It would be great if hyperfocus came with a switch
like, “I have an exam in an hour and I have nothing to do so let me turn it on and sit down and just reread all the chapters that the exam covers”
or conversely, “I have to be in class in 20 minutes, so let me turn it off, because as fascinating as reading about The Defenestration of Prague on wikipedia is, I haven’t actually needed to know anything about it since high school, and I really do need to get to class”
Seriously. I have worked my butt off to make considerations, set time limits, make schedules with smartphone, take meds on time, basically make it so I can be successful despite my ADHD.
Then people doubt you have it. Do you risk it all by stopping the things that help you just to prove it to them? No, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone, just know they are stupid and don’t know your story.
Hey, Lulu. I was diagnosed in 2003. I would like to think I’ve lived with ADHD my whole life. I would say to you a couple of things to maybe help with managing ADHD would be to have regular exercise - say 30-60 minutes a day. I find it really helps a lot with focus. I like to do this in the morning as well.
If you haven’t read the book Delivered From Distraction by Dr. Hallowell, please do. We have a lot of quotes if you look at the archive from that book, and I think you’d benefit from it a lot.
You may also want to look into whether or not you may have anxiety along with ADHD. It’s quite common actually to have that. Chances are that you’re not being stared at by everyone in a room, but you feel like you are.
There needs to be a code word or something that means “my brain is fighting me every step of the way today and I feel like I’m going to vibrate out of my skin, so I need you to forgive everything and go slowly and speak softly and lower your expectations.” And then we could all just be like, “I know I said we could go to a movie tonight but… tangerines.” And the other person would nod and squeeze your elbow or rub your head and you wouldn’t feel like a failure.
6 Benefits of a Later-in-Life ADHD Diagnosis
By ZOË KESSLER, BA, B.ED.
Finding the positive side in any situation is something I’m pretty good at. In spite of life’s challenges, I’ve been called “insufferably cheerful” (whatever that means) and consider myself to be irrationally optimistic.
Even so (and even though it’s been over 7 years since my ADHD diagnosis) until recently, I couldn’t really come up with any benefits of being diagnosed later rather than sooner. (Besides the obvious one of life finally making sense.) (Sort of.)
Imagine my surprise when I finally did stumble over a plus.
I’d been thinking about my decision not to be immunized before my trip to India. I’d been led to believe the shots were mandatory, only to find out at the last moment that they’re not.
Relieved, I chose instead to fortify my robust immune system with supplements under the guidance of a healthcare professional whose opinion and expertise I trust. It also helped that she visits the same area in India every year and knew what I would be up against.
I realize some would see my decision as controversial, perhaps even foolhardy; but I’m grateful that I was able to decide for myself.
In thinking about my decision, I realized that I’d also had the choice when considering how to treat and manage my ADHD. I had that choice because when I was diagnosed, I was an adult.
As an adult, I had (and continue to have) the freedom and ability to research, learn about, and choose my own ADHD management strategies. And again, for this I am grateful.
Finding a positive side to late diagnosis was something I’d almost given up on. It was such a welcome (and unexpected) discovery, I decided to push the envelope to see if I could think of any more.
And I did!
Here’s the complete list.
1 ) You get to choose your own treatment. (I’ve got ADHD; I’ve never liked anyone telling me what to do anyway.)
2 ) Your control of your own ADHD management is the perfect antidote to a lifetime of feeling out of control.
3 ) You’ve got a zillion zany stories about your undiagnosed years to tell at parties.
4 ) …but now you can learn when to stop telling them.
5 ) Your kids will have to stop telling you you never give them anything.
6 ) …but you can bond with them over ADHD management.
Once again, I’ve proven to myself (if to no one else) that no situation is entirely bad.
What about you?
Can you think of any advantages to being diagnosed with ADHD late in life? (Take your time. After all, it took me 7 years to come up with this list. It’s ok. I’ll wait.)
This just in! Ok, not just in, but I just read it. Chalk it up to poor ADHD organization. I jumped into today’s blog post, wrote and posted, before reviewing and responding to the many comments to other posts waiting in the queue.
Sure enough, on March 15, one reader said I sounded much like, “…a drug addict justifying their belief in ‘better living through chemistry”’” Ouch.
Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to Dan for taking the time to write in, and fully respect his right to hold whatever opinion he wants, about me or anything else. But I’m not saying I was thrilled by the comparison. I’m too HSP-y for that. But if I can’t take the heat, I’ll get out of the limelight, so fair enough. (btw, if you’re interested in Dan’s comment in full and my response, check out the Comments to my post, Attack of the ADHD Zombies.)