July 18, 2024
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Adult ADHD and Me – Hyperfixated on DnD

I never thought I’d be writing about adult ADHD and me. But here I am with a new-found understanding of me and a prescription for Adderall.

I got lucky. I finally found a therapist that takes my insurance. The poor woman. I hit her fast and hit her hard with all my problems. I’ve have 59 long years to collect them and am rather proud of most of them.

It didn’t take her long to come up with an initial diagnosis — ADHD. Not that I have only one problem. I have lots. ADHD was just the one my therapist noticed first.

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Adult ADHD and Me

Some of the most frustrating things about myself are likely a result of the way my brain processes incoming sensory information. Discovering that has been quite enlightening.

Is it an excuse or explanation?

All images by Carla Bumstead

Did you know “adult ADHD” was even a thing? I didn’t. But I have it and discovering that fact has made a surprising difference so far.

For one thing, the medication is helping me get some serious writing done.

I just wish I could find my external drive with most of my million photos. Losing important stuff is classic symptom of adult ADHD. At last, I have an excuse.

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AGATE-FOCUSED — I can spend hours on a Lake Superior beach looking for agates and other beauties. This image includes a reflection of me in the round, black stone in the center. It was taken somewhere between Grand Marais and Munising in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Adult ADHD – Hyperfixation

It wouldn’t seem like a person with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) would be able to sit for hours on a Lake Superior beach looking for agates and actually find quite a lot. Right?

Wrong. Hyperfixation – an intense and single-minded focus on a specific object or topic – can accompany both ADHD and autism. “Attention deficit” doesn’t mean you have a lack of the ability to pay attention to something. It means your brain is wired in such a way as to cause problems regulating and processing incoming stimulation.

Seriously Into It

Getting really into something can be good and bad. Obsessions? Not good. Serious Hobbies? Not bad. For most of my life, I have hovered somewhere between the two.

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My Poor Daughter

I must have taken at least 30 photos of my daughter Kelly when she dressed up like a “’flapper” for Halloween one year. She never really recovered from the experience. Now (at age 19) she won’t let me get within 100 miles of her with a camera.

For a long time (four or five years) I was really into photography. I lived and breathed apertures and depth of field. My daughter Kelly (above) was one of my favorite subjects. To this day, she hates having her picture taken. All already-annoying mom who was constantly pointing a Nikon in her face was just too much for the poor, highly photogenic, child.

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ZINNIAS? – I think these are zinnias. I don’t really remember because I am not into gardening anymore.


After my particularly intense romance with photography, I went into a relatively short-lived gardening phase. I wish that had lasted longer, as gardening is good for you. But Michigan winters were seriously against me. So were the mosquitoes.

Cooking, knitting, quilting and …

As far as I can remember, after my gardening phase I moved into cooking (and baking). My family loved that phase. Then I think it was knitting. I don’t even want to think about the hoard of luscious wool yarn current tempting moths in my basement.

I’ve fixated on quilting a few times so far – the most recent being about a year ago. I really want to get back to that soon. It does feel really nice crawling under a quilt I spent an awful lot of money and attention on.

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ROLL FOR INITIATIVE – I opened up D&D’s Players Handbook in April of 2020. It’s been uphill/downhill from there.

D&D (and writing)

My current thing is Dungeons & Dragons. I got sucked into the abyss of this wickedly fun role-playing game about 15 months ago. I’m currently playing in three games and running two as a DM (dungeon master).

Along with the D&D came a new fixation – writing. I’ve been writing, as a journalist, for over 20 years. But it was only a few months ago that I started really wanting to write, needing to write. I started this website in the spring of 2022. I also do freelance writing, mostly for a Michigan travel/news website called Thumbwind.

What do you think? Neither writing nor DnD is as healthy as gardening but it’s less expensive than photography, knitting and quilting.

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Carla Bumstead

Carla Bumstead serves as Managing Editor/Publisher of Dungeon Cooperative. She has been an editor and community journalist for over 20 years.

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