It was a dark and stormy--HEY LOOK A LADYBUG. Nano-ing with ADHD
This is a thread for Nano-ers with ADHD.
A lot of us have very creative minds, but dang, it's hard to write a book with a brain like this! Let's all band together to share stories, support, and advice.
I am 26 and was diagnosed 2 years ago. It has made such a huge difference in my ability to write. Before my diagnosis, I was horribly depressed. If I loved writing so much, why could I never finish anything? Why was it so hard to write? Now I know the truth: I'm wired differently, and I have to compensate for it. For me, it's awareness, diet, exercise, support systems, and glorious Adderall. How are you guys coping?
A few ground rules, if you don't mind. I'd prefer we all keep an open mind here and support eachother. If you don't believe in medication, or ADHD as a "real" disorder, please remember that we are all coming from different backgrounds and your opinion does not account for everyone's reality. I don't want to censor anyone, of course, but this is a support group, so let's keep it kind, respectful, and be mindful of our differences.
LOVE MY ADHD PEEPS. WE CAN DO THIS. AND IF WE CAN'T, WE'LL GIVE THE BEST SHOT WE CAN AND KNOW THAT WE AREN'T FAILURES. <3
I m so glad I found this! ADHD makes it extremely hard to write for me since when I am trying to write I get distracted and end up looking at cat videos or reading about Ancient Aliens or something. I was diagnosed a few years ago abd had to stop my medication because it gave me High Blood Pressure and I could die suddenly so I am completely off medication right now so it is hard.
I'm Janna. I was diagnosed in 2005, when I was 28. I am now 36 and currently taking Adderall XR but I need to talk to my ADHD doctor about it because it is making me physically miserable.
I cope through the liberal use of alarms, schedules, and routines.
As an interesting side note, I have finished NaNo three times, and was on medication (Dexedrine and Cipralex as I had clinical depression at the time) for the first one but not for the other two. I have been an ML since 2005 and have moderated the Reference Desk since 2006. I'm kind of addicted to NaNo or something. :D
I was diagnosed at the age of nine. I think. Mid-nineties. Being NaNoing since 2004 (skipped last year). Won 4 times. Wasn't on medication any of those times (was medicated from diagnosis to 2003, first Adderall then Concerta which was much better).
I somehow manage to get things done, usually pretty well and usually on-time but pretty last-minute. I don't have a conscious coping method most of the time, though I usually have a mess of reminders and stuff. I *just* (as in a few minutes ago) finished my Master's degree.
I was ML for Santa Cruz, CA in 2006 and Co-ML in 2007.
Congratulations on your degree!
Hey, guys! I'm 21 and I was first diagnosed when I was 16. I took Adderall at first (made me nuts the first time I took it), then Ritalin, and I've been on Concerta for probably a good four years now. It's my favorite by far. No one knew I had it since many people mistake poor performance in school as the sole giveaway - I had decent grades, so no one brought it up until I questioned it myself.
I have a hard time finishing stories. When I write, I write short, character-based pieces. I'm in my senior year at my university, but I've accomplished a lot. I'm proud of my ADHD. (:
Hiiiii. I'm sixteen and was diagnosed about two months ago. I'm currently on Adderall XR, and it's giving me some issues but I just started taking it, so. I also have an anxiety disorder, which I think my psychiatrist said was brought on by the ADHD.
I've attempted NaNoWriMo two times now and failed both times. The last two times, I had a plot. This time, I have absolutely no idea what to write about, but seeing as how I've still got 22 days to fester over it I should be fine.
I don't really have any coping mechanisms. I'm very stubborn at the same time that I have ADHD, so even if I set alarms I usually end up just turning them off and ignoring them. Planners and calendars don't really work for me either.
Hey guys, welcome! :)
I've never succeeded at Nano, despite trying every year since ..2005? Yeesh. And I'm not sure I'll do 50,000 words this year either, since I'm "rebelling", but my goal is absolutely to sit down at the computer every day and try. But hey ho, here I am.
I'm sorry to hear you guys are dealing with side effects. Not fun. I need to switch to Adderall XR soon. I was taking the shorter release version because I was still breastfeeding, and I tried to time my feedings around taking it, but I can NEVER freaking remember to take my second pill until its too late. I'm hoping XR will help me get more writing done AND manage my life AND my kid. So often I feel like ADHD forces me to pick only one or two, because by the time I get around to the last one, my brain is spilling out my ears.
Just dropping by to say hello.
I was diagnosed…well probably years before any of you were born. I still treat myself the way we did it way back when I was a kid, a combination of diet, exercise and behavioral training. This will be my third NaNo, I won in 2010 but life got in the way in 2011.
The ADD doesn’t give me much trouble once I start writing. It’s the getting me into the chair and starting that always kills me.
Hey everyone. ADD/ADHD runs through out my family. We don't medicate, it's a long story and not mine to share, but yea we had some really bad expirences with the stuff. I have found the best thing for me and my daughter (who was diagnosed last year) is brutal, rote, routine. Sure it's easy to get knocked off our game, but routine provides a stablizing element in our lives. I write every day on the same story until it's done. If I miss more than three days, chances are that story is gone, gone, gone. I'm probably on to my next great idea.
Woot, shiny thread for shiny people!
My mom knew I had ADD when I was like 2 or 3, could not sit still for anything. I've never taken medication, but I have learned a lot of coping skills. Timers are awesome things.
I think the worst thing is the urge to procrastinate, because it buzzes in my mind until I find something to do. I am trying to procrastinate this month and get it all out of my system so that I can just write when November starts, but we'll see how that goes. I just want to write a ton of words this November, so I want to devote most of my time to writing. :)
I'm an old lady of 50 - was diagnosed at age 35. I take Luvox as I have coexisting OCD. And Xanax for panic and anxiety. I'm afraid to try any stimulants. Hey, look, a bunny! LOL! Now, where was I? Oh, yes. So I really am not on anything specifically for ADD and I bailed on a master's degree in creative writing years ago when I was 3/4 of the way through the program. Long story! :D
But I did do Camp NaNo this August, the first time I did reach 50K since 2009 when I first tried NaNo. That has given me a boost. November traditionally is a terrible time for me to have NaNo, but this year I'm just doing a Rebel NaNo, working on a previous work, and if I hit 50K I'll be surprised and thrilled but if I don't I'm just doing it for fun and to get this particular novel going again after it's been on the back burner for awhile.
Nice to meet you all!
YAY! ADHD thread! First time I'm able to find one in my four NaNo years! <3
I realised I was ADHD at age 16 when I started getting loads and loads of trouble in school. Used to get thorugh school easily on just well - don't want to sound arrogant- but smartness. But you know, when puberty hits and high school just started to get harder/ask more concentration and doing homework I started to get into more and more trouble.
Though screaming for help (including dropping out of school and everything) I couldn't get the help I wanted or needed and after a couple of years looking for a solution I decided I'd simply do it myself.
Starting college - dropping out - work for a couple of years - starting college again - dropping out again - starting another college.
Finally I started majoring in Communication what I really, REALLY liked, but my ADHD had always gotten in my way studying before, so during my first year I went looking for recognition again and finally got diagnosed at age 24 (last year). 8 years after my first cry for help...
Well, now I'm in my third year of Communication, though I'm still struggling a bit. Ritalin helps me a bit, but other then that it's hard to get any help with trying to organise your life or anything. I'm just trying my best.
Writing is really a way for me to empty my mind. any of you familiar with that?
I started writing when I was about 13 years old, instead of playing with dolls I just started to write down stories I made up, but only later I started to realise it was a way to deal with all these hectic things going on in my mind. Just getting things out helps me to clear things.
I think I have ADHD, but I'm not sure. What are the sure signs of it? And it's possible to be an ADHD introvert, right?
Absolutely. With women, the hyperactivity is more in your emotions and thoughts, than in the need to be in constant motion. I always tell people that if I'm not moving I'm not listening. Because as soon as my body stops moving my mind starts going 1000 miles an hour. I was always labeled lazy or spacey as a kid, but that was because the teachers yelled at me if I fidgeted too much. It was such a relief to get the diagnosis.
If it helps, I am the shyest person I know, but my diagnosis was a bit of a no brainer. My doctor asked me after five minutes if I had ever been diagnosed before.
Oh, wow. It all makes sense now! Thanks.
Eh - hyperactivity and having a hard time focussing are the main signs. But there are more smaller symptons of course.
Guess it's possible to be introvert. Or act introvert maybe.
As a kid I've been bullied a lot in school. I think it was mostly because of my ADHD. I wasn't like other kids, I just did things differently. Later I realised that my brain just worked differently. But all the bullying made me an insecure kid.
Though in my late teens (after realising about my ADHD) and in my twenties I was more able to be myself, found things that I WAS really good at and gained way more confidence. Turns out I'm actually a really extravert person, though no one who knew me under the age of 16 would have ever guessed ;)
Maybe I belong in this thread, although I haven't been diagnosed with ADD. I'm not hyperactive, though. I'm also quiet and introverted. I've always just thought of myself as scatter-brained and easily distractable -- the "oooh...shiny!" syndrome I call it, but now I wonder if it's something more. I'm able to get things done, but it takes longer than it should. It seems to be getting worse. And I'm freelancing now, so I've no one cracking the whip. I tell myself that I have to buckle down and work, but after 10 or 15 minutes I'm off doing something else. In a full day of concentrating on work, I'll only log in 2-3 hours. That's silly. I'd get all of my weekly deadlines met if I just sat down and worked two normal days. Sixteen hours.
Do I have ADD? Or am I just lazy and have no self-discipline? If I do, I'd hate to add yet another medication to the handful I take every day. I take enough as it is, and it's expensive.
@ Dreamer Extraordinaire - certainly you can be introverted and have ADD - probably the inatttentive type - as opposed to ADHD with the H! :D
I consider myself introverted though when I'm relaxed and with people I feel comfortable with I am not shy or anything. But the definition of extravert/introvert I read somewhere that I like is that extraverts get their batteries charged up by being around other people and feel down and sort of depressed or bored or low energy when alone. Whereas introverts recharge their batteries with solitude and sometimes feel tired, stressed and so on if they have to spend more time with others than their natural inclinations permit.
Hope that helps!
Thanks! Yeah, that would make sense. : )
People can also check out CHADD.org, that's a good place to learn more about ADD. I've done projects on ADHD for school before and found that site to be awesome.
Lulz, I was about to go write something, decided I wanted to listen to an itunes radio station, ejected my ipod that was charging, and then somehow found myself researching real life apartments for world building in my second novel for Nano... And I had just finished saying that I was only going to skim over world building for that novel. ADD is awesome.
There's a pretty decent possibility that I have mild ADD. Very mild though. No drugs for me, but boy am I distractable. My brain doesn't work the same way as my husband and kids who all have ADHD though. Or at least, it didn't. I had to take chemo this spring for cancer, and the brain damage they refer to as "chemo brain" pretty much mimics ADHD. Wow-- I lose track of my thoughts constantly and have a heck of a time staying on task. And I'm more forgetful now than my husband!
I doubt drugs will work since it's not true ADHD, but he's helping me figure out how to deal with my new brain. I'm cranky, but he's happy about it-- since i can't get mad at him for his frustrating ways now that I'm the same. Our house is a disaster though, and we're SO behind on paperwork and EVERYTHING else. I feel awful that I can't take care of what I could before.
I'm 48 and was diagnosed with ADD when I was 44. I also recently took a test and the results said I'm very likely an Aspie, but I haven't confirmed that with a professional yet.
I take Concerta for the ADD and it works well for me. I also have learned a lot about myself and what works best for me and I've been able to work out better ways of doing things than I had been using before. I still struggle (a lot), but I've found a more-or-less forward motion for my life and that is great.
I participated in NaNo for four years before I finally won on my fifth attempt, in 2008. Since then I won in '09 and '10 (once I had proved to myself that I could do it). I didn't participate last year because I was getting married. :-) I'm back now, for my 8th NaNo and hopefully my 4th win!
Oh thank Him, I'm not alone...I've never been officially diagnosed with anything other than manic depression and dyslexia, but damn, I'm pretty sure I've got ADD. I've learned to cope through meditation and timers, but there are times where the meds would be a real lifesaver, especially in stressful, crowded situations where I literally can't keep a thought in my head for longer than a minute. That's when I usually have to go outside or curl up with a close friend who knows how messed up my brain gets...Naka-Kon this last year was a great example of that; I crashed so badly Friday night that I didn't recuperate until about a month later.
I just get so overwhelmed by it all, and can't keep my thoughts straight...that's how I lost NaNo last year. This year, though, I've got a support system, a plan, a plot, an outline, and lots of homemade food.
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