I didn't realize how many problems ADHD was causing me

I’m 41 and was suspected of having an attention deficit disorder as early as 14, but it never seemed to be diagnosed as my main issue. Over the years I developed anxiety, depression, and insomnia, and was treated for each. After a lot of trial and error with medication, it wasn’t until my late 30s that I was finally able to understand that ADHD was my primary diagnosis. It was causing severe anxiety, and my anxiety was causing the depression and insomnia. I am currently taking a sleep med, an anxiety med, and dexedrine for the ADHD. That seems to keep me balanced and focused most of the time, but the pandemic has really kicked a lot of those issues - especially anxiety - into overdrive. But the source always seems to be my overactive mind. “If I could just quiet my brain…” is something I’ve said probably thousands of times in my life. I can’t wait for this awful situation to be over, so I can start feeling like myself again.

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First things first . . . WELCOME here . . . Methinks you will not be disappointed! :sunglasses:

I’ve felt the same for many years . . . for as long as I can remember. My sister’s husband was an obsessive’s obsessive . . . And yet when we worked together on settling a number of technical, legal matters concerning my mom’s estate (after her death) I raised all sorts of questions . . . And he said to me (more than once): “You ask questions that I have never even thought of . . .”

When thinking about some present and, more to the point, some future unknown, unlikely calamity . . . My brain can easily go into overdrive. And when it does, my anxiety easily soars. Once that happens it is near impossible for me to calm down. It’s like Prozac and Wellbutrin helps. Exercise that gets my heart rate into the “target zone” helps too.

So I understand. And others here certainly do as well I’m sure!

But again, WELCOME and stick around . . .

C ya L8tr!

:sunglasses:

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People tell me this all the time! I also keep hearing that I put together connections nobody else would, especially when I’m trying to solve a problem with others or come up with constructive solutions. I really enjoy that about myself, but it’s also a double-edged sword because I always take a different route to get to the same place as everyone else, and that can cause problems with communication.

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Yes, ADHD is a great coat-hook onto which I (finally!) was able to hang a LOT of my problematic (or merely a-typical) behaviors. Anger at referees during high school sports; procrastination of big projects, until the last moment, but then excellent performance on them; bad grades on projects that I did NOT procrastinate on, when I did everything by the book I got punished for it; keeping girlfriends and jobs for no more than eighteen months, then getting stir-crazy, but really not having any fear of commitment, just not knowing that I was losing interest; getting advanced degrees aplenty but never making any money because I would rather be going to school than working a job; having eccentric friends and tolerating oddball opinions, finding a worthwhile grain of truth in any lunatic approach to life; half-mastering seventeen different musical instruments; being able to explain anything, as long as I’m enthusiastic about it, and then being asked regularly to please stop explaining things that I’m enthusiastic about, because other people aren’t as interested as I am (why not? but I thought … oh i see ne’min’ …); etc. etc… Funny how all these seemingly unrelated things hang together into one diagnosis. If only I’d known sooner …

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Welcome to the community!

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Another trait that I share with you, and suspect is the same for many other “brains” here . . . In my case it is the driving force behind my puns. The “connections” come to me in a flash . . . As does my broadcasting of them!

Even without puns, I will chime into / interrupt a conversation, to make a remark or ask a question that (to others) seems unconnected to the subject at hand . . . But not to me. Many times, my adult daughter has said . . . “Dad, what does that have to do with what we’re talking about?”

I’ve stopped trying to explain where I see connections and just let it go. But, truth be told, it is frustrating when others don’t see the connection. My “logic” is certainly understandable and makes sense to me!

So goes the chasm between neurotypicals and brains . . . :sunglasses:

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Yup, I’m the same way… I can’t tell you the hours I’ve lost pacing around or mindlessly staring out the window as I try to keep up w/ my own head. I think people tend to underestimate just how loud it can get!

I think this post sums it up best :joy:

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Hi, brains!
My name is David. I’m a 22 year old university student. I live in São Paulo, Brazil, and I recently got diagnosed with ADHD (and still am in the process of finding out if I’m on the spectrum, which really explains a lot).
I can’t tell you how much of a relief it is to realize my problemas weren’t because of my lack of responsability or “will power”.
I just wanted to say hi and talk to people who know what it feels like to have these conditions, and help other people in the process <3
Nice to meet you all!

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Welcome, Davis! I’ve only been here a month or so at this point, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the positivity of everyone and all the times I realize how common some of my idiosyncracies are.
– John

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[I know this is diverging from the original topic, but isn’t that something we do well?]

Of course, 9+7=16, (9-1)+(7+1)=16, and (9+1)+(7-1)=16. And 9+(7+2)-2=2*9-2=16, etc. Life would be boring if we only saw one way to solve a problem.

When I used to do tons of software engineer interviews, I always loved it when a candidate approached a problem in a way I had never considered. I loved it even more when that approach worked (rarely) or they realized it didn’t.

When I was interviewed once, a recruiter passed along some feedback from an interviewer that she had never had anyone else come up with my approach to solving a problem. In cases like that, you just have to hope the other person is open minded to different perspectives. And in any case, try to take pleasure in your unique approaches to problems.

– John

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But if we all took the same path, we would never come up with new solutions to the problems of the world! The path we choose may not always get us to our destination, but it is that diversity of perspectives that helps us, as a whole, get to better solutions. “Problems with communication” are worth that. Celebrate and appreciate these unique paths.
– John

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I previously posted this:

Reminds me when in undergrad, as required, I took one math class of my choosing. Since at the time, I was thinking of becoming a chemistry major, I took calculus. What a mistake! Then again what a nice thing to discover an understanding Professor who, while maybe not understanding ADHD, he was able to recognize my struggle. On tests, sometimes I got the right answer and more times than not (well you know). He said more than once to me, “Barry, I have never seen the problem worked out quite this way! very creative.”

And though by all standards I should’ve gotten a failing grade in the course . . . he gave me a “C” . . . which I figured was for “Creativity”!

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That is interesting. Because COVID has had the opposite effect for me. I am really enjoying working at home, but it makes some of my symptoms worse (but no one can see). I am afraid I am going to develop a mild agoraphobia, going to a grocery store makes me anxious and angry now.

I am about to leave my current job, and find a different one that is completely remote (for lots of reasons).

I have an interview (via Zoom) in 40 minutes for a job that would involve managing other people. This adds a whole new level of anxiety for me (my biggest problems are related to highly technical job working on multiple projects at the same time).

I have fought a lot with depression too. I am beginning to realize that my depression mostly comes out of being exhausted try to battle ADHD without the appropriate tools.

Reading about other people’s struggles is very helpful. Thank you for posting!

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This is my go to cut for such problems, I like working with 10s :grin:

Also, welcome newcomers :raising_hand_man::grin:

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I think part of this, as far as I’ve witnessed at least, is subject to both the job tasks and stability of the home environment.

If your home is relatively organised and your co-inhabiters, if any, are relatively quiet/not distracting or if you’re able to retreat to your own room/ area.
And if your tasks are predominantly dealing with matters that need immediate attention.
I feel it would be perfect, as you could utilize your own down time more effectively and set up your environment to very specifically cater to you personally.

On the flip side, a lot of these aspects may not be the case and the demand on the executive function may be severely increased, often partly due to a businesses lack of tools and strategies to cater to working remotely.

That’s just my understanding though.

Hope your interview went well by the way!

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I had no idea this was at all related to adhd, I always round numbers before doing math than subtract the rest (the not round part) so it’s easier to do it in my head, that’s so cool and weird… :rofl:

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@Davis

Olá BR o/

Seja bem vindo!!! :smile:

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I enjoy the math games going on here, and indeed I too play at "9 is a hungry bitch and takes one from " etc. … in fact, it seems to me, that the supposed ADHD-style arithmetic is MORE like what a real mathematician would do, than the boring ol’ normal arithmetic. If you just memorize addition tables and spit them back, you’re a technician. If you understand them, and can wheedle and whangle them all around in your mind to the point that they MEAN SOMETHING, you’re a mathematician. Or so’s my theory. I’m a big fan of Number Theory and wish I had had a chance to study more of it when I was taking college-level math. My take on 9 + 7 would involve modular arithmetic on the multiples of 3 … so I’d probably get 22 as the sum … or 25 maybe … har har …

Actually, rethinking … maybe one of the most important points about these math games is the “not like that, you heathen” comment made by “someone, usually a teacher.” The demand that we think “like” one method, and “not like” another method, is perhaps the most invasive and destructive thing that standard society does to us, to ADHDers and to any other citizen as well. Requiring not only that we come up with the right answer (generally a valid requirement) but also that we do so by means of a technique which the authority figure is USED TO observing (an entirely stupid requirement) rubs ADHDers the wrong way more than most (attacks us at our most sensitive points), though it also rubs neurotypicals the wrong way as well, I suspect. I recall one Latin teacher who didn’t want me to know what I already did know because she was going to teach things in a different order from how I had already learned them, so I got worse grades for knowing stuff. What is it about the authority figures, people so insecure that any departure from a method they are FAMILIAR WITH would cause them to think it stupid or inept, not brilliant or at least useful and interesting? Why this need for familiarity, for “USED TO IT - ness” , the old bugaboo …

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You got on an important subject, teaching a bunch of different people at the same time is really complex, rarely everyone is on the same boat and is kind of hard to address everyone needs without blowing your class time, so usually the teachers tend focus on the middle ground and leave the extremes (because the really good don’t need their help and the too bad are just too bad) fending by themselves, ideally this is not a soooo baaaad situation (if the school is half decent they will address the bad students and try to at least access why he is having trouble learning) the situation gets messy when some teachers create some sort of ideal of student in their heads and try to pushes that to their students and punish any one that not conforms with the model (the wall, anyone?). That is really bad behavior and can cripple severely their students (adhd or not) if they are too atypical for the teacher to accept it as “normal”.

About getting the right answer in the right way (even if your way is right), can be split in some different cases, one is that he is trying to teach the methodology to solve a problem and even if another valid solution solves the problem in a valid way that methodology was not used, in this case some explaining can go a long way and absolutely the acknowledgment that the student answer is valid if fundamental. Another case that was too far common in my few months of teaching was that there were some “teachers” that really weren’t very knowledgeable about their topics and if some student managed to make then feel stupid (by asking some clever/too hard question, or answering something in a clever out of the box solution) they would feel bad and usually punish the student in someway, because in this mini dictatorship that classroom is for them, they are the only knowers of the truth and no one ever will be as smart correct or knowledgeable as they are, even when they are not… silly ego stuff really…

I guess it’s already hard to adapt to a world were you are supposed to be part of some standard or another, people ho defy this standard already have a hard time fitting somewhat in the borderline of the society for their choice of being alternative, literally marginalized, people with adhd don’t have really much of a choice, and besides of the fact that some of our traits can be really be welcome in some places/cases, it doesn’t make the world any less hostile or any less hard to us to live on it.

I think this got a bit too much of philosophical rant already so I better stop here… :rofl:

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OK, since I posted about interviewing a month ago, I thought now might be a good time to also post a different perspective on that topic. A couple months ago, Covid impacted revenues at the company where I was working and they laid off about 1/3 of us. So I’ve spent the last couple months on the other side of the interview table… or Zoom screen.

I heard from one recruiter that an interviewer said she had never seen anyone solve the problem the way I did. That piqued my curiosity. I could think of a couple other ways of approaching it, but they were more complicated and less efficient. I’m really curious how everyone else solved it.

And while I screwed up my share of programs, and plenty of companies have rejected me (I’m trying not to let that bother me too much), I do have a few job offers (which really helps me not be too bothered by the rejections). So in the near future, I should once again be bringing unorthodox problem-solving approaches to some unsuspecting company.

– John

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