I am starting a new thread here mainly for purposes of my own catharsis. It is my intention, at least at this point, to make regular contributions. Of course, if anyone else has anything to add, they are more than welcome. If you have any input, please contribute.
Over a year ago I decided to deal head-on with my self-diagnosed adult attention disorder, (ADD). The inability to stay focused was becoming too stressful. I found myself sitting around watching the clock tick, yet I couldn’t keep “on task” with any project I started. Nothing was getting done and just starting something was becoming depressing.
The smart thing to do was probably to get professional help, so instead I decided to try to heal myself, at least as a first try. Cognitive therapy and pharmaceuticals (UGH) might be the approved way to go but I decided to try meditation first.
18 months and countless self-help books later, I still can’t bring myself to a regular, formal meditation program. But, along the way, I discovered informal mindfulness. Yes, I know it is the “Fad” right now. It is hard to navigate modern social trends without “tripping over” somebody extolling the benefits of mindfulness.
Let me add my voice to the chorus.
"G*ddamn all big shots."
~~Ernie Pyle, U.S. World War 2 journalist
The past is memory. The future is imagination. All that exists is now.
"I tell you the past is a bucket of ashes."
~~Poet Carl Sandburg
“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” – Pema Chödrön
I am SO glad I stumbled onto this discussion. Thank you for starting it, PartTimeBrewer. I, too, have (self-diagnosed) ADD, although my psychologist/psychiatrist friends giggle and say "there's no need for a formal diagnosis." LOL. ADD obviously has been with me throughout my life and, as the puzzle pieces fall together, I'm beginning to see what vast ripples it made.
In 2014, I took the first offering of a wonderful course called "The Science of Happiness" given by UC Berkeley on the MOOC platform EdX. It's team-taught by Dacher Keltner and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, who are leading authorities on positive psychology. It's free. Although it didn't focus on ADD issues, it discussed themes like empathy, mindfulness, and gratitude, and not only gave you valuable information but also provided "research-backed activities that foster social and emotional well-being." I enjoyed it and found it worthwhile on many levels. Maybe you would too. https://www.edx.org/course/the-science-of-happiness
And here's a link to UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, of which Dacher is the founder and director. It's, not surprisingly, a very positive website with articles, quizzes, and the like. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/
I'll be stopping by. :>)
Welcome to our humble thread, Angharad. It's reassuring to hear from someone with similar struggles. Mindfulness is good therapy for ADD because you practice, over and over, the skill of bringing your attention back to some focal point, such as your breath. Practice leads to skill. I am not certain my ADD is really better by any measurable metric, but my stress level has been noticeably reduced. I will check out the links you have provided.
Thank you, PTB!
Reducing stress, for me, is a big part of the battle. I tend to sublimate it so that there are few, if any, outward signs. I agree that mindfulness is a good, and "doable," process, especially when establishing a routine of meditation feels too challenging. Vigorous exercise was always the best stress relief for me. Unfortunately, that's not possible now.
ADD, like Autism, is often more difficult to diagnose in adults because we've developed so many coping strategies through the years that it can be invisible to onlookers. But, as you say, it's anything but invisible to those of us living with it.
My online research led me to a list of life-hacks for living with ADD. No help for me though, I could check off every one of them as already discovered on my own.
I know what you mean. ツ
I can kind of relate Angharad: when I told my dr. that I think I'm maybe on the Autism/Aspergers spectrum (high-functioning end of it hopefully) and asked if she knew where I could get tested for it, she said, "Why the heck would you want to know?! What good would that do?!" Uh, okaaaaay. (She retired shortly after that. In her 40s. Because she said she was "fed up with patients & medicine." Ya think?)
Yeah, that's soooooooooooooo typical nowadays--I suppose because of the high pressure on doctors to run their patients through the mill like cattle. Sorry for that, though, officerripley. It can make you feel a bit lost and angry when you ask for help and you're blown off.
A psychiatrist I went to for a while, after the death of a loved one, just didn't feel right to me. He was combative at times and seemed altogether too judgemental. I always felt worse when I left his office than before my appointment. Tragically, he committed a suicide/murder not long after I left his practice--took his poor wife with him. So much pressure and hopelessness in this world. So I say, "VENT IT on TBD!" It feels good that old friends seem to be finding a way back here.
Here's a link you may find helpful, OR. It's cool that you're advocating for your own well-being! <3 https://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2014/07/25/getting-evaluated-auti...
I guess you're right about the high stress of people in the medical/therapeutic help profession, Angharad: a few yrs back, at my M.D.'s insistence, I went to see a psychiatrist. At 1st I thought she was great: when I mentioned in passing that I liked to read sociology, she got a big smile on her face, leaned fwd & said, "Wow, sociology? That's cool!" And it made me feel so good--becuz I don't remember the last time anybody told me that they thought anything I did or thought was cool--that I got tears in my eyes. Welp, about 24 hrs later I wised up & thought to myself, "Oh, grow up! This gal's getting paid to try to make you feel good about yourself; she couldn't care less what you like to read!" So at the next session a week later, I decided to try something & mentioned again that I liked to read sociology & got a bored, "Oh, really? That's nice" and she didn't even look up or acknowledge that I had said that before. I know she's got a lot of patients but she had been taking notes all the time, but I guessed she missed it when I said it the 1st time. I also didn't like the fact that when I told her I'd been searching for a long time for a group where I could experience fellowship, etc. & hadn't been able to find anywhere I fit in--in a conservative area where almost all of the gals in my age grp are churchgoing enthusiastic grandmas; I'm neither--and when she suggested I attend a church & I told her (nicely, I swear!) that wouldn't be my cuppa tea since I'm an atheist, she frowned & took a step back from me & told me our time was up. So I never went back. I also around that time walked into our county's mental health services office & was feeling so down I had tears in my eyes & asked (nicely again, I swear!) about any kind of groups where I could get some support & was frowned at & told "No, we don't have the funding for anything like THAT."
Oh, do I wish I could move out of this area...Sorry for the rant, thanks for listening; thank goodness for the internet eh?
I am on the Email list for the weekly bulletin from a Unitarian Universalist Church about 20 miles from my home. I honestly think that they are liberal enough to accept me as is (atheist) as long as I was on board with their progressive social programs and sufficiently respectful of the spiritual positions of their other members. I would like to try, but I just don't want to travel that far right now.