To save myself some time, I copied and pasted a list of ADHD symptoms of of WebMD.
These are symptoms that I struggle with every day:
easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli and frequently interrupting ongoing tasks to attend to trivial noises or events that are usually ignored by others
inability to sustain attention on tasks or activities
difficulty following, or inability to follow multi-step instructions
difficulty finishing schoolwork or paperwork or performing tasks that require concentration
frequent shifts from one uncompleted activity to another
failure to complete tasks such as homework or chores
frequent shifts in conversation, not listening to others, not keeping one's mind on conversations, and not following details or rules of activities in social situations
difficulty delaying responses
blurting out answers before questions have been completed
difficulty awaiting one's turn
frequently interrupting or intruding on others to the point of causing problems in social or work settings
initiating conversations at inappropriate times
fidgeting, squirming when seated
often talking excessively
These are things that I used to have trouble with, and have very deliberately learned to compensate for, to the point that they are no longer difficult for me:
difficulty paying attention to details and tendency to make careless mistakes in school or other activities; producing work that is often messy and careless
disorganized work habits
forgetfulness in daily activities (for example, missing appointments, forgetting to bring lunch)
These are things that I never had major issues with:
getting up frequently to walk or run around
running or climbing excessively when it's inappropriate (in teens this may appear as restlessness)
having difficulty playing quietly or engaging in quiet leisure activities
being always on the go
I have the following common co-morbidities: anxiety, depression, weight issues, OCD, and insomnia. In addition, as a child, I had dyspraxia.
I was diagnosed at age 8, after a one-on-one Stanford-Binet IQ test placed me off the top of their charts. That got the adults in my life looking at why my school performance was so bad. We tried the Feingold Diet. It helped some, but not enough to allow me to function in a school environment. Then I took Ritalin for most of the next ten years. (I went off of it for about six months in seventh grade. I immediately became a profound behavioral disruption, and started failing every class but art).
I stopped taking Ritalin when I turned 18 because of a lapse in medical care once I aged out of the pediatric specialist I had been seeing. I managed a semester of college with passing grades, but then failed everything the next semester, dropped out and got a job. I tried taking Ritalin again for a few days at around 20, but the side effects were much more noticeable and I decided that I would have to learn to live without it.
I am now 38. I've never had trouble finding or keeping a job. My attempts at returning to finish college have been a disaster.
I do occasionally have trouble in interpersonal relationships due to ADHD. I can't keep secrets. I interrupt, eavesdrop and then start random conversations with strangers in the grocery store. I get bored and my mind wanders during sex. I forget to eat. I get wrapped up in something and tune out my daughter so she has to yell at me to get my attention. I wander out in front of moving vehicles. I'm a terrible driver. I pick fights for sensory stimulation.
I'm also a very creative person. I'm a terrific cook. I write and run live-action RPGs. I organize group activities. I organize and run a household. I keep a reasonably tidy house and get a fairly balanced meal on the table every night. I have a good-sized web of really amazing friendships that are a constant source of joy and challenge for me (interestingly, almost all of my closest friends also have ADHD or Asperger's). I have been married for 13 years. Money is sometimes tight, but we've kept the lights and phone on the whole time, and we can usually afford a vacation or two every year.
Things that seem to help me:
an understanding spouse who knows what to expect from me
coffee, tea, and kombucha
regular chiropractic adjustments (I think this helps by removing the distractions of an imbalanced spine)
avoiding concentrated red food dyes most of the time
Motherwort for anxiety, scullcap for insomnia
lists - lots and lots of compulsive lists. Breaking down EVERYTHING that starts to overwhelm me into a list
splitting my attention - when I need to listen, doing something like crochet, embroidery or coloring to occupy my hands and eyes. When I need to focus on something like tidying, organizing, folding laundry, walking, or driving, audiobooks and podcasts.
Google calendar and a smartphone with alarms and alerts
Setting arbitrary deadlines to avoid procrastination, usually with a pad to allow for unexpected trouble
Edited by catnip - 9/6/12 at 6:44pm