Dear Dr. Archer,
I've just turned 40, and growing up I hated school. It bored me and I never felt challenged. I was always getting into trouble for not completing assignments.
I never liked homework, and my parents called me lazy. I was punished for getting C's on my report card, and by the time I was in seventh grade I had a nervous breakdown.
I often have trouble sleeping, and I take medication for major depression. However, after reading your book, 'Better Than Normal', I can't help but wonder if I've been misdiagnosed.
I still get bored easily, and I can't tolerate long stretches of routine. I have never been able to hold down a job for very long.
I'm wondering what to do in terms of my career. I was a web designer for three years and I've worked in marketing/public relations for the past two years.
I have a Bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems. I'd like to go back into web design, but I'm not sure if it's the right career for me. I don't like sales, and prefer doing promotions.
Is it worth going back to school and updating my web design skills? I would appreciate any help that you have to offer. Thank you so much.
It sounds like you have ADD, but it is very possible for depression to be present, as well. When any of the 8 traits reaches a 9 or higher on the continuum range, it is common to see some depression due to difficulty in knowing how to look at the positives of the trait as opposed to focusing on the negatives.
My advice is to not focus on the diagnosis, but rather on finding a job you love. Here are some pointers:
**Liberate yourself. Give yourself permission to leave your employment. Admit you are not happy and are going to do something about it. This is your decision! This will make it easier for you to locate your dream job.
**What do you love? You know yourself better than anyone, right? What do you find exciting? What energizes you? What brings you happiness and satisfaction?
If you enjoy web design and promotions, that could be a good fit for an ADD individual, and there's definitely a market for that area of expertise.
**Once you find a good job, don't just sit there passively. You have the ability to make a good job great! Commit whole heartedly, put everything you have into it and think of new, fun and creative ways to do your work.
Change can be scary, but so often it turns out to be for the better. In fact, fear stops many, many people from fulfilling their dreams. While many in this economy are just thankful to have a job whether they like it or not, you have the luxury of working while researching what you would like even more. Take full advantage of that.
Check out CareerBuilder and Career Fitter and take their free personality assessment test to get you started. If all else fails you can always go back to seeing a therapist. I wish you much success in your endeavor.