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Old 06-04-2020, 06:44 PM   #1
jesyka
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Default Questions about ADD

Hi, I'm new here. I googled information about ADD but I'd like to know more about what it's like from people who have it. I'd also like to know what it's like to deal with people who have ADD and what your experiences been like.

I'm asking because a friend of mine told me that she has ADD, but I think that she's lying about it as it does seem that she CAN control her behaviour at times with effort.

Anyways, is it common for people with ADD to seem like they're not listening to you at all? Do they get distracted and do things like start talking about a different topic or running off constantly when they see something else that interests them? Example, my friend would just leave my side and look at dogs without saying anything when we went for walks and not excuse herself or say sorry.

She'd also obsess over FB on her phone and constantly check her texts and FB on the phone. She'd say, I got a text. She'd still check her texts which were non emergency texts and not apologize for things.

She stopped doing that after I told her numerous times how rude that is and to not call me if she can't focus on the conversation at the time. She did stop doing that, but it took her awhile to stop.

Also, she refuses to get a diagnosis or get on ADD meds. She told me that since her other friends and the people at work and her clients have no issue with the way that she is, then there is no need for her to get help as her issues with ADD are just "quirks'.

She told me that I was being intolerant and that I'm the only one who ever complained about her being rude, ugh! I'm sure that other people think that she's rude too, but they probably don't want o upset her as she can't seem to take any kind of criticism.

She actually started crying in public when I tried to kindly set boundaries with her. That's when she told me that she has "ADD' and 'OCD'/ after knowing her for over 3 years back in last year of November .

I call b.s as why wouldn't she tell me that sooner? She told me that I was placing 'restrictions' on her and that she doesn't believe in boundaries, but THEN she tried to set them with me right after that and that I should respect HER boundaries by not telling her about my personal problems anymore as she can't handle the "negativity".

Does anyone else think that sounds suspicious? She is definitely sneaky and indirect with how she likes to communicate and has even admitted that to me. I'd appreciate any insight and responses.

Also, I'm not trying to judge people who have ADD. I sympathize with them. With her though, she CAN control her behaviour. When someone really does have ADD, are they not able to control their behaviour without medication?

And does medication help with focus and behaviour?
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Old 06-13-2020, 04:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: Questions about ADD

Hey @jesyka
Quote:
Originally Posted by jesyka View Post
Hi, I'm new here. I googled information about ADD but I'd like to know more about what it's like from people who have it. I'd also like to know what it's like to deal with people who have ADD and what your experiences been like.

I'm asking because a friend of mine told me that she has ADD, but I think that she's lying about it as it does seem that she CAN control her behaviour at times with effort.
Quote:
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental disorder of the neurodevelopmental type.[11][12] It is characterized by difficulty paying attention, excessive activity, and acting without regards to consequences, which are otherwise not appropriate for a person's age.[1][2] Some individuals with ADHD also display difficulty regulating emotions or problems with executive function.[13][14][15][2] For a diagnosis, the symptoms should appear before a person is twelve years old, be present for more than six months, and cause problems in at least two settings (such as school, home, or recreational activities).[3][16] In children, problems paying attention may result in poor school performance.[1] Additionally there is an association with other mental disorders and substance misuse.[17] Although it causes impairment, particularly in modern society, many people with ADHD can have sustained attention for tasks they find interesting or rewarding (known as hyperfocus).?
Quote:
Do they get distracted and do things like start talking about a different topic or running off constantly when they see something else that interests them? Example, my friend would just leave my side and look at dogs without saying anything when we went for walks and not excuse herself or say sorry.

She'd also obsess over FB on her phone and constantly check her texts and FB on the phone. She'd say, I got a text. She'd still check her texts which were non emergency texts and not apologize for things.

She stopped doing that after I told her numerous times how rude that is and to not call me if she can't focus on the conversation at the time. She did stop doing that, but it took her awhile to stop.

Quote:
Inattention, hyperactivity (restlessness in adults), disruptive behavior, and impulsivity are common in ADHD.[53][54] Academic difficulties are frequent as are problems with relationships.[53] The symptoms can be difficult to define, as it is hard to draw a line at where normal levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity end and significant levels requiring interventions begin.[55]

According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), symptoms must be present for six months or more to a degree that is much greater than others of the same age[2] and they must cause significant problems functioning in at least two settings (e.g., social, school/work, or home).[2] The criteria must have been met prior to age twelve in order to receive a diagnosis of ADHD.[2] This requires more than 5 symptoms of inattention or hyperactivity/impulsivity for those under 17 and more than 4 for those over 16 years old.
Quote:
She told me that I was being intolerant and that I'm the only one who ever complained about her being rude, ugh! I'm sure that other people think that she's rude too, but they probably don't want o upset her as she can't seem to take any kind of criticism.

She actually started crying in public when I tried to kindly set boundaries with her. That's when she told me that she has "ADD' and 'OCD'/ after knowing her for over 3 years back in last year of November .
Quote:
People with ADHD of all ages are more likely to have problems with social skills, such as social interaction and forming and maintaining friendships. This is true for all subtypes. About half of children and adolescents with ADHD experience social rejection by their peers compared to 1015% of non-ADHD children and adolescents. People with attention deficits are prone to having difficulty processing verbal and nonverbal language which can negatively affect social interaction. They also may drift off during conversations, miss social cues, and have trouble learning social skills.[
Difficulties managing anger are more common in children with ADHD[59] as are poor handwriting[60] and delays in speech, language and motor development.[61][62] Although it causes significant difficulty, many children with ADHD have an attention span equal to or better than that of other children for tasks and subjects they find interesting.[18]
Quote:
Does anyone else think that sounds suspicious? She is definitely sneaky and indirect with how she likes to communicate and has even admitted that to me. I'd appreciate any insight and responses.

Also, I'm not trying to judge people who have ADD. I sympathize with them. With her though, she CAN control her behaviour. When someone really does have ADD, are they not able to control their behaviour without medication?
Quote:
It is estimated that between 25% of adults have ADHD.[28] Around 2550% of children with ADHD continue to experience ADHD symptoms into adulthood, while the rest experiences fewer or no symptoms.[2][28] Currently, most adults remain untreated.[161] Many adults with ADHD without diagnosis and treatment have a disorganized life and some use non-prescribed drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.[32] Other problems may include relationship and job difficulties, and an increased risk of criminal activities.[28] Associated mental health problems include: depression, anxiety disorder, and learning disabilities.[32]

Some ADHD symptoms in adults differ from those seen in children. While children with ADHD may climb and run about excessively, adults may experience an inability to relax, or they talk excessively in social situations. Adults with ADHD may start relationships impulsively, display sensation-seeking behavior, and be short-tempered. Addictive behavior such as substance abuse and gambling are common. The DSM-V criteria do specifically deal with adults, unlike those in DSM-IV, which were criticized for not being appropriate for adults; those who presented differently may lead to the claim that they outgrew the diagnosis.[28]
Quote:
And does medication help with focus and behaviour?
Quote:
Stimulant medications are the pharmaceutical treatment of choice.[43][185] They have at least some effect on symptoms, in the short term, in about 80% of people.[46][42][185] Methylphenidate appears to improve symptoms as reported by teachers and parents.[42][46][186] Stimulants may also reduce the risk of unintentional injuries in children with ADHD.[187]

There are a number of non-stimulant medications, such as atomoxetine, bupropion, guanfacine, and clonidine that may be used as alternatives, or added to stimulant therapy.[43][188] There are no good studies comparing the various medications; however, they appear more or less equal with respect to side effects.[189] Stimulants appear to improve academic performance while atomoxetine does not.[190] Atomoxetine, due to its lack of addiction liability, may be preferred in those who are at risk of recreational or compulsive stimulant use.[28] There is little evidence on the effects of medication on social behaviors.[189] As of June 2015, the long-term effects of ADHD medication have yet to be fully determined.[191][192] Magnetic resonance imaging studies suggest that long-term treatment with amphetamine or methylphenidate decreases abnormalities in brain structure and function found in subjects with ADHD.[193][194][195] A 2018 review found the greatest short-term benefit with methylphenidate in children and amphetamines in adults.[196]
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Old 06-14-2020, 11:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: Questions about ADD

Hi, thanks for the detailed reply. I appreciate it.
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Old 07-21-2020, 12:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Questions about ADD

I'll try to go question by question.

Can an ADHD person control their behavior sometimes?
Yes, but not always. It takes an incredible amount of effort sometimes for us to change our behavior and to self-regulate. This can be made easier by medication or other self-management strategies that we learn over time. Unfortunately like any disorder/condition (depression, diabetes) it cannot be shut off or made to disappear. ADHD people are often accused of faking because of the seeming inconsistency of some of the symptoms. That's the nature of the disorder, however. Symptoms vary in terms of severity and frequency.

Is it common for ADHD people to seem like they're not listening to you?
Yes. Very. It can be incredibly hard in a conversation to focus on a person talking to you. It's easy to get distracted by any number of things such as what's going on outside the window, a noise down the hallway, a feeling in your clothes, or even just thoughts in your head. It's incredibly easy to get distracted internally and it makes it hard for us ADHD folk to pay attention and retain information. It can be helpful when you're speaking with someone who you know has ADHD to ask them to try to focus in on you or ask them if they're able to have a conversation at that point in time. Some of us just need the right time and right space to be able to give you our undivided attention. It's hard for non-ADHD people to understand the amount of mental energy that goes into basic things like conversations or getting tasks done during the day. Sometimes we just don't have the resources to maintain that level of attention, and it can come across as flippant, rude, or dismissive.

Do ADHD people obsess over things like phones or social media?
Yes. ADHD is in part a dopamine disorder, from what we understand so far. It means that we often impulsively engage in or seek out behaviors or activities that give us an immediate reward. If we're doing something boring (i.e. cleaning or homework) and we are offered the opportunity to watch a video, dance to a song, respond to a text, or scroll Twitter, we will usually pick the thing that is most emotionally or mentally stimulating for us. This isn't to say that it's always okay. In a lot of ways this is a bad behavior that we have to learn to adjust. But it can be a challenge that takes time. Self-regulation isn't a forte for all of us. We have to find ways to mitigate distractions and avoid getting sucked into the impulsive digital high.

Do ADHD people refuse to get help or diagnoses?
Yes. ADHD is a disorder that is bound to shame. People are often called lazy, stupid, fakers, or flaky. We often get criticized for our struggles and we are reluctant to go to professionals who would do the same. Or worse, we could go to a professional and they could completely disregard our struggles and tell us it's something else or not real. It is incredibly painful to have a big part of your identity invalidated. Sometimes ADHD folks are reluctant to seek treatment because they don't like how medication makes them feel or they don't like the work that goes into therapy or coaching. This isn't that unsimilar from things like depression or Bipolar Disorder where people don't want to get treatment because they don't want to change how they feel. When you live with symptoms long enough you begin to internalize them as a part of who you are. If, for example, I'm used to being very creative and impulsively taking on new and exciting projects, it can be hard for me to adjust to not having that drive or not feeling that spark as easily. People usually have valid reasons for not wanting to seek care, sometimes based on past experiences from having done so. Other times we are uninformed and don't seek care based on misinformation or stigma.

Can ADHD people be overly emotional?
Yes. There's a new concept in the ADHD community being discussed which has been promoted by Dr. William Dodson, an ADHD expert and psychiatrist. He talks about Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria. I'd say it's worth reading about. In general, emotional dysregulation is common with ADHD. We can be very sensitive, especially when it comes to receiving criticism or feedback. We've often been told in our lives that we were behaving badly, not doing something right, or failing at living up to expectations. It's easy to have low self-esteem and to be reactive to any critique. That's not uncommon. It may be hard to understand when you're doing something like setting a simple boundary, but we need context and patience to help us understand what you mean. What you say to us is not always how we interpret it or feel about what was said.

Why don't people with ADHD tell you sooner?
I mentioned this above a little bit, but ADHD carries with it a lot of social shame. Even from your post I can see some of the common beliefs about ADHD. It's easy to discount the validity of what it is. A lot of people don't disclose their ADHD for fear of how it will effect relationships, jobs, or even their day-to-day safety. It's similar to why some people don't disclose if they have dyslexia, OCD, or an eating disorder. You don't always want people to know your business, and you don't know who is safe and how they'll respond if you open up.

Can people with ADHD improve without medication?
Yes. From the research, though, medication is effective for about 80% of people with ADHD. People who don't want or don't respond to medication can use other strategies and coping skills to mitigate some of the challenges of ADHD. ADHD coaching is growing in popularity and it is a great way to tackle things, as is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. What's more common, though, is that we with ADHD learn certain coping skills to help us navigate life and live with the challenges we face. For example, I often struggle to keep track of items that are important like clothes for work, car keys, badge, etc. I make sure that each night I lay out everything I'll need in the morning and put it in all one place. You could say that because I am able to do that intentionally that maybe my ADHD isn't as bad as I say, but you don't see that this is a skill I've had to develop and practice over a course of decades. We all find ways to cope with our challenges. It's hard for others to see that, and also sometimes hard for us to explain. It can be useful to ask a person with ADHD, "What kinds of things do you do on your own to manage your symptoms?"

Does medication help with focus and behavior?
Yes, it can. It doesn't take away everything, especially behaviors. It can help with focus, but it's not like a brain pill that suddenly gives you superpowers. For me, my medication calms my brain a little and it lets me do things that are important like completing a task from start to finish, keeping track of projects that I leave open or unfinished, and generally feeling calmer and less restless in my chair or my body. It doesn't take away the other challenges I face, and when it wears off in the evening all of my symptoms come rushing back. Medication is not a panacea. Medication is a tool, and like any other mental health condition, it can make it easier to do the real work of managing the ADHD in our daily lives.

I hope some of that information helps!
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