Article Link: When Adult ADD/ADHD Goes Untreated

I read this article in the beginning of the year and it was pivotal to me in that I related to it strongly. And, with this article I had something I could refer back to, an anchor I could hold onto, to keep moving forward and taking the necessary steps to find help .

When Adult ADD/ADHD Goes Untreated – Adult ADHD Expert NYC

There is a lot of (internal) head nodding material in here. This bit definitely gave me an ‘ah, yes’:

ADHD doesn’t start in an adult. It starts during childhood. However, people with ADHD are often poor self-reporters and historians and may believe they had no trouble with attention or focus when, in reality, they did but the structure of their environment helped them to compensate.

And this stuck with me too, strongly (and it refers to medication that might lower dopamine levels – read article for context):

…during my training at Massachusetts General Hospital, I was taught a VERY IMPORTANT PEARL. Never, never, never take away someone’s dopamine.

The whole article is quite lengthy (or just think of it as a very short book…#reframe), but was worth the read to me. I hope for you too.

Sticky Notes

There is a bunch of post-it notes sticking on the table next to my laptop. Quick scribbles from web searches and my own ADD wonderments, as I’m getting to understand more of myself. I can feel how it addresses a void in me…or how it speaks to a part of me that is interested in health, science and for a lack of a better word, spirituality…that word feels so off to me (like I’m spitting on someone’s grave…huh…weird) even though it’s all I have to point into a general direction. Anyway, let’s just go with it for now.

I never thought I would write down the words ‘left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex’. But there you have it. And I did it twice. Once on a post-it note, and now here again. And now I feel I’m just bragging. But just having a very very general idea of what it alludes to, is enough for me. It gives me a direction for exploration and observation in my own body. Because it is already helping me getting a bit more of a sense where in my head things are over/underactive/frozen, and how it pings to other parts in my body. Which hits important points in my natal chart (yes, astrology. Virgo North Node, Virgo Saturn and Uranus in the sixth house).

God, the word ‘spirituality’ is still bugging me. It makes my stomach queasy (Virgo) …that’s actually pretty funny.

So one thing that I really missed and that poked his head out a few days ago, is exactly the researching, exploring and studying part of me, that has been over-neglected for years and years. But it made so much sense to me when I was reading a list of signs of dopamine deficiency (associated with a myriad of mental health problems, including ADD/ADHD). I came across this which I’m still contemplating whether it makes me cry or not:

Learning problems: If you’re a person with low dopamine and are attempting to learn new information, your ability to learn is diminished. It may seem as if you’re reading or hearing information, but it’s going in one ear and out the other. Almost like you cannot absorb the new informational stimuli that you’ve presented your brain.

Yes! And…yes!

It’s like seeing a unicorn for the first time…you know, that first time is always special.

Until reading that I didn’t know how much I had been struggling with that and how heavy it has weighed on me. Never had I been able to put my finger on it, what it was that information most of the time didn’t really stuck or clicked. Crystalized. It took an assessment test, earlier this year, to remind me that I’m pretty smart, even compared to peers in the college degree bracket. But I had forgotten. Or it had lost its meaning, because my actual real life output/impact has been basically zero for years. But seeing those test results gave me some of my confidence back.

So, a few days back, on the train (where I wrote my previous blog post), I got this feeling of wanting to explore/study/learn, but now with this budding new sensation (direct effect of the medication) of being able to focus and synthesize what I’m actually wanting to learn. I feel it will open a whole new world for me. So far, with studying (high school, college) …now I see how I did it mostly on discipline, intelligence, passing tests…but I never actually enjoyed it. Wow, that is actually a new realization, but pretty true. And now I understand why. In this department for years I also felt like a slacker. Or not being ambitious.

And why it often irritated me seeing happy-peppy people talking about how they love to grow and learn new things. It made me feel like ‘spirituality’ 🙂 But that’s because I associated that with a totally different process, than where they were coming from…Hmmm, I need to sit with that for a bit. Once you’ve seen one unicorn…