I have been out of academia and the workforce for several years now and while I do make an income, I consider myself semi-retired. There days I go full tilt and get nothing done. I came across this video that really explains my condition. It sums up my days to a 'T'! Quite frankly I have always displayed signs of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) but have never been officially diagnosed even though it is quite apparent. The inability to concentrate and focus on one task combined with dyslexia really made earning my post secondary degrees a challenge and then some. The only way I got through academia was by religiously following a very rigid schedule. That made it difficult for our home life raising kids because I was not as spontaneous but it is what I had to do to survive long enough to earn my degrees.
Folks not affected by ADD have no clue how challenging and frustrating it can be. It has nothing to do with being forgetful although I may have a bit of that now that I'm getting up there in years but I take thiamin to help with any memory issues. The real problem is not being able to focus on one task. I seriously cannot sit and watch television without doing something else at the same time. I knit, crochet, blog, and the list goes on but I never just watch television. If a commercial comes on, I am up puttering, emptying the dishwasher or doing whatever pops into my mind that needs doing. If I am online and this one really drives my husband nuts, I have a multitude of tabs open on the browser bouncing between them. It could take me well over a day to write a blog post because I'm up and down puttering between thoughts or checking out tangents online. The distractions never end and it is not as simple as telling me to focus because there is just too much sensory overload for me to focus on one task.
Having ADD or even ADD symptoms does not mean you have dementia and with proper health care mixed with good genes you may never develop dementia as you age. ADD really is an issue that if you have it, you likely have had it from birth and have dealt with it for your entire live. It isn't something that just suddenly manifests itself. Many with ADD tend to be perfectionists which feeds into the ADD because you either do it perfect or you are off on tangents to find out how to do it perfectly. Many are also high end achievers - scoring in the upper tenth percentile academically, climbing that corporate ladder and basically to the outside world, everything is perfect. But it isn't. Along with ADD comes an incredible amount of frustration, a healthy dose of low self esteem, and a feeling of being somewhat disconnected or disorganized. It can lead to those with adult ADD to alienate or disassociate from people because they are tired of being judged for being a bit different. It can lead to self medication via drugs or alcohol which can complicate the problem. At the same time, those with ADD tend to develop some rather impressive coping mechanisms but then that is the same of any disorder. You do what you have to do to get by in life. ADD is not funny, it isn't fun dealing with it but I can so relate to this video!