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  1. Rzero

    Rzero Senior Member

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    The ADD/ADHD thread

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Rzero, Apr 7, 2019.

    What was I talking about?

    Oh that's right. So I've been meaning to start this thread since I joined the forum six months ago, but I keep forgetting. That one's actually not a joke. Someone said something that reminded me just last night.

    As an aspiring writer with ADD (please forgive my use of the old terminology. For some of us diagnosed decades ago, the original demarcations still make the most sense,) I'm curious to know how some of you feel affected and how you cope. I've found anecdotes and bits of advice hidden deep within in the Mental Health thread as well as unrelated discussions, but much of it is muddled by confusion and misinformation, or buried with no helpful replies.

    Knowing how many of my WF brethren and sistren are permanent members of the distraction club, I wanted to create a place where we could discuss ADD/ADHD and all it's comorbidity buddies, ask questions, support each other, and share our tricks, coping mechanisms, successes and setbacks, particularly, though not necessarily, as they relate to our pursuit of the craft.

    It's worth noting that I am personally of the opinion that the second "D" (disorder) renders almost all attention deficit terminology misnomer. I believe in neuro-diversity and learning differences. If we had a learning "disability", we would struggle to learn. Most of us don't, not when given the proper tools in appropriate learning environments. If you've ever been told there's something terribly wrong with you, you were lied to by an ignorant person. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a disability of any kind, but there is something wrong with labeling perfectly healthy people with a disability. Just my opinion. That being said, life can still be very difficult for a hunter kid in a farmer school, so to speak. So please share.

    "SQUIRREL! What was I saying?
     
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  2. Rzero

    Rzero Senior Member

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    I'll kick us off with my own story. I was diagnosed in 1993 at age thirteen. "Ritalin kids" was less of a whispered term then than it had been in the '80's, but there was still a great deal of stigma surrounding the phenomenon at the time. Maybe there always will be to some degree, but I'm glad to know that it's at least somewhat better understood and less stigmatized than it was in the twenty-first century.

    Now, when I say I was diagnosed, I do not mean that my mom mentioned symptoms to a pediatrician and I was immediately prescribed. I was put through a battery of tests by a diagnostic psychiatrist who specialized in learning "disabilities". I don't tell this part of my journey in order to imply that everyone diagnosed by a pediatrician was misdiagnosed. Far from it. In fact, I believe the average pediatrician these days knows a damned sight more about ADD than they did two to three decades ago. Still, we all know that pills are too often thrown at children with little to no need for them. The difference is, you and I still have it. They don't. There's no "cure." It isn't something one outgrows. It's a evolutionary genetic difference in the makeup of the brain, not a childhood ailment.

    Part of the reason behind seeking extra professional proof was the fact that modifications in the classroom were extremely hard to force at the time, and I needed them. Even with a hard diagnosis though, teachers generally ignored the instructions they were given, or worse, made up their own, like sticking my desk next to theirs and yelling at me if was off task. By age thirteen, I'd already developed terrible habits anyway, many of them indelible, and by high school, I had a very "screw you" attitude toward academia in general.

    I was simultaneously diagnosed with clinical depression, partly as a result of difficulties encountered in an unforgiving environment. Some of you have similar stories, I'm sure. If teachers repeatedly single you out or even bully you in class, as is too often the case, you become a target on the playground as well.

    I coasted through graduation a solid "C" student, acing tests and forgetting (or refusing) to turn in homework. I kept popping the Ritalin and self-medicating with caffeine, nicotine and THC, not that the latter aided in any particular way. After high school, I more or less failed right the hell out of college. It wasn't the environment for me, and there was absolutely no such thing as classroom modifications at a college level in 1999.

    So here I am years later, making my final big effort at kicking off a (late start) writing career. I've been writing for twenty years, off and on, with hundreds of thousands of words on the page across literally dozens of projects, all (not surprisingly) unfinished. I have a new and better plan this time based on actual research (and WF support,) and I'm trucking along at a speed I thought unthinkable for years. I've also finished (first or second draft finished) four short stories and over a hundred pages of my first novel in less than six months with several more shorts well on their way!

    Still, new success and promising progress notwithstanding, I find myself plagued by a myriad of the same old distraction and procrastination related hurdles I've faced everywhere else in my life. I'll cut off my ramblings here and open up the tread, but I'd very much like to know what your unique struggles are and how you've managed to conquer them, if you have. I also believe that there are aspects of my so called disorder that have been of particular benefit to my writing. I'd love to hear your take on that too.
     
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  3. paperbackwriter

    paperbackwriter Banned Contributor

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    My oldest brother said he has ADD. Hes a smart guy but has trouble finishing something. Will give some great insights or left field input but seems to lack the discipline for completion. He could have easily done Uni but there you go. He might go down as the classic " lots of potential but couldnt become single minded enough to succeed." case. Interesting guy though. Possibly has a chip about being a "loser" but a lot of us have that dont we?
     
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  4. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    LOL :superlaugh:
    That one and "... I like pie! Are family favorites! :D

    Seriously, I am bi-polar and severely ADHD. I took beatings and verbal abuse (mostly) just for being odd. I was diagnosed "Hyperactive"(now ADHD) in 1966, which is basically a label that read "Trash - don't bother". I got beaten just for wanting attention. At 5, I was fed Ritalin, a nicotine derivative, until I attained a zombie-like state, just to shut me up so I would be allowed in school. It affected my development in ways I shudder to recall. For perspective, nicotine is rat poison, among other things.
    The big deal with ADD/ADHD and the family of related disabilities, is pre and post processing, where the victim has brain activity too slow or too fast. They may process slowly, and appear inatentive, or speak to something from earlier in the conversation. Or, they may pre-process, taking too little information and responding prematurely or shifting context, or interrupting the conversation, a particularly frustrating symptom for others.
    Ideas come to us out-of-the-blue, as we process everything around us, without filter, similar to autism. The resultant shunning, or abuse, will cause resentment and skewed social development. The blame will be placed firmly at the feet of the victim, and we rarely understand why until the combative and anti-social aspects manifest. I said a lot of "fuck you" to teachers, principals, professors, department chairs, and finally a judge. All, of course, resulting in a turn away from that particular aspect of life. I now interact personally with immediate family only, having no tolerance for the real world's bullshit.
    The upside is, I understand intimately and empathize completely with even the degrees of what you all are going through. :)

    More to say, have I. Meditate upon this, I will.
     
  5. Rzero

    Rzero Senior Member

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    Mine are "SQUIRREL!" and "Ooh, a butterfly!" They're good ADD jokes, but I honestly never see one of either without pointing them out in the middle of other people's sentences. I can't freakin' help it. What if they miss the butterfly!?
    Blurting is a major component for many of us. I feel it's at least partially a learned behavior though. We discover early that if we don't get out that thought, it might disappear before it's our turn. Then, as we get older, we have to turn around and learn to control it, so we don't annoy the crap out of everyone. That's damn hard though. Lack of impulse control is a primary element of ADD/ADHD as it is, and by late childhood, blurting is not only an indelible part of our thought patterns but a deeply ingrained speech habits. I fight it to this day. "When I was twelve... Opps. Sorry. You were in the middle of a story. Please continue."
    I'm currently watching my seven-year-old nephew struggle in the absence of a professional diagnosis. This shit shouldn't happen in 2019. It's been obvious since before he started kindergarten, and now in the second grade, he's in trouble. He's headed straight down the "fuck you, academia and society in general" route that you and I know so well. I want to smack my brother and ex-sister-in-law and tell them all sorts of shit, but I can't even talk to them about it. They've made it very clear that there is to be no discussion on the subject. They don't even want me to talk to my nephew about coping mechanisms. "There's nothing wrong with him!"

    First of all, I didn't say there was something wrong with him. In fact, he's a genius with the soul of an artist. What I said was, he doesn't learn the way other kids learn or thrive under the same conditions, and if you don't change some things in his school environment, these emerging social and behavioral problems are going to grow and solidify until there really is something wrong with him that he'll never get over. He's seven and a half, and he's depressed, for God's sake. Guess where it goes from there. They are brewing the recipe for a suicidal teenager (He's too sensitive to go the juvenile delinquent route, but there will no doubt still be drugs and mayhem along the way as well.)

    While we're at it, screw you for taking such offense to the notion that your son might have what I have. That doesn't make me feel loved and accepted. It seriously pisses off our mom too, who went through so much of the same with me, only she had no way of knowing what was wrong. She must have read twenty books about child psychology and learning "disabilities" before she found answers. God bless her. Watching me go through that stuff was torture for her, and neither of us can understand how they can ignore the symptoms and refuse the vast resources available that thirty years ago didn't exist for the most part.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
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  6. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Supporter Contributor

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    I never want to miss the butterfly. :)
     
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  7. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    My pie senses were tingling.
     
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  8. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    I read too fast. I thought it said "My penises were tingling" LOL
    Do yourpants fit like a glove?
     
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  9. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    Oh, I'm not wearing my pants. TBH, I'm not sure who these belong to.
     
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  10. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    the penises? :D
     
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  11. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    The pants are a size 14, so I don't imagine there were too many penises in them before mine.
     
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  12. Some Guy

    Some Guy Manguage Langler Supporter Contributor

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    :superlaugh:o_O
     
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