"Some ADHD people are extremely intelligent, others have average or even below average IQ. Some come from supportive homes, others come from dysfunctional families and had to raise themselves. All of these factors affect the impact of ADHD on the life of the individual. The child genius who has supportive parents will be better able to compensate for his or her ADHD. Many ADHD adults have learned to hide their cluttered desks behind closed office doors; they learn to look attentive even when they have no idea what has just been said. These and other survival skills help to cloak their ADHD. But, eventually, even the child genius finds that coping skills only go so far. Frustration becomes more apparent as the gap between ability and actual performance grows. After years of being able to get by on innate intelligence and other abilities, these undiagnosed ADHD adults realize that there is nothing left in their bag of tricks. Research on ADHD adults illustrates the scope of the problem. Twenty-five percent of ADHD participants in the study did not graduate from high school versus 1% of the participants who did not have ADHD." -Do You Have Adult ADHD? Why Diagnosis Is Critical | ADDitude - Adults and Children with ADD ADHD

    --- I'm learning that I've developed some coping mechanisms over the past few years to hide or make my shortcomings seem less extreme/embarrassing/pathetic to other people and myself. I didn't even realize this was happening. Sometimes these coping mechanisms can be good. For example, as long as it doesn't interfere with you're overall performance, ways of hiding your symptoms might be better for your employment.

     But unfortunately, these tricks can prevent us from getting the help we need, when we need it, instead of after we've already caused huge problems for ourselves. I know that if I had recognized my ADHD symptoms sooner, I may have finished high school sooner. (In hindsight, Florida Virtual School was probably not the best idea..at least not without my teachers' knowledge of my ADHD). I would have done much better my first year in college. And my social life would not have been impacted as much as it has by me putting things off and being forgetful.

    Thinking about & discussing these things is not throwing yourself a pity party, but instead a way of realizing that your past failings without treatment were not completely your fault and eventually learning to forgive yourself. (See my previous post about being hard on ourselves for more.)

    I also want to note, especially for my new followers that don't know much about this, that people suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder experience varying levels of symptoms from minor to severe and not everyone experiences the same symptoms. Too often than not, this condition (as well as many other disorders) are trivialized by those that either don't have the condition or those with only minor symptoms that don't need much treatment. The stigmas associated with mental illness and learning disabilities is slowly dissipating in our society, but not fast enough.

         P.S. I need to take my own advice and put everything I've learned to use in    my life. Unfortunately, doing this is much more difficult than you'd think and I'm sure my fellow ADDer's & those with depression or anxiety symptoms can relate. It's okay to always be a work in progress. Just try to keep working at it.

I've moved! You can find 'Look, a Squirrel' at look-a-squirrel.tumblr.com. I'm still posting here for a little while for your convenience, but I'll be switching over in the next month. You can view the blog without having a Tumblr account but I'd love it if you would follow me so I can get to know you. :)

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