Not sure where to put this post. Not even sure what I'm looking for. But my husband and I are about 10 hours home from a party given by he and his sister for their parents over the weekend. We got through it, and with some effort and a conscious choice to go with the flow, we even enjoyed ourselves somewhat--definitely enjoyed doing something special for an important occasion. The rampant AD/HD running through the event made me wonder if anyone could truly, fully enjoy themselves together in this environment. At one point the nonADDers were outnumbered for many hours, and then when the numbers became more even we were all so exhausted the party pretty much broke up. The evening was more about trying to find a corner of peace than truly enjoying a family event.
Maybe it is because my family is so different from this, but I am genuinely wondering if I will ever again put myself into this type of position--difficult as I'm social and this is my extended family! It was painful and maddening by turns so see all this NEED FOR ATTENTION spewing out all over everyone in the house. My husband--the Inattentive ADDer--is more patient with this type of behavior than I am though we both understand some of it is beyond the control of the person. We were white-knuckling it for HOURS. He was one of my few oasises of sanity. On the way home we tried to talk about why it was difficult for us and how heartbreaking some of the behavior was, but at the end of the day the refrain running through my head is THANK GOD we don't have kids, and NEVER EVER AGAIN!
My husband is the first person in his family diagnosed with ADD (Inattentive) about 2.5 yrs ago--age 34ish. After his diagnosis and some education, his mother has admitted she likely has the same thing--which yeah she does but not sure if she's gotten a formal diagnosis. She is on meds for bi-polar and previous to that seperately on meds for anxiety and depression--she brings a pharmacies worth of meds with her when she comes....not sure what all she takes.
My sister in law demonstrates symptoms of bi-polar but resists that diagnosis accd to her mother who has tried to discuss similarities in behavior. No idea exactly what type of doctors she sees, but last I knew she was being medicated for depression and anxiety. Both of her children (ages 9 and 2.5) have *issues*. The youngest has been diagnosed mildly autistic with a sensory processing disorder--which at least one medical professional has told them that is basically what they're calling AD/HD in children of his age. I don't know if this is true, but he acts as if he has major AD/HD issues (esp hyperfocus) in addition to some other out of control behaviors (rages, fits thrown in restaurants on in other locations where his environment can't be controlled, freaking out over touching things he doesnt like the texture of--sand, etc) Some of this could be part of being in the "terrible twos" but there is definitely more to it than just that.
The older child is still going through neurological testing. She acts very immature for her age in many ways--acts out over jealousy of her younger sibling, desperately needy of attention & will make herself sick to get it--yet she can have perfect manners on the other hand. They have been told she is almost definitely AD/HD but she is not currently medicated for that, though I believe she has been medicated for other things.
It was a small dinner party of about 15 in a home and we had it catered to make it less stressful. Definitely fun moments, but very loud in a bad way...not in the small groups conversing and laughing and having a good time way, but more of a child shouting for us to listen to a song--like 5 or 6 times. THEN there was a new one for a minimum of 6 more times...just new words set to well known tunes, but seriously how many times should a child be allowed to stand in the front of the living room and interrupt 5 seperate conversational groups to do this stupidity. And it seemed once that wore off, my husband and I were the targets of future efforts. I honestly think it was because we were some of the few people who possessed the capability of focus, but should we be penalized for that?
The youngest child was demonstrating his dancing.....fairly hilariously, but when the attention went in that direction the older child felt like THIS COULD NOT HAPPEN and started imitating his actions (cute on a 2 year old absolutely NOT CUTE on a 9 year old). One ADHD person has a one track mind...it is always a different track but this visit it was cartoons, and he would interrupt my husband and I while in conversation with other people (a mininum of 10 times over the course of the 3 hours he was there) to ask my husband about cartoons or to tell me ones I should be watching--he's in his 30s.
We couldn't have ANY complete normal adult conversations the entire night because some AD/HDer was constantly interrupting us. It was hard and it was painful to watch and to feel bombarded by. Have other people come up against things like this? How do you handle it? It didn't seem to me like anyone was really enjoying themselves--generally because of all the AD/HD behavior. It would have made sense if because there were so many there with AD/HD that they were having a blast together and we were just along for the ride, but my husband expressed it perfectly when he said they were all competing with eachother for attention so no one was really capable of enjoying themselves ESP not them!