Terminology: "ADD" became part of "ADHD" with the DSM-IV (we are now up to V).

What this is: If you have (or think you have) ADHD, this is a place for you to get support, to get your questions answered, and to share your stories.

There is no judgment here. We do not think that ADHD is a gift, we do think that it is a disability, though we also can see some positives to the condition. If you disagree with that you can share your opinion; we aren't only for people who agree with our view. We are working on a FAQ about the blog and about ADHD.

A quick note on pronouns, gender, etc. As much as possible, we use inclusive language. When it is not possible, we revert to gendered terms such as "girl," "woman," "boy," and "man." (Please see About page for more on this.)

Obligatory disclaimer: We are not doctors of any kind.Please talk to your doctor about side effects, about your concerns, about taking supplements, about stopping medication, about taking breaks from medication, about anything to do with medication. We are not licensed medical professionals, and even if we were, it would be illegal for us to give medical advice over the internet. Your safety is important, so please look after yourself, do your research, and talk to your doctor about your medication.

If you have any kind of medical emergency, this is not the place to ask for help. If you accidentally took too much of your medication, please call poison control, 911, your pharmacist, or your doctor, or go to the hospital.

If you are writing a reply to a post and it is too long, please consider submitting as an ask or a submission instead. Multiple replies don't show up on posts and the new Activity Page makes posting them all together very difficult.

More details can be found on the About page.

Tags: Our Tags page is incomplete. If we have a tag for something and it is mentioned in the response to a question, it will be given in quotation marks to make it easier for you to find them. Simply type our URL into your browser and add "/tagged/TAG" (without the quotes and replacing TAG with the tag you're looking for). You should find what you're looking for.

Alternatively, look at the post here on the blog, and click on the tag there. That will take you to our tag and not the Tumblr-wide tag.

 

Anonymous asked
Would using an e cig while my concerta is in effect harm me?

I think it would depend on what you’re putting into the device. If you’re uncertain, check with your pharmacist what things are okay to use while your Concerta is active.

-J

I have noticed a few symptoms that I have. My mom said about 2 years ago “Maybe you have ADD, we might have to get that checked out”, but we never did. So I was rethinking it, and was wondering if you suggest asking my mom to get assessed. Here’s some symptoms I’ve noticed I have:

Inattention:

  • Very easily distracted
  • Can be forgetful (ties along with distraction)
  • Trouble keeping attention on tasks or activities
  • Accidentally ignores a speaker, even when spoken to directly
  • Does not follow instructions, fails to finish schoolwork or chores, and loses focus or is easily side-tracked.
  • Major trouble with organization
  • Dislikes and avoids tasks that require long periods of mental effort, such as homework

Hyperactivity:

  • Excessively talks (I constantly ramble on and on)
  • Fidgets (Includes: knuckle cracking, rubbing or tapping fingers, occasionally biting nails, constant cheek biting, playing with hair, tapping toes, tapping my pen in class, playing with whatever is in my hands)
  • Sometimes intrudes on and interrupts others because I feel like I can’t wait

Please reply to this as soon as you can, thank you so much

[It does sound like you may have Inattentive type. It’s worth talking to your mom and asking her if you could be assessed. Our “parents” tag has some suggestions, like talking about your symptoms without mentioning ADHD and just asking if you can get assessed to see if it’s something that can be treated.

-J

Followers?]

Anonymous asked
Can ADHD affect your gender identity, especially one that may move around or shift around a lot?

I don’t think so. I think neurotypical people are more likely to be cis (I saw some information on that once a while ago), but I don’t think that having ADHD really affects your gender identity; it’s more of a correlation than a causation, if that makes sense to you.

-J

Anonymous asked
I saw a psychologist to FINALLY get MAYBE some help getting a medication that ACTUALLY WORKS but after going through like 6 doctors he tells me "we don't diagnose people whose symptoms didn't show up before age 7 so you don't have ADHD." Is this true? This guy was a total hack so I have trouble believing anything he says.

The DSM-5 (the manual used to diagnose disorders in North America) has changed the age requirement to 12 years of age.

The criteria state that some symptoms must be in evidence (and cause impairment) prior to that age, but full expression (i.e., all of the symptoms that qualify you for diagnosis) must be displayed for at least six months. So you could show a few signs before age 12 and then at 15 find that you actually meet the diagnostic criteria, as long as you’ve had the symptoms for at least six months in a row.

Most of the criteria is the same from the DSM-IV to now, but there are a few changes including modifications to indicate how certain symptoms often present in teens and adults as opposed to children.

We have the DSM-IV criteria in a post linked from the Popular Questions and Posts page.

-J

Anonymous asked
So yesterday I was really pumped after a super exciting day. I had a great interview and it got my creative juices flowing, but I didn't know whether or not I got the job. So I felt like I couldn't linger on all the creative possibilities too much or else I would get my hopes up. Anyway, I had all of this adrenaline that had no outlet and was going NOwhere. I couldn't sleep even after taking a sleep aid and antianxiety med. I couldn't work out bc it was late and dark out, and (1 of 2)

(2 of 2) anything creative just kept my mind working on overdrive. So I did something I had never really done before, and it freaked me out a bit. I started plucking at the hairs on my legs, and continued for what was probably an hour until the “overdrive” feeling went away (or the meds finally kicked in - who knows). I have a weighted blanket and that’s usually enough, but I am wondering if you have any strategies for when I’m in high gear like that and can’t get my mind to calm down :(((

Honestly, when I get supercharged like that I just start writing down all my ideas even though I don’t know if I’ll get to use them. Then if I do get to use them I’ve got a list, and if I don’t at least I got it out of my system.

You might look at the Coping Skills Toolbox that we reblogged a while ago. Some of the tips there might be helpful in this kind of situation, as well.

-J

Followers, how do you deal with this?

Anonymous asked
My doctor suspects I have ADHD but when I said I can spend hours online it seems he changed his mind. Do people with ADHD have trouble being online a lot?

Pfft. I hyperfocus on the Internet. I can also just procrastinate on the computer and not get anything done except Tumblr.

Also, ADHDers can focus for a long time on things, it’s just that we haven’t got a lot of control over what we focus on.

-J

heyoh-headwoes:

I am so sick of seeing posts that are just ADHD joke memes. Stop. Here I am trying to connect with other people that have ADHD/ADD and all I can find are posts that are like, “OH LOOK A SQUIRREL!”

That is not what ADHD is. 

That is not what ADHD is

That is not what ADHD is. 

Anonymous asked
Hi, I'm a 14 year old girl & for a long time I've been described as inattentive, 'away with the fairies', that kind of thing. I often find that there are periods of time where i just daydream while I'm supposed to be doing a task or listening to someone and I don't even realise that I'm doing it. If I'm in a situation where I have to listen to someone speak for a long time, I'll lose focus and won't be able to - even though I really do try. I also have (diagnosed) social and general anxiety. (c)

(c) the thing is that I find school really hard, & I find it so difficult to get organised and to concentrate - but I am very anxious of the consequences if I don’t, so I end up working for ages to get things done or getting very emotional over things like homework. A lot of people seem to think I’m doing fine at school but I have to do a lot of extra work to catch up because I just miss things & its really hard. I don’t know if I have ADHD or not but I was just hoping for a second opinion

It’s hard to know because anxiety disorders can have symptoms similar to ADHD. It is a possibility, though; lots of people have both anxiety disorders and ADHD.

-J

Anonymous asked
Is it normal for ADHDers to absorb unimportant information really easily but have a hard time with memorizing school stuff, or is this just me?

Memorization is hard work, and ADHDers have a particularly difficult time with it. But for some reason, when we’re learning things just for fun, it’s a lot easier to remember them.

So I don’t think it’s just you. Not by a long shot.

-J

Followers, who among you has this to deal with?

Anonymous asked
youre probably not online right now but if you are PLEASE HELP, i have a script that my lecturer wants handed in tomorrow morning and its 2am and im not even 1/6 through im stressing the fuck out and im exhausted and i CANNOT DO THIS. what the hell can i do i am extremely behind, the whole thing was supposed to be written days ago but i havent even finished writing the 2nd page. i have no excuse and im dreading tomorrow. i am so sick of my disorganisation and anxiety about working. please help j

I got this three hours after you sent it and I’m responding right away.

First, you need sleep more than you need to finish this project. So do that. Sleep is important and you really won’t do much good by worrying instead.

Talk to your lecturer and ask for an extension. Tell them that it’s not finished and you need a few more days to have it ready. You don’t have to say that you’ve barely started or anything like that. Even if it’s just until Monday morning, that will give you a few days to get it sorted out. If the extension is refused, which it may well be, turn in what you’ve done and at least you won’t get a 0.

If you get the extension:

  1. How many pages is the script supposed to be? I’m guessing about 12, based on the numbers you gave in your post. Divide the total number of pages by the number of days you have to get it finished (don’t count the due date, you want to finish it the day before). Now you have the number of pages you need to write per day.
  2. Do you have an outline for this script? If not, it’s time to write one. You need, at the very least, an inciting incident (the thing that gets the story moving), a climax (the Big Moment), and a resolution (what happens after the climax). [You probably know these terms, I’m defining them for other people who might be reading this.] Even if that’s all you write down for your outline, it’s enough to get started.
  3. Who are your characters? Make sure you have them straight in your head. What are their roles in the story?
  4. Place your three outline components within the pages of your script. Typically you want the resolution to happen in the last couple of pages and the climax should occur right before it, while the inciting incident will probably be on the first or second page. These are just targets: you might hit something sooner or a little later, but at least you know what you’re writing towards.
  5. Each day, sit down and get words on the page. It doesn’t matter if they’re good words, it just matters that they are words. Do your best to make your goal page count every day. Use the timer method to get it done.
  6. On the last day, when you’ve finished the whole thing, read it over from beginning to end and make sure it’s all sensible and change words here or there. This is not a substantive edit; you’re just making sure it’s good enough to hand in, not fixing story problems. There’s no time for that!
  7. Get sleep.
  8. Be on time for class and turn in your assignment.
  9. Reward yourself!

This will get you through the current situation.

Anxiety about getting work done often stems from perfectionism, which also causes procrastination a lot of the time. Speaking as a perfectionist, what needs to happen is basically that you need to learn to be okay with “good enough” instead of “perfect.” Remind yourself that nothing can ever be truly perfect, and that even experts often satisfy themselves with “good enough.” There is always a margin for error. Different professions have smaller margins than others, but in general there are mistakes you can make without it being a huge disaster. (You might enjoy perfectionistpolarbear if you haven’t seen it yet.)

General organization requires a planner (that you take with you everywhere and check regularly) and a system for time management that works for you. I can give you some basic tips, but you have to figure out what will work (generally through trial and error).

So, basic tips:

  • Write down all of your due dates in your planner. As soon as you get your class syllabus, all the dates go in your planner. When a project is assigned, it goes in your planner.
  • Break down projects into smaller pieces and give each component a due date. For example, the last time I had to write a paper, I gave myself two weeks to get my research done, then I had to do an interview for it, and then I had a week to finish my first draft and a week to make edits. I was finished the day before it was due, no problem. (This is not a thing I was able to do before I figured this out. All through university I would start research, then procrastinate on finishing my research and finally write the paper the night before it was due. This new method works a LOT better and it’s way less stressful.)
  • Do the same thing with class readings so that you’re on top of your reading and don’t have to struggle through hundreds of pages of a textbook the day before your final.
  • Take notes on your readings. Colour-code them if you can.
  • Colour-code your lecture notes.
  • When you’re reading over your notes to study, look at both your reading notes and your lecture notes, and rewrite them using your colour-coding system and combine them as you do so, so that you end up with a comprehensive document that contains your notes from your text book AND from your lectures.
  • Every night, check your planner for what deadlines you have in the next month, what deadlines you have in the next week, and what deadlines you have the next day.
  • Every morning, check your planner for the same things and make sure you have all of your things together for your classes that day.

I hope this is helpful as a starting place. A great book for time management is Julie Morgenstern’s Time Management from the Inside Out. It’s not written for ADHDers, but her methods are really customizable and you can easily adapt her suggestions to suit you and your life.

-J