Progress? and... job interview...

Hello all...

first, Yay! I have a job interview coming up!  (I'll know exactly when sometime next week...)

Also - totally had my mind blown yesterday by a series of lectures by Dr. Russell Barkley, Ph.D at the Centre for ADD/ADHD Advocacy, Canada.  You can find these lectures on Vimeo.  'Jon' posted about them in the thread about selfishness.

They were depressing and somewhat liberating.  It is VERY technical, and VERY thorough.  Explaining in great detail what areas of the brain are affected, and how these areas in our brains are smaller than they should be.  It is upsetting, to me... but he does confirm a lot of things i'd already suspected, for example:  ADHD is not a gift.  it is not something that makes a person quirky, creative or super-smart....  famous adders are not successful BECAUSE of their ADD, they are successful in SPITE of it.  This is comforting for me, because it lets me know that the things I actually AM good at are not just symptoms of a severe disorder.  They are real.  And there IS something more to me than a socially impaired, dysfunctional weight on my husband's shoulders.  However, the things I am good at are of no use to anyone, really.

It's so hard learning how serious and never ending it is. The statistics.  The stories. The things that are normal that don't make sense to me will never, ever make sense to me.  I must continue to try my best to fake it, force it, MAKE it all happen so i'm not destroying anything/anyone.  I also know my kids will suffer, too.  I can't pretend anymore that 'oh... well, they MIGHT not have it."  I know they do.  I've got one hyper and one inattentive type.

When do you tell them?  and WHAT do you tell them?  I will always be in this surreal fog.  It's like ALWAYS being drunk or something, and never knowing where you are or what is actually happening in any given situation, trying to speak but only slurring, unable to see clearly (is that the important CEO I met yesterday, or is that someone from high school?)always trying to pass for sober.

See?  I can't even stay on topic.  what's this?  oh... right... progress...


I told y'all I've got an interview, right?


Congratulations, Ellamenno

Are you talking about how our frontal lobes are 10% smaller than a neurotypical person?  Well, the only comforting thing about that is that is has no effect on IQ (as in lowering it). 

I don't know.  I'd almost rather think there was an upside of ADHD.  You are saying that the creative thinking I see in my ADHD students is NOT a RESULT of their ADHD?  I know he's an expert in his field, but this doesn't ring true for me.  I have been around a lot of ADHD students, and their sense of humor DOES tend to be quirky; and does suggest outside-the-box thinking.  The way we solve problems is different, because it has to be...

I also know how sucky ADHD is, and don't think the majority of people know the depth and scope of the implications of the disorder and how DIFFICULT it is...

Congratulations on the job interview!

Oh, and Ellamenno, don't underestimate yourself.  You are a bright woman; I can tell by your writing.  And you, also, have that quirky ADHD sense of humor.  I have laughed more than once at a description of your antics.  You are funny as hell and insightful, too.  I enjoy reading your contributions to this site.

I hope your interview goes well :)!

Awesome news on the it also in teaching?

As far as the vids, I feel Barkley does the very best job explaining in a way that I understand it what is going on in an AD/HD brain.  While Dr Hallowell's books are the first ones who really helped us understand that the symptoms we deal with (almost entirely inattentive) can indeed be part of ADD, a lot of his writings seem to assume hyperactivity present. this is probably because that is the type of ADHD he deals with personally, but a lot of what he says just doesn't apply to us.  I like Ferrari brain with bicycle brakes analogy, but we deal with neither in our fight with ADD.

Therefore there are times in those discussions where we just can't relate at all........which is why I won't be stunned if the segment of the population with my husband's type of Inattentive ADD (not sub-threshold and never having involved hyperactivity) does get changed to SCT.  Barkley has given me pretty much the only info I've read on this subject though it is still definitely not well defined, which may make me a bit partial to him also.  My husband likes how clear his presentations are, but he can't watch a lot at a time--I could crank through 4-5 hours no problem but either because of the dryness of the presentation or discouragement at the message, my husband can't seem to do that.

As far as the gift/curse idea of ADD, what I am noticing among my AD/HD friends and family is they come down on one side or the other based on how impaired they feel and how defined they feel by it.  Those who feel more defined by it seem to be the ones who are searching for upsides.  I don't see any harm in that......different ways of thinking will definitely give you different types of solutions and also a person with a poor memory seldom will hold a grudge or refuse to forgive--at least those are qualities of most of the AD/HD ppl that I know.  Maybe because my husband has a milder form of ADD, he refuses to be defined by his ADD.  He sees it as keeping him from being the best husband, etc that he can be, and he views it entirely as a bad thing that needs to be beaten.  Our experience with his ADD os that it gets in the way of the manifestation of his true self--he isn't thoughtless, or careless, or self involved but due to his symptoms can act those ways.  It infuriates frustrates us both......and it is NOT him at his core being represented by those behaviors.  His real self shines through most of the time and is the great guy that everyone else gets to experience exclusively--course that is why I don't get sympathy in dealing with his symptoms.....they don't really affect other ppl.

I notice that ppl who feel very personally defined by AD/HD tend not to like Barkley's presentations.........they are very cut and dried and there is little creativity to them.  I agree the presentations aren't pretty or sugar coated, but the science does seem to back it up, and I prefer his manner to a more PC way of saying things, but then I get pretty sick of having to be PC all the time :)

My understanding of the science is that you have been be careful when talking about things like creativity and IQ and the other categories ppl tend to believe are enhanced or lowered BY AD/HD.  My understanding is that ppl with AD/HD have the same gifts and lacks as the general population.  The IQs aren't higher/lower but across the same spectrum.  The creativity isn't more or less than NTs......some have more and some have less.  Not affected by ADHD as far as I understand it.  You don't need a disorder to be creative though that type of environment may well be more ADD friendly than other types.  If you are creative, my understanding of the science says that isn't AD/HD.......that is just you. If you find a job in a field you love, you will succeed best--just like the general population though it may be more vital for AD/HD sufferers due to attention/inattention/focus issues.

Pbartender's picture

ADHD "benefits"...

Yep, do you see the scare quotes?

The way I see it, many ADHDers have a common set of beneficial traits:  A quick wit, a knack for thinking outside the box, situational adaptability, exceptional creativity, an energetic drive, a strong sense of humor, etc, etc...  We've all heard them all.

But none of these things are directly caused by ADHD.  ADHD makes us forgetful, inattentive, fidgety, and so on.  All of the "benefits" are tricks, traits and coping strategies that we must learn (whether we actually realize we have ADHD or not) in order to function in the real world with any degree of competency.  ADHD doesn't give us these "benefits"... We develop them ourselves because we have ADHD.  Anyone else in the world can have those same traits without ADHD.  And if we didn't have ADHD, those "benefits" wouldn't suddenly go away.

To borrow an imperfect analogy from another post...  Being a paraplegic doesn't magically give you upper arm strength.  But, since most paraplegics use wheelchairs to get around, most of them end up developing increased upper arm strength to compensate for their inability to walk.  Upper arm strength is not a benefit of being paraplegic.  It is a side effect of the effort required to deal with the problems caused by being a paraplegic, so that they can live as normal a life as possible.

In the same way, I have a talent for "McGyvering" -- solving problems in innovative ways using what's on hand.  I learned to do it, because I have such a hard time remembering exactly what I did the last time and I usually get too distracted to write any of it down.  So, every time I run into a problem or a puzzle, even one I've solved before, I have to come up with an entirely new solution, because my ADHD requires me to.  That's not a benefit of ADHD...  That's a benefit of me.  It's a skill that I learned independent of ADHD.  It's a side effect of dealing with the symptoms of ADHD.

So, yeah...  that kind of jibes with your assessment, Aspen.  ADHD may be part of who I am and has certainly helped to shape who I have become and what I've done...  But it's nowhere near all that I am.  There's plenty enough room in there for me to choose what I will to be, and how I will be it.


Oh yeah...  Congrats on the interview, Ellamenno.  Good Luck!



I guess I am in the minority here...

... but I do associate my ADHD with gifts... that I would NOT have if I didn't have ADHD...

I don't mean something like intelligence or musical aptitude etc...

 I more think of my ADHD-gifts as being the degree to which I am fearless, resilient, empathetic, humourous- These are qualities I may well have possessed with or without ADHD- but they were definitely enhanced, shaped and drawn out over the course of my life AS A DIRECT RESULT of my ADHD.

By the way- this is exactly how I also think of the deficits I have... careless, quick-to act, emotionally reactive, distractible, aggressive... I might have some of these characteristics without ADHD- but they are magnified, AS A DIRECT RESULT of my ADHD...

I think PB's analogy is good- ADHD may not be the scientific causefor your strengths- but many of your individual aptitudes were directly developed or enhanced as a result of having ADHD... at least mine were.

I am not defined by ADHD- I've only known about it for 10 months... but I can trace the influence of ADHD on all of my best and worst attributes... which is different than saying I have those attributes because I have ADHD.

It's a little too zero-sum for me to say- ADHD causes me a shitload of bad things- and only serves to interfere with all my good stuff that's completely unrelated to ADHD...

It feels better to say- this is who I am and I happen to have ADHD as well which has shaped me in the following positive and negative ways... and I can try to draw out the strengths of the positives and work on eliminating or reducing the negatives. but I am also a die-hard optimist. :)

Good luck on your job interview Ellameno! You can do it!

By the way- I agree with ADHDmomof2- you are hilarious and awesome and creative...


Thanks, Everybody!!

Yes - it's a teaching position.  Part-time, but something.  also, I'm hoping for an interview at another place, someone pretty prestigious recommended me, so I'm hoping that helps.  That one, though would be pretty far away.

Yeah - I gues I could agree that ADHD doesn't cause the quirky sense of humor or the creative, but I guess lots of us develop those traits as a result of coping.

The lecture series IS very discouraging and dry -but my reaction to them was the opposite of Aspen's husband:  I watched ALL OF THEM and was totally riveted.  Also, totally bummed out, but riveted.  I sent a link to my DH after watching the first one, but then thought maybe I shouldn't have, because it'll just make him feel that I'm a hopeless case....  But then I remembered that he doesn'e ever read or watch anything I send him about ADHD, so it's ok...