ADHD - Or, 'Living Life with a Broken Filter'

Okay, this is a tough one to post. Mainly because I've been pretty anti-ADHD all my life.
Anyhow, here goes-
I've always felt that I have a broken or missing filter.
Think of yourself as a coffee pot (hehe, I talk about coffee whenever possible)
The filter is there to keep the grounds out of the brew and only allow the flavour through. If there's no filter, everything just gets into the beloved bean-juice and you end up with a pot of muck.

Ok, forget the coffee pot example and visualize this.
Surrounded by a filter that allows only the important stuff in. Kind of like panning for gold.
Well, growing up I always felt as though I was WAY to receptive to everything. Sadness, happiness, anger (rage actually)... kind of like everything just got right to me.

I always felt instead like everything just came right through. Constant noise, frenzied thoughts, half ideas, a bombardment of chaos. Every once in a while, something really interesting comes through that warrants attention, and I'd cling onto it, almost obsessively, because for a period of time while paying attention to the bright shiny thing, the clutter in the background wasn't noticed. However, soon after, before I'd even finished off with the one bright shiny thing, something else would be in my peripheral vision, and off I'd go to catch that too.
Hmm, not sure if any of this makes sense, but it's a ramble off the top of my head.

After a while, a person (like myself) with a broken filter, gets used to trying to find the most interesting, most stimulating thing falling through, because you learn that it's the best way to shut out the distractions. That's called hyperfocus.
I used to laugh when they said my son was adhd, because Id think of his addiction to videogames, and how I would have to tear him away from them. Attention deficit? Hell! How about too MUCH attention... I realize now that alot of adhd peeps tune out the noise like this.
I realize that that is what happens when Im on the comp and realize that I forgot to make dinner or do chores etc.
Yep, having a broken filter also seems to make for alot of misconceptions. Imagined slights and hurts, because I am reading WAY too much into stuff. Hey, it's hard to separate the actual gems from the random sand and dirt that makes it through.

I also realized that over drinking, over spending and over eating was a way to calm down.
Oddly enough, not long ago it hit me. After a drinking, eating or spending binge, there would be a sedated, humble, quiet time. I wouldnt call it a depression, but it was like a needed reflection.
I would sabatoge myself to bring a bit of quiet to my brain. Lying low made it less likely that I would care enough to pay attention to all the crud coming through that broken filter.
They say adhd is outgrown as an adult. Well, not outgrown as much as we learn to cope better.
However, for people near my age group I'm 38) it often feels instead as its gotten worse. (from what I hear from others who just now are realizing its adhd)

I think the reason is simple.
When we were little, the stuff coming through the filter was pretty simple and uncomplicated.
Then, we hit adulthood, and WHAM the internet is here now. We didnt have this SUPER cool, instantly stimulating information super highway as children.
So now, those with adhd, (and adhd'rs are prone to engage in stimulating behaviour) are challenged with a brand new experience.
Its not like as kids it was super exciting to read the phone book, or read an encyclopedia, in fact, for many with adhd, this would put us to sleep!
But now, there is wikipedia! You can find out everything you wanted to know, (and everything you didnt) right there! And forget turning pages... you can scroll and click! woot!
And there's message boards! You can give your opinion any time you want, no waiting to take turns, no worries about interrupting, lol....
So, up until recently, I was on different antidepressants. Off and on, over many years... not chronically. I noticed though, that the meds never helped with my impulsive, overly sensitive behaviour, they just helped with how I FELT about it.

They didnt help me with over spending, over eating, over drinking and over 'enter random act here', they just made me feel less bad about doing those things.
In going over the Conner's rating scale I had given to me years ago for my now 16 year old son, I realized.... wait.

That sounds like me.

All of it... well, except I can wait in lines now, and I'm not SOOOO oppositionally defiant... those are things Ive learned to manage over the years... but the rest of it? Oh heck yes.
All the years I laughed at doctors who were telling me my son was adhd, and that THAT was the reason for so much of his horrid behaviour (he is quite different from my other two older children who are pretty darn easy going)... I realize I think I was wrong.

I assumed he couldnt be adhd because I saw SO much of myself as a young teen in his behaviour, and I was never diagnosed with adhd, I was just told I was over sensitive, and talked too much and had an anger management problem. (did they diagnose adhd back in the 70's?)
But now I realize that all those years, I was probably adhd. (I'm still not on board with medicating young children however, I think that it should be a LAST resort after counseling and therapy, and food changes etc, adults can tell you how shitty they feel on a med, or what sort of crazy things are going on in their brains as side effects, kids don't know how to do this and often, when it comes out in behaviour, they just get medicated for that behavioural side effect as well, which causes a horrid domino effect)

Now, final thing I have to say... I hate the term adhd. I am sure they will come up with a different term for it one day. It just seems inaccurate.
There are a bunch of people who have some very severe debilitating issues in life, and the similarities in symptoms are very striking.
Should be called Missing Filter Syndrome or something.
Definitely something amiss.. something that helps to filter out the over abundance of constant thought and movement/restlessness.
So, anyhow... that's it for this entry.
Ive started 25mg of Strattera. Weaning off the 25mg of Zoloft because I dont want to be on both.
Let's see how THIS goes.


  1. I should update this - much of what i wrote here still holds true, though my psych diagnosis says probable borderline personality disorder. adhd seems to share some qualties with BPD . Also, psych said likely Bipolar 2. Could explain why I am not ALWAYS in that unpleasant mental state.
    The STrattera needed to end, a shame really it was quite helpful but made my heart do insane things. Now, a few years later, I am on Divalproex. Still plugging along.


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