ADHD is the latest addition to the craptastic ailments of fun I deal with. After having my son diagnosed and doing a bunch of research, I started to realize that I too exhibit some of the aspects of ADHD.
My big issue is focus. My mind can easily wander when someone is talking directly to me. My daughter does that too and I find it so annoying. Nice that I have the same annoying trait as well :) But anyway, I have to concentrate to pay attention.
I also procrastinate tasks I believe will take a lot of focus until I feel I can concentrate on it. And I really have trouble with multitasking. My mind can’t easily switch my focus between multiple tasks and I spend a lot of time trying to adjust.
I’m sure many folks can relate to these. I think that the average person also struggles with focus because of how fast life seems to move these days. With technology improving and making everything at your fingertips instantly, how can we not have trouble focusing?
But what I realized is that I’ve had these issues all my life. I believe they have gotten worse as life started to fast forward but they have always been there. Luckily I’m a pretty smart chick so my schoolwork never really suffered. So there wasn’t any real telltale signs that there was anything I needed to work on.
I brought ADHD up with my doctor and we decided to try medication to see if it would help. I must admit, the first few days on that first stimulant were awesome. I felt calm, centered and able to take on life. My mind was still full but felt more organized. I could switch between thoughts of my choosing instead of all the randomness of before. And most importantly, I could be in the moment. I could enjoy what I was doing at the time and not focus on the mounting to do list of the future.
But then things settled and although I still felt better, it wasn’t quite as dramatic. And then the side effects hit. The stimulant really messed with my anxiety. I was starting to have daily mild panic feelings. And occasional full panic attacks. It was not cool.
So we switched to another stimulant and that was really bad. I ended up with frightening suicidal thoughts. I didn’t make the connection with the medication at first but as soon as I did, I stopped it and the thoughts diminished. That was really not cool.
So now my doctor and I have decided to forego ADHD meds for now and I can work with my therapist on things I can do to help with my symptoms. I make lists and try very hard to work on the tasks I intend to instead of flailing along with my thoughts. I’ll keep working on it.
What else can I do?