beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (I'm on SPEEED!)
I'm sitting in a computer lab right now taking notes off a PowerPoint (oh god, horribly behind AGAIN - how does this HAPPEN??!), and I'm listening to the sound of typing happening all around me, and I had to stop to type myself. I don't really have anything TO type as of yet, but I felt the very desperate NEED to type something. So I am.

I think this, more than anything, demonstrates that typing has become my primary mode of written expression. Years ago, I would have been more likely to be typing and would have felt the desperate need to write something down by hand. Now I am so much more comfortable typing; I can nearly keep up with the flow of my thoughts this way, which is something I could never, ever manage to accomplish when writing by hand. My graphic motor skills are just too weak for me ever to print with any speed, and I cannot write in cursive at all.

(I don't know if this is good or bad for my RSI, since both typing and writing aggravate it. It's just something I'll have to deal with as I go along, but I think at this point typing is actually the better option because I'm more relaxed at it...AS LONG AS my workstation is physically suitable, and I take breaks.)

So by the time I get to a class which is very heavy on hand-written notes (i.e. med school, if that EVER happens, which I am doubting more and more each day), I am going to NEED a notebook computer to take notes on, or I'll never keep up.

Feeling a bit better now that I've typed a bit. I don't want to spam you guys, so I'll just add to this post behind a cut if I feel the strong urge to type some more.

Also, random note: all my mood icons will appear as red x's for a bit because falling asleep in front of Livejournal is really HELL on my bandwidth. (Which I've been doing a lot because our computer monitor is so buggered right now that it keeps dying on me every few minutes, which means I stay up much later trying to work in between it's little fits, which means I'm that much more tired, which means...UGH, FML.)

Cuuut, it's a cuuut, which doesn't have the same ring as snaaaake, but whatever )
beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (fierce!)
You guys notice that, "Writer's Block" topic the other day, about September being ADHD month? I did. I wish I hadn't. Oh lord, the level of stupid when I clicked. Why did I click, why, why, why...

I was doing my best to ignore the idiotic posts and focus on the funny ones, but one jumped out at me: a guy stating that he believes vaccines, food additives and "flicker rates" on our televisions cause ADHD. Yup.

I couldn't resist replying to that. Obviously, we didn't see eye-to-eye, but the brief exchange remained civil. I would have left it at that except for one part in his reply to me about how genetics might be the cause of ADHD after all because stupid people breed more. I replied to say that while, yes, ADHD people have more children at a younger age, ADHD != stupid.

I also said I was dropping the topic, as I didn't want him to get the impression I was going to drag out the [largely non-productive] conversation for days. I thought that was polite.

The reply I got in my inbox:

I really don't need to be informed of when you think you are done with a topic. If you are done, you simply won't reply; it really is quite visibly insecure to try to "drop it" so vocally.


And here I thought it was just web courtesy to let someone know whether the interaction will be continuing or not if you're not familiar with each other.

The rest was a bunch of nonsense about how maybe I'm insecure because I'm gay (because my info says I'm queer, and queer = gay, right?), and it was condescending of me to, you know, state facts about rates at which ADHD people breed. Er?




I really can't remember the last time I got an attacking comment like that which actually made me stop, giggle, and wonder if the other person was on drugs when they wrote it.

beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (meh.)
There's a smallish discussion over in [ profile] house_md about "One Day, One Room," and how realistic it is for House to have abuse in his backstory. More yawning AND aggravation over people who Just Don't Get It.

However, [ profile] hry2007 linked to this site on emotional abuse which may or may not be of interest to some others on my list.

As a general rule, I would have ignored this link. But I had an OOC brainspasm a few months back, and bought a book at Chapters from the...self-help section.

Understand, I NEVER do that. Self-help books, in my opinion, are written by money-hungry con artists feeding on human insecurity, or they're written by namby-pamby touchy-feely therapists convinced there's deep meaning in the shapes you see in the clouds.

Nevertheless, I've been more and more bothered lately by the sense that my life is stuck, wheels spinning in the mud. Treatment for ADHD got me a few inches farther, but not by much. Now what?

The book I bought was Secrets You Keep From Yourself: How To Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness. (Also on here.)

As you might be able to tell, it's one of those namby-pamby ones that basically asks you to identify all your !Deepest Fears! and tell them to Bugger Off.

I've never been less happy than I was after reading the first few chapters of this book.

See, I've been under the impression that I've greatly improved over the years. That a lot of my past is past. Oh, I know - everyone with a yucky past says that! But really - a lot of ugly ways of getting by in this world that I used to employ are no longer at the top of my list of coping skills.

What this book taught me: I've just REPLACED THEM, and possibly increased them. The long list of self-sabotaging behaviours the author lists - I have almost ALL OF THEM. I reject the idea that it's necessary to go to therapy for this shit, but still, if I have THIS MUCH work to do, maybe flinging myself off a bridge would be easier. (Note: that's not actually a plan of action.)

Is it any wonder that watching House is so raw sometimes, that I relate to him so much?

The above book was maybe just TOO much of a kick in the pants. This list - slightly less so, and I clicked it and considered it for that reason.

From the link - Characteristics of Emotionally Abused People )

Probably I'll have more to say on this later, but House is on. Oh, and I think we need more cat food.
beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (*stress*)
I've been out of school for more than a week now due to a nasty cold my oh-so-loving sister passed on to me. FUN! Of course this has to happen on my make-up semester, right? I'm just praying I can catch up on the stuff I missed.

(Our computer recently kicked the bucket too, so I haven't had a lot of opportunity to get online. Luckily, Nicole - that's my sis, for the uninitiated - has a new boytoy friend, Steven, who lent us a computer to use for a while. Which is how I'm online now.)

I managed to get into the school Friday to cover the Open House 2007 and Skills City I signed up to cover a few weeks back. Friday was also production day, so that's a bit of a crunch, but I figured I'd do better covering and writing a story on the same day it went into the paper than I would getting a week or so to dick around and NOT write a story.

Barkley says of managing ADHD - bring the task and the reward/consequences closer together. So that's what I did.

I MUSTA bin crazy!

I don't know if anything could have driven me more nuts than sitting in the Mac lab listening to my instructors/editors harp that they were waiting "for copy." Yes, I'm AWARE that you're waiting for copy! I'm WRITING the copy; nagging doesn't get it done faster, especially when you add MORE copy for me to write! (A hole on the back page ended up requiring them to ask me to write 100-120 words about the photos on the I didn't take, and knew next-to-nothing about, mind.)

The worst thing EVER for my working state of mind is people agitating in my ear that they would like my work done TEN MINUTES AGO, plzkthanx.


Then, over the weekend, I got sick, sicker, sickest!

TMI follows. No, seriously )

After all that, I was fearful to try eating dinner this evening, but the fish I had seems to be staying down, and the wheezing seems to be gone, or at least has quieted way down. On the "boo" side, my ears are very plugged. Boo. But, failing a developing ear infection, I seem to be mostly over this.

Oh, and since I'm NOT at work, I at least get to watch House, M.D. in person tonight; this is the first Tuesday I've been scheduled in a LONG while, and I was sad that I would have to tape it and possibly even risk missing it if the tape malfunctioned. But I'm home, so...

Oooooh, American Idol just started!

beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (I have meds for that)
Oh, yes, and med update:

Apparently, our insurance only covers medication listed under the Alberta Health And Wellness Drug Benefits Plan.

So I looked that up on the internets. It's a massive 364-page document (what, they needed a page for every day of the year? sheesh), and even better, the page numbers are numbered by section, so you can't jump to the correct page in Adobe Reader.

So I scrolled, and on two pages from the "Central Nervous System" section, I found the ADD meds covered:

Ritalin. And Dexedrine. That's it. *sigh*

Since the exception form I got from Dad asks you to list "other treatment methods tried," Dr. H figures we should give Dex a shot before applying for an exception. That makes sense, since they then can't deny the exception on the grounds that we haven't tried all the covered options.

So I now have half a prescription for Dexedrine tablets )
beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (*sigh*)
Something that I've really only begun to admit to people recently:

I have a lot of trouble reading analog clocks, and always have. I mean, to the point that when I look at a clock on the wall, it's usually as meaningless as a wall socket or anything else that just sits on the wall, anything else you just tune out automatically.

I could blame this on spacing somewhat through the "telling time" lessons we all had in school, but the thing is, I have spaced through the formal instruction of many, many concepts and still managed to pick them up in my own way. I know we had worksheets on this, and normally that would be enough to catch me up, but just looking at the little clock diagrams panicked me as a kid because they seemed so utterly incomprehensible, and everyone understood them but me.

Tick-tock, tick-tock )

I guess I feel like this has been building up lately...the realization that I don't know anyone with the same issue, and I feel alone with this and utterly stupid.

I just wanted to get that off my chest.

(Cross-posted to [ profile] adults_add.)
beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (Default)
So I woke up to a (locked) post in [ profile] queer_rage this morning over this tripe over in [ profile] ftm. I keep checking it to see if anyone commenting late has decided to...(okay, the [ profile] blackfolk parlance here would be "shuffle," but that's not appropriate for me to use, so I'll just say) KISS ASS.

Hasn't happened yet. I'm almost disappointed - am I a drama-seeker, or what?

I am not normally (at least in the last year or so) interested in finding lj-drama to be involved in. I have a nasty temper, but I've also spent many months working on learning to pick battles that matter, and stay out of things guaranteed to drain my emotional energy.

Lately, I've been looking for trouble, I think. And that bothers me. It's not, and never was, healthy.

I think maybe I am (in ADD parlance this time!) stimulation-seeking. I know I did it when I was in a relationship with [ profile] siegeengine, starting arguments to maintain my focus, but what good did that do? Sure, I was paying attention to the conversation(!) but it upset him and caused - at least to some extent - unnecessary strife. I think it's good to "work stuff out," but I don't know that it's at all helpful to go looking to work out stuff that hasn't really even come up yet.

This, I think, is similar. A few months ago, a fight breaking out on my f-list would have set my stomach churning, now I'm looking for one. This isn't cool.

And I just realized - my (really rather sudden) obsession with lj-drama matches up almost EXACTLY with my quitting caffeine two Thursdays ago so I didn't mess with the Ritalin. Which...really isn't doing much except keeping me alert.


It's always one thing or another! Does this ever end?
beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (Default)
I don't have a lot of time or energy to go into much detail on this, but I have a diagnosis. I was going to wait until Dr. Y had written up her report and everything, but apparently there's no need, because she told me Tuesday what diagnosis she's going to put on it, and that it's unchangeable at this point:

ADHD - Predominantly Inattentive Type, Mild-Moderate Severity

She said that there's "no doubt" in her mind that this is my diagnosis, that she's completely convinced. She said this is backed up by all of the following being consistent with my presenting complaint (ADD symptoms):

-the screeners I was given from Disability Services at school
-the screeners she had me fill out
-all my self-ratings, stories and explanations in her office, which she says are "highly reflective of ADD symptoms."
-comments on school report cards (She translated some "teacher-speak" for my amusement. "Do you know what 'has a delightful sense of humour, needs to learn to display it at appropriate times' means?" "Er, no. What?" "That you were blurting things out!")
-my mother's retrospective rating of me in childhood
-[most surprisingly] my behaviour in her office

...Honestly, I thought that I had been very non-ADD in her office, but she says that I VISIBLY tuned out numerous times per session. She actually did a pretty hilarious imitation of me, saying that I'd be looking her right in the eye, she'd ask a question, and after several seconds of silence in which I simply looked at her, I'd suddenly snap to, "dear in the headlights" and say, "What? What was the question?!" "Hel-LO!"

And she opened her eyes up really wide, like I know I have a tendency to do when I'm confused. *laff*

...Which is funny, because I DO remember asking her several times to repeat herself, but in my perception, there was no time gap between her asking the question, and my asking for a repeat. She asked, but it didn't process for some reason, so I was just asking again. (Mostly as a time filler - I tend to ask people to repeat themselves so I can figure out what all those noises meant the first time.)

Anywhoo. I have it, it's official. And my father's response? She basically tossed it out the window, and said, "Your father doesn't know you very well, does he?", he doesn't.

Part of me can't WAIT to tell him my brain is broken, and there's nothing he can do about what the doctor says. Bastard.

Big shocking revelation of late - related )
beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (aaah!)
Okay, so another ADHD assessment post here. (For those of you who are sick of this, my apologies. This will be going on for a while, though.)

I didn't update over my third session with Dr. Y, mainly because there wasn't much to say. We spent the entire two-hour session talking about my coming-out story, basically. Ho-hum. Really, I can't say that made much of an impression on me, because I started coming out just before I turned 16, so it's now been about 5 years of water under the bridge. I'm used to Trans 101, and my own coming-out story is pretty old hat, so much of the session was held on autopilot, as far as I'm concerned.

I don't exactly mind that we spent the session doing that, because I did say that I was depressed as a result of coming out, and it makes sense to clarify why I was depressed and how that panned out...given the overlap of symptoms and all. She agrees that my depression was "reactive" (I assume that's a clinical term?), meaning it was caused by the situation, not things going funky in my brain. Alright, good. She also said she's sorry that she can't put more of my personal story in her report, because... I'm not sure, she's thinks I'm noble and brave? I tune out that, "You're sooo brave to be dealing with this!" sh-t these days. I don't want to brush off anyone's admiration, but's not that "brave" to be a trans guy these days, it's just life.

Pretty much the only thing I was interested in from that session was the fact that she's concerned about the ethical and legal position she thinks she might be in regarding how to refer to me, genderwise, in her report... I'll update on that if she says anything more about it. At this point, I think it comes down to "male" or just referring to me vaguely throughout as "the client."

I still feel a little like some time was wasted though, because I'm not sure why we devoted an entire two hours to that. So the last session was a bit of a letdown, considering how the second session was so revealing. Eh, what can you do - sometimes, I'm sure, it's fireworks, and either times it's just same-old.

But I was hoping that when I went for my fourth session Tuesday, it would be interesting. Maybe not as "ding!" as the second one, but more interesting than talking about being trans.

In which the session doesn't go that great, and I get very upset )
beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (Default)
My father's retrospective rating of my ADHD symptoms )

Not for the first time, I feel like my father doesn't know who I am at all.
beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (Default)
ARRGH, I finally got the time to write out my last observations on my last session with Dr. Y, and THE POWER WENT OUT. Gaaah.

Okay, trying again:

Last night, my mother and I went over a "Retrospective Behaviour Checklist for Parents" together that Dr. Y gave to me to have Mom fill out. This is so she knows if my symptoms have been consistent from childhood.

When Dr. Y and I were going over a similar checklist together, we came up with 7/9 inattentive symptoms that are currently giving me grief, and 2/9 hyper/impulsive symptoms, those two being "talks excessively" and "often feels physically restless." Although it's really only the latter one that's actually a problem sometimes, because I can have a hard time sitting still enough to do work. I mostly let Dr. Y interpret the severity of my H/I symptoms, because that's not at all what I went in there for. I didn't go in trying to present myself as a hyper or impulsive adult, just an inattentive one. I never thought that I'd been anything other than an "absent-minded professor." (As my mother has called me for years.)

I did note at one point to Dr. Y that my social life as a child was utter hell - every damn kid in the school hated my guts. She asked me why that was, and I honestly couldn't tell her. I can't remember my childhood! I did say that I remember that I always seemed to say the wrong thing at the wrong time, and was burned for it. Her interpretation was that this was impulsivity at work, but I didn't agree. I insisted that I was only missing social cues. She was forced to agree that the picture I presented in her office was not impulsive whatsoever - that I was calm and quiet (without being timid) and answered her in a measured way.

My mother has a VERY different story to tell - warning, long as hell )

Okay, so according to her...I was actually quite impulsive. She was very certain of this, even more than she was certain I was a "space cadet" as a child. At least this clears up the mystery of why the other kids didn't like me, and why descriptions of "inattentive type" children never felt right. I didn't quite meet the diagnostic criteria for Combined type as a kid - taking my mother's "lowest" responses (safe side), I come out with 6/9 inattentive, 5/9 hyperactive-impulsive, just sub-threshold. Not being the "bouncing off the walls" kid, you know.

But this makes sense, and feels right. I feel so validated, somehow! I've been trying to come up with 71-bajillion other reasons for why I fling myself around so much when no one's watching, and why I need to excuse myself from dinner tables and so on for secretive "movement breaks." I read that the "only" inattentive types only move around because they are anxious. I've been trying, awkwardly, to make this fit my experience, but it doesn't.

Now I know! Although apparently I've outgrown and internalized my impulsivity to a large degree, something that Dr. Y and I discussed.

She's worried about my self-image )
beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (Default)
*cracks knuckles* Assessment, part deux.

One of the themes that came up when I was talking with Dr. Y is the sort of underlying person I am. She said that what she was hearing from me - over and over - as I described my symptoms, my childhood and my coping strategies was that I'm quite the anal, perfectionistic, slightly-OCD, "IF IT'S NOT PERFECT, I REFUSE TO DO IT, RAAAWR!" kind of person. (She noted how often I recheck, to the point that it nearly obscures some of my less troublesome symptoms.)

Which is true, I am that sort of person. Although I've managed to hide my perfectionism well, obviously. While my old preschool report cards note how quickly I got frustrated and started tantruming if something wasn't exactly right, by third grade I was "careless" and simply "resistant" to doing work. Not anal, and not concerned about getting it right.

(Despite the fact that I was generally a kid who wanted to be liked, not a kid who wanted to piss people off, my report cards sound more like I was bratty and defiant than inattentive. CAN do the work, but WON'T, willful, stubborn, resistant, avoidant "despite ability," refuses, tiresome...struggle, battle, fight, etc.)

I once joked to my mother that I am a "closet perfectionist." Her response was to say, "WAY deep in the closet!" She knows perfectly well, of course, how I reacted to failure as a kid (the tantruming continued longer at home, I think). But I long ago perfected my, "What, me, worry?"

All of this, Dr. Y says, is ANXIETY based. I don't really have OCD, or an anxiety disorder, but I'm an ANXIOUS person.

Double-you-tee-EFF, mate? )
beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (Default)
Oh! Oh! Can't NOT post this:

Dr. Y laughed numerous times in session in response to some of my funnier stories. She said they were "so classically ADD." (Such as the first day of seventh grade, when my science teacher said it might rain "cats and dogs" later in the year, and I instantly burst out barking at the top of my lungs.)

Said that my stories made the difference. "Anyone can walk in here and say that they can't remember things, or they lose things, or they can't concentrate at work. What makes it ADD is things like barking in class."

Anyway. She says she wants to quote me in the book she's writing on ADD, because some of the things I say are so "classic."

How about that?! I can indirectly entertain and inform the masses with my tales of woe and inadequacy.


I knew being good-for-nothing was good for something!
beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (Default)
Okay, okay, I changed my mind:


Yes, this is me, Mr. I'll-Keep-My-Own-Counsel-Thankyaverymuch, eating crow.

This week, I went twice to a psychologist through "Alberta's Attentional and Learning Services" or some such...can't remember. Saw a nice lady, Dr. Y, about an ADHD assessment. (Bizarrely, I've actually started calling it ADHD instead of ADD half the time since my meetings with her, even though SHE doesn't call it that.)

Our first meeting (1.5 hours) we went over my developmental and medical history, and my school chronology. We discussed my symptoms a little bit in the course of trying to determine if I have any signs of an LD, and although there was some issues I was definitely concerned about, I think it went fairly well. She said that I was straightforward and obviously very intelligent, and easy to get information out of. Whee!

Second meeting (2 hours) we went over my symptoms in depth, which was deeply interesting to me, because although I can think through my symptoms for myself, and although I can get little insights from other people and by listening to what they have to say on their own symptoms, it was totally different to hear some more in-depth stuff entirely about me. (Ha, damned if that didn't sound hopelessly self-absorbed.)

For example: I told her about my bizarre memory - how some customers think I'm magical because I will remember every detail about their long, complex order, while I can barely remember at all if someone just orders the most common burrito on the menu, with no complications. She said that actually makes SENSE, because of ADD arousal levels. Dude, why didn't I think of that? I have the knowledge base.

We concluded that it's highly unlikely that I have any learning disabilities, so she's probably cutting out the psychoeducational part of my assessment entirely. She did give me a LD screener, though...I think because she's slightly puzzled about my scores on the one my school counselor gave me, but she doesn't have a copy of my answers. (She seemed puzzled that my scores in reading speed, decoding, comprehension, spelling and written expression were all low or zeros - indicating strengths - but my visual-spatial score was rather high, approaching a serious area of weakness. So I made sure to include comments in that section to explain my answers.)

I think she also made a brief attempt to rule out Asperger's - she asked me if I get jokes. Sigh. She's happy that my answer is, "Yes, I usually find 3 or 4 things funny about jokes, not just one," which she says is another sign I'm smart. (Or just weird, maybe?) Still, I know that's not a good question to ask to rule out spectrum disorders.

(Also, the thought popped into my head that at least a third of the time, I take a long time to register what OTHER people find funny about the joke - I usually think I get it, and then eventually realize that I found something else funny from everyone else. I decided not to mention that. Did I make the right choice?)

Being smart masks your symptoms in multiple ways, oh yes )
beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (Default)
I'm completely, totally in shock right now. So shocked, I don't know what to think.

There's been several mentions of ADD/ADHD in a community I belong to, and I went to go look up some stuff about ADD, just out of curiosity, and I found this:

Paralysis of the Will

Now, note I am not saying I have ADD or anything, I consider it a bit of a stroke of...luck, maybe? that this happened to be where I was poking around, but I relate to this so completely:

Here's what I'm after: Specific, responsible (especially if anecdotal) commentary on the block, inertia, stall, inability, or whatever you want to call it that some of us experience. Many of you have spoken of difficulty paying bills, opening mail, and getting organized in general, especially in the area of personal finances. The phenomenon I am describing, however, is frightening and taxes my ability to respond with dark humor to disasters in my own life.

Examples of what I'm talking about:

*Bills not paid until somebody calls on the phone or until service is cut off, when the money is in the bank and there is no intent to accept services w/o paying for them.

*Income tax returns late or not filed when there is no intent not to pay taxes (most paid during the year by payroll deductions anyway), and when in fact there is a belief in the tax system and what it produces for us.

*Similar credit problems when we know pretty much all there is to know about staying out of debt.

*Walking into the kitchen with several days' unwished dishes, thinking "Oh, how disgusting," and then leaving the dishes again.

The key is that in all of these scenarios you know what you need to do, you are daily appalled and shamed by your inability to move, but you j.u.s.t c.a.n.'.t m.o.v.e. You want to do it. You know that getting started is the worst part, but you don't pick up even one dish or whatever. You are frozen into immobility (literally and/or figuratively), numbed in the face of a complete lack of understanding of why you cannot even touch some of these projects.

Yes, I have made incremental progress since the ADD diagnosis a few months ago, and yes, the Wellbutrin has helped somewhat. At least the past years' tax materials are all in folders labeled 1999 or whatever. But some tax returns are not yet filed. And this remains the single most frightening, most out-of-control aspect of my life. When I examine it, I feel nothing but fear.

In the research mentioned above, and in the 10-12 books on adult ADD I have read in the past 3 months, I have seen only two brief comments that touch on the phenomenon that is much too severe and destructive to be called procrastination.

Much too severe and destructive to be called procrastination, yes.


I'm relieved as hell that I'm not the only person out there who actually feels like he can't make himself MOVE. But I'm daunted by the fact that no one really has a concrete solution.

This freaks me out completely.


beandelphiki: Animated icon of the TARDIS from the British television show, "Doctor Who." (Default)

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