Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)/Son can't earn/manage money
nat dench wrote at 2012-11-14 23:26:48
I have ADD and can see that the above answer doesn't show much understanding of the condition.
Overwhelm is a common feeling for people with ADD and for me is related to a poorer working memory, a weak concept of time and time management, distractibility and some other areas I can't quite think of at the moment.
Growing up in a world that favours and rewards those who have great self organisation skills, strong abilities in fact retention, good concentration etc - i.e. 15 years of regular schooling - can mean that your self-esteem is low and you build a self-image of yourself as someone who struggles to achieve what is expected of you and all the negative associations that go along with that, including conflicts with teaching staff from the smallest negative comment from staff to low grades in major exams.
Those negative experiences, especially those that work on a deeper emotional level, carry forward to later life. Automatic, learned reactions to situations where you are under pressure to perform to a certain level with many tasks that involve your weakest skills can be anxiety and a feeling of overwhelm (a feeling that you are going to fail).
To achieve on an academic level with ADD, one must work harder than others for the same result. As you see others finishing their work by a set time and being organised enough to put time aside for their private lives, it can feel at times that you are being punished for suffering from ADD by effectively being put on a self imposed detention just to get the same work done. The negative aspect of this can work in two directions, either to cut yourself off from social activities and work even harder and gain self esteem by accademic achievement, or to reject studies and instead go out and enjoy yourself. BOTH are natural reactions that strive to find much needed happiness and positive self-image.
In my personal experience, it was only when I discovered freelance practical and creative work that my feeling of overwhelm relating to earning money to support myself slowly dissolved. Work that involves being in the moment and is much more natural to me and plays on my strengths of visualisation and creativity. I am still not great with money as I find keeping track of all payments coming in and out pretty difficult but my way of coping with that is simply to build up and maintain a large buffer and have all payments automatic, occasionally keeping check I'm not being ripped off anywhere.
My advise to you as a parent is simply to listen and try to understand where your son is coming from and to trust his analysis of his own feelings. He needs to find a way to re-learn his automatic negative reactions to certain situations either through positive experience (e.g. to indulge in his own interests that might lead to some kind of earning later) or by learning cognitive techniques that allow him to reframe situations or at least allow him to react to reality rather than negatively anticipating imagined future events.
I would though say that supporting him too much, especially financially, may well slow his progress in breaking through the anxiety, always able to retreat to safe place without having to confront things. He will grow in self confidence and self esteem by making his own way and choosing his own steps along the way. He will need his own freedom to find his own path without judgement from others, including making his own mistakes and learning from them,