Making it in the “Real World” with ADHD


Thanks to: National Resource Center on ADHD
June 1, 2012

Routines are important for people with ADHD. They serve to ensure that chores and projects are started and completed in a predictable way. Changes to routines can be difficult for anyone, and can be especially hard for the person with ADHD. For the person with undiagnosed ADHD, they can wreak personal and professional havoc.

Paul, 32, lives in New York City, and found himself in exactly this situation when he graduated college thinking he was ready for the “real world.”

“I couldn’t have been more wrong,” Paul said. “I got a job and managed to make a total mess of it. When I was there, it was great, but there were times I just did not get there. What got me fired was not showing up and forgetting to call-in that day.”

Paul said he had a hard time following a schedule. He had been so exhilarated with his newfound independence that he would stay up and out until all hours of the night. Suddenly, he was unemployed. Soon afterwards, he found himself unable to pay rent and had to leave his apartment.

“That was a real wake-up call for me, losing that job and my apartment,” he said. “I was in a bad spot, with no job and no place to live. My parents refused to take me back in, so I spent time on a bunch of my friends’ living room couches, spare rooms and floors.”

Realizing that he lost his job because he had not followed schedules, Paul developed one to find a job. After about six-weeks of searching, he found a new position.

“That [job] lasted for about four months,” Paul said. “I was using two alarms –one next to me and one across the room– to make sure I was up in time. But I still had trouble estimating how much time I needed once I was awake. And when I was on the job, I just made careless mistakes. Not on purpose,” he added,” But it just kept happening.” Continue Reading

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