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ADD/ADHD = lazy?


eternalsummer
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Greta- definitely talk to your doctor. Might as well get some answers and hopeful alleviation of the

Alzheimer's fears.

 

One reason why I think girls aren't dx or aren't dx until later is that cuturally we push girls to learn and do things that function as coping mechanisms. Certain behaviors are not socially acceptable in girls and girls get good at hiding it. I have a lot of female friends who are my age and are. Just now getting ASD or ADHD dx.

 

 

Thanks.  :grouphug:  I do have an appointment in just a couple of weeks for my annual physical, so I will bring it up then.

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About Smart but Scattered.  It looks like the original book is aimed at parents wanting to help their younger children, and the "for teens" version is aimed at parents wanting to help their teens?  Which one is better for an adult who needs to help herself?  

 

ETA:  And I just noticed Smart but Scattered Guide to Success.  Maybe that one?

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About Smart but Scattered.  It looks like the original book is aimed at parents wanting to help their younger children, and the "for teens" version is aimed at parents wanting to help their teens?  Which one is better for an adult who needs to help herself?  

Actually, Smart But Scattered was helpful for me as an adult.  What is in that book can be applied to adults, too.  The trick is to stay focused long enough to read the book, process what it is saying (take notes), get a plan in place based on ideas that might work for you personally, then actually implement that plan and created external scaffolding and support so that plan STAYS implemented.  Which is why having a partner to work with can really, really help.

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Actually, Smart But Scattered was helpful for me as an adult.  What is in that book can be applied to adults, too.  The trick is to stay focused long enough to read the book, process what it is saying (take notes), get a plan in place based on ideas that might work for you personally, then actually implement that plan and created external scaffolding and support so that plan STAYS implemented.  Which is why having a partner to work with can really, really help.

 

 

It sounds great, thank you!  I'll have to think about finding a partner.  It sounds like great advice.  I'm wondering if my daughter might want to go through this process with me.  She isn't nearly as scattered as I am, but I do see some of my tendencies/patterns in her.

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Would there be another group who would say,"Oh, you think I really don't have this medical condition and just have character flaws instead?  Sure, let's really talk about that.  Let me continue to tell you how I suffer from this condition and you can just keep repeating that it might be a character flaw.  This is great.  Very cerebral.  We're so open-minded.  We should do this more often."

 

I'm hearing the OP saying this to herself, about herself.  I get that it is easy for others to take that personally, but maybe try to understand that she is trying to work something out which is often messy in the beginning.

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About Smart but Scattered. It looks like the original book is aimed at parents wanting to help their younger children, and the "for teens" version is aimed at parents wanting to help their teens? Which one is better for an adult who needs to help herself?

 

ETA: And I just noticed Smart but Scattered Guide to Success. Maybe that one?

You should get Driven to Distraction. That focuses on adults. Edited by LucyStoner
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You should get Driven to Distraction. That focuses on adults.

 

Not to derail, but I've never been able to get very far in this book.  It just seemed like one example of adult ADD after another, and not useful.  I've had this problem with other books too - so much of the book focuses on stating the problem that it seems like we're never going to get to the solutions.

 

So, should I press on?

 

My kid's neuropsych recommended books by Russell Barkley.  I'm getting Taking Charge of your Adult ADD for my kid, my husband, and myself.  (Kid is now an adult and needs to start, well, taking charge.)

 

On Thursday he received a text from a friend, inviting him to a campfire at his house.  The invitation said "tomorrow" which, at that time, was Friday.  He read it the day he received it (Thursday).  But then he read it again Friday and still had "tomorrow" in his brain.  So he was planning to go tonight (Saturday).  That is, till the friend texted him and asked "what happened to you?" Fortunately he has a good group of late-blooming young men  with various issues so it won't harm the friendship.  They get it and accept him, foggy brain and all. 

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Not to derail, but I've never been able to get very far in this book.  It just seemed like one example of adult ADD after another, and not useful.  I've had this problem with other books too - so much of the book focuses on stating the problem that it seems like we're never going to get to the solutions.

 

So, should I press on?

 

My kid's neuropsych recommended books by Russell Barkley.  I'm getting Taking Charge of your Adult ADD for my kid, my husband, and myself.  (Kid is now an adult and needs to start, well, taking charge.)

 

On Thursday he received a text from a friend, inviting him to a campfire at his house.  The invitation said "tomorrow" which, at that time, was Friday.  He read it the day he received it (Thursday).  But then he read it again Friday and still had "tomorrow" in his brain.  So he was planning to go tonight (Saturday).  That is, till the friend texted him and asked "what happened to you?" Fortunately he has a good group of late-blooming young men  with various issues so it won't harm the friendship.  They get it and accept him, foggy brain and all. 

I haven't read that particular book but I know what you mean.  That was why I liked Smart but Scattered and ADD Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life, because even though the books are not some sort of comprehensive book on ADD/ADHD they both have some very helpful and specific ways to improve functionality and to help people understand WHY completing even a seemingly simple task can actually be a monumental event.

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Not to derail, but I've never been able to get very far in this book. It just seemed like one example of adult ADD after another, and not useful. I've had this problem with other books too - so much of the book focuses on stating the problem that it seems like we're never going to get to the solutions.

 

So, should I press on?

 

My kid's neuropsych recommended books by Russell Barkley. I'm getting Taking Charge of your Adult ADD for my kid, my husband, and myself. (Kid is now an adult and needs to start, well, taking charge.)

 

On Thursday he received a text from a friend, inviting him to a campfire at his house. The invitation said "tomorrow" which, at that time, was Friday. He read it the day he received it (Thursday). But then he read it again Friday and still had "tomorrow" in his brain. So he was planning to go tonight (Saturday). That is, till the friend texted him and asked "what happened to you?" Fortunately he has a good group of late-blooming young men with various issues so it won't harm the friendship. They get it and accept him, foggy brain and all.

It was the first book we read when the dx was first considered for my husband and we found it extremely helpful. I don't know that it's great for people who have known they have it for awhile and are looking for a more adult version of Smart but Scattered but at the time and place we read it (almost 5 years ago) it was very beneficial. They have published other books as well, including Delivered from Distraction.

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This is just anecdotal, but DD says that the meds "made her feel like herself". You can easily ask how would she know what "herself" felt like if she never felt it before being on meds. I don't know the answer to to that, I only know that is how she describes it.

 

In her evaluation DD was in the 12th percentile for short term memory and whatever the holding-a-thought-while-processing category was. That is an identifiable deficit in brain functioning compared to average. I don't think taking medication that helps correct a deficit is the same as taking medicine to enhance something beyond normal human bounds. And from what I understand, the medicine doesn't even have the same effect. Much like methadone for a chronic pain sufferer does not produce the same effects as it does on a healthy person.

I realize that I'm several pages behind in this thread and im sorry for that, but I had to comment on this. I resisted meds for years for my severely ADHD/ASD, probably CAPD kid. I was terrified of side effects, I have an ASD/ADHD relative who is very outspoken about hating meds (he struggles mightily to function in society and relationships), and He was doing well in school (homeschool) with all the modifications I could offer him. We decided to experiment when we realized that we'd reached the point where my husband and I were constantly annoyed/angry with him and his friendships were nonexistent because of his challenges. His ADHD had gotten so much worse (I don't know...can ADHD get worse? It has. Why, I do not know) that everything felt impossible for me and he was constantly upset with himself.

 

Anyway. I gave him his first dose. We didn't discuss what it was with him because we wanted to get as straightforward an evaluation of the med as possible, so we called it a vitamin (he was 8....we discussed what is was later and sought consent).

 

An hour later, he was exploring one of his ideas (aloud, mostly to himself) in intricate detail and I realized that I hadn't heard him do that in ages. It was amazing to hear.

 

An hour after that, he said, "Mama, my brain is working again. I have great ideas again." I nearly cried.

 

An hour after that, he was obsessing about how smart he was (yep, he has ASD). :-)

 

But, the point is, the med gave my boy his brain again. He likes the med. We ask him for his opinion often, and he wants to take it (for now). And we have so much less frustration now that I only have to remind him 4 times to go brush his teeth instead of 30. (Repeat as naseum for every little detail of our lives).

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I'm hearing the OP saying this to herself, about herself.  I get that it is easy for others to take that personally, but maybe try to understand that she is trying to work something out which is often messy in the beginning.

 

Uh no.  If it were only about herself, she wouldn't have talked about drugging children so their personality changes when people are sharing about their kids taking meds.

 

I agree that this is motivated by trying to work something out about herself which is why I suggested she actually make herself an appointment with a professional, but she is not limiting the discussion to that.  She is asking the broader question of is ADHD real or are people just lazy which she has said repeatedly.  That's not just about herself.

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I realize that I'm several pages behind in this thread and im sorry for that, but I had to comment on this. I resisted meds for years for my severely ADHD/ASD, probably CAPD kid. I was terrified of side effects, I have an ASD/ADHD relative who is very outspoken about hating meds (he struggles mightily to function in society and relationships), and He was doing well in school (homeschool) with all the modifications I could offer him. We decided to experiment when we realized that we'd reached the point where my husband and I were constantly annoyed/angry with him and his friendships were nonexistent because of his challenges. His ADHD had gotten so much worse (I don't know...can ADHD get worse? It has. Why, I do not know) that everything felt impossible for me and he was constantly upset with himself.

 

Anyway. I gave him his first dose. We didn't discuss what it was with him because we wanted to get as straightforward an evaluation of the med as possible, so we called it a vitamin (he was 8....we discussed what is was later and sought consent).

 

An hour later, he was exploring one of his ideas (aloud, mostly to himself) in intricate detail and I realized that I hadn't heard him do that in ages. It was amazing to hear.

 

An hour after that, he said, "Mama, my brain is working again. I have great ideas again." I nearly cried.

 

An hour after that, he was obsessing about how smart he was (yep, he has ASD). :-)

 

But, the point is, the med gave my boy his brain again. He likes the med. We ask him for his opinion often, and he wants to take it (for now). And we have so much less frustration now that I only have to remind him 4 times to go brush his teeth instead of 30. (Repeat as naseum for every little detail of our lives).

Thank you for sharing your story.

 

The long lists of potential side effects of medication do not make me happy.

 

But I also recognize there are some pretty serious side effects to living your entire life in a fog. To having parents who are regularly frustrated with you. To having peers you can't interact normally with. To being unable to maintain focus during the basketball game you are playing.

 

May I ask which medication your child is on?

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Anyway. I gave him his first dose. We didn't discuss what it was with him because we wanted to get as straightforward an evaluation of the med as possible, so we called it a vitamin (he was 8....we discussed what is was later and sought consent).

 

An hour later, he was exploring one of his ideas (aloud, mostly to himself) in intricate detail and I realized that I hadn't heard him do that in ages. It was amazing to hear.

 

An hour after that, he said, "Mama, my brain is working again. I have great ideas again." I nearly cried.

 

An hour after that, he was obsessing about how smart he was (yep, he has ASD). :-)

 

But, the point is, the med gave my boy his brain again. He likes the med. We ask him for his opinion often, and he wants to take it (for now). And we have so much less frustration now that I only have to remind him 4 times to go brush his teeth instead of 30. (Repeat as naseum for every little detail of our lives).

 

Similar experiece here with DS9.  He had some stomach pains at first, but within a week of starting the meds, he was sitting on the couch, reading a story aloud to DS6 at 9am.  It had never happened before - 9am was usually when I'd be trying to get schoolwork started and he'd be running from one brilliant idea to the next.  I cried a little.

 

He still has brilliant ideas and he still has moments when he runs from one idea to the next, even on the meds, but it isn't out of his control like it was before. 

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Thank you for sharing your story.

 

The long lists of potential side effects of medication do not make me happy.

 

But I also recognize there are some pretty serious side effects to living your entire life in a fog. To having parents who are regularly frustrated with you. To having peers you can't interact normally with. To being unable to maintain focus during the basketball game you are playing.

 

May I ask which medication your child is on?

Yeah, the side effects of ADHD are very real. Whether the side effects of medication are worse than the "side effects" of ADHD requires experimentation to determine. My oldest is always kind and considerate if he can be (OP...you asked if this was selfishness? A moral failure?) and sad when his brain doesn't allow him to be. I've never met a kid so wllling to apologize when he forgets/gets confused. It actually hurts my heart sometimes to see him feel so bad about something he can't control.

 

Maize, he's currently taking methylphenidate ER, 20mg. We're pleased with this medication because he has shown no insomnia, no loss of appetite (he actually eats more..,perhaps because he can focus to eat?), and only a very, very mild increase in intensity/frustration. Lately, he's been excited because he can actually kick the soccer ball sometimes when it comes his way (tiny increases in working memory and processing speed make a big difference when you have significant deficits in working memory and processing speed (he does) - as a previous poster mentioned).

 

We all occasionally consider increasing the dosage. He is still very obviously ADHD on this dose, but at this level, we are all ok for now.

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I don't find it difficult to see what the OP  , and really I am surprised that many people do.

 

I'm surprised that so many think that people who are basically nice won't do things like be lazy or inconvenience others, and everyone wo does such things is just a jerk.  In my experience everyone does these things from time to time.

 

I also think that it's pretty common with behaviors like laziness, or selfishness, or gluttony, or spending money we shouldn't, and so on, for people to be unsure whether they are something we can't control, or whether we are crossing some line.  People try to convince themselves of things all the time, tell themselves stories, create narrative that make it easier to live with their behavior. 

 

Sure, sometimes we are really clear on these things - we know we are making a poor choice.  But there are other times - maybe especially when we may actually have difficulty with something, that we aren't sure.  Maybe I have an issue with food - I have trouble controlling my eating, it isn't something I am culpable for in many cases.  But it may not be in every case, it probably isn't.  It may make it actually easier at times to convince myself I am really just at the mercy of things I can't control when that isn't actually the case, because that really is plausible.  In some cases, with people who aren't very self-aware or good/practiced at introspection, it can really become a way to stop holding themselves accountable.

 

People are mixed, in my experience, so it isn't always easy to sort out our own behaviors and motivations, they are variable.

 

 

 

I've heard of people on ADHD meds complain about changes to personality.  I also have myself taken meds for depression, and while they were useful, they did change my personality in some rather odd ways.  I don't think it's that far out a thought that this is a real concern for at least some.

 

Also - I don't think questioning whether a diagnosis like ADHD is real suggests that people are not experiencing something real.  How to look at and categorize symptoms isn't always clear.  There is plenty of history of defining disorders of that type that suggests that it isn't really a clear-cut thing and ideas can change significantly, and sometimes our perception influences our experience too.

 

 

Edited by Bluegoat
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I don't find it difficult to see what the OP  , and really I am surprised that many people do.

 

I'm surprised that so many think that people who are basically nice won't do things like be lazy or inconvenience others, and everyone wo does such things is just a jerk.  In my experience everyone does these things from time to time.

 

I also think that it's pretty common with behaviors like laziness, or selfishness, or gluttony, or spending money we shouldn't, and so on, for people to be unsure whether they are something we can't control, or whether we are crossing some line.  People try to convince themselves of things all the time, tell themselves stories, create narrative that make it easier to live with their behavior. 

 

Sure, sometimes we are really clear on these things - we know we are making a poor choice.  But there are other times - maybe especially when we may actually have difficulty with something, that we aren't sure.  Maybe I have an issue with food - I have trouble controlling my eating, it isn't something I am culpable for in many cases.  But it may not be in every case, it probably isn't.  It may make it actually easier at times to convince myself I am really just at the mercy of things I can't control when that isn't actually the case, because that really is plausible.  In some cases, with people who aren't very self-aware or good/practiced at introspection, it can really become a way to stop holding themselves accountable.

 

People are mixed, in my experience, so it isn't always easy to sort out our own behaviors and motivations, they are variable.

 

 

 

I've heard of people on ADHD meds complain about changes to personality.  I also have myself taken meds for depression, and while they were useful, they did change my personality in some rather odd ways.  I don't think it's that far out a thought that this is a real concern for at least some.

 

Also - I don't think questioning whether a diagnosis like ADHD is real suggests that people are not experiencing something real.  How to look at and categorize symptoms isn't always clear.  There is plenty of history of defining disorders of that type that suggests that it isn't really a clear-cut thing and ideas can change significantly, and sometimes our perception influences our experience too.

 

I don't think people are misunderstanding what the OP was asking.  

 

Nobody is positing that they are never lazy or selfish.  They are saying that being lazy and selfish is not an accurate characterization of ADHD symptoms and behaviors.  You cannot change the sentence "I have ADHD" to "I am lazy and selfish"  because that *is* what she is wanting to discuss.

 

People who have been diagnosed with ADHD are also not delusional ("creating a narrative") about being able to control their behaviors.

 

I'm skeptical that there is any actual surprise that people would react negatively to some of the comments that the OP has made about people like ourselves and our children.  If someone suggests that, among other things, my child is being "drugged" (god forbid) and I've changed his personality because our society is prejudiced about typical boy behaviors, surprise at my negative reaction is not reasonable.  Especially on a forum where we are mostly homeschooling mothers where we often talk about these issues that we struggle with.  

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Of course glasses are a good thing.  I wouldn't own them if they weren't a good thing :)  But for me, I like to be able to take them off and see the world without them.  Does no one else feel this way about glasses?

 

The people that I know that wear glasses (including 3 of my kids, my dh, and my mom) love their glasses, and they wear them every minute they are awake.  They never desire to go without them.  They feel *more* like the real them with the ability to, you know, see clearly.  

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From the article: ADHD symptoms can appear later in girls than they do in boys, which challenges the common perception that the disorder is a kid thing.

 

That sentence may have just changed my life! I've known most of my adult life that something is "wrong" with me. For the most part I've just viewed it as a personal flaw/failing. My darkest fear is that it's early-onset Alzheimer's. I've considered ADD, especially when I saw a few little glimmers of the symptoms of it in my daughter, but then I dismissed it because I always did well in school, and I kind of thought the defining sign is that you have trouble concentrating in school. I always did well in school, so that can't be me, right?

 

Except that when I got to college, I continued to do well academically (no trouble memorizing all of those molecule shapes and reactions in organic chemistry) but I got really stupid (self-perception, not talking about anyone else!) in other ways: forgetting important appointments, losing important items like car keys, etc.

 

I was a really strange dichotomy. On the one hand, I had such obsessively neat, thorough, organized (color coded!) class notes that I had a reputation among my classmates for having the best notes, which others would frequently ask to borrow. But on the other hand, my dorm room was always such a disaster that my friends lovingly teased me, not understanding how anyone could possibly live that way (while I didn't know how to live any other way!).

 

My poor husband cannot comprehend how he can ask me to do something, and two minutes later I've completely forgotten and I'm doing something else entirely. He's patient and kind, but once in frustration he did ask me, "what exactly is it you're thinking about, when you're not thinking about what you should be thinking about?" I don't really know how to explain it to him, but the answer is: approximately five quadrillion other things. To use the toilet paper example: between the moment I realize the toilet paper needs to be refilled, and the moment where I've finished up, washed my hands, and can actually retrieve some, ten or twenty other thoughts have flown through my head, and at least one of them is bound to be more compelling than toilet paper, so the memory of the toilet paper is long gone. I can't hold onto a thought for 30 seconds, and that honestly scares me.

 

Among my most brilliant achievements: forgetting to take my dog in for her surgery appointment, forgetting to pick up my friend's daughter after school like I said I would, leaving the poor kid stranded for 45 minutes -- I still get a knot in my stomach every time I think about that one even though it was years ago and she was incredibly calm and forgiving about the whole thing -- getting the time confused on when I was supposed to pick my own daughter up once, leaving her completely distraught, in tears, panic-stricken thinking that mom had gotten killed in a car accident! :crying: But my adult life is just one long series of events like that.

 

Clearly, I need some coping strategies!

 

I've figured out a few on my own over the years, but I still could use some help - or a lot of help. I am going to read Smart but Scattered and ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life. Are there any other good resources I should know about? Anything else that I should do? Maybe it sounds crazy, I don't know, but I honestly do worry about Alzheimer's. It terrifies me. Should I talk to a doctor, so that maybe (hopefully?) I can put that fear to rest if nothing else?

This is exactly me. And, until I read this thread, it never even occurred to me that everyone's brains didn't function this way. I thought that everyone just dealt with it much better because I suck at life. (No need to worry about depression here. I'm smart, I'm funny, and I'm fully awesome. But I also stink at everyday tasks. Mostly at being consistent with everyday tasks.)

I got great grades in school, but had difficulty turning things in or remembering about assignments. My high school calculus teacher used to hate me. I had the highest test scores in school, and I just barely passed because I didn't do the homework. Like Ever.

Now I'm actually kind of excited about the fact that maybe there is a reason (besides me just not being good for anything) and maybe I can do something about it.

 

 

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This is exactly me. And, until I read this thread, it never even occurred to me that everyone's brains didn't function this way. I thought that everyone just dealt with it much better because I suck at life. (No need to worry about depression here. I'm smart, I'm funny, and I'm fully awesome. But I also stink at everyday tasks. Mostly at being consistent with everyday tasks.)

I got great grades in school, but had difficulty turning things in or remembering about assignments. My high school calculus teacher used to hate me. I had the highest test scores in school, and I just barely passed because I didn't do the homework. Like Ever.

Now I'm actually kind of excited about the fact that maybe there is a reason (besides me just not being good for anything) and maybe I can do something about it.

 

 

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:grouphug: Me too!

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This is exactly me. And, until I read this thread, it never even occurred to me that everyone's brains didn't function this way. I thought that everyone just dealt with it much better because I suck at life. (No need to worry about depression here. I'm smart, I'm funny, and I'm fully awesome. But I also stink at everyday tasks. Mostly at being consistent with everyday tasks.)

I got great grades in school, but had difficulty turning things in or remembering about assignments. My high school calculus teacher used to hate me. I had the highest test scores in school, and I just barely passed because I didn't do the homework. Like Ever.

Now I'm actually kind of excited about the fact that maybe there is a reason (besides me just not being good for anything) and maybe I can do something about it.

 

 

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I was diagnosed with ADHD officially just this past year, though I had self-diagnosed some time before that. Recognizing the real source of my difficulties has been really good for me.

 

Because yeah, spending your whole life thinking you're just not trying hard enough when you fail over and over again at basic organization and life management stuff is incredibly discouraging.

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The people that I know that wear glasses (including 3 of my kids, my dh, and my mom) love their glasses, and they wear them every minute they are awake.  They never desire to go without them.  They feel *more* like the real them with the ability to, you know, see clearly.  

 

I GET the comparison, but I think this oversimplifies the situation and it might not extend to something like ADD/ADHD.  Consider that someone with ADD/ADHD might not generally be hindered in their day to day life.  This is especially true if one's day to day life is such where the difficulties are not such a problem.  For example, the OP is a SAHP.  If she forgets stuff or can't focus or whatever, this might not be a huge problem given her circumstances.  And this would extend to her kid and his circumstances now.  She can work with it.  I do understand the reasoning to address this for beyond that for when he is an adult, but just saying I get her POV on that.  One of mine has an ever so slight difference of vision in both eyes.  Enough where he has been prescribed glasses, but he does not notice there is anything slightly off and so he won't wear his glasses.  He feels as if he does not need them so he does not see the point in wearing them. 

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The people that I know that wear glasses (including 3 of my kids, my dh, and my mom) love their glasses, and they wear them every minute they are awake.  They never desire to go without them.  They feel *more* like the real them with the ability to, you know, see clearly.  

It doesn't follow that others feel differently every once in a while.

 

Sometimes on really BRIGHT clear sunny days, I want to take my sunglasses off and just see the world as it is, even though it sometimes gives me a mild headache. My family thinks this is weird, bordering on too weird.

 

Well shoot, as far as that goes, sometimes I'm reaching for the motrin the moment I feel a headache coming on, and SOMETIMES it creeps me out to think about how my body is trying to do something but I made it stop.

 

::shrug:: I'm weird; people are weird. It's NBD.

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I was diagnosed with ADHD officially just this past year, though I had self-diagnosed some time before that. Recognizing the real source of my difficulties has been really good for me.

 

Because yeah, spending your whole life thinking you're just not trying hard enough when you fail over and over again at basic organization and life management stuff is incredibly discouraging.

The most frustrating thing is that I am trying. Really. Hard. And everything is still chaos because I just can't get it together.

I bought Smart but Scattered on my Kindle last night. I want to thank everyone again for their responses and the OP for bringing it up in the first place.

 

 

 

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It doesn't follow that others feel differently every once in a while.

 

Sometimes on really BRIGHT clear sunny days, I want to take my sunglasses off and just see the world as it is, even though it sometimes gives me a mild headache. My family thinks this is weird, bordering on too weird.

 

Well shoot, as far as that goes, sometimes I'm reaching for the motrin the moment I feel a headache coming on, and SOMETIMES it creeps me out to think about how my body is trying to do something but I made it stop.

 

::shrug:: I'm weird; people are weird. It's NBD.

 

I can't imagine "loving" glasses unless I REALLY needed them.  I wore them starting at 1.  My parents didn't even have issues with me trying to take them off when I was 1 because my vision is that bad.  I could finally see!  My younger kid though?  He hated them.  I could not get him to wear them.  He saw no benefit in them.  They hurt his face and that pain does not go away until you get used to it.  I had pain as a kid...sometimes bad...whenever I got new glasses.  The glasses would fog up in weather extremes (coming in from the cold, etc.).  I felt hindered when I played (especially with sports).  They weren't fun, but I was used to them and I absolutely would not have dreamed of not wearing them because I could not see at all without them.  (Contacts were a miracle for me when I got them at 12.) 

 

But everyone is different.  If some people love them, I won't tell them they don't.  I just don't know how comparable that is to ADD/ADHD.  I have heard the medications can help, but I have never met anyone who said they love the medications. 

Edited by SparklyUnicorn
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The most frustrating thing is that I am trying. Really. Hard. And everything is still chaos because I just can't get it together.

I bought Smart but Scattered on my Kindle last night. I want to thank everyone again for their responses and the OP for bringing it up in the first place.

 

 

 

Sent from my HTCD200LVW using Tapatalk

Oh yes I know. And all of the trying doesn't fix the problem.

 

Because the problem is poor executive function ability, not lack of effort.

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I do too. But I don't consider people with ADHD lazy. I also know that I don't have ADHD. I'm just lazy by nature!

 

I think humans gravitate towards what might be interpreted as lazy (path of least resistance).  So, I'm lazy too at times.  Like right now I could be cleaning my house, but nope, I'm here goofing off instead.

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There is a difference between periodically choosing to hang out on the internet instead of doing the dishes (what I should be doing right now) and consistently shirking all or most responsibilities because you simply do not care if they get done or not.  The former is something normal and keeps life from being just always about chores and responsibilities.  The latter is more chronic laziness.  And of course there is a spectrum of laziness, just like with anything else.  

 

But neither of those is ADHD.  ADHD is when you really want to get things done but halfway through thinking about getting something done that thought is gone.  You aren't avoiding doing what you needed to do.  You just don't even remember you needed to do it.  It is when you have 1000 things floating in your head and trying to stay focused on one thing long enough to get it done and done well is a herculean effort.  It is when it hurts you every time you realize that you forgot to do something you should have done and once again you feel like a failure.  It is when you stop trying because it hurts so badly every time you fail.

 

Can a person with ADHD also be lazy?  Yes.  But they are not equivalent.  

Edited by Code Lyoko
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I don't think people are misunderstanding what the OP was asking.  

 

Nobody is positing that they are never lazy or selfish.  They are saying that being lazy and selfish is not an accurate characterization of ADHD symptoms and behaviors.  You cannot change the sentence "I have ADHD" to "I am lazy and selfish"  because that *is* what she is wanting to discuss.

 

People who have been diagnosed with ADHD are also not delusional ("creating a narrative") about being able to control their behaviors.

 

I'm skeptical that there is any actual surprise that people would react negatively to some of the comments that the OP has made about people like ourselves and our children.  If someone suggests that, among other things, my child is being "drugged" (god forbid) and I've changed his personality because our society is prejudiced about typical boy behaviors, surprise at my negative reaction is not reasonable.  Especially on a forum where we are mostly homeschooling mothers where we often talk about these issues that we struggle with.  

 

The OP didn't speak about anyone's kids, specifically, other than her own, and about herself.  I haven't seen her make any blanket claim that all people with ADHD are being given meds inappropriately, and actually I think she was pretty clear she didn't think that was universally true. 

 

As for being "drugged" I don't think that is an offensive consideration.  What is personality vs disorder, how we should think about that - those are reasonable, if difficult questions, one that health professionals and ethicists and even people using various kids of meds disagree about or wonder about and experience differently.  There have been many health professionals who have worried that many kids are in fact being drugged because of inappropriate expectations. 

 

If you are really confident in your decisions for you family, I don't see why any such discussion would be offensive.  All the OPs comments have IMO been made within the context of the first post - about her own experience, about her son and how to make decisions for him, about how people perceive behaviors that might be due to organic explanations, and how to differentiate between certain behaviors' origins in the person.   

 

I'm not sure I saw anyone offer really sure-fire practical advice about how one could easily or reliably differentiate between an organic problem and one that involved a sort of self-deception, because the latter seems hard to get hold of.  So I don't see how that is a straightforward question with an obvious answer.

 

Diagnostic criteria for things like ADHD, and descriptions of them, have varied and changed in the past.  And people really experienced those things in many cases too, and understood their experience in light of them.  And yet, we think there were flaws in understanding, maybe even conditions we no longer think exist.  We understand our experience, much of the time, by the categories we are given.

 

Why would we imagine that somehow our understanding of ADHD would be immune to this kind of limitation in our thinking?

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So how does one objectively measure or assess "laziness"?

LOL.  No clue.  

 

And actually I do understand why the OP asked her questions.  These are questions many have asked.  I just think in the way she pursued the topic it was hurtful to others.  I don't think it was intentional at all, though.  She is trying to process and understand.  I hope the posts on this thread have helped with that.

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So how does one objectively measure or assess "laziness"?

 

I think you'd have to start by defining what one means by laziness. 

 

But I think in any case, since motivation is internal, people are going to be guessing to some extent when they decide someone is being lazy.  In some cases they will be making unjustified guesses, and in others a reasonable educated guess, but I don't think it's going to be accurate all the time or totally objective.

 

Even when we think about ourselves, I don't know if we really can be sure we are being accurate and objective.  I've known a few people I thought were likely very lazy, but generally they didn't see themselves that way at all.

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Thank goodness DH remembered we needed some today or I would be a very sad camper right now. And have no squares to measure with. :)

 

I bought some today, but it's still sitting on the kitchen counter. Even odds if I remember to move it before we run out in the bathroom. 

 

I also spent 20 minutes today looking for a new vacuum beater brush that came in the mail.I remembered getting it a few days ago. Went to install it today and couldn't find it. Finally gave up, then found it later when putting craft stuff away. It was in the shelving for kid's craft stuff. For reasons I can't begin to fathom. I know I'm the one that put it there. I just don't know why. 

SaveSave

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very late to the party but i would say pre-kids i had the same views as the OP. Then i had kids. I had a son depressed at 4 because he thought he was a bad boy because the way his brain worked. I learned about the differences in the brain and the scans showing these differences(it isn't theoretical or some flowery language but things that have been proven) and the maturational delay in ADHD kids. I read about the incidence of suicide in ADHD kids. I read about the kids who had ADHD and struggled and struggled until finally getting meds, instead of just feeling like stupid failures for a difference in their brains. I read stories of kids and parents again and again regretting that they waited so long to try meds. i was so against labels but then read about kids not able to get the help and accommodations they needed in college because they didn't have any documentation.  We can do so much at home but once they go off to school the game changes. i don't want my son to just be able to succeed in hs but I want to make sure he is able to succeed in college as well and i would be sick if my avoiding diagnosis precluded him from receiving that help (as some things they need a paper trail to show it is needed- you can't just get it all of a suden).

 

my son is not on meds but if the day comes it is needed we will. 

 

excuse my typos, my computer was involved in an unfortunate incident :)

Edited by soror
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I think you might be a little behind the times in this perception. The most common dx now is not ADHD, it is ASD and the prescribed treatment is generally not medication. We have discussed ADHD with various medical professionals and all seem to want to avoid prescriptions for young kids. The days of little boys being dx at school and starting a lot of medication are, at least where I am, seem to be waning.

 

Those days are long gone in my area. Getting my ds diagnosed 12 years ago was extremely complicated (the process was several months long) and the physicians were very careful. I've never figured out where the perception that doctors are handing medicine out like candy came from. I suppose it's accurate in some cases, but I have never heard of it being done in my area. 

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Well at any rate, there's this: I am not going to start taking Ritalin in any case, but certainly the behavioral adaptations or training or whatever that people do would be useful to me whether I am just selfish/lazy or have ADD.  The effects would be the same, right?  (As in, I would be less obnoxious to live with)

 

First, it isn't an either/or situation. People can be both selfish and have ADHD. They are not two sides of the same coin. Secondly, the things people do to compensate for their ADHD may or may not be helpful to you. One must be able to implement the skills/methods consistently. Without medication, many people with ADHD can't do that. Taking medication helps my son remember that he has to look at his calendar and that he has to use lists. However, the lists themselves would be useless without him remembering to use them. 

 

 

 

Of course glasses are a good thing.  I wouldn't own them if they weren't a good thing :)  But for me, I like to be able to take them off and see the world without them.  Does no one else feel this way about glasses?

 

Not at all! If I take off my glasses and put them down in the wrong place, I can't find them, much less see the world! If I don't have my glasses on, I will trip over things on the floor (like shoes and socks or toys). Without my glasses, I cannot see that people have hair on their heads, much less see their facial features. Without glasses, I would not be able to drive. When I wear contacts, I have to add glasses in order to see to read(the graduated lenses don't work for me). So, no, I don't feel this way at all! I love my glasses! My glasses make it possible for me to navigate the world. 

 

  I feel very vulnerable without my glasses or contacts. 

 

 

 

Yes, it does not feel good at all - it can be very scary! 

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I think you can be a bit of both too. Like for me thinking I'm tired and I don't feel like doing dishes tonight. That might be a bit lazy. But when we go camping and I literally make four trips back and forward to the laundry because I forgot the washing powder the keys and the coins that's not lazy it's just scatter brained. And trying to overcome it is somewhat anxiety producing. Choosing not to read my boring history in school wasn't lazy but copying the wrong numbers down and reading the wrong section was scatter brained. The thing is most people do lazy things sometimes. Maybe add people get so used to working Extra hard to function they feel extra lazy taking a break that normal people will take.

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I am reading and considering; I am done posting, as I think my instinct for what is offensive is not well correlated with what is actually offensive to the average reader of this forum (possibly as a consequence of reading less inhibited forums more often than this one).  This discussion has been supremely helpful, though.  So far (in 2 days) I have managed to do more things on time, mainly as a result of doing things right when I think of them instead of telling myself I'll remember to do that in 30 seconds, after I finish typing this sentence or after I get a cup of tea.  If I give myself less opportunity to forget things I forget fewer things.  I also have started keeping a much more detailed planner, like the one we had in school; I write everything down right away so I don't have to try to hold it in my brain.  This has reduced stress somewhat.

 

On the other hand, that may only be a temporary bump as often a new motivation will make me more careful for a short while before it fades.  The key for me has been to establish a new habit in that window, which hopefully this "do it right away!" tendency will be.  Time will tell, though.  

 

Also, I think part of my uncertainty may be that I am sometimes lazy *and* I have some ADHD characteristics.  Figuring out which part of your brain is responsible for what is complicated.

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I am reading and considering; I am done posting, as I think my instinct for what is offensive is not well correlated with what is actually offensive to the average reader of this forum (possibly as a consequence of reading less inhibited forums more often than this one).  This discussion has been supremely helpful, though.  So far (in 2 days) I have managed to do more things on time, mainly as a result of doing things right when I think of them instead of telling myself I'll remember to do that in 30 seconds, after I finish typing this sentence or after I get a cup of tea.  If I give myself less opportunity to forget things I forget fewer things.  I also have started keeping a much more detailed planner, like the one we had in school; I write everything down right away so I don't have to try to hold it in my brain.  This has reduced stress somewhat.

 

On the other hand, that may only be a temporary bump as often a new motivation will make me more careful for a short while before it fades.  The key for me has been to establish a new habit in that window, which hopefully this "do it right away!" tendency will be.  Time will tell, though.  

 

Also, I think part of my uncertainty may be that I am sometimes lazy *and* I have some ADHD characteristics.  Figuring out which part of your brain is responsible for what is complicated.

 

I think the offensive part was simply when you said or indicated that ADHD might just be laziness...not just in you, but that the diagnoses may be bunk, and people are just lazy. When you say that to people WITH the diagnoses, you are therefore calling them lazy. People take offense if you call them lazy. I don't think that is surprising. 

 

As for figuring out which part of your brain is responsible...given that most of the time the ADHD type behaviors create MORE work, not less, that would be one indiction that it isn't about laziness. If i have to make extra trips to get something because I forgot, that's not lazy. Lazy would be not going to the store at all. 

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So how does one objectively measure or assess "laziness"?

 

You don't. You measure it subjectively in your own self, and to a limited extent in those with whom you are intimately familiar. Outside of that it's all guessing.

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.

 

On the other hand, that may only be a temporary bump as often a new motivation will make me more careful for a short while before it fades. 

 

 

YES! It is very common in ADD ppl.....it's the innovation that helps you remember, not the thing itself. So if you start forgetting even with the planner, do something else. Set a phone alarm...when that stops, write it on a window with a dry erase marker....etc Something NEW is the ticket. Not any given strategy. My two cents is just accept that, and move on to the next thing (circling back later when the planner will feel new again) without guilt. It's no failing to use different strategies AS a strategy.

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You don't. You measure it subjectively in your own self, and to a limited extent in those with whom you are intimately familiar. Outside of that it's all guessing.

I agree. And those kinds of assessments are often learned by what one hears applied to them by parents and other significant persons. So they are internalized and repeated to and about oneself. If conserving energy is a basic human drive (expressed in a continuum: more so in some than in others) then what we term laziness is an adaptive behavior. Of course, we need to do enough to survive, but might it be that some of us instinctively feel certain types of energy expenditures will be detrimental to our well being? We may be wrong, just as the drive for food or sex may be over expressed to our detriment, but it seems understandable and may not be a character flaw, whatever that is. Applying guilt and shame doesn't work to make those basic human drives go away.

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I am reading and considering; I am done posting, as I think my instinct for what is offensive is not well correlated with what is actually offensive to the average reader of this forum (possibly as a consequence of reading less inhibited forums more often than this one).  This discussion has been supremely helpful, though.  So far (in 2 days) I have managed to do more things on time, mainly as a result of doing things right when I think of them instead of telling myself I'll remember to do that in 30 seconds, after I finish typing this sentence or after I get a cup of tea.  If I give myself less opportunity to forget things I forget fewer things.  I also have started keeping a much more detailed planner, like the one we had in school; I write everything down right away so I don't have to try to hold it in my brain.  This has reduced stress somewhat.

 

On the other hand, that may only be a temporary bump as often a new motivation will make me more careful for a short while before it fades.  The key for me has been to establish a new habit in that window, which hopefully this "do it right away!" tendency will be.  Time will tell, though.  

 

Also, I think part of my uncertainty may be that I am sometimes lazy *and* I have some ADHD characteristics.  Figuring out which part of your brain is responsible for what is complicated.

Understood.  :)  And yes, people can definitely be both and the lines can blur.  I'm glad this thread has been of some help to you.  It has been of some help to me, too.  :)

 

Also, having now read your siggie in detail, another part of the equation may be simple brain exhaustion from taking care of 6 kids including a newborn?  Everyone needs downtime to reset their brain and body.  Not just collapsing into bed at night trying to get  a bit of shut eye.  I mean down time where you get to focus on something that is interesting to you and lets your brain reset.  For some people that is shopping without littles.  For others it is reading a book with no interruptions.  For many it is hanging out with friends without having to worry about anyone else but you.  And so on.  Do you get solid downtime where you aren't having to worry about the kids, the house, the academics, etc.?

 

And how collaborative are you and your DH on keeping things moving forward?  Do you feel like you are helping each other or kind of getting in the way of each other?

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I am reading and considering; I am done posting, as I think my instinct for what is offensive is not well correlated with what is actually offensive to the average reader of this forum (possibly as a consequence of reading less inhibited forums more often than this one).  This discussion has been supremely helpful, though.  So far (in 2 days) I have managed to do more things on time, mainly as a result of doing things right when I think of them instead of telling myself I'll remember to do that in 30 seconds, after I finish typing this sentence or after I get a cup of tea.  If I give myself less opportunity to forget things I forget fewer things.  I also have started keeping a much more detailed planner, like the one we had in school; I write everything down right away so I don't have to try to hold it in my brain.  This has reduced stress somewhat.

 

On the other hand, that may only be a temporary bump as often a new motivation will make me more careful for a short while before it fades.  The key for me has been to establish a new habit in that window, which hopefully this "do it right away!" tendency will be.  Time will tell, though.  

 

Also, I think part of my uncertainty may be that I am sometimes lazy *and* I have some ADHD characteristics.  Figuring out which part of your brain is responsible for what is complicated.

I mean this kindly -- I don't think it is the "average reader of this forum". I read more rowdy forums. To me, it read as you saying it is ok to insult people and repeatedly use the excuse of saying something like "Well, too bad, I didn't mean to insult anyone." Sure, intent matters, but ultimately even if I don't * mean to* step on someone's toes or *mean to* elbow them, it doesn't change the fact that I hurt someone and could at least just say, "oops, sorry about that, will try not to do that again!" That said, I get you didn't mean any harm and it sounds like you really are trying.

 

If you've learned that just about everyone acts lazily or selfishly sometimes and since just about everyone does that then people with ADHD will, too, then that's good. It means you realize that you are human, and you are going to do things that are either lazy or selfish just like everyone else. If you have ADHD, then no amount of guilt, shame, or trying to fix laziness is going to work. So, I'd try to be more flexible in your thinking and continue to work on executive function skills regardless of whether or not you have ADHD.

 

I do hope you'll consider getting your kid documentation *if* there are truly symptoms because homeschooling and self-coaching are usually not enough if someone really has ADHD. I wasn't affected by it only at school. It matters on the road (you don't want distracted drivers who are naturally distracted by their own minds rather than cell phones and other things), it matters at work, it matters at home. I'm glad some parents who resisted the idea posted about how glad they are for the accommodations their kids now have in place. Those accommodations can be at the least, academics-saving. And I don't think it is too dramatic to say they can be life-saving in a way, too.

 

When I start new routines or planners or something to help out, I find the first couple of weeks go just terrific. Then there's a slump. If I can push through that, it might become habit. So I agree that you may either have to find something new to keep yourself engaged or expect a dip in improvement and attempt to stay with it. Best of luck to you!

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