Adult ADHD

Funnily enough I’ve the hardest time getting started on the topic that is the very cause to why I’m writing! It took me an official 2 days to get started on writing this article, not because I wanted to make this seem “more dramatic”, just because I had more important things to do which was in fact nothing.

A few days ago I had a very interesting conversation with my cousin. It initially all stemmed from the fact that I hate watching TV. And to why I have never ever followed the latest trend of watching an entire season of a series in one night. It was suggested to me that perhaps I suffer from Adult ADHD. Typically raised the “old school” way, if we weren’t bleeding, weren’t coughing and no fever, there was nothing wrong with you.

Now… I have thought about many many things in my life but something that has never even crossed my mind was the thought of me having ADHD. So, being interested in what she had to say, my plan was to come home and Google that shit! It has told to me that Adult ADHD are more common in South Africans than anywhere else in the world (but I could not find any evidence or articles on this). I was also told that it was genetic. And as she, and both her kids, suffer from it, she suggested I give the test a try.

So before I give you a very brief insight of myself, I want you to keep these next 15 symptoms in mind when giving your opinion on my “self-diagnosis”.

SYMPTOMS

  1. you restless
  2. you have a child with adhd
  3. you have relationship trouble
  4. you smoke
  5. you had academic problems as a child
  6. you a champion procrastinator
  7. you a thrill seeker
  8. you lose things all the time
  9. you have trouble in your job
  10. you have problems completing tasks
  11. you have a quick temper
  12. you impulsive
  13. you cant relax
  14. you easily distracted
  15. you disorganized

I’ll take you back only the past 3 days and a few extra points:

Sunday was my mom’s birthday and I was asked a month back to prepare a speech. Of course I left it for the morning of her birthday to which I decided I did not have to write anything down. After saying what I had to say, I realized that I had forgotten to read a verse that I was supposed to. I came home the evening and having decided that I would research ADHD, I ended up getting into a shower and straight into bed. I was due to go for a blood test in the morning and so decided that I needed to sleep early because I had to be there at 9am. My blood test required fasting which meant no eating or drinking from 10pm the previous (Sunday) night. At 4am on Sunday morning, I’m hungry as hell so I get up out of bed!! I roam around in the kitchen and decide against eating. (after all, this all important blood test was a week overdue). So, I decide to drink a glass of water telling myself “water can’t screw up my results right?”. I get back to bed. Oversleep and leave my house at 9:15am. No biggy, I get it done and head back home. Having now decided to write this article, I ended up doing so many things before my 2pm dental appointment. At 13h55, I get into my car and realize that my wiper blades has been stolen. In my head I’m telling myself “maybe that was just a sign that I needed to have it replaced anyways, so no biggy. I’ll replace it after my 2pm appointment.” Nothing wrong with my teeth, I head to the spares shop to buy new wipers. I asked the guy behind the counter if he could quickly fit it for me and he refers me to the fitment centre at the end of the same block. I decide that it’s just too much effort to now reverse and drive there so I head back home to fit it myself. After 20min of struggling I now sms to let the sewing technician know that I will be late for my next 3pm appointment. It’s cloudy outside and I wasn’t winning, so just as I’m about to drive without wipers 15kms to my next appointment, my neighbour passes me and helps me fit it. Problem solved. I get back home and now I’m irritated that my day has not gone as planned. So I sit on the couch and flip some channels. About 20min later, I move to my bedroom where I fell asleep for a few hours. Now determined to get at least something done, a knock on my door, and it’s for me. Visitors. Another break. They stay for just over an hour and leave me to get working (as I have mentioned to them that I need to do stuff). Before getting started on this article, I decided to get into a shower. Out of the shower. Another visitor. He stays until 11pm. He leaves and I decide to go to bed. Tuesday morning, I actually did something that I said I was going to do. I took my car to the mechanic. (a task that was meant to be done more than 3 months ago).

I have skipped some points in between, but I have given you a fair representation of my past 3 days. Now being more aware of this than ever before, It’s just becoming more apparent as to the daily progressions in my life and how frustrated I am still struggling to change my behaviour. I also think back as to why I used to get bored of some guys I was involved with, why I’ve always ended up unhappy at my jobs, why I always let someone else do my admin, why I’m always forgetting where I placed my keys, why I very seldom finish anything I start, why I hate doing the finer details in things, etc.

Of course, not everyday is this bad and some symptoms are more prevalent than others, at my age I have by now developed coping mechanisms to make things work and work successfully at that. The thing that also freaked me out more is “what if you see your partner as having it too?” And tons of other people, when all you saw before was a series of events all considered as bad habits and you not wanting something badly enough? Now combine this with being a Virgo whose major trait is striving for perfection! FUCK ME!!!! lol!

However, the question was posed to me… “What would your life be like if you were able to get more things done in a day? Imagine that” And this is all I need really… To get things done.

So, with my “self diagnosis” I would one day like to take this further by having a proper analysis done. If diagnosed, I would like to do a follow up post on what I got done while being on Ritalin!

PS: I have highlighted above, in blue, the symptoms to which I can relate.

1. You restless

Children with ADHD can be overly energetic, but adults may just feel edgy or restless. Adults don’t show the more obvious signs such as running and jumping. Hyperactivity presents more subtly in the form of restlessness. However, you may recall a rambunctious childhood.

2. You have a child with ADHD

ADHD appears to have a genetic component. When one member of the family has it, there’s a 25- to 35-percent chance that someone else in the family does, too, according to the Attention Deficit Disorder Association. When a child is diagnosed with ADHD, some adults, who may have had the same symptoms when they were children, realize that they may have always had the condition without realizing it.

3. You have relationship trouble

A newly minted relationship is often exhilarating, but the novelty can wear off in time. “Oftentimes adults with ADHD really have a hard time with that transition. When the relationship becomes more stable and predictable, conflicts tend to emerge.” Being easily distracted or inattentive — symptoms of ADHD — can also sabotage existing relationships with family, friends, and significant others who view their loved one’s behaviour as self-centred.

4. You smoke

About 40 percent of adults with ADHD smoke, versus only 26 percent of the general population. “Nicotine is very effective for a lot of ADHD symptoms and it’s not uncommon for me to see someone for the first time after they quit smoking,”. That’s because they often start to have more problems with focus and concentration, he explains. Adults with ADHD are also more likely to use alcohol and other drugs, and at earlier ages, than people without ADHD.

5. You had academics problems as a child

If you suspect you have ADHD as an adult, an early history of ADHD symptoms — difficulty sitting still, paying attention to the teacher and focusing on your work, for example — can confirm the diagnosis. “What adult patients will tell you over and over and over again is that they had to work twice as hard as their peers to get half as much done in school,”.

6. You a champion procrastinator

Do you live deadline to deadline? “I can’t tell you how many times a patient has told me, ‘I’m the king of procrastination,’ or ‘I’m the queen of procrastination,’ because they feel like no one else can put things off like they can,” says Dr. Wetzel. It makes sense, he adds, because when people with ADHD are under the gun and anxious, that’s when they can focus. Constant anxiety, however, can be very stressful.

7. You a thrill seeker

People with ADHD are often drawn to activities that are stimulating. They may engage in risky behaviours, like fast driving, gambling and even extramarital affairs. The key is to channel that desire for excitement and novelty into activities that don’t jeopardize your work and family life. Parasailing or other high-adventure activities may be good outlets.

8. You lose things all the time

Is losing your cell phone, wallet or keys part of your daily routine? People with ADHD frequently misplace common items. ADHD is an “underpowered state of consciousness.” If you set down your keys and you’re not really paying attention, your brain doesn’t lay down a memory of the event. “It’s kind of like it never happened,” he says.

9. You have trouble on the job

Everyone encounters some task he doesn’t particularly enjoy, but most people are able to find a way to complete the boring aspects of their job. People with ADHD, however, have a hard time doing that. Jobs with a lot of repetition tend to be a poor fit. Choose work that engages you and fulfils your need for novelty and variability.

10. You have a quick temper

If you fly off the handle in a fit of anger or frustration one moment but are completely over it in the next, it might be a sign of ADHD. Because this type of irritability can also be a symptom of bipolar disorder, some people with ADHD can be misdiagnosed. (However, you can also have both.) It’s important to get a thorough evaluation and diagnosis.

11. You have problems completing tasks

Is your house cluttered with piles of laundry? Is your expense account still a work in progress? Failing to finish tasks can be a symptom of ADHD in adults. The most successful ADHD patients tend to be entrepreneurs who recognize this shortcoming and surround themselves with people who will focus on the details, finish the paperwork and handle the mundane portions of a task.

12. You impulsive

If you blurt out whatever’s on your mind without weighing the consequences, it might be a symptom of ADHD. And acting on an impulse, rather than thinking things through, can cause trouble with family and colleagues. Examples would include abruptly quitting a job, having unprotected sex or impulse buying with little thought about the repercussions.

13. You cant relax

Your spouse wants to catch a movie, but unless it’s the thriller you’ve been dying to see, you may get up several times or have random thoughts that distract you from the plot. Being calm requires a quiet mind, and that’s tough for people with ADHD because “so many other things can take over their consciousness,”. “People with ADHD will tell you it’s almost impossible for them to meditate.”

14. You easily distracted

You’re on a conference call, but your mind keeps wandering. Next thing you know, you’ve lost chunks of conversation. With ADHD, sustaining focus is a real problem and a core feature of the disorder. Unimportant things — from external noises and movement to daydreams — grab your attention. Move to a work space with fewer distractions or use white noise to block out other sounds in the surrounding environment.

15. You disorganized

Here’s the tip off: Your desk is a mountain of paper and you just wasted a half hour searching for an important legal document. Or maybe you failed to make appointments for your children to see the paediatrician, and the school wants their immunization reports — pronto. If you have ADHD, getting and staying organized is a challenge for you. Breaking organizational tasks into smaller steps may help.

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