Upgrading My Life 101 – ADHD

Brainscan of brains with and without ADHD

Brainscan of brains with and without ADHD (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s lesson.  What did I learn today and how did it improve my life?

Today, I learned that I may have a touch of Adult ADHD.  I don’t know if there is such a thing as a “touch of ADHD”.  Also, I should note that there was no diagnosis.  However, it would explain a lot of things.

I’ve heard that adults can have ADHD.  Personally, never thinking that could be me, because I struggle to keep my energy up.  Apparently, you can have ADHD and not be outwardly hyperactive.  As stated in this article:  http://helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_adult_symptoms.htm

You don’t have to be hyperactive to have ADD / ADHD

“Adults with ADD/ADHD are much less likely to be hyperactive than their younger counterparts. Only a small slice of adults with ADD/ADHD, in fact, suffer from prominent symptoms of hyperactivity. Remember that names can be deceiving and you may very well have ADD/ADHD if you have one or more of the symptoms above—even if you lack hyperactivity.”

Whoa!  That was a huge shock to me.  Afterall, it is called Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  When I think about people I’ve known to have this disorder, they were bouncing off the walls or fidgety.  That about summed up what I knew about ADD/ADHD.  There is a lot more to it than that I’ve found.

For example, there is also a symptom known as Hyperfocus.  This really caught my eye.  When I’m working on a task or project, I can become engulfed with only that and nothing else.  To me, this is good.  To those around me, it can be quite annoying.  From the same article listed previously http://helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_adult_symptoms.htm, here is an excerpt explaining it:

Common adult ADD / ADHD symptoms: Hyperfocus

“While you’re probably aware that people with ADD/ADHD have trouble focusing on tasks that aren’t interesting to them, you may not know that there’s another side: a tendency to become absorbed in tasks that are stimulating and rewarding. This paradoxical symptom is called hyperfocus.

Hyperfocus is actually a coping mechanism for distraction—a way of tuning out
the chaos. It can be so strong that you become oblivious to everything going on
around you. For example, you may be so engrossed in a book, a TV show, or your
computer that you completely lose track of time and neglect the things you’re
 supposed to be doing. Hyperfocus can be an asset when channeled into productive
activities, but it can also lead to work and relationship problems if left

The thing is, this happens to a lot of people and they don’t all have ADD/ADHD.  The question is, how many of the other symptoms do they experience and how long has it been going on?  Obviously, self diagnosis is not a good idea.  I will speak with my doctor about this.  As should anyone else.  Especially, if one feels things are out of control.

In my case, I’m going to start with improving my lifestyle, as I have no interest in medications at this point.  Anyhow, improving lifestyle could only be positive regardless of whether I have ADHD.  When there are things I can do to help myself, why not?  Continuing exercise, working harder on sticking to a routine, trying to curb those cravings for midnight snacks, and lots of alarms.  Ultimately, creating better habits.