ADHD and Relationship
When i was younger I had a lot of trouble with relationships. It would start out so well…to well in fact. We all go through the honeymoon phase when we start a new relationship but for ADHD brains this phase in intensified. We become so hyper focused on this individual that it causes all kind of chaos. Remember what I said about the reward transmitter in our brain that produces dopamine? That drug that keeps us coming back for more. Any one of the following things can happen…
- You become the perfect boy friend or girlfriend…yay…for now.
- You move on to the next step in the relationship way to0 fast. Maybe you move in together after a couple months or get engaged…oh boy…
- You forget to go to class, work, hang out with friends… unemployed…
- You freak the other individual out with your hyper-focus…not you are dumped…sad.
But what happens when that honeymoon phase wears off? Just like with the beginning, the all out in intensified. Now you are bored, distracted, seeking dopamine.
Now what happens?
Fighting, break ups and sadness
- “You don’t even care about me anymore.”
- “It’s like you’re not even trying”
- “You haven’t given me any attention”
- You seek out someone new
- “You used to be so much nicer”
Break ups are always harder because there is so hard feelings.
The trouble is…we do care. We do dry. It’s just gets harder for us because the level of dopamine is reduce so much.
I’m lucky that Patti knows how to deal with all my “Billness” and remains patient and supportive of me even though I am prone to distraction, hyper-focus on work, and irritability.
For more on ADHD and Relationships…click on this link below.
Seeing The Solution :
“It’s difficult with the medications because it’s hard to see the solutions.” John Nash, A Beautiful Mind.
Nobel Peace Winner John Nash describes his difficultly solving mathematical equations while taking medication to ease the symptoms and hallucinations of schizophrenia,
I by no means have schizophrenia 🙂 and in no way am comparing it to ADHD but I to have struggled all my life to find solutions when faced with difficult situations.
That it until I found medication. They opposite effect as Nash.
Before when something would go wrong…say for example: My car shit the bed right before my wedding, I go to the grocery store to find all my credit cards were maxed out, or that the closing on my house was going to be held up as my lease on the apartment was expiring. It would send me into a tail spin. Pacing around the room would ensue, followed by my mind racing, irritability, and then exhaustion from the stress.
ADHD medication can sometimes hinder creativity, but in my case it quiets all the noise and I have the ability to become very subjective.
So applying this to a real life and recent situation.
Yesterday, my car died on the side of the road. For some reason, and with no warning. My car had no oil and engine might have seized. Sitting there on the side of the road, I didn’t freak out as all the things I needed to do and in what order aligned in my mind.
- Call the tow truck and get home.
- Ask for advice. (it was determined that even if I put oil in and it’s not leaking out that I shouldn’t even try to start it)
- Sign up for AAA Plus this way I can get it towed for free to the shop.
- Now tomorrow I will have it towed to the shop.
- If it’s worth fixing I will fix it.
- If not I will have it towed home.
- Then I will see if I can trade it in. The body is in great shape. Drop and new engine in there and they could sell it for 10K, hopefully give me 5K for it. Making it a wash for what I owe on it.
- Get a new sensible car while I save up for the big family mini-van that I’m going to need in the next few years as my mighty midgets become gentle giants.
“You’re so hard to shop for!!!” If I had a $ for every I heard this.
It’s true that shopping for people with ADHD can be viewed as an act of futility. There are ways to wins.
With Christmas rapidly approaching here are a couple links to help those shopping for loved ones with ADHD.
How To Ruin Christmas : Bad Presents for ADHDers
How To Win At Christmas
“I asked the people with ADHD one question : ‘What do you want the world to know about your ADHD?'” Jessica McCabe
I shared two links today. The first is a video showing all the different sides of ADHD and how it affects everyone differently.
I could relate to so many of them with how I used to feel and also relate how I feel now.
The second is of 2 six year old’s being interviewed. One has ADHD and one does not. As heart breaking as it can be to watch it can be useful in helping you if you are worried about your little ones.
This is What It’s Really Like to Have ADHD
ADHD Child vs. Non-ADHD Child Interview
“But mere lounging wasn’t enough.
Only problem? If I wasn’t moving forward,
I felt like I was going to explode.” Eddie Morra “Limitless”
Now, I put that quote on my Facebook a couple weeks ago and while on the surface it sounds like a good problem to have but unfortunately it’s as much of a curse as it’s a blessing.
While I have always been highly motivated, medication cleared my head so much that it intensified said motivation. I am accomplishing more now on a daily basis than I ever before.
“I was blind but now I could see.” Eddie Morra “Limitless” Last quote I promise.
I no longer needed to Manage my Mid Day, I just blow through the afternoon into the night. I don’t just Plan the next day in advance, I am about 5-7 days ahead in my scheduling. Delegation, is at a all time high.
So why is that a problem for me?
While I am extremely happy with the results of the ADHD medication as it was determined that I was “at or near a full therapeutic dose” , one thing I had hoped it would improve was my constant desire. And I’m not talking about my desire to work on my career, we are talking about the constant urge to improve myself in any way that interests me in that moment.
I can finally sit still without figeting, stand without pacing, listen and actually hear someone speaking. But I can’t sit and watch a football game without answering email, or cleaning up the kids room during commercial breaks.
I know I shouldn’t complain about this. Some people struggle to find the motivation to get out of bed in the morning. I should count myself lucky. Just don’t want to wake up one morning and be 75 and not know where all the time went.
“He doesn’t yearn for a better, different life than the one he has – because he knows he’s got a home in this one.”
― Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
Anyone that knows me, knows that I have worked in restaurants for a very long time. Fourteen years to be exact.
What they don’t know is that I was went to college to be a cyber crime investigator for the CIA or FBI.
Straight out of high school I attended Utica College back when it was part of Syracuse University. My major was “Economic Crime Investigation with a concentration in Computer Science.”
2 years down and 2 years to go. Everything is going great. Criminology, Statistics, Basic Computer Programming all a piece of cake.
So what happened? Once it we got into the super advanced computer language, I “slowly collapsed like a flan in a cupboard” random Eddie Izzard quote.
I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t get it down. Which should have a red flag for my un-treated ADHD , but instead I withdrew. Ashamed and embarrassed I went into hiding in the restaurant business.
I loved the face paced environment of the restaurant but I would easily get bored in the position I was in. Then I learned new positions. Then I knew all the positions.
It was only fitting that I would become a manager one day.
While restaurant management has plenty of frustrations, It’s perfect for someone like me. I love the constant “bouncing” I must do when running a shift. I can help greet guests at the door, pour a beer at the bar, bus a table, direct staff, flip a saute pan, and chop some basil all in the course of a few minutes.
I do hope to climb in my profession or go on to bigger and better things but for now I know I found a job that I can excel at.
Here is a link for fellow ADHD brains to help your find the right job for you.
Throughout the diagnosis process, I had to take a computerized CPT ( continuous performance test) to aid in determining if I really had ADHD.
It’s meant to assess different attention related problems like inattentiveness, impulsivity , sustained attention, and vigilance.
The functionality of the Conner’s CPT II is very simple. I stare at a black screen for 14 minutes and letters randomly show on the screen. If it sounds boring…it is. That’s the point. I am supposed to hit the space bar every time a letter pops up. Except for the letter “X”. At that point I am not supposed to hit the space bar.
I took it four times. Under different scenarios each time. With Caffeine, without caffeine, after work, before work, good nights sleep, very little sleep. To see if it skewed the results and provided a different explanation for my difficulties.
However, all the tests showed similar results. While it measures many things I will use the data of how many times I hit space bar when the “X” came up to paint the picture. Remember, I’m not supposed to hit the “X” but I did…many times. 28 times on average for each trial. Which is a key sign of inattention.
Now, fast forward a couple months and I am three weeks on mediation. It’s time to go back and take the test again with the Adderall fresh in my system.
All the perimeters that the test looks for had improved. Number of times that I hit the space with the “X” ; 13. Which is average.
This is great news. Because I obviously “feel” like it helps and can totally tell the difference. (I didn’t take it this morning because I had to wait until 2 hours before my appointment and I was totally lost and miserable). Now, I can actually see that it does work. It does help.
The only question that remains is that I have hit the “full therapeutic dose “. Which is a discussion for my primary and I.