Thursday, February 25, 2010

Coping with ADHD

Someone asked what I do to help me focus on homework. I've already written a post about this, but since my methods are always evolving and I'm always exploring new possibilities I'm going to write a second post about it, then go back and see what I said in my old post. I'll certainly mention things in this post that I didn't mention there, and probably vice versa as well.


And, just to illustrate how much trouble focusing can be at times, I want to share a little story of an extreme case of an ADHD moment.

Juliet Marillier is a favorite author of mine. It's her "Sevenwaters" trilogy that first got me exploring Paganism (though mom says that I was a Pagan way before I read her books, was in fact born a Pagan), and as such her books will always have a special place in my heart.

So when her book "The Dark Mirror" came out a few years ago I was very excited. It was coming out in Australia and the UK a year before it was coming out in the USA, and rather than wait I payed extra to get the UK edition of it. When it finally arrived on my doorstep I was oh so happy, and started reading it almost immediately. Or anyways, I tried to.

Regardless of how excited I was about it, and how much I had anticipated it, and how delighted I was to finally have it in my hands, I could barely even read one paragraph. Seriously. My focus was that bad. I had to put it down and come back to it later.

This story is to illustrate that my ADHD moments do effect my whole life, not just how I do academically.


Now, on to some of my coping methods!

1) I like to take frequent brief breaks.

2) Listening to music.

3) Listening to an audio book that I'm very familiar with. Believe it or not, this can actually help me focus on reading and writing. I'll read/write whatever I need to, while being semi-aware of what's going on in the book.

4) My new iPhone I'm getting should help me keep track of things and remember to do stuff. Ok, so it won't exactly help me focus, but I thought it worth mentioning. Besides, I think I'll have all kinds of timers on it to remind me to do things like homework. :)

5) I'm planning to talk to the ADA office at my school. My advisor has said that they should be able to help me find methods that help, and find reasonable accomodations for me. I can blog more about that as I go through the process of working with them, if anyone is curious about it.

6) Drink something with caffeine. I don't know that this actually helps me, but it's been recommended and so I do it. Sometimes.

7) This term I discovered that it can help to listen to music on my iPod while I'm in class. Fortunately both of my professors were fine with me experimenting with it. :)

I should also note that some of these methods can backfire. For example, music that almost always helps me focus will sometimes totally distract me, in which case I'll have to find another method to help me focus. As I said, my methods are always evolving, and I keep looking for new ways to help my concentration.

By the way, after writing the above I went back to find the old post I referred to in the beginning of this post. I don't mention anything in it that I haven't talked about in this post, but I do talk about some things in more detail.


pheonix_Dawn said...

OMG if you find anything else please post Havnt went to the dr to confirm but I am pretty sure my house is a mess All the time cause I just look at it and say where do I freakin start I have been doing better lately music sure does help dont know so much about the caffine cause well its caffine maybe with the times when I am really tired. I went to Domestic Goddessess site and got more focused on my housework but I would still like to accomplish some other things in THIS lifetime. LOL but it seems everytime I try things I get to distracted by other things to get them done uh yeah I am sure you can relate so if you can find anything else to help you focus let me know and if I do I will do the same Thanks Much love and Light Michelle

Willow Silverhorse said...

Hey Sarita, thanks for posting this. I use most of those methods as well except I haven't tried listening to my iPod in class. I have noticed my concentration problems aren't as bad when I haven't been fighting with insomnia so currently I'm trying to find homeopathic remedies for that. I'm not very big on prescription medication which is why I stopped taking my ADHD medication when I was in junior high and my parents were supportive and have stood by that decision with (even through the hard parts lol). And I would love to hear about how your ADA office helps out. I haven't gone to our counseling center for mine because I haven't been to a doctor for my ADHD in a long time and all of it has to be documented. I may consider going in anyway just to see what they have to say.

Sarita Rucker said...

Phoenix Dawn -- I can totally relate to looking at things and saying "where do I start??" I'm currently having that problem with homework...also with cleaning my room, which is a mess. So yeah, if I find anything else that helps I'll share it here.

Willow -- If the ADA office wants you to have things documented, maybe you could go back to your doctor just to get it documented that you're having trouble?