Posted on

What’s that you say? I was too busy daydreaming to hear you.

My 7-year-old has some issues with time management, and a friend suggested I do a little research on something known as Inattentive ADD. Well, after an hour or so of poking around, I don’t really know if my son has it, but I’m pretty sure that I do!

EEK Ack!

Check out this list of symptoms. I am not going to tell you just yet how many of them resonate with me because I’m in the mood for a little contest… Read the list and mark down how many symptoms you think you have (you don’t have to tell me which ones they are). The first person to comment with a number that is higher than mine wins a prize. Sound like fun? Dysfunctional fun maybe, but fun just the same! This little exercise could prove that I’m perfectly normal compared to other “artsy” types. Or it could point out just how messed-up I really am, LOL! Ok, so without further ado, here’s the list:

  1. Constantly distracted by thoughts or stimuli that interrupt actions or conversations
  2. Spacey or daydreaming, has trouble concentrating
  3. Preponderance of thoughts and ideas, all coming at once
  4. Doesn’t notice anything except what he or she is actively paying attention to
  5. Focuses so avidly on an interest that person forgets about everything else
  6. Tactless, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time
  7. Missing social cues, behaving or speaking inappropriately
  8. Must write or doodle in order to maintain attention in meetings
  9. Inability to concentrate or sustain focus on reading (not dyslexia)
  10. Poor short-term memory; forgets appointments, names, dates, what they are told
  11. Chronic lateness, poor time judgment
  12. Inability to work within the rules of a corporate or bureaucratic structure
  13. Inability to work effectively without imposed structure or deadlines
  14. Chronic clutter and disorganization; always misplacing things
  15. Inability to prioritize, to determine what should come first
  16. Inability to get started on dull tasks such as bill-paying, laundry, mundane paperwork
  17. Procrastination in general
  18. Perfectionism, unwilling to create something that’s not “perfect”
  19. Poor follow-through on completing projects, tying up “loose ends”
  20. History of over-promising and not delivering on promises
  21. Inappropriate anger responses, defensiveness, placing blame on self or others
  22. History of fractured relationships, misunderstandings
  23. Thinking in black / white terms; things or people are either all good or all bad
  24. Often taking on more than the person can realistically accomplish
  25. Thrill-seeking behavior, or enjoyment of risk
  26. Intolerance of boredom, changing jobs often

This sure would explain why I have such a hard time keeping my house clean or sitting down to ship orders. It’s a plausible explanation. (Or maybe a convenient excuse.) I have no plans to run right out and get myself diagnosed or anything, but I suspect that if I can find some coping mechanisms online for those who have this type of ADHD, then they might work for me – whether or not I have it. And what works for me, might just work for the little guy, too.

I had some show-and-tell to do, but I think I’m going to make that a new post. I like the “posting once a day” thing, but maybe I shouldn’t when my topics are too diverse.

I dunno Confused. What do you think? (Is “inability to make simple decisions” on that list??)

[Edited to say, I’ve decided I’m no longer in the mood to write, plus I’ve got a long list of those “mundane tasks” that I need to stop putting off.  If you’d like to see my new coffee table mat, and my new scarf, drop on by flickr, where there are more details and multiple views.  Thanks!]

Oh, by the way, I should give credit – I found the adult Inattentive ADD checklist online at this site, specifically here.

17 thoughts on “What’s that you say? I was too busy daydreaming to hear you.

  1. “inability to make simple decisions”….THAT”S IT!!!….I am finally diagnosed…thank you Lisa!!…I finally got the Christmas decorations out of the attic…(thanks to hubs letting me hand down the boxes to him)…whew…saved me so much time…I am supposed to be decorating the house…BUT…what am I doing instead???…..it’s all your fault!!…I am an addict!!…blog-a-holic!!!….btw….I have 15 of the 26 symptoms….*walking away from the computer now….gotta accomplish something today!!… 🙂

    See what Melanie has been blogging about: “Christmas Time is Here”

    1. Well, if it makes you feel any better, I just spent the last five minutes (at least) reading your blog and browsing your flickr photos, when I had intended to be sending out shipping notices and processing orders. I am waaaaay too easily distracted!

    2. Oh! and sorry, 15 doesn’t beat me!

  2. 19. Ouch. 20 if I count #19 twice–tying up loose ends is a big trouble spot for me. So is #16–inability to get started on dull tasks. (Now you know the real reason I don’t wear anything that needs to be ironed. At least I’ve gotten smart enough to know I’m not going to do it, so I don’t even own anything like that anymore.)

    1. Well, no wonder I like you, Terri – you have it worse than me 😉 My magic number was 17. And I’m like you – #16 really gets me. Which is probably why I’m responding to your comment when I should be processing orders. Or maybe that’s #1, since I was processing orders until I saw that I had new email. And of course, I had to allow it to distract me, rather than save it until I was done.

      I know you don’t do much caning, but would you be interested in a signed copy of Judy Belcher’s new Millefiori Story DVD that I just happen to have here? It’s yours if you want it!

  3. I would love a copy of that. From all accounts, it’s an excellent DVD. Speaking of caning, in the same batch of mail as your reply, I got this link from a coworker:

    http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php/fimofractals

    (Now going to practice evil laugh…..)

    1. Funny – a friend of mine just sent me that same link yesterday! I was going to send it to Susan for Polymer Clay Notes, but frankly I’ve just been trying to get through and reply to my email lately. Initiating conversations just takes more time than I feel like I can spare!

      Of course, if I wasn’t so distracted by shiny things, maybe I’d be done by now 😉

  4. my number was 15…..with 15,16,17,and 19 ranking up there pretyy high!!
    maybe its an artsy sort of thing, ya think?
    you know, we are all so overwhelmingly talented, that talent just fills up all of our brain space, so there just isn’t enough room for….laundry, reading, organizing, etc…….yeah yeah….that’s it! :^O

    1. Hah, yeah, that must be it. Actually, I thought maybe this might serve as an informal survey of sorts to see if that were the case. All it proves, though, is that those of us with high scores are more likely to ditch what we should be doing so that we may comment on blogs 😉

  5. Yeah, you can count me in for a good 15 of those, and I’m marginal on another 5 or so. Guess I’m not as weird as I thought. Whew!

    #16 rings entirely too true in my world. I’m practically ashamed to admit how many late fees I’ve incurred, and we won’t even discuss the mountains of laundry I’ve been in contact with.

    1. Oh, I am so there with the late fees and the laundry. It’s crazy. At least with the late fees, you’d think the threat of losing no small amount of money would be incentive enough to just write the darn check, but it doesn’t seem to help…

  6. I have had ADD since before it was called ADD. Diagnosed back in 1965. It’s a spectrum disorder, with some people having symptoms but coping in the real world without too much trouble, all the way to people who can’t work, can’t socialize, essentially can’t function without help. Most of the time, you won’t get an official diagnosis (the kind that lets you get medications) unless it’s shown to disrupt your life all the time and make it difficult to support or take care of yourself. In the case of kids, of course, it’s different, although it shouldn’t be.

    Yes, ADDers tend to be much more artistic simply because they are always getting ideas from things they see or hear or read, or whatever. We see something completely mundane, and our brains start making connections – the color or shape reminds us of something, which connects to something else, that opens up a dozen possible applications for that color or shape, and we drop what we’re doing and dive in. Unfortunately, the thing we drop is often the project we started in that very same way, and we leave piles of unfinished ideas and components and supplies in our wake all the time.

    On the other hand, inattentives are more likely to hyperfocus. Something engages us so completely we become unaware of physical needs, forget to eat, stay up all night, go to the bathroom only when the situation becomes urgent (and then go right back!) If someone interrupts me when I’m hyperfocusing, I get so mad, because I know that all the mess I’ve made while I’m in the middle of it is going to stay there for months until I either regain interest, or give up and shove it all into a pile to forget. Sometimes we hold ourselves back from starting ANYTHING new unless we know that we’ll be able to finish it completely in the time we have. That’s when life is awful, because you are full of ideas, but you are surrounded by the clutter you’ve already created, tell yourself you aren’t allowed to start anything new until you clean up or finish something, and are sure you don’t have time to do either one completely before you have to do something else or go somewhere, so you just sit around and feel sorry for yourself. That’s when you realize what a miracle the medications can be, because you start being able to pick up where you left off, or get part of something done and know that it’s OK to finish it later. It’s not so bad that only the right side of the desk is clean, or the public parts of the house are the only ones you could vacuum, or to get involved in creating something that has to dry between steps, and so on. If you find the right one, you don’t find yourself becoming mundane, either. (A lot of ADD or depressed artists will avoid medications because they blunt creativity in them, or make them feel apathetic. Not me, woohoo!)

    You know what, though? If you see these things in yourself, don’t worry about diagnoses or labels. You are what you are. If you can correct something you don’t like, work around it, of even just live with it, that’s fine. Just because we see people in magazines or on TV, or heaven forfend, in real life, who are so incredibly together and organized doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with us. If we try to be like them instead of being like ourselves, we’ll always fail, which will make us feel bad, which will make all our bad habits become worse because we’ll be punishing ourselves for failure. You can probably help yourself all you need to, and if you can’t, maybe a therapist can put you on track. But unless you’re so off-kilter that you feel miserable about it, keep the diagnosis as a curious little thing to remind yourself that that’s just the way your brain works, not an indication of your uselessness or hopelessness or failure as a human being. Medication is the absolute last resort. Loving yourself enough to throw up your hands and shrug and tell the world, “Well, that’s just the way I am” (and meaning it) is the first.

    1. I just read your comment and I must say…this is clearly my problem. I am drowning in a sea of clutter and good intentions.
      Buying things all the time for things I plan to make (dream up in my head). Craft supplies everywhere! I have spilled out of my office and into the dining room. My family has been eating in the living room for 3 weeks, till I bought a shelf to organize my office. (just got it Friday night). But that’s another task in and of itself that I will find hard to start.
      I may need meds to get off this band wagon. But I have a disease and take so many meds now, I don’t know that I can tolerate/afford/endure another one. But it may be the only way out.

      1. Oh, yeah. One more med is such a pain. I’m fairly healthy besides the ADD/depression, but I’m also taking synthroid and some supplements, and my doctor wants me to start cholesterol medication. It’s too much, what with the meds I have to feed the cats, too! At least now, though, I can occasionally finish something. Made two pairs of earrings last night and a caddy for my sewing stuff, instead of hemming curtains, but I might even get to those today. This is such a positive step (in a series) that they could give me a laundry list of all the side effects and still have to pry my meds from my cold, dead hands. Except for the fact that I’m always going, going, going, and the house is never 100% together before I start a new project, you’d never suspect anything was wrong. (This is not to say that anyone mistakes me for “normal”. If they did, I’d be off those things in a second!)

    2. I wanted to tell you that I found your comment very informative (and frankly, familiar) but I was too distracted all week to actually reply to it 😉

      At the moment, I’m not interested in any official diagnosis, but I can’t help but think it would be awfully cool to have a “miracle drug” that makes me more interested in doing the dishes. Heh.

  7. EEEEEEEK!! There was only 1 I DIDN’T have! Oh my gosh. That is pitiful. I am a mess! I have ALL THE REST! I need some serious help!

    1. You know, if you’ve made it this far in life without any “serious help” maybe you’ve managed to come up with enough of your own coping mechanisms. I know I have. And certainly there are still areas that I need some help with, but knowing that those traits point to a specific type of disorder should make Googling for strategies a lot easier!

Leave a comment!