Understanding ADHD (lemmy.world)
submitted 2 months ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Hey everyone, I saw a community called ADHD Talk, but it's got no users, so I came here instead.

I like this community because it provides a lot of funny contexts for the difficulties I come across in understanding my diagnosis, and some honest stories from other ADHD people (victims? Possessors?, Space cadets?)

It's also hard because, like some legitimate OCD possessing members that groan at every mild example of specificity, it's hard to filter out the general decrease of attention spans due to technological advances/rapid cuts used in animation from other people trying to understand and live with a diagnosed disorder.

Anyways, hoping I can make some new friends here (which despite being very social in person and 33 years old, I haven't figured out how to make friends online somehow?)

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[-] [email protected] 40 points 2 months ago

ADHD isn't just short attention span. It's the disability of directing attention. This is why ADHD folks can also spend twelve hours straight reading (e.g.) about the history of donuts. It's not that we have little attention. We just can't pick where it goes. And sometimes it goes hard.

[-] [email protected] 13 points 2 months ago

That's very true. I've been down so many rabbit holes by now though that I have started giving up trying to do anything because I feel like as soon as I get good at it I'll lose interest/it's pointless/etc. Thanks for replying and making me feel a little bit seen.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 2 months ago

I call that "chasing the dopamine". Once the dopamine vanishes, it's over.

[-] [email protected] 10 points 2 months ago

It makes it hard to start things knowing it's likely to end in boredom or burnout. I find it helps try to focus on the good things in life, and appreciate that life is a series of menial tasks but joy can still be found around and within despite the seeming monotony.

I sometimes will remind myself that even on my worst days, the life I live is charmed in ways I don't always realize. I saw a note in someone's house once that said, "Remember when you wanted what you now have."

[-] [email protected] 34 points 2 months ago


it's hard to filter out the general decrease of attention spans due to technological advances/rapid cuts used in animation from other people trying to understand and live with a diagnosed disorder.

The thing is, ADHD isn't just about attention span. It is a disorder which affects executive function so in addition to directing and holding mental focus, prioritizing and planning are difficult. Issues with estimating time to do things, managing time, keeping track of time passing, seem to often be involved. Poor short term memory is an issue. Coordination and spatial awareness (bumping into things) can be problems. Social difficulties are common and some lack of self awareness I understand to be issues too. Self motivation (the ability to "just do it") is difficult.

Even in terms of attention it is really more like being unable to consciously control what you focus on. You might hyperfocus on something you shouldn't, to the exclusion of more important things, or you might be able to focus on the thing that's important, or you might have a hard time switching focus between things (especially quickly).

[-] [email protected] 5 points 2 months ago

Wait, ADHD might be why I occasionally bump into walls, too? Does it relate to why I seem unusually prone to biting my cheek/tongue? I think I have ADHD; I went to a psychiatrist last week for an evaluation but forgot to ask at the end of the session if he thinks I have it, but he wants to try me on stimulant medication so I’m assuming that’s a yes.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 2 months ago

Yeah I recall Dr. Barkley or someone saying something about awareness of oneself in space in relation to other things or something like that. I bump into door frames way more often than is normal for no reason whatsoever.

I think I have ADHD; I went to a psychiatrist last week for an evaluation but forgot to ask at the end of the session if he thinks I have it

Not saying you do or don't (not qualified) but... That's got to be one of the most ADHD things I've heard :)

I don't remember if nervous habits are typical (besides, like, bouncing your leg or stuff like that) but I know I have similar quirks.

If they're trying stimulant medication it sounds like a "likely" or at least "maybe"? Best wishes.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 2 months ago

I really appreciate this explaination, it goes past most of what I usually hear about and yet perfectly encapsulates all of the issues I've always had that seemed to get shrugged off by my family.

I even got passed over for a raise today because even though I excel as a service technician with the most positive reviews from customers, my paperwork isn't consistent enough. Clerical stuff just shuts my brain down, even simple paperwork I've filled out hundreds of times before. I'm feeling really down about it and trying to figure out how to work around this spaghetti pile between my ears.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 2 months ago

paperwork isn't consistent enough. Clerical stuff just shuts my brain down,

Tell me about it. I am exactly the same. And I had a boss that relentlessly dogged me about it. Which is what prompted me to go get checked.

Boring tasks are excruciating. Lack of consistency is really common. Because we are so dependent on external or emotional motivation. Even though we know we need to we can't force ourselves to do it or we make mistakes constantly. Even if others struggle to do boring tasks, for us it regularly causes problems like getting passed over for a raise or promotion. Others may get dinged once then buckle down and do better. But the buckle down part of our brain is a weakling :) so even though we know the consequences and we really really want to do the thing.. nothing happens.

There's a lot of emotional ick that goes along with having ADHD and facing boring tasks. I think, pure opinion, that there is a trauma response at play. We remember the awful feeling of being late or rushing at the last minute and associate that with the thing even though we know intellectually it might be easy and take five minutes or something.

You sort of gave to deal with a wall in front of you. Sort of talk or trick yourself into getting started.

Some ideas to try:

Instead of worrying about all the forms, or which is most important, just pick any form and work on it for like 1 minute. You may find this helps you bypass the wall and get started and then you can just kind of keep yourself going.

Another thing is to think of the first 1-3 super easy steps you would need to do to get started.

So instead of "oh shit I have to fill out 59 forms" it is... Ok step one I open web browser. Step 2, I open the forms app. Those are so easy. So why not just y'know do that. Opens app

"But ugh I don't remember all the numbers of all these damned forms SIGH" -- ok stop right there. You don't have to remember ALL of them or think about ALL the work to figure this out. Start small.

Just remember three places you might be able to find one number for one form. Bookmark. Scrap of paper on the desk. Some place in the app I can't remember. Now check each. Once you find the list you sigh from relief. Maybe that was the big blocker, that was the wall. And hell you've gotten this far, why not fill out that first form? Now you're rolling and feeling better.

Being well rested helps. Moderate exercise helps boost my mood and make me energized (as opposed to wiped out the rest of the day lol).

The meds aren't a silver bullet. They don't fix everything completely. You really have to work on these maladaptations with a specialist ideally. I am very glad I decided to spend the first year after diagnosis doing that before getting mediation. I am so, so glad I did. I personally feel it is learning these hacks to be better that are the main thing. The meds just make it a little easier to do that.

I experimented with ways to not forget due dates and appointments and tasks. I settled in on a few things that work ok for me. But it also takes diligence and I've gotten sloppy lately, tbh.

Anyway I told my boss I was seeing a life coach (no fucking way I was going to tell her I have ADHD because hardly anyone understands it and I don't want it held against me by her or anyone else). I worked on things and next review she was really impressed I had taken such steps to improve and I started to get my career back on track. The improvement in my career over the last decade has been dramatic, at least for a guy with ADHD who got a "meh" review and who has always failed to reach his full potential.

It doesn't truly matter how you measure up to others. Focus on comparing yourself to your past self. Are you better than you were? Then give yourself full kudos. Take that W. Those who don't have it don't know how fucking hard it is day in and day out to climb those many walls or deal with the crushed self esteem, anxiety of fucking up (yet again) and so on.

Oh random thought (lol) emotional dysregulation is also a common symptom. Being too enthusiastic, talking too much, easily frustrated and showing it.

That goes along with maybe missing social cues sometimes that people are uncomfortable with what you're doing. It's like the dial is turned to 11. For me, it is mostly on mute (masking my real self) to keep from being "too much" for others.

It is kind of exhausting rarely being able to just enjoy being myself, without judgement. Which is why I greatly prefer to hang out with other oddballs.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 2 months ago

PS: check youtube channel "How to ADHD". Usually some good tips and explanations there.

[-] [email protected] 28 points 2 months ago

I’ve always thought that ADHD is the most poorly named condition I’ve ever seen. It’s borderline offensive. They named the condition after the fact that other people find us annoying, and even then, the name describes a single sign, and is far from all encompassing. It’s like calling Parkinson’s Disease “shaky hand syndrome”.

The group responsible for the DSM needs to get off its ass and do better.

[-] [email protected] 6 points 2 months ago

"I'm afraid the diagnosis is Fuck You You Shaky Bastard Syndrome"

[-] [email protected] 7 points 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago)

They really need to rename it something that actually sounds as serious as it is, like ExecutiveDysfunctionDisorder (EDD) or some shit. My entire life was being played on Legendary difficulty due to no diagnosis until I was in my late fucking 20's, and I was finally given medication and an understanding of all the ways my own shithouse brain has been holding me back.

I'm now slowly catching up on life. It fucking sucks.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 2 months ago

I’m 40 and only just now getting diagnosed!

[-] [email protected] 6 points 2 months ago

To be fair, EDD is far too close to erectile dysfunction disorder.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 2 months ago

Well, I saw someone calling ADHD erectile dysfunction of the mind, so...

[-] [email protected] 3 points 2 months ago

Mad respect, as someone who is trying to understand it better, it's hard breaking down what I thought it was and how limited that is. It really starts with the name itself, I never really considered that.

this post was submitted on 03 Feb 2024
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