Tuesday, May 3, 2016

You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy: Chapters 6-10: The Art of Relating and Gender Issues

People with ADHD don't like talking on the phone.  The don't like the sudden and unexpected ringing.  They don't like being on the spot to respond.  They are annoyed if there are distracting noises while they are on the phone.

A phobia is a fear out of proportion to the actual threat in a situation, and people with phobias generally try to avoid the situations they fear.  Some ADDers do avoid using the telephone.  The avoidance, however, isn't a phobic reaction to inappropriate anxiety or fear -- they have real problems with telephone communication.  The problem is sometimes an inability to process the meaning of words without the visual clues of body language....An ADDer may forget to identify himself, leave out important information, or abruptly end the conversation.
It helps if you plan your calls.  Write down all the things you want to say.  Answer the phone only when you are ready for the call.

It's hard to follow the flow of conversation, and to process it in time to figure out what to say.
Michael is standing in a cluster of four people who have been talking about a variety of topics.  He hasn't added much to the conversation because he doesn't know anything about the latest software or the movement to protect endangered caterpillars....He...vaguely hears a comment about recent activity in the Oval Office.  Since he's a builder, with a specialty in custom renovation, he eagerly jumps in with his account of an interesting circular room he once built....He looks up to see four faces etched with question marks.
Another issue with group situations is that we may be overwhelmed with stimuli.  This can cause us to shut down.
It's as if the body stays in the same spot while the brain goes off to a quiet corner somewhere to rest and regroup.  You end up standing there with a blank look....It's not that the conversation is borning....It's that the overstimulation of a group situation causes mental fatigue. 
But sometimes when people with ADHD talk to other people with ADHD, the conversation jumps around a lot, but it's something that people with ADHD can follow.

Plan in advance how to respond to things people are likely to ask you.  Try to look at the person speaking, to maintain your focus on them.

You may need to have less of a social life than other people.  Say no to some events.  Choose small groups rather than large groups.

Allocate each family member a space of their own.  Allow each family member quiet time.  You can have "Temporary Shutdown" signs that people post when they want to be left alone.  Designate certain times and certain areas of the home for quiet. Stop, look, and listen before speaking.  Don't talk on the run.  Don't talk by yelling to someone elsewhere in the house. Make a rule that anyone can say stop teasing and the person has to stop.

 Women and hormones
Low estrogen makes symptoms worse.  Stimulant medication may not be enough.  Birth control pills or estrogen replacement may help.  Dr. Pat Quinn has done a lot of research about this.

ADHD and sexuality
Dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are involved in ADHD and they are involved in sexuality.  People with ADHD may be different from neurotypical people in their sexual desires, and their sexual desires may be affected by ADHD medication. SSRIs can reduce sexual desire, but this may be reduced over time, or by taking Wellbutrin, or exercise can allow you to reduce dose of SSRI.

People with ADHD may be sensitive to touch sometimes.  It's not consistent -- you may like something one day and dislike it another day.  Work with your partner to find what you like, or if you don't feel like being touched, the focus can be on you touching your partner.  People with ADHD may be distractible, may have trouble focusing on sex.  They may need novelty.  People with ADHD may be too goal oriented and may need to slow down and enjoy the process.

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