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ADD Positives 
18th-Mar-2009 02:10 pm

As you've probably noticed, I'm coming out of a very bad slump of depression - the worst in years. I'm no longer looking for sympathy or pity about it, which is why I'm talking about it in measured, bloggable terms. If free verse turns up here again in the next few - ever, feel free to spam me with LOLcats until I get over it.

Very much linked to the depression, was what I'd call a 'flare-up' of my ADD. I couldn't get work done (not just science, but knitting, blogging, roleplaying, anything I usually do); I couldn't sit still, I didn't meditate, I went to the toilet too often, I had sleep issues, I failed at timekeeping and I lost things, like my NHM pass, but that's less worrying as I have a daily pass anyway these days.

It's easy at these times to feel extra sorry for myself and my 'disorder', and wallow in self pity and blame everything that's wrong in my life with the fact that I'm sick. Which, in the clarity of a spring morning is of course the completely wrong way to look at things. The final 'D' is misleading I don't have Attention Deficit Disorder, I'm - oh, I can't think of a alternative that isn't naff, but you get the picture. It's not a a disorder, it's just who I am, in flaws and virtues.

In doing research for my chosen subject for Ada Lovelace day, I encountered an ADD-centric site called Adult ADD Strengths, which reminded me that this is just my brain, not an illness. A couple of click throughs led me to 151 Positive Characteristics of ADD, which reminded me further that my brain is not a bad brain to have.

I delicioused it, of course. And as such it'll turn up in my twitter post tonight, but I wanted to write a post singing its praises and copying some of the many good things I can recognise about myself, because I'm still at a stage where I need the affirmations. So here it is, a few, very select reasons why I am awesome:

Adventurous, courageous, lives outside of boundaries
Compassion for others and for themselves
Good at problem solving
Great storyteller
Great with kids (central figure around kids)
18th-Mar-2009 02:04 pm (UTC)
I wonder if this would even work for me. I doubt there is a 101 positives to Depression/OCD, and if there was, I'd worry I'd fall into the trap of doing nothing about getting well.

Glad it seems to be helping you though.
18th-Mar-2009 02:10 pm (UTC)
Well, different brain things take different approaches, and have different avenues open. This morning I read that one of my friends went straight to her GP and was prescribed anti-depressants, and almost burst into tears because I went to my GP over a year ago seeking help with ADD, and I am still waiting for a referral to go through to even be diagnosed. So I need all the affirmations and internet self-help sites I can find.
18th-Mar-2009 02:13 pm (UTC)
I can't get a psychiatrist in this city. I got one fairly easily up north. Down here, however they keep thrusting counsellors on me that have no IDEA what they're doing. Who the hell analyzes dreams seriously anymore?
18th-Mar-2009 02:19 pm (UTC)
Seriously? What the hell?

PS. I would like to apologise both to you and the person in question for the comment above.
18th-Mar-2009 02:22 pm (UTC)
No need for apologies.
(Deleted comment)
18th-Mar-2009 10:15 pm (UTC)
I've actually got two different attempts on the go at once -- like a race between raindrops to see which one gets to the bottom first -- one through work and one my proper GP, and I've still gotten nowhere.
18th-Mar-2009 05:17 pm (UTC)
I suppose its the other other parts of your personality that aren't influenced by the OCD or depression that have their positive sides.
18th-Mar-2009 05:20 pm (UTC)
But that has nothing to do with the disorder.
18th-Mar-2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
Things I've noticed with mine, though it may be different just because I'm on meds so the horrible avalanche of depressio isn't burying 'em:

-I can "shut down" my emotions to deal with things during a stressful time, since I spent most of my early life doing that to avoid feeling terrible all the time

-I have the perspective to understand other peoples' disorders and different brain setups

-I'm good at critique and finding flaws due to natural pessimism.

-I'm good at noticing subtle details.

Obviously, YMMV. I really hope you can get a decent shrink. Untreated depression is so terrible. (Not that I need to tell you that. :/ )
(Deleted comment)
18th-Mar-2009 02:11 pm (UTC)
:-P I'd probably get it if you did comment with that. I'M WISE TO YOU NOW.
18th-Mar-2009 02:46 pm (UTC)
But we already knew you were awesome! You had to do research to find out? *tut*
(Deleted comment)
18th-Mar-2009 03:04 pm (UTC)
OTOH, if we didn't have a label, we wouldn't be able to have a word. It's unfortunate that word contains 'disorder' but since I realised I had ADD then learned to not view it as a disorder, I've been working with my brain. When I thought I was just lazy, and I needed to 'get on with it', I was fighting it.

I have no appropriate icon.
18th-Mar-2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
I wonder if it would be better overall if we called it "Attention Deficit Personality." (Or if there's a spectrum like there is with obsessive-compulsiveness; I've been diagnosed with OC personality, since it doesn't actively cause me problems in life. At least, not when I'm on my antidepressants.)

One thing I've noticed with a lot of ADD types I've met is they tend to be charismatic and energetic, which can be a pretty cool thing, and also entertaining to talk to, provided you can keep up. :3
18th-Mar-2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
I don't suppose there's a positive characteristics list for anything else, like ASD or whatever?
18th-Mar-2009 06:11 pm (UTC)
I don't know. I was on an ADD site.
19th-Mar-2009 12:19 am (UTC)
I hate the word 'disorder' when talking about ADD. I don't have a 'disorder' that is something wrong and to be fixed, just a differently wired brain.

'Course, that said, I've been like you lately, which is a PAIN, but still! I actually can't recommend those sites enough when you're feeling down.
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