I got diagnosed with ADHD years ago and started medication a few years later.
Recently I’ve been discovering ADHD Twitter (and Instagram and Tumblr….) and there is a whole heck of a lot more to this disorder than issues with attention.
Migraines. My mom and sister suffer from migraines. They have to take heavy-duty pain pills and lie down in dark, quiet rooms. I’ve never had to do that so I figured I didn’t get them (lucky me!) but it turns out seeing light around things, ‘random’ nausea, dizziness, and just feeling ‘off’ are all symptoms of migraines.
Being a barometric pressure weathervane. Since moving to Florida I’ve noticed that when a storm is coming I either get a nasty headache the likes of which I’ve never seen before or I’m rendered unconscious for several hours. I also get shaky or jittery in really scary-feeling ways. Turns out that’s another trait ADHD/autistic people have in common! (It could also be related to the migraine thing.)
Executive dysfunction. The bit that lets someone go “I have to do this thing” and then they go do it! (Among other things.) I rely on Kevin heavily for things like ‘remembering to take medication’ and ‘help getting started on projects’ because that bit of my brain just can’t do it on its own.
Meltdowns. A Tumblr user with autism & ADHD summed it up as “two conversations happened near me at the same time and now I’m a huge bitch.” Sometimes I get–seemingly–irrationally angry or just start crying out of ‘nowhere.’ More often than not I can trace it back too too many sounds and my brain refusing to focus on the one I want, or too many little things in my brain overloading me.
Dopamine. The happy brain drug that lets you go “ah, yes. I did a good job.” Turns out ADHD brains don’t know how to manage it on their own. Hence the issues with starting projects, following whatever is interesting at the moment, and difficulty staying on topic.
Sensory issues. In addition to having a preference for sweet things (dopamine!), ADHD can come with ‘picky eating,’ by which I mean some foods being absolutely inedible. Personally, I can’t handle squishy vegetables.
This is a very ADHD-style list, unsurprisingly, and only just touches on the barest surface of the subject, but the more I learn about ADHD, the more ways I find to manage things I hadn’t previously known were manageable.
Has anyone else found a surprising symptom of ADHD? Do you have favorite work-around?