Tired – don't know if it's ADHD or just me

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Tired – don't know if it's ADHD or just me 2018-07-17T00:02:26+00:00

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  • #130888

    caringchaotic
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    Post count: 5

    I am so tired of me. I haven’t been formally diagnosed but I’ve been wondering about ADHD on and off for maybe a year after my ex boyfriend mentioned it. He got fed up of me getting distracted so easily and ‘not making him a priority’ and said I was always going from one tangent to the next. He said other people saw me as scatty and disorganised. He wasn’t the nicest person so I had to break up with him as he tried to stifle my freedom too much.He wanted me to change but I couldn’t.

    Anyway, that’s the first time I thought about it. I’ve always thought there was something wrong with me but not known what. The odd teacher would mention to my parents there was ‘something’ different about me when I was a kid. I’d get told off for daydreaming and not listening but I learnt pretty quickly to look at people when they talk to me even if my head is elsewhere. I went through school not really taking anything in in lessons and feeling really stupid. This horrible physics teacher even said he thought I was ‘thick’ (but other teachers seemed to consider me bright). I would usually take things in for the first time when I ‘revised them’ with mind-maps etc. Before this I didn’t do especially well in school but because I worked so hard to compensate for my shortcomings I ended up getting lots of most improved awards.

    So I’ve been ok academically on the whole and even done well when it’s something I’m interested in even though everything’s usually last minute but socially and functionally in everyday life I have struggled. I’ve always been bad in groups because there’s too much going on to concentrate on one conversation and I tend to make an ass out of myself but luckily my current friends like my excitable adventurous nature even though they think I am quite chaotic. I come across pretty naive about things and everything feels like a steep learning curve. It makes life interesting but exhausting.

    I seem to spend most of my time trying to find lost things – my keys, a hairbrush, tickets, my car, even myself (I have no sense of direction). I’m constantly running late for everything (usually because I didn’t factor in the time required to find the lost stuff). I’m always super busy, rushing around like a headless chicken and over-committing to everything and have friends from all walks of life and spend most weekends sleeping on a different friend’s sofa after another crazy night out (I’ve started to think I might have a drinking problem). My friend told me off recently for ‘leading on’ too many guys on nights out and putting myself in danger but I really wasn’t aware of doing this, I just like talking to lots of different people.

    I’m a 25 year old woman who will randomly climb a tree or a few mountains but for whom dealing with a pile of clutter in her room feels like attempting Everest. I’m due to go into a job involving considerable challenges and responsibility yet struggle to find clothes in my room to put together an outfit in order to even leave the house. So I am terrified that what I have previously done to compensate for my inadequacies won’t work in the world of work and I’ll have to learn a load of new ones or fail and I am exhausted. In the last week I’ve dented my car (for the 5th time this year), I’m far into my overdraft but have managed to get a big parking fine (which cost a lot more as it was overdue because I didn’t open my mail), I failed to order a gown for my graduation ceremony before the deadline and had a few minor issues like not having jewellery to wear for recent formal events because I couldn’t find where it had gone (it’s lucky I don’t have expensive jewellery – really not that kind of person!).

    Sorry this is so long. If you’ve managed to read, do you think I have a problem or is it just me? I’ve thought about going to the doctor to ask about ADHD but I’m scared they’ll just dismiss me as it’s perceived as uncommon in adults and I didn’t get diagnosed as a kid. Or they’ll say I’m depressed or something which I don’t think I am at the moment although I have felt low in the past.

    • This topic was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  caringchaotic.
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    #130958

    Rita C
    Participant
    Post count: 1

    Yes, Dear, you very likely have ADHD. ADHD is a physical and very real disorder, having to do with a difference in the areas of the brain responsible for our “executive functioning”. That includes, in no particular order, your decision-making process (or lack thereof, in my case); your time-sense; your ability to prioritize, like, anything; your ability to dig in and start a new thing and then, separately, your ability to focus in and finish it; your ability to sleep and even to get yourself to bed… and a host of other things. I tell people that I have no filter, in several senses. I say what comes into my mind; I can’t seem to choose what to focus on, what to zero in on, all sounds, in fact, almost all sensory input is front and center in my brain. I can hear the smallest snatch of music, and if I know the words to it, it will be in my head for hours to days. Tags on shirts, itchy underwear, cold feet, and “white noise” are all very distracting to me. I have dry mouth from my medication, and it about makes me crazy on some days, and can actually keep me from being productive. “Trying Harder” and “Having More Willpower” are junk that have nothing to do with anything.

    Women and female children handle their ADHD differently than men and boys. We were less likely in school to act-out, but more likely to stare out the window. We typically came up with coping mechanisms fairly early, like you did, and found a way whereby we could learn new material. In college, for me that meant scribbling my notes and drawing the sketches as quick as I could during lecture, and then at home later, re-writing all my notes into a my other cleaner and more organized notebook. For me, writing puts things into my head better than hearing alone, or reading. (And far better than typing. There’s nothing like a pencil to learn new things!)

    If you want chaos to continue to reign, keep doing what you’re doing! But if you want to improve the abilities I listed, and all the others, then getting your official diagnosis is crucial. See a professional who does testing and mental assessment regularly. Be sure they know ADHD when they see it, that they live in the 21st century where adults really DO have ADHD. Because we don’t “outgrow” it. Because it’s a physical difference in our brains, we can’t outgrow it. We can learn excellent coping mechanisms, though, if we work at it, like you did in school. ADHD is a disability – so your workplace is required to make reasonable accommodation for your style of working. They don’t have to accept a slacker – but if you are able to focus better in a quiet place than a loud one, then you should have at the least a quiet corner to work. If you need noise around you, they should let you work in an open setting. There are many ways to cope, for any given issue that just doens’t otherwise work for you.

    As to medications, they can help your ability to focus, but they don’t fix everything for us. We still need to do the work to find the ways that we can achieve success. Because we CAN succeed, if we can figure out what is not working and replace it with something else that does work.

    Good luck to you! The struggle is real — but we can find ways not to struggle, if we work at it.
    ~ Rita C, Michigan.

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    #130979

    caringchaotic
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    Thank you so much for the reply Rita. All of what you said resonates. I’m sorry for the late reply. Things have been pretty hectic and chaotic recently as I’ve moved to a new area and had lots to sort out. But i am really grateful for you taking the time to write such a good reply.

    I also find handwriting things is the best way of making information go into my brain. I don’t tend to take things in when I’m just told verbally so have to write it down. But yes, if I have to write notes fast, although I can usually get the information down it is usually very messy and disorganised and I should really write it down again neatly and go over it so I take it in but I usually don’t get round to it. Somehow I got through university but I don’t have any proper system for notes. I just have a random assortment of mindmaps and flashcards in different folders so I wouldn’t be able to study from stuff again in a systematic way if I needed to.

    Anyway, you’re right. I think I do need help but I’m not even registered with a doctor as I’m living somewhere new so I need to get around to doing that first. And where I’m living it’s a long process and people don’t tend to believe adults have it. I think I would have to go private but I can’t currently as I’m in a pretty dire financial situation. I don’t think outwardly I look that ADHD as well so I feel like people wouldn’t believe me. I do fidget a lot if I’m bored but often I don’t do things I find boring so I don’t need to fidget that much. Although even if I’m watching a great tv show I do have to have something in my hands to play with like a pebble or blue tack. And as I’m writing this I’m biting the inside of my mouth and my nails.

    I am quite stressed though so need to do something about it. Yesterday I was late to a financial appointment even though I tried really really hard to run on time. I’ve really struggled to sleep at all at the new place I’m living as the curtains let too much light in so I need to sort that out. I’ve had to buy quite a few new things as I left a lot behind at the last place I was living which is really annoying. Everything is a bit of an uphill battle but i like a challenge.

    My work environment is a hospital so I don’t think it’ll be possible to make it quiet but luckily I’m alright with a bit of background noise. Sometimes when it’s quiet you notice small sounds more don’t you? Like at night I’ll not be able to sleep and then become aware that there’s a tiny sound coming from my laptop as it’s still switched on. In a busy environment, sometimes you can cancel out the other sounds a bit when something is really important and demands all your attention. I might be alright.

    I agree you can’t really outgrow it. I’m pretty certain my Dad has it. He’s impossible to have a proper conversation with as he interrupts and talks over you or gets distracted by the dog or something.

    If I do have it though I don’t think it’s all bad. I’m super random and I act like a clown which is great for cheering people up. I’m pretty resourceful (jump through hoops to do things in a quick and less tedious way) and am excitable and encouraging to others. And I’m a Gryffindor 🙂

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