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Attention Deficit Disorder


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#1
dinotech

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I've had it since I was 13. I've used several medications, and now I'm on ritalin and prosac (depression is a side diagnosis in my case).

It has been challenging to keep all my tasks in front of me but I've implemented a few techniques that might help others.

1. Master Notebook - Forget the planning systems like Franklin Covey, DayRunner, or DayTimer. I've used them in the past and my OCD takes over because I bought all the extra pages such as mileage, phone messages, expense reports, etc. I've returned to a white, 1" binder. In that binder is:

Blank Calendar Pages - six months
Lined Paper - Daily Appointments (or use Word Templates)
Lined Paper - To Do List (or use Word Templates)
Lined Paper - For note taking.

I find this to be a useful method of keeping track of important information. I then transfer information I need to keep (appointments, to-dos, notes) to Microsoft Outlook and OneNote.

2. Google Calendar - This sync's with my Outlook to update my appointments when I'm away and don't have my master notebook handy.

3. Master Schedule - There are times of the day I need to set aside for Bible study, certain daily chores, work, and leisure time. If I don't, I'll work myself into a confused state where I'm always chasing what I need to finish.

4. Flexible - An ADD person cannot be limited by structure. Structure helps us to focus, but being inflexible (sari, correct my grammer if I'm not correct) is a request for anxiety. We need to make sure that we can step away from structure and return to it when needed.

5.Commitments - List them all! I've been removed from my football officiating association because I couldn't make it to the games. When I did, I didn't give %100. It was due to over commiting myself to several things at once. Multitasking and being overcommited are two different actions. The first action relates to doing more than one thing at a time, where the second is being responsible for more than one thing (not necessarily all at one time). Overcommitment for an ADD person is asking for serious health problems.

6. Support Groups - This is helpful, and in some cases required to survive. I don't have a group currently, but there is one in my area. You can google "ADD support groups" and get a host of web sites that will have one in your area.

7. Daily Journal - You can use your computer, but I'm writing mine out. I need to work on my handwriting and what better training than to handwrite my journal.

8. Focus - This is the ultimate issue for us ADDers! I can get bored with a task and wander away from it physically or mentally. So, with the use of meds, it helps me to stay on task. However, I need to be aware of my thought process and use a notepad or Notepad.exe to jot down my "always on" thoughts in my mind. I can't tell you how many times I have come up with grand thoughts only to forget them later. :)

ADD is something I can deal with. I wonder how many have to deal with it in their own lives or the lives of others. What techniques or habits do you use to help yourself or those around you deal with this issue?

Thanks for reading

Dino
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#2
snowchick7669

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G'day Dino,

I got diagnosed when I was 14, but never went on medication just learnt how to manage it at school. My Dad has it, so my family knows how to deal with it quite well already. I must say that my schooling did suffer, and none of my teachers knew as I didn't really want to broadcast it.

I don't have any set techniques, generally when I'm having a bad day I'll just accept that I won't get much done. But I found that whenever I'm doing a task that needs concentration, I listen to music as well and I find I can focus a whole lot more. I've become addicted to listening to music now, and I listen to music whatever I'm doing (except at work), half the time I don't even pay attention to the music but its just something that stops me from losing focus.

The best way I can explain how I feel about it is that its like having a 4 year old toddler in your brain along with your normal one. If I want to concentrate then I need to keep the 4 year old brain happy (like listening to music). So I find that I sit the laptop in front of the TV, or I'll listen to music while reading, or doing study, sometimes even at work.
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#3
dinotech

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I like Jazz music, mostly oontemporary. It's upbeat, and at times I can get a tune (Earth Wind Fire, Sade) that I can sing along with.

Music has always been a remedy for me as well.

Thanks for replying
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#4
Johanna

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My daughter, now 11, has had ADD all her life, but wasn't formally diagnosed or put on meds until 2 years ago. Staying organized and focused are her biggest challenges. I appreciate the way you wrote out a list of some of the coping mechanisms you use to control the ADD, not the other way around. Music helps my daughter as well, so does, I don't know why, chewing gum.

She describes ADD as lots of tv sets turned up loudly in her head. But when she's in "hyperfocus" mode, she can do anything, especially artwork. The best description I've read of ADD is that most of us have linear progressive minds, like train tracks. ADD people have spiderwebs for brains. If they can use the extra paths to their advantage, they can accomplish anything. But forcing an ADD person to try to mimic the linear thinkers only frustrates them. Letting them do it their way, thinking out of the box, produces success, but first the ADD person has to learn the right life skills and recognize what works and doesn't in his situation. Dinotech, you seem like you've given some thought to not letting ADD put you behind. If you blog, I'd love to read it.
Johanna
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#5
dinotech

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Music helps my daughter as well, so does, I don't know why, chewing gum.


I've been known to chew entire packs of Big Red (the large 24 stick pack). I had to switch to sugarless because I was gaining weight on the gum!


She describes ADD as lots of tv sets turned up loudly in her head. But when she's in "hyperfocus" mode, she can do anything, especially artwork.



I'm a technician and I can fix computer problems very well. The creation of art and its fascinating storytelling escapes me. I've started to look into web design, the concept of developing a graphic seems a daunting task to me. The only way I will learn is to do! :)

Letting them do it their way, thinking out of the box, produces success, but first the ADD person has to learn the right life skills and recognize what works and doesn't in his situation.


That's why we succeed or fail. We are, by our nature, an out-of-box solution provider. It is a gain or no-gain situation. For example, if you have a report that is due - I'm talking work related, but this could also apply to school - and you had nothing for the first two weeks to write, yet in the last two hours you started to write like a seasoned professional because something in music, TV, or in your environment clicked that relay switch to allow you to develop a constant thought. How many paper balls were created before then?

As for live skills, my biggest problem is following through on anything. I would be embarrased to let anyone in our home right now. I'm working on that issue as I type this post, but the last seven years have been more destructive rather than constructive. The battle continues!


Dinotech, you seem like you've given some thought to not letting ADD put you behind. If you blog, I'd love to read it.
Johanna


I've given thought about it at times, but never really wrote anything down until now. The steps I've listed there have only been implemented in the last two months! I find if I submit something publicly, it will hold me accountable to accomplish what I intend to do. So, I'll post on my blog the experiences of change and see how I do.

Speaking of blogs, I've signed up at Blogger.com, had three blogs I was going to write, deleted two, and now have one blog which I never update! Oh the joys of ADD! Now that we have my intent in the open, I will use that blog to post my experiences. Look for aknightsview.blogspot.com in the coming week!


Dino
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#6
Johanna

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I will look for it. I've been reading everything I can, books and Internet, trying to find information to help my daughter. She's very bright and may someday cure cancer or end war in the Middle East, but first I have to get her to brush her teeth and finish her homework without tears. The organization CHADD has a lot of resources for anyone else in a similar situation.
Johanna
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#7
dsenette

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I've been diagnosed with ADHD for quite some time (i think the formal diagnosis was when i was 6 or 7...so 20 years) and i've got some mild dyslexia....and i've started doing some research on Aspergers syndrome as of late because i fit a lot of the diagnostic criteria...though i'm not planning on going to a doctor for a real diagnosis...at this point it doesn't really matter

i've learned to focus all my weirdness into a lot of benefits for me....the dyslexia gives me an excuse to never hand write anything...ever...which is great because i hate it (and you couldn't read my handwriting if you wanted to)...the ADHD allows for some interesting brainstorming sessions as well when trying to come up with some new ideas

the possible aspergers may have helped with the ADHD through life though...since one of the symptoms of it is an extreme fixation on patterns and schedules...i have to be early for everything...even things that i don't want to do otherwise i get really nervous...and i've got to stick to certain routines for the day to go smoothly...which helps overcome the ADHD's penchant for disorganization...though...this can come back to bite me in the butt if i'm say...at the store with the wife. we have to go through the store (any store) systematically, row by row, in order (from warm things to cold things) otherwise i get visibly nervous/angry (which sucks because she meanders a lot)

Music helps my daughter as well, so does, I don't know why, chewing gum.


a lot of us ADD or ADHD kids have MASSIVE oral fixations....we chew on everything....i can't function unless i'm chewing on something...i have to keep plastic around for the expressed purpose of chewing on it during the day and there isn't an ink pen on the planet that's safe...when i was in elementary school i would eat entire notebooks of paper....so much so that i'd have to have 2 notebooks per class...one to write in and one to eat
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#8
dinotech

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I think that is why I need to eat constantly. It's not that I'm hungry, but that I need something to chew on!

D
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#9
Troy

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My goodness, just reading some of the descriptions, I may as well have ADD. :)
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#10
dsenette

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I may as well have ADD

you do....but not the same one the rest of us have...you've got "Australian Doofus Disorder"
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#11
rshaffer61

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you do....but not the same one the rest of us have...you've got "Australian Doofus Disorder"

:)
That is funny but he can't help it that he's a short ninja and can only throw plastic stars.
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#12
Troy

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Where do you get the plastic stars idea from? My numchucks will knock you cold before you could even blink. I could hit you like a infinity times. No I haven't been watching Napoleon Dynamite recently. :)

Actually I do have ADD, and I quit my medicine about 5 years ago. It made me feel all queasy in the tummy, even when the doctor put me on the mildest form of the drug and then I was only taking half dosages instead. I like my tummy to feel good 'cause I like eating.
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#13
rshaffer61

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I'm on heart meds, high bp meds, high cholesterol and heart meds.
Talk about being messed up all the time.
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#14
Troy

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Sounds like you need to go on the Subway diet. :)
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#15
rshaffer61

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I wish but I can't afford that with meds.
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