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ADHD Adults

Flash in the pan

I’ve spent most of my life on & off meds to combat my adhd. My biggest challenge is what I refer to as the “flash in the pan” syndrome. I get all excited about something & devote intense time & money on it but then after a few weeks I abandon it. If I loose interest I feel like I’m undisciplined to stick with it. It could be anything from trying to keep a budget, loosing weight, or even the latest craze. After dropping it, a short time later I beat myself up for spending money I don’t have on something that I usually know more than likely I’m going to quit. Any advice from out in the world? I’m really trying to get a handle on my symptoms but very is working especially if I don’t stick with it.


I know exactly what you mean.  I get all excited about something, get all the things together to do it (artwork, in my case), and once I have it all, I lose interest so I’m stuck with all of these great art supplies. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, the interest will come around again and I’ll be ready to create since I already have everything I need for the project(s)!

I would definitely give medication and exercise a try.  Those two together really help me stop and think.  The art-supply-hoarding is much less likely to happen if I do those two things. Taking just medication does help me.

I haven’t tried all the things @Mitzi has tried but they are worth a shot.

I was diagnosed at 54.  Still ticked off about it when I should have been diagnosed in grade school.

Posted by Missed That on Dec 01, 2013 at 7:27am

I do this as well. Hyper focus. In my 50’s I just finally started meds to help with this issue . Too soon to tell how helpful that will be.
I had Gastric Bypass Surgery 3 years ago and not only did I lose over 100 lbs. , but my focus and “sticktoitedness” got largely better. Of course I was off the sugar, and processed foods and exercising daily. With time my diet has slipped back to junk , injuries have limited my exercise and my symptoms were returning

Posted by donttread on Dec 01, 2013 at 2:02pm

donttread, hello, Adderall works wonders for weight loss.  It was originally made for weight loss but they stopped selling it for that because once the person went off the medication they gained most of the weight back with in a few months to a year.  But its worth a try since you already have a good diet and learned some awesome eating habits from losing so much weight.  Even 5mgs twice a day could help you out immensely Good Luck on your journey wink

Posted by BexIssues on Dec 03, 2013 at 6:41am

My fiancé is ADHD and is only in his late 20’s and was diagnosed when he was in first or second grade, but age and when diagnosed doesn’t matter on this one… Same cycle… He does take medication everyday as he should and due to finally getting a wonderful doctor we know his medications are right, but I think it is just something you have to grow to recognize and control and know when it’s okay and when it’s not.  And by that I mean he goes thru phases of food and drinks, I would stock the cabinets with peanut butter and then one day, nope - done - so I give it away, but now it’s donuts - so I stock that until that cycle ran out and I would give that away - it goes in cycles.  Now for him he has never had a weight problem other than not being able to gain enough, but when he was say on a m&m kick, he had to realize for himself that that much sugar in one day was not good for him because it affected him in other ways then weight.  So recently it has been fruit kicks and juice kicks rather than sweets and soda, which he acknowledged were much better things to go through a “phase” of.  He also does this with activities - hunting, welding, fishing, etc…  But again he has had to spend the money and see what happens to learn what is worth investing in and what isn’t - and I always try to remind him the things he already has and if he gets something new then what about what he has? If helps also I think if you establish someone you can tell that you want to be your contact person when you are making a purchase and you have to call or text or talk to them before making such purchases.  Not every purchase, but these impulsive fleeting ones - because these people will at least make you stop and think and if you still feel the same way the next day then you can feel you made an educated decision and they can also point out things you may not have thought of (an upcoming trip, or I know I even have a problem making my fiancé wait past his bday/Christmas to see if he gets what he is trying to purchase or gift cards to use towards it).  I hope this helps and good luck!  You already have made a great first step even realizing so keep it up smile

Posted by FightForLove on Dec 04, 2013 at 7:11pm

I am the same way. I usually find some artistic type of interest, i.e., painting, ceramics, origami, and have lots of supplies and a few neat creations, but I get tired of doing it. I stayed with ceramics for a longer time because I joined classes at a ceramics shop. Then I had back surgery & can’t bend to use the wheel.  I did just recently persevere and finish a bachelor’s degree, but wanted to quit so many times. It is really hard to deal with this issue. I recently got a puppy, (they were selling them from a box). It is such hard work!  My husband was against it , but I talked him into it. He wasn’t going to help at all until I was ready to give up trying to take care of this puppy. Now we are at least struggling together.  You can’t just put aside a puppy…

I’ve been diagnosed for 20 some years from at the age of 30. Before that I struggled with depression since a teen. I’m sure it was ADHD all along.

I can only relate with you. I don’t have a solution.


Posted by suehbca on Dec 06, 2013 at 6:47am

Solutions to the project completion issue are not apparent..Strattera helped for me at first but then it stopped working. Something in my brain clicked on, and then a few weeks later clicked back off and I was back to my usual pattern of starting something and not finishing it..
BUT upon examining those magically productive three weeks…
1)  HABITUAL PLANNING- this takes a while to set in. Aim to do this when you are doing something else you do every day, like brush your teeth, drink coffee, commute to work, etc. Time and time again I prove to myself that if I don’t look at AND write in my planner, EVERY single day, I flutter about through life at my every whim and fancy, forgetting what it was I sooooo into yesterday.
2) MOTIVATION- what is your source? what were/are you trying to accomplish with what you started? Write them in your planner.
3)  REASONABLE TIME ALLOTMENTS- when during the day, which days, and how much time are you spending on these projects? Write this down too.
4) REPEAT STEPS 1-3 OFTEN- daily or every other day. except for the daily planner (hence the title-DAILY planner…heheh)
And lastly, HAVE PATIENCE WITH YOURSELF. and believe in yourself too. You can do it!!
I am in graduating with a B.A. in June after 8 years in school! Not 8 consecutive years of course…I would get distracted with something awesome like river guiding after every term…BUT it’s finally happening!!

Posted by Apricot on Dec 06, 2013 at 8:27am

I do the same thing with art supplies. I have everything to do pottery & Raku with including the kilns, wheels, glazes, tools. All the stuff to do stained glass including lots of glass. All the supplies to also do mosaics. I have a room full of jewelry supplies to do everything from stringing to wire wrap to soldered. I also have boxes of material and 3 sewing machines for quilting and other fabric crafts. Watercolor paints and papers, acrylic paints & canvas, pastels & paper, pencils, chalks. Then there are all the books that go with each of these crafts and arts. That’s just the high points there are other things also. Maybe all of us artists should get together and open an art studio! Or an arts & crafts school. *smile*

Posted by missmix48 on Dec 07, 2013 at 6:51am

Does the medicine help with the ping pong hyperfocus?

Posted by donttread on Dec 07, 2013 at 6:55am

@missmix48, you just described me except my supplies are for mixed media artwork. I also have postcards I’ve collected that have yet to go into the boxes I bought for them for easy access.  The boxes are clear plastic for easy access but have I put my large-ish collection in them?  Nope.  I’ve had the boxes for a couple of years and there they sit, along with the cardboard boxes the postcards are in.

I just can’t let go of any of the art supplies.  My mind keeps going to all the money I spent on them and I hit the wall before I can decide to get rid of them.  It’s great stuff if I’d just USE THEM!

The postcard collection? No way am I parting with those.  They represent lots of travel and exchanges with online friends!

You’re right, Sue.  We really ought to open an art studio!

Posted by Missed That on Dec 07, 2013 at 7:40am

This is too much to be coincidence! I had a small kiln, now a big one. Had stained glass supplies, pastels, oils and water and acrylics, drawing supplies, origami, colored pencils, and multiple books for all of the above. I also have tried many musical instruments. Grew up playing flute, pretty good player, but tried and failed French horn, oboe, and violin. Not so good on guitar, but could entertain myself, also still have recorders. My husband got me to get rid of most of my stuff. (I forgot the polymer clay you can bake. I made some really cool figures and pins with that.)  I think there needs to be a study on this. I do this even with the meds…  I think we need an outlet for our creativity. Maybe we either get proficient and then bored, or when we attempt things and don’t progress very fast, we just lose interest. I think people with ADHD tend to pick up creative skills quickly, revel in the excitement, then get tired, bored, or find a new and more exciting interest leaving the old one behind. What do you think?  (Also Sue)

Posted by suehbca on Dec 07, 2013 at 8:14am

In my experience with the med Strattera, it wasn’t that I wouldn’t get distracted, it’s that I would be able to return to what project I was undertaking with less delay while maintaining original intention. So to an extent, yes, it helps with the ping-ponging. Strattera, when it was working that is, had a very holistic effect. It felt like it was restructuring my brain process, not just temporarily adjusting it. But..then it wore off =/ and I returned to “before Straterra”..Adderall helps keep me on track for the 5-6 hours it courses through my system only. So, behavioral changes that take some time to implement are overall more effective in my experience. The catch-22 is THAT takes commitment. Hahahahaha.

Posted by Apricot on Dec 10, 2013 at 9:54pm

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