ADD and Me

Could it be that I’m not just lazy and forgetful?  I have to admit it would be great if that were true.  I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately about ADD, you know who you are, and it has me very interested.  I think I may actually have it, although I need to set up something with a doctor I guess to find out for sure.  For now I’ve been taking a look around at some websites about ADD, I’m doing this while I should probably be working but oddly I’m having trouble concentrating on work today.  After looking at a handful of sites about ADD one thing is driving me crazy about them.  I don’t think I have ADHD, I’m really not all that hyperactive and I don’t talk a lot, etc, etc, etc.  The thing that is driving me nuts is every time I go to a page that is supposed to be about ADD, I inevitably get there only to see that it’s all about ADHD.  The link will say ADD, but the title will be ADHD and all the content will be ADHD.  Now I understand that they are just different levels of the same thing…….okay, I don’t understand exactly but that’s what I gathered from reading all the stuff I had no real interest in reading.  And now I’ll stop going on about that….

So……..I went to Totally ADD, thanks wolfshades, and snooped around for a bit.  I eventually decided to try their “virtual test” to see if I may have ADD.  I tried to answer as honestly as possible and after finishing half the questions for the first section……I stopped!  I don’t know that I was bored or anything, I just….I don’t know, stopped.  It’s odd because, eventually I did go back to it and started over.  The first question after the one I stopped at, once I got back there, the “doctor” said something about hopefully you’ll finish this test, hahaha.  So it took me two tries to do it, but eventually I did finish it.  I only got 3 out of 6 (or was it out of 9?) on the last part, the restlessness/impulsivity part, so it’s fairly safe to say I don’t have the H in ADHD.  I did manage 8 out of a possible 9 on the first part about Inattention, which means there’s a fairly good chance I may have ADD.  I realize this is no substitute for actually getting tested by a qualified professional but, one step at a time right?

Even though I hit on 8 of the 9 questions for Inattention, it didn’t really feel like me.  I mean some of them were things that just barely had me pressing yes.  Some of it just didn’t seem to fit me right.  So I went around a visited a few more sites and eventually came to one, after my ADD/ADHD frustration, that compared ADD and ADHD.  So, not expecting much I started to read the ADD without Hyperactivity part, doing my best to not look at the ADHD section next to it.  I only got to the first section before I just knew this was feeling more like me.

Under Main Indicators there are things like – Fear, anxiety, slow cognitive thinking, daydreaming, avoidance and procrastination, poor memory retrieval. This was starting to sound more like me but still, something wasn’t right.  Until I read the last line – But the frontal processes are intact so these people rely on logic. Whoa, stop right there!  Oh yeah, this is definitely sounding more like me now.  The poor memory retrieval thing definitely fits me, you can ask me something I know and I will have no answer sometimes.  I know I know it, but while you are asking me I’m just unable to access it.  Five minutes later I’ll probably have no problem coming up with the answer, and all sorts of other information that you didn’t ask about it, but at the time you’re asking its just not there.

Okay, next section now, Impulsiveness has this in it.  Rarely impulsive but can appear so when frustrated. Yeah I wouldn’t consider myself impulsive exactly, but I know I can be, I’d just never thought about it being when I’m frustrated.  I suppose I can see that, although, it could just be because that’s what they are saying too.

Here’s one that I was looking for, Distractibility.  At this point I swear they are just making some of these words up.  This is the primary problem. Oh they don’t know how right they are.  I know this is one of my main problems, I can be distracted by ANYTHING!  I’m talking about having an intriguing and important conversation with you and then I see an ant crawling on the ground *BOOM* , no offense to you but I’m now more interested in what the ant is doing for some strange reason.  This one can really bother people…….I’m not sure why……….okay, I may have some idea why.  The first two reasons listed didn’t really do much for me but, the third one sounds about right.  Due to their own racing or wandering thoughts.  Yep, that sounds pretty accurate to me.

After thinking some more about this, it’s amazing I can drive at all.  I am (IMO) a damn good driver, despite the fact that I can be so easily distracted.  I do my best, which is pretty good, to block out most things when driving such as people talking to me.  I do have a serious issue with reading things while driving but, I’m not sure what to do about that.  One thing that I think makes me able to concentrate so well on driving is the same thing that helps me concentrate on work……music.  Listening to music seems to allow me to concentrate better when it comes to work, driving or even falling asleep.  Hmmmmm.

Okay, next up is Hyperactivity / Restlessness for me.  Due to anxiety, not the ADHD motor issue.  These people are driven and cannot relax.  Daring activities are rare; activities are not for excitement but for relief from constant, wandering, racing thought patterns and anxiety. Yeah, I can definitely buy what they are selling there.  I guess my deep desire to go skydiving counts as my rare daring activity, although to be fair I haven’t actually done it yet, so….

Social Problems is where we are up to now, although I’m not sure I agree with “Problems” exactly.  Shy, withdrawn, immature. Shy and withdrawn, I can accept that.  Immature, I’m gonna have to disagree with for me I think…….at least I don’t feel like I’m immature.  Who knows.  Conversation is difficult because of slow thinking or missed information. Ummmm, I’d like to say I’m not “slow thinking” because….well….I’m a pretty smart guy, although granted I guess I am a little slow at thinking on my feet.  It’s probably true, and yet I feel like I should be insulted by it.  Interrupt because their wandering thoughts will cause them to forget what they want to say. Oh, most definitely that’s me.  I am always interrupting certain people (the ones I’m comfortable with I guess) to tell them something that has absolutely nothing to do with what they are talking about, because I know if I just listen to what they are talking about I will completely forget what I wanted to say.

Communication – these people say little but think a lot. I really wish they would stop reading my mind like that, it’s creepy.  They are afraid to express anger or arouse it in others. I’m not sure I agree with the wording, but I definitely like to avoid anger and confrontation when possible.  Time Sense – Time is poorly planned; being late is common but can be improved with teaching and practice. There is probably nothing more true in this long, drawn out post that I’m writing than this.  Just this weekend I was late for a vet appointment and for our monthly family breakfast, among other things I’m sure.  I am trying to get better at it, and I’d say that I am better than I used to be, although that doesn’t mean I’m any good at it yet.

Impatience – Do not need instant gratification.  These people become impatient only after trying unsuccessfully for a long time at which point they are tired, disheartened and upset. Patience was always something that I have had, and something that, since thinking about ADD, didn’t seem to fit.  I mean, I kind of assumed that to have Attention Deficit Disorder and have lots of patience didn’t make much sense.  They aren’t too things that at first glance you would think went together, looks like I was wrong.  Sensitivity – Shy and fearful of others’ displeasure. Shy, ummmmmm yeah I think we’ve established that already.  A dislike of others’ displeasure…….yeah, as long that doesn’t upset anybody I’ll agree with it.

I’m not going to get into all of them, I know it may seem like I have already but, I will go into a few more, such as Perseveration for example.  A big problem.  These will keep trying too long, burn out and quit. Well I can remember leaving at least one job because I worked myself into the ground until I got to a point where I didn’t want to come up with a solution anymore, so I just quit and moved on.  Not the best way to deal with it but, sometimes you feel like you have no other choice.

Completely off topic, which may in itself be on topic, I just saw them talking about Tim Hortons locations in Kandahar on the news.  I wasn’t really interested in what they were saying but I couldn’t help but smile at the thought of army soldiers in the desert being able to walk into a Tim Hortons, hahaha.

Lying is next up.  Aim to please. If they do lie it is usually only to avoid others anger or disapproval. I’d like to say I don’t lie, wouldn’t everyone, but occasionally I find myself doing it and more often than not it is a small, completely irrelevant lie for just the reasons that they mention.  I realize that it’s stupid, even as I’m doing it but that doesn’t help me not do it sometimes.  This next one doesn’t have much bearing on me, but I thought it was pretty funny.  Criminal Activity – People with ADD make poor criminals because they have slow cognitive speed and do not tend to get away in time.

So, to sum it up, this is the first description of ADD that has me truly believing that I have it.  I have seen parts here and there in other descriptions that made me think I might have it but this one really describes me, the good and bad, pretty well.  Hopefully I haven’t bored anyone to death, although if you have ADD you’ve probably just tuned me out and moved on to something else so you don’t mind.  For those that don’t have ADD that I did bore to no end, now you know how we feel sometimes.    😉

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12 thoughts on “ADD and Me

  1. I am learning more about ADD and ADHD here than I learned in graduate school!

    Keep up the good work…and I wasn’t bored at all!…You will just have to try harder if you want to bore me. 8)

  2. My daughter has ADD, without the hyperactivity, and she has symptoms similar to yours. She’s never been hyperactive, but gets distracted easily. She has taken medication since 8th grade and she continues with it as an adult. In fact, when she was working as a waitress, if she forgot to take her medication in the morning she would call me to bring it to her because she couldn’t remember people’s orders!
    THEN I have a kiddo with ADHD and it is definitely completely different…she is distracted because she is swinging from the curtain rods and jumping on the back of the couch!!!
    Lindsey Petersen
    http://5kidswdisabilities.wordpress.com

    1. Yes I can imagine being a waitress with ADD would be quite the challenge………probably not quite as challenging as dealing with someone who has ADHD and is swinging from the curtain rods though, hahahaha.

      Thanks for stopping by, it’s always nice to meet someone new here. 🙂

  3. I learned a few things here JM!

    Like: “Communication – these people say little but think a lot” – once when my boss sat me down to talk about his assessment of my performance at work he admitted that he thought I just wasn’t engaged or interested in the work at all. He said he noticed that whenever we had team meetings, I often didn’t have much to say. (He was right). But then, he said, near the end of a discussion, I would come up with a summary that blew him away. So he knew I was interested, and listening, but that I chose the big view instead of the nitty gritty details.

    I went to the ADHD workshop (and by the way, there’s another one coming up in June, too – it’s advertised on TotallyADD.com. I’ve purchased my ticket.) and there learned about ADD being a subset of ADHD. Lately I’ve realized that – of course! – there can be an overlap. I mean, I’ve blurted out non-sequitars, which puzzled some of those who were listening. I mean, it made sense to me at the time – but only to me, and no one else. A little embarrassing, that one.

    You know what too though? For the longest time I was convinced I had early early Alzheimers. That one symptom you mentioned – about being not being able to access some word or piece of knowledge I was sure was there. It bugged me for the longest time and even today it’s embarrassing when I’m in a discussion with someone and I have to struggle to find the word I know is there.

    This is great stuff!! Thanks so much for sharing.

    I’m now off to that alternate website. 🙂

    1. I’m impressed that you learned something about ADD from me, ha. Impressed and surprised, although I was surprised by a lot of the things I learned when I was researching it.

      I’ll be checking out that ADHD workshop to find out the details about it. That may be interesting to attend. Any idea how much of it is about the H in ADHD though? I’m finding alot of things seem to focus on that aspect, at least from what I’ve seen so far.

      As for the alzheimers thing, that had crossed my mind once too. For me it can be anything, like somebody asking me what I had for dinner last night…………….at which point I might just make something up rather than say I can’t remember right now and get into the whole thing. I mean, it’s not like I don’t know right? I had somebody ask me how old I was last week………it was a little embarassing, okay more than a little, to take about a minute to think about it and then still have trouble answering. I can laugh about it now but, at the time it’s frustrating. That is one of the ones that bother me the most is not being able to answer simple questions……how do you explain that to somebody that you don’t really know very well?

      1. The conference addresses both camps: the ADHD and the ADD folk. There’s a lot there, really. It was valuable for me the last time I went, and there is very little in the way of “H” in my mental profile. 🙂

        I had a serious short-circuiting problem today when I hosted a teleconference. Embarrassing really – because I couldn’t access some important data that was necessary for the meeting. So frustraiting (as you say). Fortunately I knew these folk and spoke one-on-one with them about it afterward. More along the lines of “this is just how it is with me”. Period. No apologies or anything. It helps.

        I think one guy doesn’t really believe ADD exists. *shrug* Oh well.

        1. I told my girlfriend that I thought I may have ADD after I wrote this…..and she has been *lovingly* picking on me about it ever since then. At least it gave her an idea why when she asks me for something I may completely forget about it 30 seconds later…..it’s not that I’m ignoring her or something, ha.

  4. Let me admit right up front: I don’t have ADD or ADHD and I never quite understood it actually. I tend to get annoyed that these terms get thrown around so easily — mostly with children — and then we find more excuses to medicate. . . with that said, this was an eye opener on so many levels for me, taught me a lot. Thanks for this. . . (and for reminding me!).

    Nadia

    1. After looking at a lot of the ‘symptoms’ of ADD, many of them seem pretty common, so somebody who has just a few (which I imagine a larger majority of people do) shouldn’t be labeled as ADD in my opinion. I think that is one of the problems, is that we (doctors…..society?) are looking to classify people so quickly. “What’s that, he’s having trouble concentrating? He’s a little shy? Well he must have ADD! Just give him this med and he’ll be NORMAL in no time!”.

      Personally I avoid any medication as much as I can, because I like me and I’m not particularly looking to change me to something more “Normal”. That’s just me though and any “problems” I have are pretty manageable for me so, to each their own.

      1. I think you’re absolutely right — I did, just for fun, go the website and take the test. For one, I thought the website was really well done (and fun!). But, my “test” was real easy and I was done within three questions — and I started thinking; Maybe people who answer yes to one or two of these questions might be labeled right away — and you’re right: we medicate immediately. But it was great to learn so much about a subject I never really knew much about but always knew “most” folk had… so again, thanks! (Oh, you and I have so much in common. I don’t take meds either!). 😉

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