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  • April 11, 2014

A lot of peo­ple make a lot of assump­tions about ADHD, and most peo­ple assume that they know what it is (and how it oper­ates) by observ­ing peo­ple who have it. But seen through the eyes of some­one with­out it, the behav­ior of some­one with ADHD doesn’t tell you much. That’s because all the impor­tant stuff is hap­pen­ing in their brain.

Though it’s on a site that seems to be mostly filled with stu­pid click-magnet garbage, I liked this arti­cle, intended to explain what it’s like to have ADHD to some­one who doesn’t under­stand it. An excerpt:

We rely heav­ily on rou­tine, and 90% of the time get by on autopi­lot. You can’t get dis­tracted from a suf­fi­ciently ingrained habit, no mat­ter what use­less crap is going on inside your head… unless some­one goes and actu­ally dis­rupts your rou­tine. I’ve actu­ally been dis­tracted out of tak­ing my lunch to work, on sev­eral occa­sions, by my wife remind­ing me to take my lunch to work. What the? Who? Oh, yeah, will do. Where was I? um… brief­case! Got it. Now keys.. okay, see you honey!

[Hat tip.]

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  • July 19, 2013

Twenty years’ worth of sus­tained Internet use has left me with a head full of ran­dom trivia and a pro­found inabil­ity to con­cen­trate. Every time I sit down in front of my com­puter to write a post, I end up brows­ing the IMDb page for the movie Cool Runnings or the career stats for under­rated out­fielder Ryan Spilborghs. I’m just as dis­tractible when my com­puter isn’t con­nected to the Internet: I’ve wasted weeks of my life play­ing this stu­pid base­ball sim­u­la­tion game that I down­loaded years ago and can’t bring myself to delete.

- Justin Peters, “I Write All My Blog Posts Out Longhand, and You Should Too”

Ok, maybe Justin’s prob­lem is “[t]wenty years’ worth of sus­tained Internet use,” but that kind of inter­net dis­trac­tion sounds awful symp­to­matic of adult ADHD.

I’m not a doc­tor. I’m just saying…

According to Zentall, an activ­ity that uses a sense other than that required for the pri­mary task — lis­ten­ing to music while read­ing a social stud­ies text­book — can enhance per­for­mance in chil­dren with ADHD. Doing two things at once, she found, focuses the brain on the pri­mary task.

Know that it is OK to do two things at once: carry on a con­ver­sa­tion and knit, or take a shower and do your best think­ing, or jog and plan a busi­ness meet­ing. Often peo­ple with ADD need to be doing sev­eral things at once in order to get any­thing done at all.

Ratey, John J. Md; Hallowell, Edward M. Md.
Driven to Distraction (Revised): Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder, (p. 311).
c. 1994, Random House, Inc. (via adhdisme)