Do ADHD brains use up caffeine faster? my mom always said not to drink an energy drink in the afternoon since "youll have trouble falling asleep" but i can drink one two hours before bed with no issues?


It sounds like you’re one of the lucky(?) ones for whom caffeine is not a problem.

Caffeine fits into the same receptors as dopamine, so it has a similar effect to stimulants. This means that for a lot of ADHDers, caffeine doesn’t wake us up the way it does non-ADHDers… it calms us down somewhat so that we can actually control our thoughts a bit better.

You can learn more in our “caffeine” tag.

-J (I’m sorry if I said that wrong, I am tired.)

I can also. Not 5 hr energy but most others.

I have fine motor skills problems, but i can tie my shoes just fine. I have a lot of problems writing though, like a lot. My handwriting is shit and there are other problems i have. I also have "body in space issues", is this common for people with ADHD. Body in space issues is like my depth perception is really bad and i never know exactly where i am so i walk into walls and people and bump into things or step on things a lot. Related to my adhd?


Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), otherwise known as dyspraxia, is pretty common with ADHD. It can affect fine motor skills and gross motor skills, and often includes body awareness.


I'm frustrating, and i hate it. I try to keep my thoughts paced and my emotions stable but sometimes i snap at people i'm not even mad at, just cuz they were in the way and i couldnt stop myself. Most of the time it feels like everything is moving too slow and its so FRUSTRATING, and then i cant speak bcuz it just comes out all garbled. Sometimes i space out and i cant focus. I frustrate my family and I apologize but its not enough, i feel like a mistake and i don't know what to do


I understand this feeling.

Please know that you are not a mistake. You are who you are meant to be, and that is someone unique. There is nobody else in the world quite like you, and that matters.

Feeling frustrated with yourself over these kinds of things is natural. So is feeling irritated and being unable to refrain from snapping at people. All of these things are part of ADHD.

It’s definitely rough when the things we do frustrate other people. Life would be so much simpler if ADHD only messed up our lives, wouldn’t it? We’d be the only people who had to deal with our symptoms and the forgetting and the procrastinating and so on. But that’s not how it works.

With your family, do you try to find ways to keep from doing the things that frustrate them? That could help your relationships with them. Even if the things don’t work, they will know you are trying and I find that people are more patient with me when they understand that I’m trying to do better.

Can you talk to your parents about all of this at a time when you haven’t just all been dealing with some of this frustration? Pick a time when everyone is calm, and ask them for help figuring this stuff out. You might also speak about it with a guidance counselor at school.


Followers, do you have any advice?

Hi, I sat down to study today because my grades and future are very important things to me, and I literally could not physically do it. I've been diagnosed with ADHD since I was eleven (however, since it changed to age 12, I'll meet with a psychologist), anyways, I was wondering if you can hyperfocus at certain times, because when this happens, my interest will peak into things outside of what I'm trying to study...I cleaned my room and organized everything by the way....just thought that was +


This makes plenty of sense. What happens is your brain goes “That is going to be really hard to do. What’s something else we can do that is productive but won’t be so hard?” And then you end up alphabetizing your CD collection instead of learning the capitals of the world.

Have you tried the timer method at times like this? During the breaks you can do whatever your brain wants to focus on, but you do need to follow the timer and come back to studying when it goes off. The idea is that you’re making yourself do something that your brain doesn’t want to do, but you’re also giving yourself breaks when your brain just can’t stick with it anymore. Eventually your brain figures out that it CAN do the hard stuff, and as time goes on you’re able to focus for longer periods of time.



1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 428 Cobra Jet


1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 428 Cobra Jet

re: roommate anon, I had a teacher who would ask me if I needed to go for a walk if I got like that. Like, not kicking me out of class, not asking me to leave, just "hey you wanna go for a quick walk?" and I had the option to get up and get away from whatever was frustrating me for a few minutes. if you could go for a walk with your roommate (maybe run a quick errand?) that might help him clear his mind and get away from what's bothering him?
I'm literally terrified of writing assignments. I just can't do them. I'm terrible at writing and whenever I try to write an essay I just end up staring at a blank document and crying. I honestly don't know what to do. I can't fail again like I did last year.


Okay, deep breath. We have a bunch of stuff about writing in our “writing” tag but I’m going to give you the quick & dirty lowdown on writing assignments.

First of all, you don’t have to be a good writer to do well on these kinds of assignments. Yes, it helps if you can turn a good phrase (teachers are only human, after all), but the point of these things is to prove that you understand the material and can do independent research or have your own opinions (depending on the type of paper it is). So don’t worry about that.

Now, the practical side of things.

There are steps to writing a paper.

  1. Figure out your topic. This could be as general as “polar bears” or as specific as “taxes should be raised for coporations” but either way you need a starting point for your research. (Even opinion papers need a little bit of research.)
  2. Do your research. Find out what you can about your topic. If it’s an opinion paper, make sure you understand opposing viewpoints from the one you hold so that you can address them in your paper. IMPORTANT: Take notes as you read and make sure you indicate in your notes where the information came from, down to the page number; you will need that for your paper.
  3. Decide what specifically you are going to write about. As you’ve been doing your research, you will have picked up on some things and found that you’re more interested in particular aspects of them.
  4. Make an outline. This can be really basic or it can be really detailed. If you do a search for the type of paper you’re writing with the word “outline” after it you should find a bunch of sites that explain how to make outlines.
  5. Write your paper, following your outline. A lot of people find it’s easier to write the body of the paper and then go back to write the introduction and finish with the conclusion.
  6. Read over your paper and make sure you’ve cited your sources and given a bibliography and everything, and make sure it flows and makes sense. If you aren’t sure you can tell if it makes sense because you wrote it, give it to a friend or a parent and ask them to tell you if anything is confusing.

In general, with a paper, you’re going to tell your reader what you’re going to tell them (introduction), then you’re going to tell them the things with lots of detail (body), and then you’re going to tell them what you told them (conclusion). That’s why the introduction and conclusion can be easier to write after you’ve written everything else.

Remember that being a good writer isn’t important for these things; what matters is that you meet the requirements of the assignment in terms of length and topic.


Followers, do you have any encouragement?


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Two and a half Hammond…

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With ADHD (diagnosed and undedicated) my hyperfocus is work. Like 24\7. This causes me to have severe anxiety about everything. I cant leave work at work. I end up staying later than other, working weekends and after school. IM a teacher. For the panic of not being organised or falling behind. Constantly in fear of everything. Unable to eat properly binging, just focusing. Its worked amazing for mw but having a bad day really affects my home life. Please any advice?


Ah, this is so hard! I used to cope with my (undiagnosed) ADHD with anxiety. It’s really really stressful. Things were definitely easier once I was on medication, but now that I’m unmedicated again it’s still easier because I have systems in place that mean I don’t have to worry as much as I did pre-diagnosis.

The things that I have instituted include:

  • Morning and evening routines - things that I always do every day, in roughly the same order.
  • Daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists - there are some tasks that repeat every day, like doing the dishes, and others that repeat weekly or monthly. I keep track of what those are (using Post-Its in my day planner) and create my daily to-do list with those in mind.
  • General schedules - I have a basic daily schedule for days when I’m at home and one for days when I’ve been called in to work (I’m going to be temping if they can find me placements). It’s pretty general because my personal style needs more flexibility than “do the dishes from 10-11 every morning”; I do better with “do the dishes at some point in the morning.”

Alarms have been helpful for me in the past, to remind me to do things - including eating food.

I’m not a teacher and never have been, but I think you need to do lesson plans and set up materials and things like that? See if there’s a way you can organize your week so that you aren’t doing so much every day.

Choose one day a week that you will stay X time late and the other days you will go home earlier.

Assess every day whether you really need to do the thing that day or if it can wait for another day.

What I’m trying to do here is get you to start thinking about what you’re doing for your work and whether all of it is really necessary. The idea is to pare down some of the work you’re doing so that you aren’t so stressed about it, and to get your routines and to-do lists and schedules more streamlined.

I would also recommend scheduling in some time to do something with friends and/or family. Make sure it’s something fun and relaxing. And do things by yourself, too. Read a novel, watch a movie or a TV show, learn to knit or crochet, take an art class, go mountain climbing. It’s hard to relax at first, but eventually you start to be able to do it. And it’s worth learning.


Followers, do any of you have some advice here? I know I have some teachers following me; how do you manage your teaching duties and keep work at work?



THE first time it was an ear, nose and throat doctor. I had an emergency visit for an ear infection, which was causing a level of pain I hadn’t experienced since giving birth. He looked at the list of drugs I was taking for my bipolar disorder and closed my chart.

“I don’t feel comfortable prescribing anything,” he said. “Not with everything else you’re on.” He said it was probably safe to take Tylenol and politely but firmly indicated it was time for me to go. The next day my eardrum ruptured and I was left with minor but permanent hearing loss.

Another time I was lying on the examining table when a gastroenterologist I was seeing for the first time looked at my list of drugs and shook her finger in my face. “You better get yourself together psychologically,” she said, “or your stomach is never going to get any better.”

If you met me, you’d never know I was mentally ill. In fact, I’ve gone through most of my adult life without anyone ever knowing — except when I’ve had to reveal it to a doctor. And that revelation changes everything. It wipes clean the rest of my résumé, my education, my accomplishments, reduces me to a diagnosis.

I was surprised when, after one of these run-ins, my psychopharmacologist said this sort of behavior was all too common. At least 14 studies have shown that patients with a serious mental illness receive worse medical care than “normal” people. Last year the World Health Organization called the stigma and discrimination endured by people with mental health conditions “a hidden human rights emergency.”

I never knew it until I started poking around, but this particular kind of discriminatory doctoring has a name. It’s called “diagnostic overshadowing.”

According to a review of studies done by the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College, London, it happens a lot. As a result, people with a serious mental illness — including bipolar disorder, major depression, schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder — end up with wrong diagnoses and are under-treated.

That is a problem, because if you are given one of these diagnoses you probably also suffer from one or more chronic physical conditions: though no one quite knows why, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome and mitral valve prolapse often go hand in hand with bipolar disorder.

Less mysterious is the weight gain associated with most of the drugs used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, which can easily snowball into diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. The drugs can also sedate you into a state of zombiedom, which can make going to the gym — or even getting off your couch — virtually impossible.

It’s little wonder that many people with a serious mental illness don’t seek medical attention when they need it. As a result, many of us end up in emergency rooms — where doctors, confronted with an endless stream of drug addicts who come to their door looking for an easy fix — are often all too willing to equate mental illness with drug-seeking behavior and refuse to prescribe pain medication.

I should know: a few years ago I had a persistent migraine, and after weeks trying to get an appointment with any of the handful of headache specialists in New York City, I broke down and went to the E.R. My husband filled out paperwork and gave the nurse my list of drugs. The doctors finally agreed to give me something stronger than what my psychopharmacologist could prescribe for the pain and hooked me up to an IV.

I lay there for hours wearing sunglasses to block out the fluorescent light, waiting for the pain relievers to kick in. But the headache continued. “They gave you saline and electrolytes,” my psychopharmacologist said later. “Welcome to being bipolar.”

When I finally saw the specialist two weeks later (during which time my symptoms included numbness and muscle weakness), she accused me of being “a serious cocaine user” (I don’t touch the stuff) and of displaying symptoms of “la belle indifference,” a 19th-century term for a kind of hysteria in which the patient converts emotional symptoms into physical ones — i.e., it was all in my head.

Indeed, given my experience over the last two decades, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the statistics I found in the exhaustive report “Morbidity and Mortality in People with Serious Mental Illness,” a review of studies published in 2006 that provides an overview of recommendations and general call to arms by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors. The take-away: people who suffer from a serious mental illness and use the public health care system die 25 years earlier than those without one.

True, suicide is a big factor, accounting for 30 to 40 percent of early deaths. But 60 percent die of preventable or treatable conditions. First on the list is, unsurprisingly, cardiovascular disease. Two studies showed that patients with both a mental illness and a cardiovascular condition received about half the number of follow-up interventions, like bypass surgery or cardiac catheterization, after having a heart attack than did the “normal” cardiac patients.

The report also contains a list of policy recommendations, including designating patients with serious mental illnesses as a high-priority population; coordinating and integrating mental and physical health care for such people; education for health care workers and patients; and a quality-improvement process that supports increased access to physical health care and ensures appropriate prevention, screening and treatment services.

Such changes, if implemented, might make a real difference. And after seven years of no change, signs of movement are popping up, particularly among academic programs aimed at increasing awareness of mental health issues. Several major medical schools now have programs in the medical humanities, an emerging field that draws on diverse disciplines including the visual arts, humanities, music and science to make medical students think differently about their patients. And Johns Hopkins offers a doctor of public health with a specialization in mental health.

Perhaps the most notable of these efforts — and so far the only one of its kind — is the narrative medicine program at Columbia University Medical Center, which starts with the premise that there is a disconnect between health care and patients and that health care workers need to start listening to what their patients are telling them, and not just looking at what’s written on their charts.

According to the program’s mission statement, “The effective practice of health care requires the ability to recognize, absorb, interpret, and act on the stories and plights of others. Medicine practiced with narrative competence is a model for humane and effective medical practice.”

We can only hope that humanizing programs like this one become a requirement for all health care workers. Maybe then “first, do no harm” will apply to everyone, even the mentally ill.

The author of the novel “Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See” and a co-editor of “Voices of Bipolar Disorder: The Healing Companion.”

Reblogging because this is the sort of thing that needs signal boosting the heck out of it. Probably many of the people who see this in my Tumblr are people who already know from first-hand experience as a patient. Probably most of the people who even know my Tumblr exists are not in a position to perpetuate this problem (because they aren’t doctors).  But I figure if more people get info like this circulating, maybe eventually someone in a better position to reach more doctors with this kind of information and open serious dialogue about how to address the problem will come across this.

Until then, at least a better informed patient population can, I hope, be in a better position to advocate for themselves—if not always as individuals then perhaps as groups.