ADD/ADHD Problems and Tech Writing/Editing Careers

Subject: ADD/ADHD Problems and Tech Writing/Editing Careers
From: "Anne G. Davis" <writerstone -at- cox -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2004 14:29:12 -0700 (PDT)

Hi all,

Well it's confession time. I mean, this is not something I would normally post
to the general public on a message board, but I'm earnestly looking for
solutions and to help myself (as well as others, once the answers become
clear), and sometimes it takes big risks to do so, so here goes. I am
struggling with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and, looking back on my
career, it makes sense that I was diagnosed with this problem. Even though I
consider myself a decent reader and writer (many of my past supervisors would
agree, but some would disagree) and made it through school (painfully--like
pulling teeth without anesthesia) with an average GPA and a B.S. in English, I
continue to have a lot of trouble concentrating and focusing on large or
complex documents, following instructions (written and oral), following through
on writing tasks, getting jumbled up when handling forms and paperwork,
ineffective time management, trouble being on time, and generally feeling/being
lost in space most of the time. Apparently I am one of those people who fell
through the medical cracks so-to-speak and was never diagnosed as a child,
aside from being told I was fidgety, not a good listener, "couldn't sit still,"
"why can't you just sit and read a book in a week like everybody else" and "out
in left field." But when I went to grade school in the mid-70s, you were
either hyperactive or normal, with not much in between.
In any case, my question is, where to go from here. Do I continue to try to
make my ADD brain fit a highly-focused, attention-to-detail technical writing
career, even though it's been a struggle for 10 years with no promotions, 5
layoffs (some were due to the economy, but not all), and numerous difficulties
on the job with frustrated coworkers and bosses, not to mention the work
itself--or search for a completely different career path. It gets to be
frustrating and even demoralizing when bosses tell you "I know you can do
this," only to find that "you missed so much" and "what's wrong with you, why
aren't you getting it?"
I'm still in the "oh my gosh, so that explains it"/shock/anger ("how could this
happen to me and why wasn't I told earlier?!") phase. I'm currently taking a
low dose of medication specific for this problem that actually seems to be
helping me focus on what I read and follow people's conversations and
instructions much better.
Would be more than grateful to hear experiences from any other tech
writing/editing ADD or ADHD sufferers.

Many thanks,



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