I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 8 years old, during a difficult third grade year. My parents decided not to medicate me.
Among other things, 2020 has been the year that I've been coming to grips with being an adult with untreated ADHD. I'm on medication now and it's helping.
I have the inattentive type, described as "...a subtype of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder that often manifests as limited attention span, distractibility, forgetfulness, or procrastination." Yup, that's me.
Things I'd thought my whole life were parts of my personality are largely attributable to ADHD. That doesn't mean they aren't who I am, or that I don't have to accept them -- but it does mean that there are hosts of people out there who suffer similarly and have found various ways of dealing that I might be able to try.
I'll keep writing things about #adhd across my site.
Things that have helped a lot
- Stop trying to be good at things you're bad at.
- Executive disorder mean it's hard to start.
- Hyperfocus means it's hard to stop.
- Short-term memory issues mean you are going to forget that thing.
- Being up-front about my condition with others.
- I'm not quite at the point where I'm telling people things like "I have a disorder that limits my working memory, please slow down so I can write what you're saying down".
- Not doing anything else when someone is talking to me and making sure to watch them when they talk.
- Self-care, as in...
- ...being kind to myself when I mess up. Self-compassion!
- ...sticking with systems that work for me (calendars with reminders, todo list apps that never leave you alone until you check that box) and not feeling bad when I tinker with them when they don't quite work.
- ...being upfront with my SO when I'm feeling especially distracted or ADHD-y.
- ...not feeling bad about starting lots of projects, it's literally how my brain works. Think of those unfinished projects more as "learning experiences" or "experiments" and not "failures".
- I write things down all the time. Thinking outside my head helps in so many ways.
- Notes System
- Dedicating some time every day to reviewing what's going on in your exocortex is great scaffolding.
- Has phone reminders that don't go away until you check the box.
- Write down everything.
- Supports all kinds of interesting organizational schemes for productivity play.
- Google Keep
- Not feeling very Google-y these days, but it's uncomplicated and fast, good for capturing those quick thoughts you don't want to forget.
- The Couple's Guide to Thriving with ADHD
- Its advice around what to say to your partner can sound artificial and robotic. It also works pretty well.
- How to ADHD
- One of the best resources I found for approaching ADHD with sensitivity and rigor... while being nice, funny, and vulnerable. The videos tend to be short. 😁
- Particular videos stand out:
- More vent-y and angry, a place to read about people like you.
- Discusses medication, celebrates victories.
- A great place for angry ADHD partners to vent.
- Not so great to stay subbed for too long.
- Filled with lots of angry people who are still upset at their partners.
- Not very sympathetic to ADHD-ers overall...
- ...but helpful to read through to see the other side.