When I start programming I can do this for 16 hours without eating, peeing, etc. I am constantly worried, always miss appointments, my girlfriend is always annoyed with me that I only do stuff that interests me and usually out of nowhere I stop listening to her in the middle of the conversation.
Finding an interesting job was priority number one for me. I just couldn't bear working 9-5 for a large corporation. In the middle of the day after I'd just stop paying attention to anything or anybody and just start playing chess.
I am quite surprised I experience about 80 percent of the symptoms listed on various websites, but it never occurred to me that this can be a real condition.
> I am quite surprised I experience about 80 percent of the symptoms listed on various websites, but it never occurred to me that this can be a real condition.
If you suspect you have ADHD and you find that it is negatively impacting your life, I would suggest seeking a good psychiatrist for a professional evaluation. Be warned that some psychiatrists are all too eager to write a prescription and send you on your way, when successful treatment hinges on a deeper understanding of the condition and the development of successful coping strategies once you've identified the negative behaviors.
Moreover, it's worth noting that the author's definition of ADHD and hyperfocus doesn't actually match the medical definition of ADHD. Also, many of the ADHD websites list overly-broad ADHD criteria, such than almost any warm-blooded human could feasibly self-diagnose as having ADHD given the vagueness of the symptoms.
ADHD is, first and foremost, a deficit of attention abilities. It isn't quite as selective as the author makes it out to be, in that someone with the traditional medical definition of ADHD would not be able to focus on anything for 16 hours straight as you are able to. In fact, being able to focus for such a long period of time is a truly enviable ability, and I doubt you'd find any competent medical professional who would suggest that you have ADHD if you are able to focus on your work for twice as long as the 8-hour workday that most people struggle through.
It's important to note that we all miss appointments, we all prefer to do activities that interest us, we all occasionally stop listening to people mid-way through a conversation, and we all struggle to pay attention to boring jobs. These aren't signs of a disorder, these are just facts of life.
It's important to note that we all miss appointments, we
all prefer to do activities that interest us, we all
occasionally stop listening to people mid-way through a
conversation, and we all struggle to pay attention to
boring jobs. These aren't signs of a disorder, these are
just facts of life.
While it is normal to "zone out" and struggle with boring tasks at times, if a person struggles with attention-related tasks on a long-term basis to the point where it negatively impacts their life, that points to some kind of behavioral issue.
"Hyperfocus" (perseveration, really) is a very real aspect of ADD, however it's not the blessing some make it out to be. In fact, Russell Barkley addresses it directly in one of his seminars [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1IEv9CA2vA]. Other things the author said also made me think he had been wrongly diagnosed or has a minor form of ADD, but definitely the "choice of focus" point he makes and how amphetamines affect him.
I lose interest too quickly in various things like readings books, playing games, following conversations. Even when writing, after a sense or two, I get bored in what I want to say. The only thing (so far) that interests me is my job.
I share your concerns that nowadays doctors tend just to prescribe drugs, that only treat the symptoms. All seek for a medical advice - i.e. get diagnosed. From there on I think the best I can do is be aware of the problem and try to except more control/will over the things that make sense.
You don't have to commit to anything. Within a couple of appointments, a pdoc should be willing to give you a preliminary diagnosis. (Some insurance might even force them to do so sooner.) If you tell them you refuse to take drugs (why? Stimulants are incredibly helpful, ADD or not), they should give you an honest evaluation of what they believe they can do for you.
Plus, a counselor is cheaper by quite a bit than the psychologist, and can't prescribe meds, so they default to behavioral therapy.
However, I don't have ADD. Despite the fact I share many features with people suffering from ADD, it doesn't take that much effort for me to focus in things I'm not exited about. I can do tasks I find boring for a long time if I really want to, and I can even consciously hyperfocus on almost any task that needs focus.
And that is one of the big reasons I quit 9-5 programming and started med school. I still do a lot of programming now, but it's stuff that I'm interested in, which makes a world of difference in terms of focus.