Thursday, October 06, 2005

AD/HD: A Harebrained Mystery

I was getting very irritated last night.

There was something under my nose, like a spider web, that tickled me to distraction. I was busy working so I mostly ignored it, but there were times when I'd grab at that area and try to pull the object away, but with no luck. No matter how often I brushed away at it the sensation of something being there remained to taunt me.

As a testament to how absorbed I was in my labors a few hours passed while I absentmindedly brushed away and away and away. When I took a break to eat, however, I had time to focus on the problem next time it began to tickle me.

"It feels like there's a hair there," I thought to myself. Then I froze in place. "Of course there is a hair there. It's called a mustache!"

I hadn't shaved in about a week, so there was quite a bit of growth. Not that I hadn't noticed that I had a mustache growing there. I was just too absorbed to think about the problem thoroughly. Obviously, one of my mustache hairs was just long enough to tickle my nose and not long enough to lie down.

I bring this up to show how important it is to find humor in these situations instead of feeling stupid. Ten years ago I would have scowled and chided myself for being daft. Instead I chuckled to myself over this "mystery". Absentminded AD/HD made this silly event perplexing and frustrating - comes from being unable to block out background noise while also being hyperfocused. The humor in this situation is that in my mind some foreign and evil object was tormenting me while I worked, when all it turned out to be was my own hair.

If you don't have AD/HD, this "background noise IS foreground noise" phenomenom might puzzle you, but understanding it is one of the keys to understanding your loved one who suffers from this malady. If you do have AD/HD, I hope you chuckled along with me.

Coping Strategies

  1. Remember to shave