Thursday, August 5, 2010

Can you identify the ADHDer... the mental health center waiting room?

I accidentally arrived a full hour early for my appointment with my therapist. Arriving early is WAY more stressful to me than being late, which gives me great insight into some of the reasons that it may take me a while to get out of the house in the morning. I walked up to the check-in counter, and was cheerily informed that I was early, as though it was an early Christmas present. The receptionist looked disappointed that my face fell and I said...a little desperately... "what?!".

With all that time, what was I going to do. I hadn't planned to be early, so I didn't bring any "activities" and it was the end of the day so I was tired and didn't want to go for a walk. This, then, is how you identify the ADHDer in the mental health center waiting room:

A look of tension on my face thanks to the BRIGHT overhead fluorescents and the music that somehow is always slightly too loud...but I don't want to ask them to turn it down because it's making me so irritable that I'm too embarrassed to talk to anyone. As I settle into my fate for the hour, I end up juggling a bag of chips that I didn't need but was eating anyway as an activity, a magazine that, thanks to my anxious state I couldn't stop thinking about all the fingerprints on as I flipped through it...and using my occasionally free chip-eating hand to flip around on the internet and post stuff on Facebook about how I was really in ADHD hell sitting there in that waiting room. All the while, I'm fidgeting and moving around trying to get "comfortable" and it isn't working. Sonny texts to me "at least you have time to relax". ARGGGGH! This is where we see that he is "inattentive" and I am "hyperactive" and how different that can be at times, because that's the whole problem...when I'm in that state of mind, relaxation is an impossibility. And the nice ladies behind the desk kept asking "do you want to check IN now?". I think they were trying to be helpful, but it was flipping me out a little bit, because I know that when I'm feeling that way the last thing I want is for people to be "poking" at me. And those LIGHTS, did I mention the lights? can ID the hyperactive ADHDer when you see someone multi-tasking at fidgeting while they have to sit there in the waiting room. Sometimes when I'm just a few minutes early I wander around a little...that's another good indication.

I survived...but I didn't like it! Gah.


  1. That's weird. Zoe had a similar experience last week.

    What IS it with this music in waiting rooms? Must be for the 20-something receptionist?

  2. I think the music is a method of "sound-cover" since it's at the mental health center. They also have little white noise machines in the hallways. Which is very effective for covering noise, but also effective at driving ADHDers who happen to be very noise sensitive (especially if those noises are repetitive and grindy) totally nutty. It's always like that, and the receptionists are all over 35 :) Sigh. It was a great session with the therapist though. More about that later!