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Attention Sufficient

Since I’ve been on ADHD meds, I’m capable of noticing nonverbal communication and feedback on social behaviour. But I spent the first forty-some years of my life not learning social customs.  So they’re not ingrained.

I’ve found that if I sit down and study social behaviour, I can learn it. Even now, when I’m better at noticing feedback, some things I just need explained to me in clear, explicit terms, similar to how neurotypical people study for school subjects.

This is my journey, learning more about social customs through intentional study, more about ADHD through the contrast of where I was and where I am, and more about people in general. I still have ADHD. But in many ways, my attention is now sufficient

Executive Function

My ADHD medicine, atomoxetine, is different from other ADHD medications. Atomoxetine, marketed under the brand name Strattera, is not a stimulant, like other ADHD medicine. Rather, it increases executive functioning. It goes at the heart of the problem.

“Executive function” is that part of the brain that watches the rest of the brain. It’s where you get time sense, and ensure you’re still on track, and in general keep track of what you’re thinking and doing. ADHD is, fundamentally, having less executive function. Atomoxetine is proven to increase executive function.

All my life, my mother has told me that when I’m looking for something I lost I should think of the last place I saw it. This never made sense to me. I’d think, “Where was the last place I saw this?”, and I would answer myself, every time, “I don’t know”. Then, about two weeks after starting Atomoxetine, I was looking for something, and I thought about where I last saw it. A little voice in my head said, “Your daughter had it in the back right seat of the car yesterday.” And that’s where it was. That little voice was my executive function.