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Thread: Living With ADD

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Question Living With ADD

    Hi, I've recently decided to try and seek treatment for adult ADD. I was diagnosed as a child, but never as an adult, and the symptoms have most definitely carried over. Recently I've become aware of the negative impact it's been having on my life, and the difficulties it creates for my daily functioning as a productive, single working adult. It does not impact my work so much as my personal life (somehow it's easier to cope with at work), it's my home life where I've historically faced the most difficulty.

    I would like to open this thread up to anyone who may have helpful tips and suggestions, particularly if you have ADD yourself, for coping with the distractions at home. How do you go about accomplishing daily chores, prioritizing tasks, and dealing with the responsibilities of maintaining your life?

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    LUL.

    Ahh those Te creatives and their "tips."

    Medication CPig, medication...

    How are you going to smash the state without medication is beyond me. I mean you would forget about it the moment you thought of it, so medicate yourself.
    Last edited by Absurd; 06-20-2013 at 03:43 PM.

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    my dad and brother both have ADHD. i'll try to remember to ask them about it.

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    friend of mine (26 years old) treats it with medication. The results look good but i don't know the sideffects.

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daft21 View Post
    friend of mine (26 years old) treats it with medication. The results look good but i don't know the sideffects.
    Yes, I consider it likely I will require medication as a part of my treatment. I'm looking more for cognitive strategies for modifying behavior and adjusting the mind. It could be as simple as writing things down, or exercising regularly (both of which are recommended for managing ADD symptoms).

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    There are diet modifications that you'll have to make. Look into this, I'm not sure of the specifics. Cigarettes also apparently help with managing the symptoms.

    Other than that, you'll just have to live a bit more like organised people do. Use planners, especially if you have one in your phone where you can set reminders with alarms.

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    Meditation, regular exercise and healthy diet helps a great deal. Getting a good amount of omega-3 is especially important, a good way to incorporate that into your diet is by eating chia seeds daily.

    I was diagnosed with ADD as a kid, and was drugged up from a very young age. If I could go back in time and refuse all the medication I was given, I would have. I feel like it clouded a good deal of my childhood by turning me into a zombi. I wish my parents had done more research and instead figured out an alternative solution. I had extremely high anxiety, and I feel being heavily medicated only made it worse by shoving the issue under the rug, rather then actually getting to the real root of the problem.

    Anyway, I probably do have adult ADD to some extent. It's the main reason why I never want to have children, both because of the responsibility it takes and for fear of spreading those traits on. I still have a lot of the symptoms, like hyper focusing to tune out the chaos (I used to hyper focus on art, but now I hyper focus more on the Internet). For me, working out and nutrition plays an essential role in my life, without it, I crumble.
    Last edited by fox; 06-21-2013 at 06:15 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
    betas should be kept in zoos for children to stare and throw pop corn at.

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    What are these "symptoms" you speak of, for example?
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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireyed View Post
    Meditation, regular exercise and healthy diet helps a great deal. Getting a good amount of omega-3 is especially important, a good way to incorporate that into your diet is by eating chia seeds daily.
    Yeah, I do need to start exercising. My roommate buys chia seeds on the reg and mixes them into water. Consumes it like a drink, then eats the congealed mess the seeds form at the bottom.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireyed View Post
    I was diagnosed with ADD as a kid, and was drugged up from a very young age. If I could go back in time and refuse all the medication I was given, I would have. I feel like it clouded a good deal of my childhood by turning me into a zombi. I wish my parents had done more research and instead figured out an alternative solution. I had extremely high anxiety, and I feel being heavily medicated only made it worse by shoving the issue under the rug, rather then actually getting to the real root of the problem.
    My friend has reported a similar experience, but she's one of the lucky ones in that her symptoms didn't carry over into adulthood.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireyed View Post
    Anyway, I probably do have adult ADD to some extent. It's the main reason why I never want to have children, both because of the responsibility it takes and for fear of spreading those traits on. I still have a lot of the symptoms, like hyper focusing to tune out the chaos (I used to hyper focus on art, but now I hyper focus more on the Internet). For me, working out and nutrition plays an essential role in my life, without it, I crumble.
    Thanks, I will have to try this. I've been meaning to get into a decent physical routine for a while. I still think that medication may prove beneficial for me, however, so if offered I will still try it.

    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    What are these "symptoms" you speak of, for example?
    I'm very easily distracted, difficult to motivate, poor time management; I'm horrible at prioritizing tasks, starting tasks, and completing tasks once I've begun them. I tend to skip around a lot. For example, if I'm in the middle of sweeping the floor and suddenly I notice the counters are dirty, I stop sweeping the floor and start on the counters. I have impulsive tendencies with regards to spending money, I'm highly impatient and prone to vulgarity, I have trouble falling asleep from time to time, the list goes on.

    This article is an accurate description of how I feel on a daily basis.

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    I don't see the problem with the counters thing, as long everything's clean afterwards. And everyone has trouble falling asleep from time to time.

    If you say it seems to "magically" disappear at work, it's kind of even less of a problem...and if I don't exercise I also get restless and unconcentrated, but you can bet that plenty, plenty of people do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    I don't see the problem with the counters thing, as long everything's clean afterwards. And everyone has trouble falling asleep from time to time.
    It's truly not as benign as it sounds.

    I should have started with the counters before I started on the floor anyways.

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    Okay, so get yourself some pills to "cure" some mild level of not 100% concentration
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    all my dad said was "its gotten easier with age"

    ...i tried

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    Practice patience and being bored.

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    Have you tried playing white noise? It's known to help people with ADHD concentrate, while ruining the concentration of normal people and those with other problems with their concentration.

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    There's a good chance that had I been diagnosed in more recent times rather than when Borderline was a popular diagnosis, it would have been labelled ADD. Either way, Impulse Control and Hyper Alertness. When I had my daughter, though, I had no choice but to try to subdue some of the symptoms to reduce their effects on her. So, there was an important (to me) value which helped me learn to focus a bit bitter, to be less impulsive....but it was a lot of hard work and mental effort.

    Some of the things I did were (TL&DR= read the bolded phrases)

    *pacing, a LOT. As in pacing for miles at a time. Because of the hyper alertness to the environment, I chose a quiet path. First it was a playground behind my apt which had a little sidewalk going around a grassy area. Then I moved to where there was a little quiet trail at the otherend of the parking lot. And then when I moved to nowhere, it was walking around the block. Over and over and over. Up and down the path. Every time I'd start getting jittery or my mind would start racing, or I'd notice me being constantly reactive to my environment, I'd go pace for a mile or two until the physical exhaustion began to lead to mental exhaustion. Sometimes, before bed, I'd do up to four to five miles. No, it's not very time efficient, but it helped, immensely.

    *when I faced situations which required intense focus and well considered decisions (such as court/legal cases for self or friends), I would take the medication buspar. Not the generic crap which only gave me headaches. Buspar can be taken as needed, doesn't require a build up in the system, nor is addictive. It also only worked under high pressure situations. What buspar did was dampen down the racing thoughts and the 'branching' thoughts. Instead of possible avenues of four plus steps ahead all popping into my head at once, buspar dampened it down to three or four paths with only one or two steps at a time. These would be the more heavily weighted ones, so the one's more likely to be successful. This also made it easier to choose a path, make decisions, etc. I would still be using buspar for high pressure situations if my f'n dr (who is not a psychiatrist) would stop allowing the insurance company to drop it to the generic form which, as i said, just gives me a headache.

    *i used to constantly write out a list of my values. Whether for a relationship to help guide me in what kind of person i could be compatible with, or what kind of job I could be compatible with, or even about which chores and when to do them, as well as a guideline for spending money. Constantly rewriting the list allowed me to see a pattern of some values consistently showing up. Reorganizing the lists via "if I could have/do X but not Y, or Y but not X, which would I choose?" helped me prioritize the values. Then starting at the bottom of the list, I'd start scratching out which ones were negotiable until I'd reach the 5-10 ones that were not negotiable at all. These ones became my guidelines for the subject at hand. It has made it easier to make decisions in important areas of my life, though I still have problems making decisions elsewhere.

    *learning about my "type". Whether kiersey, socionics, enneagram, etc. each of them has helped me see that much of the impulsive and 'irrational' aspects of myself are normal. Perhaps a bit on the extreme side, but otherwise normal. For example, reinin dichotomies (which I usually treat as a separate personality theory):
    Irrational: takes incoming information in without first assessing it nor relating it to previous experience
    Intuitive: quickly grasps the general idea and absorbs new information, but also doesn't retain well the details nor keeps it in memory for long
    Tactics: makes decisions based on the current state of things rather than for a projected future, breaks goals down into steps and finds it easy to change the goal.
    Result oriented: also breaks things down into steps and focuses on getting those done. (Combined with tactics, these help explain part of why I jump from step to step, stop a project midway to begin/resume a different project, and later return to a previous project which I had already laid out step ideas for, and marked which done, and which were ideas for continuing, as a way of helping me restart up the project to take it a bit further.)
    Carefree: doesn't try to see how it all fits together, in a new situation, treats it as new without dragging in much of previous experiences
    Reasonable: doesn't rush into making decisions, takes a more relaxed rather than intense approach.
    Emotivist: first perceives the emotional implications, then the meaning.

    For me, all of those combined, even just some of them combined, have helped explain to me how quite a bit of how I am is natural, and serves a valued purpose. It would, however, drive someone of different valued aspects up the wall. And upon looking at the pscyhiatrists who've diagnosed me and/or done my reviews, they each had an obvious different and incompatible personality type from my own. Which I am sure now has influenced their diagnosis of me.

    Anyways...the personality thing helped me feel better about my "disorders", seeing them not so much as disorders but more as a potential that my growing environment didn't support and wanted changed.

    *And finally, neurofeedback helped with the hyper alertness and hyper reactiveness to my environment. Unfortunately, it's more expensive than I can handle on my income, isn't covered by my insurance, and needed more sessions than I could pay for to provide a longer lasting result. I'm waiting for "The Muse" to be made available, which will have four nodes useful for helping with the hyper alertness and hyper reactivity to my environment. I had missed the kickstarter for it, so will have to wait until it is for sale to the general public.

    Neurofeedback is becoming more common in treating ADD, and one protocol method that I know of is really good for that. I'd have to look it up though.
    Last edited by anndelise; 06-21-2013 at 04:44 PM. Reason: Fix mistypings
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    I think these are great tips.

    When I'm around chaos (as in huge crowds of 70+ people)...my mind shuts down and I have to focus on one thing or the over-stimulation makes it impossible to concentrate on anything and I feel physically dizzy. I just stay around from huge crowds...and If I must (like at a concert)... I've tried a few times to just embrace it or focus intently on the person or group I've come with but I usually end up walking out when it gets too much. or I've to be on the outskirts just away from the mass of people. I think I'd make a terrible rave partner.

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    Add in lots of list making to refer to, to help me refocus.

    And breaking household chores down using the flylady method. This method breaks the home down into zones (ex bedroom, bathroom+hallway, front entrance+vehicle) whichever breakdown works best for your floorplan. These can be 5 zones (one zone per week) or 7 zones (one zone per day). So instead of feeling like have to clean entire home in one day, only cleaning one zone at a time, or parts of one zone at a time. And, if all else fails, in order of priorities, clean dishes/laundry first, then clear floor from clutter, then clear bed/couch of clutter, then clear counters/tables of clutter.
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    @anndelise, great stuff, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by A Grain of a Song of Sand View Post
    Have you tried playing white noise? It's known to help people with ADHD concentrate, while ruining the concentration of normal people and those with other problems with their concentration.
    I always have some kind of noise going. Be it music, the TV, or what have you. I forget to turn the faucet off a lot because there's something about the sound of the running water that becomes a sort of ground wire for my need to fidget. It's like a drain for my excess energy while I try to concentrate on the task at hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by dolphin View Post
    Do you take multivitamins and such, @Capitalist Pig?
    No, but I should. My roomie works at a Vitamin Cottage and gets perks, I'll ask her to order some stuff for me.
    Last edited by Capitalist Pig; 06-21-2013 at 07:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Yes, I consider it likely I will require medication as a part of my treatment. I'm looking more for cognitive strategies for modifying behavior and adjusting the mind. It could be as simple as writing things down, or exercising regularly (both of which are recommended for managing ADD symptoms).
    Sounds like a very good idea. I know to many people who just take medication without thinking to adjust their lifestyle a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daft21 View Post
    Sounds like a very good idea. I know to many people who just take medication without thinking to adjust their lifestyle a bit.
    I want to get better, and regular exercise by itself can be a cure for a number of things. So it certainly doesn't hurt from a differential point of view. Even if it doesn't solve what I'm trying to treat, it's just something that improves overall health and generates that feeling of wellness, which boosts confidence and self-esteem. Stuff I'm prone to deficiencies in.

    I just want to be a better man.

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    Listening to biaural beats actually helps me concentrate when doing school work so maybe it can help when doing chores/paper work if you're listening with headphones. Is it for real or is it simply placebo effect? I have no clue to be honest, but if it works it doesn't really matter imo.

    Last edited by Raver; 06-25-2013 at 04:09 AM. Reason: Changed video
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Yes, I consider it likely I will require medication as a part of my treatment. I'm looking more for cognitive strategies for modifying behavior and adjusting the mind. It could be as simple as writing things down, or exercising regularly (both of which are recommended for managing ADD symptoms).
    @Capitalist Pig Of the many great suggestions in this thread, which have you tried? Have you had some successes? Distraction, procrastination, lack of motivation are all problems for me as well. I use a variety of approaches, many of which have been mentioned. One approach I take with mundane tasks is to set an impossibly short deadline, and race through the job to see if I can beat it. Another approach is to finish a project as a surprise for someone who will benefit from it. Like, X will be so surprised if I can get this job finished before lunch...
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    Three members of my immediate family have ADHD, including a parent. My siblings were diagnosed as children and are now adults, and my parent was diagnosed as an adult. ADHD is very similar to ADD and has all the same features of ADD, for example, difficulty focusing on tasks, impulsiveness, train of though issues. ADHD has the added joy of hyperactivity, uncontrollable body energy (that can later be coped with with self awareness and coping mechanisms).

    So what my siblings do is to have a home for everything. Keys always go into the same spot when not in use, same for hats, wallets. All belongings have a home and this helps with organizing and making sure belonings do not get lost

    Find something you like doing for work because one thing I have noticed is my siblings get very bored very easily. Jobs that are mundane and routine lead to boredom hell and you might have found yourself quitting a lot of jobs before you find one that you like.

    Paperwork. There is no other way around it. My parent has lots with their job and they just have to sit down and force themselves to do it. DO NOT multitask when doing paperwork or studying because I have noticed those with ADD will loose focus so quickly then nothing will gets finished. Reward yourself each time something gets finished.

    The significant other in your life is just going to need to learn how to cope with your ADD, and they will need to be very understanding with your fast moving mind. Let them help you keep on track,stay fed, do the hundred of little jobs that you had forgotten about (through no fault of your own). You may hear lots of "are you paying attention?", and the honest answer is no, you are not. BUT, with the right person that will not be an issue.

    I read some theories that ADD is actually an adaptation of early man. Those with ADD were better able to drop what they were doing, maybe picking berries with the boring people, as soon as they saw the gazelle dash out from the bushes. They picked up their spear and were off chasing that gazelle across the plains, focusing solely on their prey. This is another strange feature of those with ADD, is the ability to focus on one thing alone for a long time (for example my siblings with lego as kids, and later video games). Guess what? The ADD ape got to eat gazelle that night. What did the focusers eat? Sour berries.

    Good luck buddy.

    As an edit, I would say stay far away from medications such as Ridalin, or even self medicating with recreation drugs like MJ (it's an illusionary trap and will not help you in the long run). Ridalin might give you uncontrollable body tics. For some "soft" disorders like ADD, using non-medicinal methods to cope is always the best option becasue you are going to have ADD for your whole life, would someone really want to be medicated for all that time? I know I wouldn't. EXERCISE and activity brings huge benefits to my family members.
    Last edited by wacey; 07-12-2013 at 01:17 AM.
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    Close enough.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Iris View Post
    @Capitalist Pig Of the many great suggestions in this thread, which have you tried? Have you had some successes? Distraction, procrastination, lack of motivation are all problems for me as well. I use a variety of approaches, many of which have been mentioned. One approach I take with mundane tasks is to set an impossibly short deadline, and race through the job to see if I can beat it. Another approach is to finish a project as a surprise for someone who will benefit from it. Like, X will be so surprised if I can get this job finished before lunch...
    Yeah, I've been doing pretty much the same. I am still pretty derpy, but the strategies at least minimize my derpiness.

    Sorry, I meant to respond to this much sooner but I forgot.

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    Better than living with SAD.
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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