Bethany and Lyndsey have another uncomfortable conversation for your benefit.

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There are 14 comments.

  1. Member

    I can definitely relate (I also have adult ADHD). I’ve not thought for a long time about just how much the medication helps. I’d always written some symptoms off as an early-20s youth thing, but if Lyndsey had them at 30 than perhaps not. It’s interesting what she said about homeschooling, I remember thinking the same thing.

    • #1
    • October 11, 2018 at 5:23 pm
    • 1 like
  2. Member

    ADHD is actually more likely in high functioning bright people- fascination with absolutely everything leads to inability to focus. 

    That was actually my excuse when I was working…..

    • #2
    • October 11, 2018 at 5:31 pm
    • 2 likes
  3. Member

    A mentor and friend of mine didn’t realize he had severe ADHD until his forties, when his kid got diagnosed and, in doing research, took an online test and had 11 of the 13 symptoms. Realizing he had it helped him deal with a LOT of personal stuff he had just been struggling through beforehand. 

    On a completely different note, based on her comments about lacking empathy I think Bethany will like this subreddit: r/kidsaref****ingstupid. Also, Kevin Williamson’s thoughts on empathy

    • #3
    • October 12, 2018 at 8:14 am
    • 2 likes
  4. Coolidge

    Wow… the latest LB was eye-opening! I’ve been wondering if I had ADHD or even if I’m on the autism spectrum for years. Like @bethanymandel said to @lyndsey, “You’re meticulous, but flit from thing to thing to thing,” and that is 100% accurate for me as well. I work as a civil litigation legal assistant, and it’s the same thing – I’m really good at what I do, my to-do list is a mile long of different things, yet I rarely make mistakes, so it caters to that side of me.

    I always interrupt! My husband gets to the point where he just stops talking to me because I keep blurting out what I think adds to the conversation or finishing his sentences. I say, “I’m just agreeing with you!” or, “You take pregnant pauses!”

    The caveat is (1) I’m on Zoloft for depression/anxiety, which has helped a LOT, and (2) I have an autoimmune thyroid disorder, so I’m always tired and get “brain fog” a lot. That being said, I’m a little concerned about going on medication (but that’s something to discuss w/ my doctor).

    I have also noticed since I was a kid, that when I’m really involved in reading or writing, I am completely unaware of anything going on around me… to the point I can’t even hear. When I get out of that “zone,” everything comes back like a cacophony of noise all at once.

    Speaking of noise, I can’t stand hearing overlapping noises (i.e., when my husband has the TV on and plays a YouTube video on his phone simultaneously). This part makes me think of the autism spectrum side.

    So this is definitely encouragement to have a good discussion with my doctor. I’m really glad we’re de-stigmatizing mental health issues. They don’t have to be major or debilitating, but it’s a good way to get us all proactive and empowered to take control of our overall wellness.

    • #4
    • October 12, 2018 at 8:52 am
    • 3 likes
  5. Member

    Lyndsey, I learned a lot about ADHD when I was first married to my DH. The late Mr Cynthonian’s family is rife with ADD in form or another. My DH was never diagnosed or medicated for it, but his daughter (my step-daughter, now 31) was and is. Hers always seemed much more severe to me than his. His took the form of impulsive spending, especially on hobbies, and a few other symptoms. However, he leveraged the ADD ability to hyper-focus on both hobbies and work projects. At work, it made him quite successful (he was a software developer). Lyndsey, your examples of getting completely immersed in video editing, and getting Bethany’s home organized, sound like classic examples of hyper-focus to me.

    My stepdaughter has struggled with education her whole life. She managed to complete high school in an “alternative” school, struggled socially, and has rarely completed a college class, despite being very bright. She is also an impulse spender. Fortunately, she’s married now, and her husband is supporting her. She has a son, but he’s temperamentally like his much more phlegmatic father, not her, and I will be quite surprised if he turns out to have ADD. 

    When it was first suggested that his daughter had ADHD (she was around 8 years old at the time), my DH didn’t really believe ADHD was a real thing. He started researching it and he read the NIH studies on it that documented the brain differences. Then he recognized himself and much of his family in the behaviors.

    I wish you success as you figure out to navigate this new understanding in your life!

    • #5
    • October 14, 2018 at 12:52 pm
    • 2 likes
  6. Member

    ErinGoBoro (View Comment):

    I have also noticed since I was a kid, that when I’m really involved in reading or writing, I am completely unaware of anything going on around me… to the point I can’t even hear. When I get out of that “zone,” everything comes back like a cacophony of noise all at once.

    When I was a kid I’d often sit by our swimming pool and and read a book. Sometimes I’d start reading with five or so other kids swimming in the pool, and by the time I put the book down I’d be the only one there.

    • #6
    • October 14, 2018 at 11:50 pm
    • 1 like
  7. Member

    ErinGoBoro (View Comment):

    Speaking of noise, I can’t stand hearing overlapping noises (i.e., when my husband has the TV on and plays a YouTube video on his phone simultaneously). This part makes me think of the autism spectrum side.

    So this is definitely encouragement to have a good discussion with my doctor. I’m really glad we’re de-stigmatizing mental health issues. They don’t have to be major or debilitating, but it’s a good way to get us all proactive and empowered to take control of our overall wellness.

    Sensory integration disorder doesn’t have to be associated with autistic spectrum disorders, and what people think of as mild “Aspergers autism” can be caused by a lot of things (from ADHD itself to lack of sleep to unknown food allergies).

     

    • #7
    • October 14, 2018 at 11:55 pm
    • Like
  8. Coolidge

    Go team #ADHD. Welcome to the squad @lyndsey!

    As far as the title goes, I’m a hot shot engineer at a big international engineering company and I dropped out of college after two year because I can’t sit through more than 15 minutes of a lecture. But, thanks to my ADHD superpowers I can hyper focus on a problem to the point that people can walk over and talk to me and I’ll have no idea! So, yes, you can be very successful with ADHD (with or without medication, which I only started on a couple years ago. Details in email :D )

    Also, @bethanymandel, I can totally relate to the spectrumy emotional detachment. It’s so wonderful to stand there while someone is talking to you about some problem and you’re asking yourself what would a normal human being do in this situation besides nod and say okay. 

     

    • #8
    • October 15, 2018 at 7:07 am
    • 3 likes
  9. Coolidge

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    When I was a kid I’d often sit by our swimming pool and and read a book. Sometimes I’d start reading with five or so other kids swimming in the pool, and by the time I put the book down I’d be the only one there.

    It’s weird, right? It’s almost as if I had fallen asleep during that time.

    • #9
    • October 15, 2018 at 9:40 am
    • 2 likes
  10. Coolidge

    ErinGoBoro (View Comment):
    I have also noticed since I was a kid, that when I’m really involved in reading or writing, I am completely unaware of anything going on around me… to the point I can’t even hear. When I get out of that “zone,” everything comes back like a cacophony of noise all at once.

    Definitely have that discussion. I was diagnosed with ADD in my 30’s. One of the biggest misconceptions about ADD and ADHD is right there in the name, that there’s always a deficit or lack of ability to focus. The reality is we focus differently. Sometimes it’s an inability to focus, but it can also be a hyperfocus where nothing, even if it’s very important, can break in. I get that way when I’m reading too. Totally lost to the world.

    I should also point out that before I was diagnosed I was also on anti-depressants. It turns out that what was making me depressed was my untreated ADD. Getting medication for that helped a lot more than anti-depressants did. (Although some anti-depressants can help ADD too by working on some of the same neurotransmitters like dopamine.)

    Check out Driven to Distraction. I read it when I was first diagnosed. The case studies in it have stories so similar to my own life that it was uncanny.

    • #10
    • October 16, 2018 at 7:50 am
    • Like
  11. Coolidge

    Thanks for putting this out there @lyndsey – it’s good to have more adults share how ADD and ADHD don’t just affect kids. As I mentioned above, I wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my 30’s, but it’s something that I’ve had all my life. I never even considered the possibility until a doctor suggested it. My first reaction was that I’m not hyperactive so I don’t have ADHD. (Which is true. ADD is a slightly different diagnosis.) But after doing some research and getting tested it’s very clear I have ADD. I just had some coping strategies in school that kept it from being recognized. Usually kids get diagnosed when they have problems academically. I had problems getting homework done, but I aced tests so I always had good grades. I’m just a wee bit competitive and I always saw tests as a a competition. So I’d win. I did hear a lot that I wasn’t working up to my potential, but I just interpreted that as the teacher saying I was being lazy. But I wasn’t lazy. I was active in sports (football and track) and drama and choir and academic competitions and church and Boy Scouts and more. I wasn’t averse to working hard, I just wasn’t motivated to do homework when I could easily pass the tests and get an A in the class.

    That worked great in High School where I didn’t really have to study much. It worked less well in college when the material was actually a challenge. And it doesn’t work at all in the real world. Life isn’t like a quiz or exam. It’s showing up on time every day and doing the daily work and getting jobs done. It’s also paying the bills and balancing the checkbook and all the other stuff that’s a lot more like homework than a test. I didn’t have coping mechanisms for that. And it showed.

    There’s a saying, I forget by who, about how a man can fail due to drinking and then drink all the more because he’s a failure. That same concept applied to me. I was failing in life because I was unable to focus, and that failure made me more unfocused. Slipping down the ladder, one rung at a time. The downward spiral was finally broken when I got diagnosed. The medication changed my life. I’m still not great at getting the day-to-day stuff done on time, but it’s no longer dragging me under. I can keep up. The medicine is a stimulant, but it relaxes my mind. (That’s not the effect that amphetamine has on someone without ADD.) 

    For me, just knowing why I was the way I was made a difference. Being able to do something about it is what really matters though.

    • #11
    • October 16, 2018 at 8:31 am
    • 1 like
  12. Thatcher

    A very touching, yet informative podcast. @lyndsey, you have great friends!

    • #12
    • October 16, 2018 at 12:59 pm
    • 1 like
  13. Reagan

    I have met Lyndsey at a Ricochet event, and chatted with her for about 20 minutes. I knew she has ADHD. I knew because like the Skywalker clan, it runs strong in my family. My father was strong with it, his brother less so, but noticeable (his work history and temperament were a clue). Of my dad’s five children, the eldest (me) and youngest were the one’s hammered hard with the energizer bunny, honey bee behavior. I am sure my only male cousin was as distracted as I, however he could barely get thru high school, enlisted, then eventually in his late 20’s finished some semblance of college.

    With my two boys, the eldest was diagnosed before he even got to school after the pediatrician recommended we take him to the Kennedy Krueger Institute to the behaviorologists. She made this recommendation after multiple visits where he was so distracted he could not stay in his own skin. At the Institute, they had four specialists see him over the course of the day, and the first thing they asked my wife was if they could speak to my mom. After talking with her for an hour, they were so sure it was ADD or ADHD. Seems we were collectively a textbook classic case thru the generations. 

    My youngest brother’s only boy seems more severe then any of us, and to see the transformation when my brother gave up resisting any medication regimen, that house hold has found peace and his son is finding school almost enjoyable. His son is in junior high now and would like to go to college someday.

    In hindsight I would like to think at times ADHD was my “superpower edge”, but it made for an ostracized child/teenhood outside the family. However before we had the familial revelation on possible medication resolutions, I had put that “energy” into restoring/building a few cars, completely renovating our first home, deciding it was not good enough, so I built one (as in not contracted out), while working full time as an Engineer. Then build a few more homes to pay down the debts for first one, got bored with building homes, learned to fly, decide I want something better than 40 year old planes, built one plane, building another, still fix everything in the household, and only now as I broach 60 am I finding my “energy” flailing. 

    My boys were medicated and performed much better in school then I did, and with fewer of the social issues I & my father suffered through. I tried the medications for a few years in my late 30’s, but found that I had less motivation, and lost the hyper focus “enhancement”, and when I wanted to learn how to fly, it would have been unacceptable to the FAA on the medical. So I stopped and continued to work on my less pleasant traits, like finishing other peoples sentences…..or not correctly editing my own literary hackery that I share with the folks here.

    The hero in this story is my forbearing wife, who not only managed(s) to cope with me and my occasionally manic ideas, but also bearing the children with some of those same behaviors. She deserves sainthood, most women would have taken the easy route and divorced, but here we are after 43 years still working things out…

    Good luck Lyndsey.

     

    • #13
    • October 17, 2018 at 9:46 am
    • 3 likes
  14. Coolidge

    Thank you very much for talking about this Lyndsey. Lots to think about in the symptoms that you described.

    • #14
    • October 21, 2018 at 7:36 pm
    • Like