Adult ADD: What is it like?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by dcwsaranac, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. dcwsaranac

    dcwsaranac I hear music...

    OK, so my son is recently diagnosed as ADHD/ODD. As the psychologist is explaining how genetics can be a big factor, and how parents sometimes realize they suffer from the same disorders after having thier child diagnosed, he is looking at me and giving a polite snicker, pointing out some of my mannerisms and habits (coping mechanisms?).

    Hyperactivity is definately not a problem with me, but I have always had problems with memory, and attention span, detail.

    It just makes me wonder. There are other things, but I'd like to keep them a secret for now - we could run out of acronyms.;)

    Anyone out there that can share a first hand description of what it is like to have ADD?

  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Okay, I'm ADHD. You should see me clean a house. I'll start in the kitchen. Pick up a sweater for the bedroom. Hang the sweater up and start sorting the dirty clothes. While sorting, I'll notice that the house keys are on the bed. Will stop sorting clothes, pick up the keys, start to go put them on the key rack, notice my daughter has a glass in her room. Go to get it, put the keys down, pick up the glass. Put the glass on the kitchen counter. Start to sweep the kitchen floor, notice I didn't clean the stove and one counter. Get the Oxyclean for the hood. Grab the glass put it in the dishwasher. Notice that the key rack doesn't have the house keys. Start searching for them. Discover I haven't finished sorting the clothes, sort them, take a load to the washer, put it in. Pull it out (detergent first in this washer, not my old one). Add the detergent, softener, etc., start wash. Back to kitchen. Clean hood. Notice keys are missing ... do a search for them. Finally remember the glass and use logic to figure out where keys are.

    The house ultimately gets clean and it doesn't take me that much longer than most of my friends, but it certainly isn't the easiest way to do it and can be quite frustrating.

    I always have to have some noise going around me. If I have to seriously concentrate on something, then I have the television AND the radio on. It is the only way to blot out all the extraneous noise (cats meowing, wind blowing, leaves falling, etc.).

    Hope this helps a little. I could go on a bit more but I think you get the picture.
  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    My hubby has ADD, was diagnosis'd about 6 years ago after he attended a seminar with me to learn more about difficult child. He spent the entire time poking at me saying, "I did that. I acted like that. I used to do that." The behaviors I notice (that sometimes drive me nuts) are hyperfocusing, complete obliviousness, and forgetfulness/disorganization. He will make sure two little wires are perfectly straight at the expense of getting the project done. He amazed his sister by not being aware that their stepdad was an alcoholic...he just never noticed. He can't find things, and has piles of stuff everywhere. His truck is a disaster, with strange things in boxes and nice little zipper bags, empty soda cans, Cheez-Its, orange Life Savers, and a million little electronic gadgets stuck to the windshield.
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I don't think I have......HEY is that a squirrel??? I'll got get a camera....oh there is that plant that needs to the kitchen I get coffee and what was it I forgot to do - Oh yeah the squirrel - and ohhhh that's shiney!

    No - no side-track mind here - I really don't have ADHD - I have stress-induced cerebral deterioration which causes a lack of.....something. But I can't seem to .....something else.....when I ......drat - forget it - OH I have to go water the squirrel.

  5. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Meowbunny describes it to a T. When I clean my house, I go through the same steps, practically in the same order.

    When I need to concentrate on something, I need to provide myself with a distraction so that my brain can fight against the distraction, which then allows me to concentrate. It's almost as though, by having something to tune out the ADHD part of my brain has something to do, leaving the rest of me free to concentrate.

    I have elaborate, almost ritualistic systems for organizing things. However I'm also Aspie-light, so that might relate more to autism traits than ADHD traits. It's all jumbled together.

    There was a thread several months ago about Adult ADHD. I can't remember off-hand, but I will poke around in the archive and see if I can find it.

    Sorry this is a bit disjointed. I guess it's to be expected.

  6. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    I'm interested in the responses to this thread as my easy child son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was about 20 yrs old. His room (he is living at our house for now) is atrocious--clothing, papers, trash, important things like money, just lying all over the place. He used to lose his keys, wallet, etc. almost on a daily basis and would go around swearing and sighing while he looked for them. Any car he has is a total trash bin. He is very disorganized and cannot pay bills on time. He drives me crazy.

    I do feel bad though that we didn't realize anything out of the ordinary was wrong with him in high school and college. He had always been a very good student til he hit 10th grade. He said everyone told him he just wasn't trying and wasn't working up to his ability, etc. He said he believed them and couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. He felt really bad about himself. Same with college--he had so much trouble concentrating and he said he would try to go to the library but still had racing thoughts that prevented him from concentrating. He didn't know why his friends could do well but he had to work so hard just to pass. He's a really smart guy, I feel bad when I think of it.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    All this sounds just like me too only mine is from bipolar and fogginess. I would forget my head if it wasnt attached and my car is a disaster area. My house isnt much better either.
  8. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    My ex (one of the main reasons he IS my ex) is classic ADD - no wonder both kids have traits of it.

    The ex had 8 different jobs in 16 years of marriage. That next job was always going to be "the one" that was: better, interesting, give him more freedom, what have you. Notice I said nothing about better pay or benefits there?

    I have a similar story to the cleaning ones above. I was putting driveway crack sealer down and was out in front of the house when I needed to open a new container. I asked the ex to get me a knife or something from the garage - which was at the back of the property 165 feet. I sat there for 10 minutes, then went to look for him. He wasn't in the garage. I came in the house - he wasn't in the kitchen. I heard a noise from the basement - he was down there reloading. I asked him where my knife was. He said he went to the garage to get it, but saw something he wanted to bring into the house. He did that, then saw something in the kitchen that he meant to take to the basement. He did that, then decided to stay down there and reload. What knife?
    He also hyperfocuses. Some of his have been running (he used to do ultra-marathons and triathalons), biking (he had 5 bikes at one time, all that he had purchased the parts for and spent many hours working on), and the latest is he bought a 2 family house to remodel and then rent out. This from the same person who has never finished any remodeling job at his current house - there is still one piece of Pergo that he's never put down from 12 years ago.
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member


    pls don't take this the wrong way but when you described how you cleaned hte house i burst out laughing that is me each and every weekend. it's like a puzzle with no i bounce from one end to another forget where i started or what i was doing sheesh thank good ness our place is small is all i gotta say lol

    another thing with-me is i cannot have conversation with boyfriend so whatever he is and a kid at same time. too voices then t.v. in background i feel like i'm walking through penn station at rush hour i can't hear anything clearly i hear everything. at work as well same problem. oh its such a joy............

    there are some really good medication's out there for it though. my stepson well boyfriend's son has add he's great though for the most part we work with him a certain way to keep him on task

    good luck to you :)
  10. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Honestly, I'm so used to my ADHD, I don't even worry about it any more. I did when I was younger. Now, I use it to my advantage.

    Multi-tasking is very easy for me. If I had four arms, I could probably type away at two computers with few typos and come away with two letters that were pretty coherent.

    If I have to do something like clean house in a certain time period, I do it by list and check off as I complete something.

    I can easily watch tv and still hear every word spoken to me by someone else. Makes it nice when I don't want to look like I'm snooping but want to know what is going on (a definite gift my daughter wishes I didn't have).

    Hyper-focussing is another talent in my mind. When I really need to concentrate, I can block out the world, a great trait for complicated projects.

    Of course, there are disadvantages. If I don't put things in the exact same place every time, I lose them. For example, I leave my distance glasses in the car. Right now, they are missing and I had to drive without them yesterday. Not a very comfortable feeling. Of course, I don't remember to look for them until I need to drive again. (Maybe I should stop this post and go look for them?) Deviation from a disliked chore is a tad too easy and, thus, makes said chore take three times as long. I can jump from subject to subject fast enough to make my friends' heads spin. Worse yet, I'm easily bored, even with things I enjoy doing.

    However, if given a choice, I would keep my ADHD. I've learned to work with it rather than against it. I do use it to my advantage.
  11. dcwsaranac

    dcwsaranac I hear music...

    OK, here's my secret:

    Besides being easily distracted, and unable to organize (yes, you should see my car and my office), I hear music and voices.

    I can be in the middle of talking to you and have one of two things happen:

    If I am listening - I start hearing a song for no apparent reason, or I hear voices/an imaginary conversation. Mind you, they are my own voice, I have never believed them to be anything other than my imagination kicking in at a bad time. Either way, I lose focus and have to fill in the blanks or have things repeated.

    If I am speaking - I find myself struggling for the right words as in my mind I am looking for just the right words to convey my thoughts. Even worse, my mind wanders and people think I am done speaking - this frustrates me because the conversation moves on and I haven't made my point, leaving me searching for the opportunity to break in and finish what I was saying.

    OK, maybe I need to take a little trip to the psychiatric just for me. :redface:

    I've always figured this was normal and didn't worry. Now I'm wondering if this is a sign of ADD.
  12. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Do you hear George Michael's music?

    Just kidding - have you seen that new show - Eli something. He hears George Michael.

    I am taking you seriously - and I do think it is part of the attention problems typical of ADD. I have that happen at times myself. Mostly the not finding the right word causes me problems.
  13. dcwsaranac

    dcwsaranac I hear music...

    I AM NOW! :laughing:

    Thanks for the validation - and the laugh.
  14. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Oh. I have the music thing too.
    I call it "musicosis", when I have a song stuck in my head and it just won't go away.

    I don't hear specific voices most of the time, but I have a terrible habit of going wool gathering in the middle of conversations and completely missing what's been said. Even worse, I developed a habit of looking attentive and nodding while doing so, and people THINK I'm paying attention.

    I have learned to just ask for clarification.

    Honestly, I really enjoy the music stuck in my head. Although I'm sure that people sometimes wonder why I'm dancing to nothing.

  15. dcwsaranac

    dcwsaranac I hear music...

    I love that name - Musicosis.

    Of course, I now have not one, but three songs running through my brain: the base guitar from "Rapper's Delight", the keyboard from "Voices", and the lyrics of "Careless Whisper."

    Having recognized the common theme and absurdedness of it all, I am laughing and giggling, and my eyes are watering.

    My coworkers think I have finally lost it - and I think they may be right!
  16. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I used to love watching Ally McBeal when the attorney would hear Al Green.

    I hear classical. Or sometimes Led Zeppelin and Ozzy - but not together.
  17. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    That is hilarious!

    Of course, a chain reaction has now been started. Rapper's Delight is combining with the song I already had stuck in my head...Getcha' Head in the Game, from High School Musical.

    Last week at the office, I had A Taste of Honey stuck on endless loop. Before the end of the day, half of my co-workers were humming it too.

    I'm so glad that I'm not the only one.
  18. dcwsaranac

    dcwsaranac I hear music...

    Everybody dance now!
    (boom, yeah!, nah-nah-nah, boom, yeah!)

    (note new avatar - my boy and me)
  19. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    That's why I always have something on in the background -- tv, radio, cd, I don't care but not silence! It blots out my mind, the music, the private chats, the to do lists, the oh-my-gosh I forgot to do, ad nauseum. I've learned to have one ear focussed on something around me (other people's conversations, a bird chirping, whatever) and the other on the person I'm actually speaking to.

    Of course, this can cause some interesting conversations at times. I'll never forget telling my boss that he should dump his wife since she's having an affair and he knows it. (He's gay, no wife in the picture whatsoever.) When I explained I was talking to him but listening to my co-workers, he started laughing. It helped that I could repeat the instructions he had just given me and the fact that we'd been a team for 6 years so was kind of used to my off-the-wall comments. He'd just never known where they came from before. Hmmmm, maybe I should go back to the music in my head and private convos? It's a thought.
  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I grew up thinking everyone had lists of what to do each day, rough estimates of how long it took to do each task, and each item prioritized. And that the list making took longer than doing 6 or 7 of the chores.

    This is because my mom ALWAYS made lists like this. She was diagnosed a few years ago with ADHD inattentive type. She needs QUIET if the task involves a lot of thought, otherwise white noise like the dryer has to be there to block the noises out.

    My bro is ADHD also. His house is immaculate. Any dirt or stain will side track him from anything else. He finds that if he has things in order he can function. If the house is a mess he just can't. He is also Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (my opinion) because he just cannot let any little thing go - everything has to be perfect.

    I STRONGLY recommend getting a sleep deprived EEG done by a neurologist BEFORE treatment for ADHD. We had psychologists, a psychiatrist and his PA, teachers, and my parents ALL saying Jess was ADHD inattentive. She is NOT. HEr symptoms were not helped with ANY of the medications we tried while waiting to get in with the doctor. JEss has Absence Epilepsy. She misses 2 seconds to well over a minute with each seizure. She just isn't home. And she can have hundreds of seizures in an hour, so it really LOOKS like ADHD inattentive.

    Adults can, and DO have ADHD. But just as with kids, it is important to be thorough.