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    Tracy Smith

    Why My ADHD Diagnosis Changed My Life for the Better

    I turn 40 this year. I don’t really care. However, I can’t help but fall into the social construct of 40. I cringe when I see a card and party supply company’s trinkets and jokes for 40th birthdays. I can’t afford a Corvette to help quell a midlife crisis. In my paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle, I would rather enjoy a hairdresser’s talents and a shopping spree instead. So, 40. I ponder my life a little. Where have I been and how did I get here? And that’s when I realized I should celebrate my diagnosis of ADHD when I was in mid-30s. That’s right, celebrate. I may even have a little party for myself because it totally changed my life for the better. And as I recently discovered, my birthday month is also ADHD Awareness Month — pleasantly coincidental. What most people may have dreaded, I embraced. It gave a name to the many questions I had about myself. It gave me a reason why things can be challenging and why I do things differently than others. It gave me confidence. Here are six things I understand about myself after being diagnosed with ADHD: 1. Now I know why at 12 everyone else was reading 32 pages an hour, and I was only reading 15. The snow falling outside the window was just beautiful and more mesmerizing than any book I had. 2. Now I know why I brought home every book from every class every night, rather than get it done in study hall. There were far too many interesting things happening in study hall. Who wants to read about Chaucer when you can watch people pick their nose, do card tricks in a corner or throw notes back and forth across the aisle? 3. Now I know why I waited until the night before a 15-page paper was due to start it. Yes, that’s right. Start it. I usually had the books and reference materials. But the rush of knowing it was due tomorrow allowed me to finally focus. I once tried to do an assignment early to get a head start and be productive. But the instructor gave it back with a big red, “This isn’t your best work, do it again.” Well, that was the last time I would try to be “normal” like everyone else. Whatever I was doing, though stressful and physically exhausting, was working. 4. Now I know why when I try to clean the house, I turn in circles and make a bigger mess. Because that mess on the dining room table (aka the dump station) needs cleaning. That pile of papers on the table needs to be sorted, organized, filed, labeled and color coded. Oh, and the file drawer needs an overhaul…wait. That table is still messy, and it’s 1 a.m. I will deal with that tomorrow, my brain always says. 5. Now I understand why making a list with every little detail of my day wasn’t a bad idea. I’d put “do the laundry” on a list, but I would create specific categories such as wash, dry, fold and put away. This was a more productive way for me to “do the laundry.” I got to see what I was accomplishing, and it encouraged my scattered brain to organize things visually and reward me when I got them done. I still do it. 6. Now I know why I excel at jobs that are anything but cubicle. The more crisis-oriented, the better. The more creative, the better. There is a hyper-focus that allows me to see things clearly. The stress feeds me. My detail-oriented brain can break the situation down, compartmentalize it and come up with creative solutions immediately. And the paperwork that needs to be filed afterwards? Well, I am a work in progress. Aren’t we all? It’s allowed me to let go (most of the time) of high expectations and rigid social conformities. It’s allowed me to focus on fun times with my kids and worry about the dishes later. It gives me the spontaneity to say in the middle of the afternoon, “Let’s go for a ride and see where it takes us.” It’s supported my notions to be less judgmental of a situation or a person because there may be reasons they do the things they do. Most importantly, it’s allowed me to lighten up on judging myself. I know that coloring outside the lines is so much more important than being forced to remain inside them. There is a whole world of wonder and excitement outside the box. And no matter how I get there or what road I take or how many times I wander off the path, it will be an amazing ride.

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    How I Am Able To Be Dynamic With ADHD

    As rare as this may sound, I wasn’t diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or, ADHD until I was an adult. In college, I began to notice something was different. I would either doze off in class or become incredibly hyper-focused on certain things, and being easily distracted made it difficult for me to concentrate in school. I was in pre-med classes and getting Cs and Ds, which was shocking because I always had good grades before. I told myself that I just needed to work harder and focus more on my studies. But at the end of the day, sitting in a massive lecture hall with over a hundred students trying to pay attention to complex subjects was just not working for me. Other aspects of my life were also becoming more difficult to keep up with, like maintaining friendships and keeping track of social events. I struggled to make new friends, and the stress of “adulting” left me feeling emotionally overloaded at times. Living independently made how disorganized I was more obvious. It wasn’t until I started talking to my mom about the symptoms I was experiencing that I realized I could have ADHD. She wasn’t too surprised at my theory. She reminded me of how much time I spent as a kid bouncing on a mini-trampoline to burn off all my extra energy. I was a very impulsive child and often interrupted conversations. While these characteristics may seem like very typical ADHD behavior now, I never noticed anything different about myself when I was younger. By the time I finally made it to my doctor, with a lot of support from my mom, I felt frustrated, overwhelmed and weak. Did I really need to be here? I didn’t want to be branded as a student who “needed” medication to get good grades. Treatment for ADHD often involves medication, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel the weight of the stigma against ADHD medications when I filled my first script. With my doctors help, I finally found DYANAVEL ® XR (amphetamine). My doctor told me that DYANAVEL XR  is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in people 6 years and older. He also told me that DYANAVEL XR may help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in people with ADHD. We then discussed the risks of taking an amphetamine, including abuse and dependence. DYANAVEL XR is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep DYANAVEL XR in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or giving away DYANAVEL XR may harm others, and is against the law. Tell your physician if you, your child, or any family members have ever abused or been dependent on alcohol, prescription medicines, or street drugs. On some medications, I felt like I was too hyper-focused and I couldn’t choose what I needed to focus on. I could spend hours watching cat videos on YouTube and not realize half the day was gone. But within the first few days of taking DYANAVEL XR, I began to see a difference in my ADHD symptoms. Life is full of interruptions and as a business owner & health coach at Be Victorious Coaching, I need to be able to complete one task and quickly move to the next. On DYANAVEL XR, I feel like I can now change my focus more easily between tasks. DYANAVEL XR has really helped me stay focused and organized in my mind. I am able to strengthen the relationships I’m developing with my clients. When people first hear about DYANAVEL XR, they may think it’s strange because it’s a liquid medication. But because it’s a liquid, I think it can help change perceptions associated with taking different types of medications for ADHD. I feel good knowing that I am working with my doctor to help manage my ADHD with a medication that can be adjusted to best fit my needs. DYANAVEL XR should not be taken if you are allergic to amphetamine or any of its ingredients. You should also not take it if you are taking, or if you took, an anti-depression medicine called monoamine oxidase inhibitor or MAOI within the last two weeks. DYANAVEL XR can have other serious side effects on your heart and blood pressure, on mental health causing new or worsening problems, on circulation problems in fingers and toes, and in children, it can slow the rate of growth (height and weight). Women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or who become pregnant while taking DYANAVEL XR, should talk to their doctor. Women should not breastfeed while taking DYANAVEL XR as it passes into breast milk. See more safety information here. Now, I am able to plan my daily activities much better.  With my improved focus, I have implemented a lot of strategies to help me manage my day like “time batching,” which involves blocking similar tasks together. For example, if I have to do anything numbers-oriented or that involves calculations, I will block out time to be in that mindset and do those tasks one after another. That way I don’t have to constantly switch tasks or mindsets. Similarly, if I’m doing things that are more creative, I try to batch those all together. I’ve developed a system that works for me which I love, because I can now share this system with my clients that I coach. I now utilize time batching with a lot of my clients too. Finding the right treatment plan for me has made such a difference in my ability to focus on the things that are important to me, like my business and my relationships. While deciding to pursue treatment with a doctor is different for everyone, my experience with DYANAVEL XR has changed my outlook on taking medications for my ADHD. I’ve realized that ADHD is not a disease of laziness. Having ADHD doesn’t mean you don’t work hard. Now I understand that my brain is just wired differently, and that’s OK. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT APPROVED USE It is not known if DYANAVEL XR, a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant prescription medication, is safe and effective in children under 6 years of age. ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION DYANAVEL XR should not be taken if you or your child are allergic to amphetamine or any of the ingredients in DYANAVEL XR, or are taking or have taken within the past 14 days an anti-depression medicine called a monoamine oxidase inhibitor or MAOI. DYANAVEL XR can cause serious side effects . Tell the doctor: if you or your child have heart problems, heart defects, high blood pressure, or a family history of these problems. This is important because sudden death has occurred in children 6 to 17 years old with heart problems or defects, and sudden death, stroke, and heart attack have happened in adults. Your doctor should check you or your child carefully for heart problems before starting DYANAVEL XR. Since increases in blood pressure and heart rate may occur, the doctor should regularly check these during treatment. Call the doctor right away if you or your child have any signs of heart problems such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting while taking DYANAVEL XR. if you or your child have mental problems, or a family history of suicide, bipolar illness, or depression. This is important because new or worsening behavior and thought problems or bipolar illness may occur. New symptoms such as seeing or hearing things that are not real, believing things that are not true, being suspicious, or having new manic symptoms may occur. Call the doctor right away if there are any new or worsening mental symptoms during treatment . if you or your child have circulation problems in fingers and toes (called peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s phenomenon). Fingers or toes may feel numb, cool, painful, sensitive to temperature, and/or change color from pale, to blue, to red. Call the doctor right away if any signs of unexplained wounds appear on fingers or toes while taking DYANAVEL XR. if your child is having slowing of growth (height and weight); Your child should have his or her height and weight checked often while taking DYANAVEL XR . if you or your child have symptoms of serotonin syndrome – agitation, hallucinations, coma, or other changes in mental status; fast heartbeat; sweating or fever; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; high or low blood pressure; problems controlling movements or muscle twitching; muscle stiffness or tightness. Serotonin syndrome may occur when DYANAVEL XR is taken with certain other medicines and may be life-threatening. Stop DYANAVEL XR and call your doctor or go to the nearest hospital emergency room. if you or your child are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if DYANAVEL XR will harm your unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you or your child become pregnant during treatment with DYANAVEL XR. if you or your child is breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.  DYANAVEL XR passes into breast milk. You or your child should not breastfeed while you are taking DYANAVEL XR. Common side effects of amphetamine products include: dry mouth decreased appetite weight loss stomach pain nausea trouble sleeping restlessness extreme mood changes dizziness increased heart rate Talk to your doctor if you or your child have any side effects that bother you or do not go away. Avoid drinking alcohol while taking DYANAVEL XR. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Please see Full Prescribing Information for DYANAVEL XR, including Boxed Warning about Abuse and Dependence, and Medication Guide. For more information about DYANAVEL XR, please visit www.dyanavalxr.com. DYANAVEL is a registered trademark of Tris Pharma, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their owners. © 2020 Tris Pharma, Inc. All rights reserved. DXR.634.PR     10/20  

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    Giving My Son Medication for ADHD Made All the Difference

    Everyone wants their child to be active and enjoy playing outside. That was no different for my son, James: I always wanted him to explore and play with the other kids. He loves all sports, and he’s also very into math, science and reading—so a little bit of everything! One of his favorite sports is definitely deck hockey, where the kids play in a rink without the skates. He loves getting his two younger siblings to play too. Together they have beautiful imaginations and create these worlds they play in together. He’s such a good kid. When he was young, however, there was something that stood out to me about his energy compared to other kids, and I started to wonder if it was something to pay attention to. At around 2 or 3 years old, I started to see that he was hyperactive compared to other children his age. It really stood out during playdates or group play at the library. When other kids would sit and play quietly, my son loved running around the room. It was almost like he was driven by a motor; he just had boundless energy all the time. When James started preschool, his teachers expressed to us that he struggled with things like circle time, sitting and reading. It was getting to the point where special accommodations had to be made for him in the classroom. We also learned that he was struggling with making friends or even just listening to his teachers and following along with the lessons. That was when we made the decision to pursue some additional answers for James. To be honest, I was initially nervous about speaking with a pediatrician. I was afraid of being judged, as if I somehow just couldn’t handle my son’s behavior. I was worried they’d think we were jumping to the conclusion of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD) just to get medication and make our own lives easier. I definitely felt that stigma going into those talks. I work in healthcare, so I was familiar with the symptoms. But I also knew the other side of the healthcare coin and how a query about ADHD can be perceived a certain way, especially when the child is so young. Initially the doctors did dismiss some of it as just “typical” toddler child behavior. But in my heart, I knew there was more going on. They were open to exploring ADHD with us, despite the hesitation, so they gave us the scales and assessments for the teachers to fill out. They administer the assessments separately to the parents and teachers, then they look for any discrepancies. However the teachers definitely agreed with my inclination about ADHD, so there were no discrepancies between what the teachers said and what we said. That was definitely a signal that something more was going on with James. Since James was so young, we didn’t want to immediately start him on medication after the diagnosis, so we tried a lot of behavioral modification instead. James also saw a therapist to help him develop techniques to stay focused and on task. They worked on this together through play therapy, which is helpful to young kids like mine who are living with ADHD. They play typical child games, but the therapist would also use things like taking turns, staying on task and rewards to help them with their self-control. It was all about incorporating good behavior modifications into playing. We also made accommodations in the classroom, such as allowing James to sit in a chair instead of on the rug or to stand, which gave him the freedom to fidget a bit more. This helped him get some of that energy out and also not disrupt the other kids. The turning point for us in terms of medication was a report card we received when he was in first grade. Although his classroom modifications had evolved and changed as he had gotten older, James still received a lower mark than usual under the “behavior” section. He was speaking out of turn more in class, and we knew it was time to talk about medication since ADHD was affecting his academic experience. After a few other options, we eventually landed on Quillivant XR (methylphenidate hydrochloride), a medication used to treat people 6 years and older with ADHD. We learned about the liquid medication from James’s doctor. The liquid is actually great for us because he doesn’t have any issues taking it. He used to get anxious about swallowing pills, even after we practiced with Tic Tacs and things like that. James was 7 years old when we started, so he was also scared the pills would get stuck in his throat. With Quillivant XR, I can give him his medication properly because it is a liquid. James just takes it as part of our usual daily routine. James’s doctor also told us that he could adjust the dose in small amounts, depending on James’s response to treatment. He also explained that Quillivant XR may help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in people with ADHD but there are also risks associated with taking methylphenidate medicine, including abuse and dependence. Quillivant XR is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Keep Quillivant XR in a safe place to prevent misuse and abuse. Selling or giving away Quillivant XR may harm others, and is against the law. Tell your physician if you, your child, or any family members have ever abused or been dependent on alcohol, prescription medicines, or street drugs. We were pleasantly surprised at how well Quillivant XR worked and how easily he transitioned into using it. With his other medications, you could almost tell when the dose was wearing off. That wasn’t the case here. You could see the change in his behavior, and the transition was very smooth and gradual along the way. It also made a difference in the way he interacted with others. We started to notice that James was more attentive, both with friends and at home. To be honest, the atmosphere at home became a lot more manageable for everyone. I think one of the most important things I did as a parent was ask James if he wanted to go on this medication. I read somewhere once to ask your child this: Do you find that your thoughts in your brain are going so fast that it makes it hard to think sometimes? His immediate response was “yes” to my questions, which made me feel more confident in the choice to try it. Since he’s now been on it for more than a year, I’ve asked him if he’s noticed a difference in those thoughts, and he said he definitely has! Qullivant XR should not be taken if you are allergic to methylphenidate or any of its ingredients. You should also not take it if you are taking, or if you took, an anti-depression medicine called monoamine oxidase inhibitor or MAOI within the last two weeks. Quillivant XR can have other serious side effects on your heart and blood pressure, on mental health causing new or worsening problems, on circulation problems in fingers and toes, cause painful and prolonged erections, and in children, it can slow the rate of growth (height and weight). Women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or who become pregnant while taking Quillivant XR, should talk to their doctor. Women should not breastfeed while taking Quillivant XR as it passes into breast milk. See more safety information here. While we haven’t discussed ADHD much with his siblings, James and I talk about it openly with each other, and I’ve spoken with other parents too. Many of the parents I’ve talked to also have kids who live with ADHD, and they haven’t found medication that works for them. So I like to share my son’s story because parents should not be afraid to ask for help. I view it, like, if someone has high blood pressure, would you deny them their high blood pressure medication? It should be something simple like that. You and your child’s doctor can decide if your child should get on medication for a condition they have. It can really make a difference in the child’s behavior, emotions, and school day. It’s really just the whole family dynamic. It really helps out. ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION The following have been reported with the use of methylphenidate hydrochloride and other stimulant medicines: Heart-related problems: Sudden death in patients who have heart problems or heart defects Stroke and heart attack in adults Increased blood pressure and heart rate Your healthcare provider should check you or your child’s blood pressure and heart rate regularly during treatment with Quillivant XR Mental (psychiatric) problems: New or worse behavior and thought problems New or worse bipolar illness May cause new psychotic symptoms (such as hearing voices, believing things that are not true, are suspicious) or new manic symptoms Circulation problems in fingers and toes (peripheral vasculopathy, including Raynaud’s phenomenon): Fingers or toes may feel numb, cool, painful, or may change color from pale, to blue, to red Call your healthcare provider right away if you or your child have any: Heart-related symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting New or worsening mental (psychiatric) symptoms or new manic symptoms Signs of unexplained wounds appearing on fingers or toes while taking Quillivant XR Quillivant XR may not be right for you or your child. Tell your healthcare provider if: You or your child have, or have a family history of, heart problems, heart defects, or high blood pressure You or your child have mental problems, including psychosis (hearing voices, believing things that are not true, are suspicious), mania, bipolar illness, or depression, or a family history of suicide, bipolar illness, or depression You or your child have circulation problems in fingers and toes You are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if Quillivant XR will harm your unborn baby. Talk to your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnantYou are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Quillivant XR passes into your breast milk. You and your doctor should decide if you will take Quillivant XR or breastfeed What should I avoid while taking Quillivant XR? Quillivant XR should not be taken with MAOI medicines or if you stopped taking an MAOI in the last 14 days. Do not drink alcohol while taking Quillivant XR. This may cause a faster release of your methylphenidate dose. What are the possible side effects of Quillivant XR? Quillivant XR may cause serious side effects, including: See “What is the most important information I should know about Quillivant XR?” for information on reported heart and mental problems Other serious side effects include: Painful and prolonged erections (priapism) have occurred with methylphenidate. If you or your child develop priapism seek medical help right away. Because priapism can cause long-lasting damage, it should be checked by a healthcare provider right away Slowing of growth (height and weight) in children Common side effects of amphetamine products include: dry mouth decreased appetite weight loss stomach pain nausea trouble sleeping restlessness extreme mood changes dizziness increased heart rate These are not all the possible side effects of Quillivant XR. Call your healthcare provider for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. What is Quillivant XR? Quillivant XR is a central nervous system stimulant prescription medicine. Quillivant XR is a liquid medicine that you take by mouth. Quillivant XR is used for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Quillivant XR may help increase attention and decrease impulsiveness and hyperactivity in people with ADHD. It is not known if Quillivant XR, a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant prescription medication, is safe and effective in children under 6 years of age. Please see Full Prescribing Information for Quillivant XR, including Boxed WARNING about Abuse and Dependence, and Medication Guide . For more information about Quillivant XR, please visit, https://www.trispharma.com/quillivant-xr/ Quillivant XR is a registered trademark of NextWave Pharmaceuticals, Inc. © 2021 Tris Pharma, Inc. All rights reserved.  QUI.1109.PR     10/21

    Mel Hebert

    8 Traits of Undiagnosed ADHD

    As someone who got diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD ) as an adult, when that diagnosis hit so many things just made sense. Sure, I always had the typical fidgeting, restlessness and lack of focus of someone with ADHD , but I attributed it to that just being me. I was just an antsy person. But this diagnosis also explained deeper things– things I thought made me a bad person. However, after being diagnosed, I realized these “quirks” were a part of ADHD . I also realized that the majority of the population didn’t understand that. ADHD is so stigmatized as being unable to focus or sit still, but it’s so much more than that. In fact, that description doesn’t even hit the surface of the struggles that people with ADHD face. So, to those who might have ADHD , I’m sure you can relate to these “quirks.” And for those of you who don’t have ADHD , I hope you’ll learn more about it here. So, without further ado, are eight of my biggest personal quirks that I didn’t realize were related to ADHD until I was diagnosed and started interacting with online support groups. 1. Forgetting things exist if I don’t physically see them in front of me. The technical term for this is “object permanence” and it’s extremely prevalent in ADHD cases. If I don’t have something in my eyesight, I completely forget that it exists. And that goes for people too– as bad as it sounds.This means I forget to text my friends, call them or check in on them in any way, shape or form because I truly forget they exist. I need to write down reminders in my phone to check in on people because it’s the only way I can remember to do so. Otherwise, I don’t see that person in front of me, so they’re out of sight, out of mind. It can make me feel like a really terrible person, but it’s also something a lot of people with ADHD experience. 2. Experiencing sensory overload. If someone is familiar with autism, they’ll recognize the term “sensory overload” immediately because it’s frequently attached to that diagnosis. However, people with ADHD experience this too. This is when any of your senses are just too overwhelmed and you simply cannot cope with it. For me, this is usually regarding sound. If there’s too much noise around me and I get into a space of sensory overload, I can’t focus on anything else except that noise because it’s so overwhelming. Then, as soon as something else is introduced, I lose all sense of coping with the noises. I usually have what might look like a “meltdown” and start crying because my nervous system has way too much input. 3. Hearing two noises at the same time makes me physically angry. Before being diagnosed with ADHD , I thought I was just a cranky grump because if there were two conversations going on around me I would get a severe headache , withdraw from both of them and sit in isolation because I was so angry I wanted to scream. The same goes for electronic noises. If someone tries to talk to me while the radio is blasting or the TV is playing a movie, I literally can’t understand what they’re saying. My brain doesn’t know what to focus on because there’s too many stimuli around me. It actually makes me really angry when people try to do this. And I know they don’t do it intentionally (and probably don’t even know it bothers me) but if someone is trying to talk, they need to turn the volume or the other auditory input down or else I can’t comprehend what they’re saying. It’s actually extremely annoying because I feel like I’m being overly sensitive and don’t have the right to be angry, but I also now know that it’s just part of my diagnosis. 4. Hyper-fixation is real. A lot of people hear “ ADHD ” and assume I can’t focus on anything. Which, can be true. I do have trouble focusing on things most of the time. But people with ADHD often hyper-fixate as well. For me, this usually comes out when I’m writing or doing a creative task. I’ll get so into the creative process that I lose track of the world around me. I don’t hear external stimuli, I lose my sense of time and all I can think about is the task I’m doing. All other responsibilities go to the wayside. Because of this, I usually have to set alarms if I know I have other things to do. For example, if I’m in the middle of writing a chapter of my novel but am also on my lunch break, I will definitely need to set an alarm because I become so engaged in the writing process that I forget to keep track of time. In these moments, I’ll also forget to eat, drink or do anything except the task at hand because I’m so involved in the task at hand. This is unfathomable to some people to lose touch with reality so easily just because you’re so focused on a project, but it’s actually extremely common for people with ADHD . In fact, out of all the people I’ve met with ADHD throughout the years, all of them have talked to me about hyper-fixation over something. If you experience this, setting alarms on your phone will be your new best friend. Trust me. 5. Extreme fatigue. And I do mean extreme. When I say “extreme fatigue” I don’t mean being tired one day. I mean you’re so tired that you just need the world to turn off for a second so you can recuperate. Fatigue can come from overstimulation, understimulation, a hyperfixation “hangover”, insomnia and more. @ adhd -angsty on Twitter describes the symptoms more vividly than one article can explain and does a great job describing the terminology of those words for people who may not know the definition of things like “under stimulation.” In my personal experience with ADHD fatigue, sometimes I just want to sit on the floor in a tight, cramped space in the dark with no stimuli around me and noise cancelling headphones on to re-energize myself. And I know that sounds so silly to neurotypical people, but other people with ADHD usually get what I’m talking about. The world can be too much sometimes. Additionally, I confused this symptom with anxiety for so long, but realizing it’s a part of ADHD made a lot more sense. I didn’t understand why I’d suddenly just lose all of my energy because I didn’t feel anxious. So, hearing that there was a reason made me feel a lot better. Did you know fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of #ADHD? I didn't- I spent over ten years telling people I felt exhausted all of the time, and nobody connected the dots. There's a few ADHD experiences tied to fatigue that many of us struggle with:— adhd-angsty (@AdhdAngsty) January 3, 2021 6. Fidgeting until I’m in physical pain (or bleeding). As a disclaimer, this is more of a sign of hyper-impulsive ADHD , which is what I’m diagnosed with. But when I say fidgeting, I don’t mean moving around in my seat a lot– although I do do that too. Instead, when I say fidgeting I mean subconsciously picking at my nails, skin, or lips until they’re bleeding. And I don’t even realize I’m doing it until someone points it out to me or I’m in physical pain because I over-fidgeted. Usually when I’m doing these things, people think I’m anxious about something, but actually it’s just ADHD . I’m not anxious at all and, as mentioned before, don’t realize I’m even fidgeting. It just kind of happens. And then when I’m bleeding or in physical pain I’m embarrassed because how did I not realize I was doing that? 7. Thinking conversations are over and accidentally interrupting someone when they’re speaking. Before I was diagnosed, my family always thought I was being rude because I wouldn’t realize someone wasn’t done speaking yet and would interrupt them with my thoughts on a topic. However, it turns out I actually just have ADHD . What many people don’t realize is that this diagnosis can make it extremely hard to read social cues. So, while most people can tell when someone is finished talking, I miss those cues if I’m not medicated and will rudely (yet unintentionally) interrupt the conversation. When I was younger this was viewed as “self-centeredness” and other negative connotations, but as soon as I was medicated for ADHD it was like I was a different person. Suddenly, I knew when the other person was finished talking and could hold a conversation like a “normal” person would. My family even commented on how different I’d become. It turns out, I wasn’t being rude. I just had undiagnosed ADHD . 8. Impatience, impatience, impatience… And more impatience. Now, this is something even meds can’t completely fix. I get impatient over the littlest things. If someone is talking too slow I get angry because I want them to go faster. If there’s a long line at a drive-thru I get angry. And don’t even get me started on traffic and redlights. All of this impatience is part of ADHD . Sometimes, it actually makes me feel really childish because most adults have built a tolerance for waiting. I, however, still have a lot of work to do on that front. It’s extremely difficult for me to cope with waiting patiently– both because I get antsy and I feel like I’m wasting my time. It’s also just another ADHD symptom I need to learn how to cope with. So, needless to say, ADHD is not just being inattentive and a little restless. It’s so much more . And it’d really help me (and others in the ADHD community) if non- ADHD people got a little more educated on that. Hopefully, this article is a start.

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