Did the ADHD Control My Destiny Even More Than the Depression?

Yesterday I asked the question, “Before the depression came…what,” with the answer ADHD.

Interestingly (to me), unlike depression, I cannot pinpoint a time before ADHD. I have (spotty) memories as early as the summer I was three years old. Brief flashes from a family trip to PEI, or playing in daycare.

I have longer stretches of memories from primary school, and can remember being bored absolutely senseless in grade one.

  • Sitting at my desk playing rocket ships or fighter planes with my pencils.
  • Daydreaming during spelling tests.
  • Staring at the ceiling tiles, trying to find repeating patterns in the black spots.

Similar to the depression, the ADHD was just something that was. I never really thought about it, never really thought it was unusual, that other kids might not be like me.

As an adult, I can look back and see how the ADHD, maybe even more than the depression, formed my educational and career choices.

Being easily bored, and easily distracted, can come off as uncaring. Others would think me inattentive, or self absorbed, because I’d be focused on something else, rather than whatever it is they were blathering on about.

This could take a shy, reclusive boy, who was good at math, and drive him out of the company of people, and into the company of things. Which is another way of saying, into science and engineering.

In addition, one of the, seemingly contradictory, effects of ADHD is intense focus. On subjects of interest, of course, otherwise, look…squirrel.

That ability to intensely focus on one thing, to the exclusion of all else, is marvelous for solving problems. In my case, engineering design problems.

How do the two (ADHd and depression) tie together? I don’t know. At the moment, I’m just taking my therapist’s word for it.