This guest post is from Amaril, who asked me to post it here on TT; I was happy to oblige. Hopefully the TT community can give Amaril a hand.
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I’ve been tested for adult ADHD recently and discovered my brain has difficulty controlling its focus while working on various tasks.
During more complex tasks that involve larger scale concepts rather than minutiae, my brain goes into what I call “super focus” mode, which causes me to focus only on a specific subject for longer than I need. It’s actually difficult for me to tear myself away from whatever I’m focused on, almost as though it were mentally painful.
For example, I will work on analyzing larger concepts pertaining to the setting or the adventure, but when it comes down to reading a module or the mechanical the details of a spell, feat, or other game mechanic, it takes me forever to get through the material.
I’m a DM in a D&D Eberron campaign, and have always found myself struggling with preparing for the next session and running a session for some length of time, particularly combat sequences with a significant number of NPCs. Most recently, I found myself getting frustrated running the final encounter in Shadows of the Last War.
While preparing for it, I had difficulty retaining focus on reading all of the sourcebooks and understanding how to run complex NPCs effectively. Actually running the encounter was worse. I won’t even bother trying to explain my experience with running Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. Meanwhile, I have other friends who GM games and can read their material and prepare for their sessions easily enough.
By the time I’m running a game session, I think I’ve prepared quite a bit for an encounter having spent hours with my notes and material, but what I discover is that I hadn’t figured out how to run the NPCs in the encounter itself, or after running an encounter for a while, my brain has a hard time keeping track of what’s going on.
I’m curious if there are other GMs who have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD who also struggle with similar issues and what methods they use to overcome this difficulty.