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Top Do'S And Dont'S

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Top Do's and Dont's From real ADD/ADHD people.

If you read all of this, you might understand 1% of what we go through. When I read this I was totally relating to what ADHDers were saying about their experiences. Most of these are from different people... Some are quite humerous.


Do understand. Yes I told you I was gonna do it, yes I had/have all intentions of doing it. No the fact that I forgot doesnt mean I dont care about you or getting it done, yes now that you reminded me I will do it, because you reminded me, not because you yelled at me.

Please make sure that you have my undivided attention before you start talking to me. Please don't get angry if I don't remember what you said when you didn't get my attention first. . .

Do realize that it is a huge shock to be diagnosed with ADHD at this age, all the what if's, all the unnecessary guilt I've carried around for years. If you're close to me and I need to vent a little please take me seriously, it's impossible for you to know what it's like to have ADHD if you don't.

Do realize that as a result of my impulsiveness, comfort with risk and lack of structure, my constant desire to experience everything, and creativity I've probably had more fun in my life so far than you will have in ten lifetimes.

Please understand that sometimes my brain gets ahead of my mouth and that makes me stumble over my words. It's not that I'm stupid, I just have a lot to say and I want to get it all out before I forget.

Please understand that I'm not that great with little details. i tend to make spelling and grammar mistakes when I'm writing something. If it bothers you that much offer to proofread for me, don't get mad about it.

Don't: dismiss the real difficulties I have by saying 'oh that's just normal'

I am so hypersensitive to other peoples moods that if I were to theoretically mute you (with a magic TV remote that could mute people) after the first angry word, I would get exactly how upset you are from that alone and work to make things right. More yelling only causes confusion and disconnection (I want to understand you really I do but I can't think with the yelling).

Do: be patient with us. We love that.

If I ask you the same question several times its probably because I forgot I already asked or forgot to actually listen for the answer. Sometimes immediately after. (asking the question somehow automatically means I have the answer and Im already thinking about something else.)

Conversely, I may think I've asked you a question or told yo something but I really only told you in my head as I have confused intending to tell you with actually telling you. I apologize, theres really no way for me to cognitively prevent this.

I am almost guaranteed to have to go back into the house after I just locked the door or got 2 blocks away because I forgot something. Chances are I even had it a split second before I walked out the door but put it down to open the door. Just accept this as the usual process of going anywhere with me and allot the time for it in your own head.

Please keep your voice down. Theres no need to yell, Im right here. If you see me with my fingers in my ears and cringing, thats when you know its getting too loud.

If we argue and I have to walk away DO NOT follow me or hound me. Just give me space to quietly collect myself again because arguments often get so convoluted and circular its too overwhelming for me, I get confused and i cannot handle the stress of it all. Being happy is more important than being right. Agree to disagree if its not something life-altering or crucial. If I feel pushed I will shut down or break down. So unless "winning" an argument means overpowering me till I am crying and fetal on the floor then I suggest remembering you're talking to a loved one not an enemy and if you want to be heard and understood then please give me space and time to settle down till we can approach the subject with more calmness and clarity or just drop it completely if its really not that important or just a matter of opinion.

If you ask me "whats wrong" in a way that implies i am not giving you the attention you want, the answer is "nothing was wrong until you asked me whats wrong"

If I tell you to give me half an hour that means AT LEAST half an hour...NOT 15 minutes.

If you want me somewhere at 3, tell me to be there by 1 so when I show up at 3 instead no one will be mad.

Do realize I can't answer the phone but I can read your IM and respond when I get a moment. I can't walk and chew bubble gum at the same time (humorous exaggeration) or even listen to music and type at the same time (No, this is for real.I end up typing the lyrics) But given the correct circumstances/atmosphere I can get a 'system' down to do several things in concert because I get a hyperfocus repetitive rhythm going.

Do not get offended if I don't have an answer for you straight away. Sometimes I'm spending so much effort listening, I'm not thinking about what you staid. I may need a couple of days to process it, but I assure you -- I will address it in the future.

Don't assume that because your Christmas/Birthday/Thank you card is month late or just plain doesn't arrive, that I don't care. I do, I probably bought it, wrote a long sappy message, put it in an envelope and promptly forgot to mail it. It will end up in my box o' unsentimental cards. If it did arrive on time, it's probably the one I bought you last year.

Don't take offense if I drop out sight for a few days, or don't answer the phone or call you back right away. Every once in a while I get overwhelmed, and over simulated. I need quiet time to let myself fall apart in private and then put the pieces back together. I don't like anyone, even those closest to me, to see this. There's nothing you can do to fix it, or make it better. Don't try to tell me it's unhealthy, it's how I cope And it works for me.

"you stare at me because i'm different, i stare at you because you're all the same."

Edited by Messenger
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