Oh @serenity2b that sounds so rough, you must feel so powerless and conflicted and confused. I mostly just wanted to offer support because it is clearly challenging. I was diagnosed with ADHD in late adulthood so I’ve learnt a LOT about it and there are some important aspects which might help to understand. ADHD shares some symptoms with other things so misdiagnosis does happen but also multiple diagnoses can happen. People misunderstand ADHD as hyperactivity but what is a better description is hypersensitivity so we impulsively do things without having thought about them. It’s complex and a lot about emotions and overwhelm. There is a guy called Dr Russell Barkley who does some great lectures on YouTube about this but I would say he neglects to talk about the positives and there are positives.. but for now he might be able to help you understand things like rejection sensitivity (very easily hurt feelings, overthinking things); emotional dysregulation; time blindness etc. There may be other things at play too but I can see her behaviour as being explained by these and other aspects of ADHD. I recommend you look up Dani Donovan who is an artist with ADHD. She has some great memes which you might recognise your daughter in. These memes made me feel like there was someone who finally understood what goes on in my head. The thing is the experience of ADHD is intense and passionate so you might be seeing emotional dysregulation and a kind of vicious Adrenalin/dopamine cycle. ADHD is described by some as having a dopamine pedal which doesn’t idle. It’s either pedal to the metal or off so even as kids we dopamine chase.. (sneak sugar where ever we can) and so that aspect could kind of reinforce any OCD. It does occur to me that sensory issues could be what she is trying to describe. I also had a lot of compulsive behaviour in my teens. So possibly she is hypersensitive to the sensation of water and once she is aware of it by either thought or the actual sensation she hyper focusses on that thought. I used to see spiderwebs and caterpillars in the dark as a kid.. just because of how our eyes react going from lit room to darkened room and my mind running wild. Things which are important for me are that the people understand often what I need is just a prompt not a lecture. I basically just need one word to be reminded of the thing I’m forgetting and then to be left alone for a minute. If someone hovers around waiting I’m hyper aware and can’t think straight to do whatever it is I am supposed to be doing. Likewise music or a tv on when I’m trying to get packed up and go can completely throw me but it took me decades to work out that I needed to ask people to turn off the noise making 10mins before I have to walk out the door. A lot of those little things can be wearing me out without me being aware, it becomes a kind of white knuckle way to live and it’s stressful. If you are able to have chats during the good times ask her if there are any things which cause stress.. it might be about the pressure of being organised and visual prompts are golden for that. I guess my tip is your gut feeling about not pushing things is probably experience talking and perhaps learning more about ADHD will help you understand what is going on when things don’t seem to make sense. I know most people just really do not understand how ADHD works at all so maybe watch stuff like dr Barkley’s lectures and Jess McCabe failing at normal TED talk to understand ADHD more and then ask her about what it is like for her.. keep in mind that the ADHD mind likes to analyse things so when she is telling you she can turn it on and off that still might not mean deliberate but more that completely unaware can switch to aware and perhaps embarrassed. Sort of related to what I did about prompts. The ADHD mind is a Ferrari with bicycle brakes so don’t be scared about sudden change of topic or tone. That agility is a much in demand strength when harnessed effectively. What motivates us folks is novelty, challenge and urgency. We tend to do our best work in very demanding roles where you need a very active awareness and re is constant action eg first responder, child care (eyes in the back of your head), working with animals etc. I think of ADHD overwhelm as like a computer that needs a defrag, demanding it to process a complex task can cause it to crash. Learning skills to reset will be invaluable. I love Iyengar yoga and guided meditations. There are heaps of apps around UCLA MARC has a good app. So even though I wrote a lecture which darts all over the place I hope there is some useful info for you. You’re doing an amazing job, this stuff is hard and maybe your daughter has more of the answers than you think (I say that as a parent with a child who has ADHD too). If she tells you what she thinks she needs listen carefully, it took me a long time to realise my child often had a better idea than I did. The hardest part is calming our own overactive emotional response as much as possible. I found focussing on my own sense of emotional balance improved the situation quite a lot.
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