the "hyperactive" aspect so it's not like I was always leaving my seat in the room or causing too much of a disturbance that couldn't be explained by being "chatty" or "immature" (late birthday and one of the youngest in my class).  My grades didn't suffer (until college) being that I learned quickly and homework/tests eventually got done, even if they took longer.  And any quirks like chronic lateness, difficulty waking up in the morning, and "zoning out" were also seen in family members so they were brushed off as inherited personality traits.  So each of these signs could easily be explained when they are looked at separately.  But put them together, especially the behavior/school changes in college when I was on my own, and that's how she arrived at the diagnosis (her actual words were "you hit every marker for inattentive ADD" so there was no doubt).

Stop back tomorrow for another post! And feel free to comment/ask questions below (or email me)...