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I probably would've been diagnosed with it when I was a kid if it had been a thing back then.

It wasn't that I was unable to focus on anything at all. I just couldn't focus on what school wanted me to focus on.

My parents were drunks who fought all the time and my intuition felt that processing those experiences was much more important than learning slope-intercept form or whatever was on the agenda that day at school.

Eventually it became apparent to me that the way my attention constellates is largely determined by the language cycling through my system and where my emotional energy has invested itself.

The story I tell myself about myself and what I believe about myself significantly influences how my attention moves and how it focuses.

For a long time I thought it was a matter of trying to learn how to focus or learning how to stabilize my attention. As if attention was a skill that required effort. I would try to learn how to block out distractions. I would try to read a book while ignoring all these little inner gremlins seeking to pull my attention away from what I was reading. I thought that's how you develop attention, by ignoring the distractions.

I now see that as being an ineffective strategy.

In the absence of de-stabilizing inner influences my attention becomes open, clear, and focused. It's easy. It's the default state. It doesn't require effort or development. It doesn't require learning a skill. Clarity of attention is what's already there when all the de-stabilizing influences and inner imbalances have been recognized and addressed and truly resolved.

If there's a skill to be learned it's the skill of learning how to resolve the de-stabilizers so they no longer arise or ask for any of my attentional bandwidth.

How am I destabilizing myself? What keeps compelling my attention away from this moment?

When inner conflict is resolved the capacity to intake information and understand new concepts is dramatically increased in my experience.
 

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I probably would've been diagnosed with it when I was a kid if it had been a thing back then.

It wasn't that I was unable to focus on anything at all. I just couldn't focus on what school wanted me to focus on.

My parents were drunks who fought all the time and my intuition felt that processing those experiences was much more important than learning slope-intercept form or whatever was on the agenda that day at school.

Eventually it became apparent to me that the way my attention constellates is largely determined by the language cycling through my system and where my emotional energy has invested itself.

The story I tell myself about myself and what I believe about myself significantly influences how my attention moves and how it focuses.

For a long time I thought it was a matter of trying to learn how to focus or learning how to stabilize my attention. As if attention was a skill that required effort. I would try to learn how to block out distractions. I would try to read a book while ignoring all these little inner gremlins seeking to pull my attention away from what I was reading. I thought that's how you develop attention, by ignoring the distractions.

I now see that as being an ineffective strategy.

In the absence of de-stabilizing inner influences my attention becomes open, clear, and focused. It's easy. It's the default state. It doesn't require effort or development. It doesn't require learning a skill. Clarity of attention is what's already there when all the de-stabilizing influences and inner imbalances have been recognized and addressed and truly resolved.

If there's a skill to be learned it's the skill of learning how to resolve the de-stabilizers so they no longer arise or ask for any of my attentional bandwidth.

How am I destabilizing myself? What keeps compelling my attention away from this moment?

When inner conflict is resolved the capacity to intake information and understand new concepts is dramatically increased in my experience.
I really identify with this.
 

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Any INFJs out there with adult attention disorders? I'm just curious.

Almost all of the symptoms seem to apply to me.
I've often thought I had ADHD but eventually learned to control myself by entering a "routine". However, it got extremely bad when I developed GAD/Chronic Depression and started experiencing what @KingOfAllAlphaMales described. I ended up spending 99% of my time in my head for ~2 years just trying to "resolve the de-stabilizers". Once I did, my attention went back to the outside world.
 

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There are probably a lot of extraverted types in psychology/psychiatry/counseling who have no frame of reference for what it's like to experience introverted intuition dominating the attention and chewing on problems.

If a person doesn't live the experience of introverted intuition then they literally have no way of conceiving what it could be like to experience attention "problems" which involve that function. How could it be otherwise?

I googled "extrovert careers" and the first page that came up listed "Clinical or Counseling Psychologist" as one of the options.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've often thought I had ADHD but eventually learned to control myself by entering a "routine". However, it got extremely bad when I developed GAD/Chronic Depression and started experiencing what @KingOfAllAlphaMales described. I ended up spending 99% of my time in my head for ~2 years just trying to "resolve the de-stabilizers". Once I did, my attention went back to the outside world.
The "de-stabilizer" crisis is something I experience. However, there are plenty of other ADD/ADHD symptoms that also plague my life.

For example, I have trouble making sense of directions and instructions, which has wrecked my grades in college. I work hard, but I still can't seem to achieve satisfactory grades. It sometimes makes me feel that I'm too stupid to understand the material.

Impulsiveness, forgetfulness, confusion, procrastination, inability to concentrate; these are all problems of my everyday life. That's what has led me to think that I may have an adult attention disorder.
 

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The "de-stabilizer" crisis is something I experience. However, there are plenty of other ADD/ADHD symptoms that also plague my life.

For example, I have trouble making sense of directions and instructions, which has wrecked my grades in college. I work hard, but I still can't seem to achieve satisfactory grades. It sometimes makes me feel that I'm too stupid to understand the material.

Impulsiveness, forgetfulness, confusion, procrastination, inability to concentrate; these are all problems of my everyday life. That's what has led me to think that I may have an adult attention disorder.
What's your enneagram type (with wing) ? I have the same problems. I waste time by self-absorbed behaviour (trying to understand who I really am, what my strength and weaknesses are, what my role is in life, de-stabilizers). The more I learn about myself, the more I can extravert again and focus on other issues (work, geopolitics,...). I'm a 4w3.
 

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Yes I definitely would be classified as having 'classic ADD'.. Not hyperactive. I believe 'ADHD' is not real ADD, just kids with awful diets with too much sugar. Real ADD manifests as a result of trying to put dreamers/ creators in a 'railroad track' society that is not conductive to their design.
 

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I have ADD. In elementary school and early middle school, I constantly lost homework/materials, got in trouble at school all the time, but managed to get by because I guess I was a little gifted. When I was 12, my exasperated mother took me to a psychiatrist. Adderall turned me into a 4.0 student/extremely straightedge person, and I never looked back. Though, when I became a more mature independent thinker (probably when I was around 14), I started falling back into my old habits in a way. I did not lose things or cause much trouble; I just refused to do assignments simply because they were assigned to me. I had to have my own reasons to want to do things.
 

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I have always had trouble paying attention in school, getting motivated to do schoolwork, following written and oral directions on tests, keeping track of materials, getting tests done on time (I get nervous when there is a time limit), and showing my work instead of leaping directly to the answer. I'm pretty disciplined nowadays, but my focus hasn't improved the way I'd like it to. I take ADD medication but it doesn't cure the problem (though it gives me the motivation to do the work).

To keep track of time, I have three hourglasses on my desk: a 30 minute one, a 15 minute one, and a 5 minute one. When I need to study or plow through an assignment, I turn over the 30 minute hourglass and then take a 5 minute break using the 5 minute hourglass. This helps me keep track of time and manage myself properly, instead of thinking "oh, it's due tomorrow, I still have so much time left. I'll slow down a bit and check out Facebook."

I also have a to-do list that tracks what I'm currently doing as well as what I need to do. I think breaking things down makes things easier.
 

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Yep, ADD. I've always had trouble with concentration, I have a wandering mind. I ramble all the time when I talk to people, I ramble when I write too. I've even gotten low grades on my essays because I "didn't stay on topic". I always daydreamed in school, didn't have the motivation to study and get my assignments done. I'm very disorganized too and as much as I want everything to be neat and tidy, I can't seem to commit myself to keep everything that way. When I try to get some writing done, I actually get so overwhelmed by my ideas that I end up getting nothing done. It's absurd.
 

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Yep. Inattentive type. I was diagnosed as an adult. I came to the realization that this could be a possibility for me while dealing with my son in school and his subsequent diagnosis (also inattentive type). It explained a lot of my school difficulties growing up. They didn't typically diagnose females with ADD when I was young, nor did they consider that there was even an inattentive type at the time.
 

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Combined type
 

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Inattentive type here. I didn't get diagnosed until I went through a painful 1 1/2 year process to get the testing done of my own volition at 21/22. Still trying to figure out the right med dosage, but my memory is already improved by leaps and bounds at 2 months in.

Ironically, I'm starting to forget all the things that troubled me before. I know according to writing that I've kept, but I no longer feel like I understand the condition I was in before beginning the medication.
 
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