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blas
02-27-2009, 09:33 AM
......when you don't have ADD.

As most of you know, I met a guy back in October who really swept me off my feet. The relationship has been growing and growing over the past few months and I'm hoping it can get serious.

There's just one thing.....he has ADD. As in he has seen a doctor and has been on medication since he was a teen. He claims it's ADHD, but he is not hyperactive in my opinion (but then again, I'm not the doctor, and he may very well be diagnosed as ADHD). I don't watch him take his medication and I'm not his mother or anything, but I just notice a few things about him that just irk me (well doesn't everyone have something that irks them?).

Sometimes he totally cuts me off while I'm talking and I start to think I bored him or he wasn't even listening to begin with.

He cannot seem to talk about the same one subject for more than a few minutes.

If we are out with friends he will try to carry on 10 different conversations with 10 different people and epically fail.

When he drinks, his voice gets very loud and it's hard to get him to quiet down when we really need to be (aka, when we get home or are leaving the bar and cops are nearby).

Also, I have several friends like this. Big Sis and a few other close friends have it, and I just found out that the girl I may be moving in with this summer has it as well (just ADD, not ADHD).

They are also guilty of the same things that I described above that my boyfriend does.

I do not want to seem like I am unsympathetic and harbor negative feelings against people with ADD/ADHD. There are just some times where I have to close my fists and my eyes and scream a little inside because they frustrate me. It's very difficult because I feel so different and I feel like I bring them down.

I have my own moments every once in a while, and I believe to a certain extent, everyone is a little ADD, it's just that some people actually need meds and others can manage. I can be talking away, see a bunny cross the street, cut myself off and go "Look a bunny!" or every once in a while completely lose my train of thought for no reason.

It's just difficult because I'm a very organized person. I'm a very free spirited person who does not fear sponteanity or randomness, but at the same time, I call people when I say I will, I always call to cancel if I must, I never leave people hanging, and I try to never cut people off because I feel it's rude. I try to listen as best as I can...even if I am not wanting to listen. The only time I cut people off and don't listen is if I really don't like the person and I'm in a position where I don't need to listen and don't need to care.

Can anyone offer me some advice on how to better understand my boyfriend and my friends? I do have other friends who do not have ADD, so it's not like I am completely alone, but I want to be fair to my boyfriend and his friends and give them every chance they deserve. I try my very best NOT to hold negative feelings towards my bf for forgetting to call or cutting me off, and I try to have the same respect for my friends when they do that as well....or when they ask for a ride home from the bar, I go to find them, and they disappear....

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Nyoibo
02-27-2009, 10:14 AM
ADD, ADHD or no, doesn't really make so much of a difference, or it shouldn't, yes as children it can be a problem, but as an adult they should damn well know how to behave and should have learnt the self control to behave properly, don't accept them using ADHD as a crutch, that's just a cop-out for being to lazy to actually change their behaviour.

Shroo
02-27-2009, 10:25 AM
I think they actually classify everything under ADHD now, and someone can fall into one of three categories--hyperactive, introverted (…I think that's the term…), or both. My ex was introverted, his twin was hyperactive…that must have been a fun childhood for his poor mother!
I wouldn't be too worried that your bf isn't listening when he cuts you off in the middle of a conversation, it's probably just he feels the need to say something and if he doesn't Right Then he'll forget. Have you talked to him about it?
I dated a man for 4 1/2 years who had ADHD and some neurological issues with his memory (many many concussions from performing in his own action flicks) and the most important thing to do is be patient and communicate…and sometimes smack him upside the head. :D
If he has a problem with remembering important things, suggest he carries around a small notebook. If he forgets to call you constantly, don't plan yourself around his phone call--have him plan around your phone call. Or text him reminders if it is that important that he calls you.
Really I think the most important thing for you to do is sit down and talk to him about your concerns.

Broomjockey
02-27-2009, 03:27 PM
Talk. To. Him. About. It.

Do NOT keep this pent up. If you're screaming to yourself from frustration, you're doing it wrong. 99% of guys are oblivious as it is. Throw ADHD in the mix, and he's not going to pick up on any subtle signals that you're having problems. If you want this to be serious, you should be able to have this talk with him. Don't make it all serious, like "we need to have a talk." Just, when he interrupts you, interrupt him back and say right then and there "I'm sorry, but it frustrates me when you do that. Can you stop?" Also remember that he's not going to change overnight. Or in a week. Or probably in a month. If you're serious about being serious, it's going to take effort from both of you. You can't just say "I want you to stop" one time. He's got a pattern of behaviour, and you're going to have to point out each time he slips. But do it *nicely*, don't make it seem like you're riding him about it, or he'll just get frustrated himself.

Nyoibo, do you actually know anyone who has ADHD? Because most of the people I know who are honestly diagnosed, and on medication for it don't use it as a crutch. They know the proper way to behave, but they're honestly just wired differently. The little "delay" timer that most people have that lets them wait isn't functioning for some, others have different issues. But they try, and they don't mind when people say to them "Hey, take it down a notch." And it certainly sounds like Blas's BF *isn't* using it as a crutch, as Blas doesn't seem to have brought it up yet. That's a pretty vitrolic response when there doesn't seem to be any call for it yet.

JoitheArtist
02-27-2009, 04:14 PM
Nyoibo, do you actually know anyone who has ADHD? Because most of the people I know who are honestly diagnosed, and on medication for it don't use it as a crutch. They know the proper way to behave, but they're honestly just wired differently. The little "delay" timer that most people have that lets them wait isn't functioning for some, others have different issues. But they try, and they don't mind when people say to them "Hey, take it down a notch."

I've met people who claimed to have ADHD, who were just poorly behaved. But I also have friends who really do have it, and there's a BIG difference--it's actually fairly easy to tell, once you've been around both (at least, it is for me). My friends with ADHD will generally let you know once or twice that they have ADHD, and then just let the subject drop. They're also very open to being reminded when to tone it down. The people who merely claim ADHD as a crutch generally talk about it non-stop, and act all hurt when told that they need to tone things down in a particular situation.

At any rate, that's the experience I've had with both types. :)

blas
02-27-2009, 04:42 PM
Most of my friends don't like to talk about it. My boyfriend is pretty open and he doesn't care who knows about it.

My one friend, the one I just found out about it......she told me she left her pills in the car and was worried they'd freeze and I said "I'm not sure what happens if your birth control pills freeze..." and she meekly said "No....my ADD pills..." and didn't want to talk about it anymore.

Most of the time, I'm just extremely patient with my bf....because in all fairness, I'm sure I drive him up the wall with adhering to schedules and trying to organize everything and stick to the plans.....

I'm definetly going to take BJ's advice to heart, because I know it won't help to blow up at him or sit him down and say "We have issues here.."

malmalthekiller
02-27-2009, 05:12 PM
My boyfriend has a bit of an attention span problem as well.

He used to cut me off too, and it's actually my number one pet peeve, which makes me feel inadequate, so it didn't take me long to say something to him.

He didn't realize he was doing it, and apologize for making me feel that way. Now, he watches himself, and if he cuts me off, he stops and apologizes and asks me what I was going to say.

So talking about it can really help, if you two care about to work on it.

Nyoibo
02-27-2009, 08:07 PM
Nyoibo, do you actually know anyone who has ADHD?

*raises hand* as someone who was diagnosed with fairly severe ADHD when I was young I've met and got sick of many people using it as an excuse, about the only thing that annoys me more is parents using it as an excuse for their kids acting like assholes.

I am continually surprised by the number of adults in the US who are on medication for ADHD, I have a theory on that but I think it wanders into Fratching territory and makes a nest, so I'll leave that out.

RetailWorkhorse
02-28-2009, 02:09 AM
Holy CRAP, Blas, you just described my SM's boyfriend!

Me and him, l we get along REALLY well. :D SM C keeps telling me I'm what their kids would be like.

Crazy, Hyperactive, ADD, Adrenaline Junkie.

Me? Crazy, Hyperactive, ADD and an Adrenaline Junkie? Nah. :D

Amethyst Hunter
02-28-2009, 04:41 AM
*drags out soapbox from under the bed, dusts it off*

I have ADD. (non-hyperactive kind)

I have, at one time or another, done one or more of the things you've described in your post. (The interrupting thing is very common, and as someone else mentioned, it's because we're worried we'll forget what it is we wanted to say, not because we're trying to piss people off. Our minds really do work like lightning: one brilliant flash and they're gone. If anything, we exhaust ourselves by trying NOT to piss people off, because we know how different from "normal" people we are. This is why the poisonous "you could do it if you just tried harder" axiom is death to an ADD person - we ARE trying as hard as we can and all it's getting us is our heads smashed against that proverbial wall!)

With us ADDers, the brain-to-mouth thing doesn't exist. We don't even realize we're doing it half the time, or even most of the time. And believe us, we feel like shit once we realize that we've stepped in a verbal minefield big-time.

Medication can help, but it isn't the end-all-be-all cure. The ADD is always, always going to be there, no matter how subtle it crops up in its manifestations.

So, if BF doesn't already know how to (and chances are he's already developed his own coping mechanisms; that's pretty common for those of us who are left to flounder on our own until and if we ever get specialized attention for the ADD), you and he will need to learn how to manage the ADD with minimal fuss for the both of you. In other words, a good talk is in order.

Be careful of how you word things. ADDers are very used to being constantly accused and ripped on for their inconsistencies (or being consistent in those inconsistencies), and an upset tone or the wrong wording of things ("You always do X") will trigger an instant shutdown if not outright hostile end to communications. An ADDer's self-esteem is often shot to hell in two parts: first, by screwing up (trust me, we know it when we fuck up; we don't need more people telling us we fucked it up), then by getting verbally dumped on. You want to adjust the behavior to a tolerable level, but you want to avoid sending the BF into mental/emotional retreat at the same time. Use "I" messages instead of "you" messages: ex., "I feel that I can't connect with you when we talk, maybe we could try slowing the conversation down a little so that I can keep up with you?"

I strongly suggest, if you haven't already, checking out the book You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!? by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo - it's widely regarded as the Bible of ADD-centric books and can offer useful tips on ADD management. Another book that may be useful is Driven To Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell/John J. Ratey (both M.D.s); further research will also turn up additional ADD-focused books but not all of them may be helpful, so caveat emptor. (There's another good ADD author whose name I can't remember off the top of my head; I think it's Thom something-or-other...)

(For women, I especially recommend the book Women With Attention Deficit Disorder: Embracing Disorganization At Home and In The Workplace by Sari Solden, MS, MFCC. I mention this because women's ADD is usually very different from men's ADD - men tend towards the classic hyperactivity while women tend towards the non-hyperactive "daydreamy" version, though of course there are exceptions to each rule. Solden's book is an excellent read if you're a woman with ADD or know a woman with ADD, and I mention it here for anyone interested in ADD-related topics.)

Hope this helps you. You're also welcome to PM me if you have any questions and I can do my best to answer. Good luck. :)

JuniorMintz
02-28-2009, 05:05 AM
I have ADD (again, non hyperactive) and I refuse to take medication for it. I can be a zombie or I can be myself, and frankly, fuck anyone who doesn't want me for what I am.

dalesys
02-28-2009, 05:24 AM
At my daughters pre-start-of-school faculty get to know your coworkers meeting this year one of the new teachers asked:
"Who brought their ADD child?"
Erm, that's the science teacher. This is her fifth year... :lol:

There is a social demand for plastic people, all stamped out of the same mold.

Real people are strange & wonderful.

Seshat
02-28-2009, 10:42 AM
He didn't realize he was doing it, and apologize for making me feel that way. Now, he watches himself, and if he cuts me off, he stops and apologizes and asks me what I was going to say.

Our minds really do work like lightning: one brilliant flash and they're gone.

If anything, we exhaust ourselves by trying NOT to piss people off, because we know how different from "normal" people we are.

This is why the poisonous "you could do it if you just tried harder" axiom is death to an ADD person - we ARE trying as hard as we can and all it's getting us is our heads smashed against that proverbial wall!)

Medication can help, but it isn't the end-all-be-all cure. The ADD is always, always going to be there, no matter how subtle it crops up in its manifestations.

chances are he's already developed his own coping mechanisms; that's pretty common for those of us who are left to flounder on our own


Whole bunch of fragments quoted for truth.


My husband and I both suspect we're undiagnosed ADD. My parents think they taught me how to behave, but what they did is show me behaviours to emulate and scold me when I did it wrong.

I simply couldn't TELL what they wanted me to do right; and I also couldn't figure out how to wrap my brain around the behaviours they wanted me to copy.


My husband and I worked out a workable compromise for ourselves, however. (And it seems to have carried forward into other aspects of life, too.)

When we find ourselves starting an argument, we pause, and then try to figure out where in the conversation preceding the argument the communication broke down.

I'm sure it's very strange to watch. But for us, a cool intellectual discussion of our communication failure helps us correct it and avoid a recurrance.

I also developed a technique for communicating with neurotypicals. I decide what I want the communication to accomplish, and set about achieving that. I'm sure it would upset neurotypicals to know what I'm doing - especially when the 'task' is 'provide a social interaction enjoyable for the neurotypical'. But it's the only way I can do it.

(Note: most primarily social interactions aren't enjoyable for me. I think that's true for many ADD/ADHD people. Producing a pleasing social interaction is kind of a gift for the neurotypical; not something I'm doing for mutual enjoyment.)

Broomjockey
02-28-2009, 01:09 PM
My husband and I both suspect we're undiagnosed ADD.
<snip>
(Note: most primarily social interactions aren't enjoyable for me.

I'm relatively certain I am, as well. However it's mild at best, and I'm doing well, so I see no need to go actually get a diagnosis, as they'd either tell me that it's manageable the way it is, and to go about my life, or they'd try and put me on some meds, which I'd rather not, since I'm doing well. I mean, anyone who's chatted with me over IM knows I can be a little... random. But that's about the extent of the external signs. I've been able to keep a decent lid on it. This is the source of my advice, though. I just thought about how I'd like to be approached about my behaviour, and proceeded from there. I *want* to know when I'm aggravating someone unintentionally (or intentionally :devil: ), but I don't want it to be made some big thing, and I certainly don't want a list of every little thing I've done wrong for the past month. A quick word as it happens is usually good. And I've found the technique works well with a wide range of people :)

Dreamstalker
02-28-2009, 02:13 PM
The ex has ADD; at one time it was managed, but he took himself off the meds about...six years ago I think and hasn't gotten any type of help since. He's a nice guy at times, but the decision "I don't need ANY help" (he had basically a free ride from the college and their tutoring center was excellent) is what I think caused things to go to hell. I tried to talk with him about little things he was doing (constant interruptions, his almost autistic-like fixation on random stuff, etc) but it didn't work.

blas
02-28-2009, 08:23 PM
I am really sorry if I hit a nerve with you JAM, but my post does not signify that I don't accept my bf for who he is, or anyone else who is relating to me in this thread. I am just trying to learn to how better understand how his mind works and how we can improve our conversations and the best way to go about it without hurting each other's feelings.

Buglady
03-01-2009, 12:47 AM
ADD, ADHD or no, doesn't really make so much of a difference, or it shouldn't, yes as children it can be a problem, but as an adult they should damn well know how to behave and should have learnt the self control to behave properly, don't accept them using ADHD as a crutch, that's just a cop-out for being to lazy to actually change their behaviour.


The whole thing with ADHD (inattentive, hyperactive, or combined type) is that it is by definition a disorder of attention and impulse control. It doesn't matter how hard a person tries or whether they "know better," sometimes things ARE going to slip (especially under stress, but also sometimes when they start to feel safe with another person). If the behaviour causes offense, it's how they deal with it afterward that counts. A lot of the time, the best one can do is a sincere apology and an increased effort to avoid that specific pitfall in the future - but hey, isn't that true of most human life?

I do agree that it's important not to use ADHD as an excuse - but it's equally important for others to try to understand and not jump to accusations of "using it as a crutch" or whatever. The admonition to "try harder!" or "just control yourself!" is not going to do anything to change the behaviour, but it'll do a real number on the target's self-esteem, not to mention any semblance of a relationship between the person saying those things and their target.

I'm an adult with ADHD, and so is my boyfriend. So are at least 3 of my closest friends - we seem to have gravitated toward each other somehow, well after each of us had been diagnosed, so it wasn't a matter of anyone copying anyone else's diagnosis. For all of us it was a relief to find other people whose brains worked like ours - who didn't get offended if we accidentally interrupted, or forgot what we were saying, or jumped topics 8 times in 15 minutes, or suddenly got distracted by a passing bug (that one's usually me...).

I do know firsthand the damage ADHD in one partner can do to a relationship. It's probably the single biggest reason my first marriage ended. I had not been diagnosed at that point and did not have any way to understand or change the patterns of behaviour that hurt my husband. I interrupted him often (because I was afraid I'd forget what I was going to say); I got distracted all the time and he felt I was not listening to him; my impulsivity in spending and in ideas for the future made him feel frightened and insecure; I would often forget to do things I had meant to or that I had said I'd do. He felt that I was ignoring him a lot of the time or running roughshod over him. I, on the other hand, often felt that he was criticizing me (I am and was very, very sensitive to that), and I stopped feeling safe expressing my ideas or hopes to him because I thought he'd say, "oh, what is it this time? How long will this last, a week?".

Amethyst Hunter mentioned a couple of excellent books. I'd also recommend having a look at http://www.additudemag.com/ - there are several articles by and for the partners/spouses of people with ADHD.

The biggest thing I would counsel for blas is PATIENCE. Try to stop yourself before you react to what seem like slights from your partner; ask directly if that's what he meant. Nine times out of ten he'll be horrified that he said something stupid/insensitive/insulting. If there are specific behaviours that really bug you, talk to him about them. Say very specifically, "when you do (x), I feel (y). Could you please do (z) instead?" Please try to avoid "you always..." or you never..." phrasings because that'll zap straight to the OH GOD I SCREWED UP AGAIN cebter in his brain and he'll be too busy freaking out internally to hear you after that. Not productive!

JuniorMintz
03-01-2009, 05:13 AM
I am really sorry if I hit a nerve with you JAM, but my post does not signify that I don't accept my bf for who he is, or anyone else who is relating to me in this thread.

No need to apologize, you didn't actually offend me. :)

It's just that the subject as a whole hits a nerve, and that basically sums up my feelings on the matter. I've have coworkers and classmates who just can't help talking shit and judging me, so that's where that frustration was coming from.

Nyoibo
03-01-2009, 12:24 PM
The whole thing with ADHD (inattentive, hyperactive, or combined type) is that it is by definition a disorder of attention and impulse control....

I do agree that it's important not to use ADHD as an excuse - but it's equally important for others to try to understand and not jump to accusations of "using it as a crutch" or whatever. The admonition to "try harder!"...


Ok, I probably didn't come across as well as I wanted to before, I'll give it another shot, if it's incoherent jibberish I blame sleep depravation. :p

ADHD is a disorder, but if you look close enough almost everyone has a mental disorder of one type or another it doesn't mean people have to go easier on youor let things slide, most people won't and life usually won't either, I was diagnosed with ADD, back before they classified ADHD, it was also coupled with a fairly above average IQ, I wasn't let to slide on things, I wasn't gone easy on, the opposite, I was expected to outperform others, to behave and to damn well "try harder" as for using it as a crutch, I've seen and known a lot of people, and there are a lot of people out there, not all but a lot, who use ADD, Aspergers and other things as a crutch, "I have this, I can't do things, I shouldn't be expected to do things or conform or behave" it annoys the hell out of me because I did, and still damn well do, people don't go easy on me and and be understanding, and I don't expect them to, people conform to society, society doesn't conform to people, it's the way life is.


Ok, that was longer and rantier than I expected, I apologise if I offended anyone, that's just my experience and opinion.

Buglady
03-01-2009, 04:45 PM
I think your first post did come off as harsher than you may have intended, Nyoibo, but I think I see what you are getting at. The whole diagnosis thing can be a double edged sword, because it can become (or be viewed by others as) a crutch or an excuse; it can lead to limited expectations, including limiting opportunities, again by both the individual and by parents/teachers; but at the same time it can also be a profound relief to find out there's a *reason* for having certain difficulties, and this can open up a lot of new possibilities for the individual who is diagnosed. The latter was my own experience.

I was not diagnosed with ADHD until a few years ago (I was 32, in fact), but I was tested as being above average IQ very early on, and that meant the expectations went UP. I spent a very long time struggling and blaming myself for struggling, and it's been such a relief to know why I have some of the difficulties I do. I've been able to put new strategies in place that work *with* instead of against myself, and my family and friends can understand me better now that we all know a bit more about the way my brain is wired. All in all, I would say the most important consequence of my diagnosis has been forgiveness!

I am very open about having ADHD, and also about my experiences with anxiety and depression, not because I am looking for sympathy or for people to go easier on me, but because I really don't fit the stereotype of a person with ADHD and I think it's important to try to open people's eyes. As you say, nearly everyone will have a brush with a mental, emotional, or learning disorder at some point in their lives, and I think it's important for us ALL to go a little easier on each other and on ourselves. To err is human, and all that.

(I'm a fourth-year student in Psychology at the moment. I think that my experiences with ADHD and its consequences have made me a humbler and more empathetic person, and I hope to keep this perspective in my career as a counsellor).

AdminAssistant
03-01-2009, 04:50 PM
I'm relatively certain that as a kid, I would've been diagnosed with ADD. But since I started school before that craze started, my teachers/parents were able to figure out that I was just hopelessly bored. But I do have a short attention span, a hard time focusing (sometimes) and I'm really easily distracted. I can be at BT's house talking to him about something, but if the cat hops in my lap I'll start petting the cat, talking to the cat, and completely forget about the fact that I'd been talking to him. Luckily, he finds it all very cute and amusing, so it's not a problem. And we both take wild tangents in conversation.

Amethyst Hunter
03-01-2009, 06:25 PM
I'm relatively certain that as a kid, I would've been diagnosed with ADD. But since I started school before that craze started, my teachers/parents were able to figure out that I was just hopelessly bored. But I do have a short attention span, a hard time focusing (sometimes) and I'm really easily distracted...And we both take wild tangents in conversation.

Just as a note for the curious, ADD itself isn't a 'craze-of-the-year'; it's been speculated that the wiring has existed for hundreds if not thousands of years. Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin have all been postulated to have had ADD (particularly Edison) - though of course we'll never know for sure either way.

There is, however, a trend in recent years towards zinging kids with the ADD label when it's not necessary. This hurts everyone: the non-ADD kid usually gets drugged to the gills for no good reason (other than that the parents/schools don't feel like dealing with the real roots of the problem), and the true ADD kid isn't getting the help that he or she really needs. (South Park once had a hilarious episode dealing with the trend.)

AdminAssistant
03-01-2009, 06:53 PM
Oh, I know..it's just that ADD wasn't even considered an option when I was in early elementary. I just wasn't paying attention. Some teachers realized it was because I was just further along in some areas than my classmates, and some teachers used it to target me. :shrug: We had one teacher who actively hated any student who was missing her precious class because of Gifted & Talented. She particularly hated me. Oh well.

Broomjockey
03-01-2009, 06:54 PM
Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein

Actually, they do know the Einstein one's about as true as the "He did poorly in school" story, which is to say, isn't. And if Edison had ADD then working in the patent office must have been hellish o_O

Buglady
03-01-2009, 09:45 PM
And if Edison had ADD then working in the patent office must have been hellish o_O

Not necessarily - for a person with the inattentive or combined type the patent office could be the perfect place. I don't imagine there were a lot of interruptions or multiple demands on attention, and nobody would really notice if you zoned out periodically :) (Also, wasn't Einstein the one who worked int he patent office? Or was that the post office? I forget).

I read a really interesting book by Thom Hartmenn called "The Edison Gene." (Published 2003). He argued that not only does ADHD represent a specific, and normal, part of the range of possible human personality traits, it's also been a beneficial one for most of our history as a species. I'm not sure I would take it as far as he does - he claims that ADHD was the key to human survival of ice ages, since the people who were willing to adapt their lifestyles and move away from the ice were teh ones that survived - but it was nice to read something that framed ADHD in a positive light for once :)

AdminAssistant, if you want childhood trauma - try getting bumped up to, and then out of, the Gifted & Talented class :( They kept saying' "we know you're smart! Why don't you try harder? Are you bored? Here, have some more work!" :help:

Broomjockey
03-01-2009, 10:02 PM
Not necessarily - for a person with the inattentive or combined type the patent office could be the perfect place. I don't imagine there were a lot of interruptions or multiple demands on attention, and nobody would really notice if you zoned out periodically :) (Also, wasn't Einstein the one who worked int he patent office? Or was that the post office? I forget).


Edison snagged several inspirations from his time at the patent office, so I know it was him. Einstein must have been the post office I guess. And I guess you're right about the atmosphere at the Patent Office, since everything would have pretty much been by mail at that time. I don't imagine many people would have gone cross-country to make an inquiry... :lol:

Amethyst Hunter
03-01-2009, 10:04 PM
Not necessarily - for a person with the inattentive or combined type the patent office could be the perfect place. I don't imagine there were a lot of interruptions or multiple demands on attention

NOTHING makes me more homicidal in .02 seconds than getting interrupted in the middle of doing something (particularly something I enjoy) or being hit with multiple demands all at once. I simply can't process and get overwhelmed - I basically shut down mentally and have to literally remove myself from the situation lest I go into a screaming berserk rage. I've been known to bite off family members' heads for doing this to me.

I read a really interesting book by Thom Hartmenn called "The Edison Gene."

*snaps fingers* Thom Hartmann! That's the guy whose name I couldn't remember.

Buglady
03-01-2009, 10:45 PM
NOTHING makes me more homicidal in .02 seconds than getting interrupted in the middle of doing something (particularly something I enjoy) or being hit with multiple demands all at once. I simply can't process and get overwhelmed - I basically shut down mentally and have to literally remove myself from the situation lest I go into a screaming berserk rage. I've been known to bite off family members' heads for doing this to me.

Me too :) - this is one of the things that having the diagnosis REALLY helped with, because I could explain WHY it threw me off so badly. I also quit trying to multitask. I can't do it; never could, never will - but I can single-task to a fairly awesome degree. (Hyperfocus is the best-kept secret of ADHD. I can't control it or predict it, but when it happens, I can accomplish more in an hour than most people can all day).

I need a fair amount of structure, and it really helps me to have a heads-up about an hour or so before I will need to go somewhere or do something. More than an hour and I'll forget, less and I get all flustered.

That's somethign The Boy and I are working on, because he's a lot more on the hyperactive/impulsive side than I am and he feels hurt when he comes Tiggering up with an idea and I kind of go :eek: "you mean... right now? But... I just got in the groove here..."

Amethyst Hunter
03-03-2009, 05:07 AM
I also quit trying to multitask. I can't do it; never could, never will - but I can single-task to a fairly awesome degree. (Hyperfocus is the best-kept secret of ADHD.

Multitasking is evil. Even "normal" people can't do it as well as they think they can. There've been studies showing that people actually accomplish less and take longer to do it when multitasking as opposed to single-focusing.

No offense intended to those of you who believe you're multitasker pros, of course. ;)

I call my hyperfocus my 'hyperdrive'. When I get going, God help you if you get in my way, 'cause I'll just steamroll you over. I AM ON A MISSION FROM GOD. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE AND YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED. I love it when the hyperdrive fixes on my writing mode; I can just go and go and go like that damn rabbit with the battery, to the point where I forego sleep because I'm on a ROLL, dammit, and I don't want to stop! (Alas, reality, why must thou cut me so?)

I need a fair amount of structure, and it really helps me to have a heads-up about an hour or so before I will need to go somewhere or do something. More than an hour and I'll forget, less and I get all flustered.

I think that's some of why I went so badly haywire once I graduated high school. Without that structure, as miserable as my HS time was, I had no clue what to do with myself. So I more or less dug my own grave. :( (There were other Big Issues involved as well, like my depression and the fact that at the time people all around me were dropping deader than flies, but that's another story...)

RootedPhoenix
03-03-2009, 09:54 AM
I'm ADD too. I was diagnosed at 7 years old. My mother told me point blank to never use it as a crutch. It was not to be an excuse to get out of stuff; rather it was to be an explanation for why I might need to do things differently and perhaps with slightly different tools. She figured I could do whatever it was that was needed. I was merely different, not unable.

I am not neurotypical, and never will be. I merely need to discover how I can unlock what I need in my own way. One of my favorite things about ADD is that I feel like I have a different view, and as such, can take advantage of it to interact with the world and achieve what I want and need to. It's creativity, I suppose. (Not that many, many people with many different sorts of mental wiring aren't creative, just that ADD has its own brand, so to speak.)

I've been able to sort out my own adaptations for several things. I just get mad when people demand that everything be done in the same cookie-cutter way by everyone. I can't imagine that being the right way to deal with a world full of unique individuals, no matter how their brains are wired.

Those who use it as a crutch are hurting themselves, I think. They could, maybe, discover many nice things about themselves and the world. They are missing out on some cool stuff. How awful to be them.

I also quit trying to multitask. I can't do it; never could, never will - but I can single-task to a fairly awesome degree. (Hyperfocus is the best-kept secret of ADHD. I can't control it or predict it, but when it happens, I can accomplish more in an hour than most people can all day).


On two occasions, I have written entire 1000 word papers in about two hours while in this sort of a mode. This is significant when you consider that my typing speed is roughly that of a racing snail. (20-30 words per minute, or so.) I got on a roll and didn't let up until I was done. I'm still not sure how it occurred, but I'm massively grateful that it did. *phew* Means I got my papers in on time! :lol:

Multitasking is evil. Even "normal" people can't do it as well as they think they can. There've been studies showing that people actually accomplish less and take longer to do it when multitasking as opposed to single-focusing.

I don't do very well myself. I have six tabs open in Firefox right now, but that's just because I want to have things open and ready for when I'm ready to look at them. I'm focused on CustomersSuck.com, and typing this post. :)

I call my hyperfocus my 'hyperdrive'. When I get going, God help you if you get in my way, 'cause I'll just steamroll you over. I AM ON A MISSION FROM GOD. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE AND YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED. I love it when the hyperdrive fixes on my writing mode; I can just go and go and go like that damn rabbit with the battery, to the point where I forego sleep because I'm on a ROLL, dammit, and I don't want to stop! (Alas, reality, why must thou cut me so?)


I do the same thing! When I'm on a roll (especially in writing!) I do not want to stop for food, rest, or anything else. (Love the Borg reference, btw. :lol: Spot on, too!)

Blas, I think the best thing is to tell your boyfriend that the things he's doing bug you while he's doing them. It's not out of a lack of caring for you that he interrupts, he's just got this monster idea pounding to get out of his mind via his mouth, and it's being awful loud about its presence. He can do it, he can remember not to interrupt.

Just be gentle. Don't let him forget that you care about him, but tell him that this action of his is what frustrates you. Like others have said, if what you say sounds accusative, he will be catapulted in to the zone of OH CRUD I STINK I'M SORRY I'LL NEVER DO IT AGAIN (WHAT DID I DO, EXACTLY?). That last bit is the worst part, (the "what did I do") because I know I don't always get what I've done to anger someone. I merely know that they're angry with me for something and I feel crappy. It's not rational, I don't think, but that is what happens. I just think someone hates me, when in fact it's not that bad. (Another ADD trait is making BIG things out of relatively tiny things, which is something else at play here.)

If you're gentle, he will learn. A gentle atmosphere has always been the best for me. I still screw up, but I'm much more able to process what is being said to me. I like being able to fix my mistakes.

Hopefully this isn't too long. :eek: I'm only a PM away if anybody needs help with dealing with ADD folks. :)

Seshat
03-03-2009, 02:03 PM
It was not to be an excuse to get out of stuff; rather it was to be an explanation for why I might need to do things differently and perhaps with slightly different tools.

THAT IS PERFECT!

That's exactly the right wording for how I feel about getting diagnoses for these things. Not to get out of stuff, not as a crutch, but as a way to get access to different tools and techniques.

'Hey, you have diagnosis X: did you know that other people with diagnosis X find these things helpful? Try them all out, find the ones that work for you. If you come up with something new, let us know so we can add that to the list.'

YES YES YES! :D



Blas, I think the best thing is to tell your boyfriend that the things he's doing bug you while he's doing them. It's not out of a lack of caring for you that he interrupts, he's just got this monster idea pounding to get out of his mind via his mouth, and it's being awful loud about its presence. He can do it, he can remember not to interrupt.

A very helpful thing while he's learning not to interrupt you: carry a notepad and pen with you at all times. When he interrupts, start by letting him, but for a short time - just long enough to get enough of the idea out for you to write down for him. Then reassure him that he can talk to you about the new idea once you've finished the current conversation.

Finish the current conversation, then DO go back to the interrupted one. The goal here is to gradually teach him to make his own notes - mental or physical - about the idea that popped into his head.

The only way his subconscious will learn that is if you DO go back to the interrupt-idea every time - or every time it's at all possible to do so.

Over time, you'll move to handing him the notepad, then to him carrying the notepad. He may never get past having to write the idea down RIGHT NOW, but at least having him say 'scuse, let me write this down..... okay, what were you saying?' is less intrusive than a total conversation derail.

(And yes, that happens in my house. Any of us might do the 'scuse, one moment...' thing.)


Like others have said, if what you say sounds accusative, he will be catapulted in to the zone of OH CRUD I STINK I'M SORRY I'LL NEVER DO IT AGAIN (WHAT DID I DO, EXACTLY?). That last bit is the worst part, (the "what did I do") because I know I don't always get what I've done to anger someone. I merely know that they're angry with me for something and I feel crappy.

Yeah, I detest that. :( I'm like that too.

Kheldarson
03-04-2009, 01:50 AM
My BF is ADHD. His thoughts go everywhere. He's generally good about not interrupting me; what he's bad at is topic jumping. The way I deal with it is making him backtrack. Like we'll be talking a story idea, and he's suddenly asking about D&D character stuff. Or a video game. So I have him relate the connections back to me. The few times he has interrupted me, I usually say "Hold that thought, let me finish mine."

Of course, I have my bad days too with dealing with it. We work on that too. I think the major key is patience...but that's with any relationship, right?

Amethyst Hunter
03-04-2009, 03:12 AM
A gentle atmosphere has always been the best for me. I still screw up, but I'm much more able to process what is being said to me. I like being able to fix my mistakes.

YES. THIS. No one does well when they're raked over the coals for screwing up, but us ADDers take it harder than most, and not only are we less likely to fix the problem, we're also liable to turn resentful and either abandon things entirely or turn viciously passive-aggressive (trust me, I know).

Buglady
03-04-2009, 03:37 AM
'Hey, you have diagnosis X: did you know that other people with diagnosis X find these things helpful? Try them all out, find the ones that work for you. If you come up with something new, let us know so we can add that to the list.'



I told everyone that I'd finally found the user's manual for my brain :D

Dreamstalker
03-04-2009, 03:55 AM
I like that description. May I permanently borrow it?

teller
03-04-2009, 04:11 AM
I just wanna ask how things are i feel you have more then enough advice.

blas
03-04-2009, 02:38 PM
Things have been going pretty well. I don't want to worry anyone and make them feel that I started this thread because his ADD makes problems in our relationship. He is a very great guy and I care for him very much, and I do accept him for who he is.

I haven't really had much of a chance to try any of the given advice because I only get to see him on weekends....and this last weekend we were out and about both nights and I didn't feel it very inappropriate to try and talk about anything like that in public or point that stuff out.

We'll have to see about it this weekend, when we will actually be staying in for at least one of the nights.

RootedPhoenix
03-04-2009, 07:47 PM
The very existence of this thread shows that you care, Blas. I'm glad that he's got you -- someone who is willing to see his unique value. :)

Mr. Rager!
03-06-2009, 02:17 AM
My brother is ADHD. And he drove me nuts as a kid. My doctor thinks he is the main reason why I ended up on anti-depressants. The kid was all over the place and would not leave. me. alone. ever. He's also 2 years younger than me.

As he got older, he's learned to control it better. But, he's still pretty much an ass.

Probably the best thing to do is to say, "hey, I've noticed that there are times when you cut me off when I'm talking" and then talk about how you feel about it.

He should be OK with that.

blas
03-06-2009, 02:21 AM
Well RootedPhoenix, I have my own little flaws that probably take a real saint to put up with (ask my parents and my brother). I am one of the most stubborn people you will ever meet, and I can have a temper at times.

RootedPhoenix
03-06-2009, 11:17 AM
I think everyone's got something that takes patience to deal with, though. I've got my own passive-agressive stuff, myself. Assertiveness is not my specialty.

I hope the thread's been useful to you, though. It taught me a couple of things, so I'm glad it was here.