Living with ADHD

Growing up on a farm in southern Ontario meant there was always something to do. How you start your day, isn’t how you’ll end your day. I’ve often reflected on those days with the hands-on learning, new things to do every day, the relationships with animals and the land, and the earned exhaustion at the end of the day. Being creative and utilizing many different strengths is common knowledge on a farm. So is life with ADHD.

I know this well because I have ADHD and the comparison of both lives is real for me. In retrospect, I was always on the go, I played several competitive sports, I struggled in school especially with activities that required long periods of sitting and little interaction. I fidgeted a lot in church, and I could always be counted on to get involved with whatever was new and exciting. It wasn’t until many years later during COVID, I was finally diagnosed.

The diagnosis of ADHD at this time explained so much about me and how I operated in the world. The more I read, the more I wanted to know.  I quickly figured out I wanted to work in the field of ADHD. I’m both fascinated and hooked on finding out more about how this disorder manifests itself in me and my clients.

ADHD facts:

  • Is a disorder of self-regulation which involves several parts of the brain including the pre-frontal cortex, the limbic system, and the reticulating activation system
  • ADHD presents as having deficiencies in executive function primarily allowing for self-regulation
  • ADHD frequently presents with other well-known conditions such as anxiety, depression, autism, BPD, and learning disorders
  • ADHD disrupts the management of foresight (time management)
  • People with ADHD are highly creative and intuitive people
  • People with ADHD can be found in every profession on the planet. There are large numbers in these areas of practice: police, fire, nursing, IT, hospitality, teaching, and entrepreneurs
  • People with ADHD are at a greater risk of shortened life expectancy (Barkley, 2022)
  • There are three types of ADHD: Hyperactive, Inattentive and Combined types

ADHD fiction:

  • ADHD affects an individuals’ intelligence. No, it certainly does not! In fact, there are millions of highly intelligent people with ADHD.
  • Only 8-year-old boys have ADHD. No, this disorder is not gender or age specific. In the early days of its discovery, ADHD was prevalent in mainly school aged boys because of its hyperactive elements but new research has determined that the gender lines are far more balanced.
  • *Fun fact, since Covid more adults over the age of 30 are getting diagnosed which is at its highest levels ever!
  • People with ADHD simply cannot concentrate. Untrue. People with ADHD can hyperfocus on area of interest for hours and hours. Where things get tough is asking that person to switch and do something that’s of little interest to them.

Curious yet? You can complete an assessment on your own by downloading an ASRS (self-reporting scale) see here https://www.caddra.ca/wp-content/uploads/ASRS.pdf). From here you meet with your doctor OR, you can contact the Adult AHD Centre (https://adultadhdcentre.com) and they will work with you through the diagnosing process. It’s completely online, faster, and more cost effective than getting diagnosed through the traditional routes. Getting a diagnosis can be an integral part of your journey with ADHD. Many people think that medication is an automatic result of getting a diagnosis-not true. For some it’s a game changer and for others it might not be the answer you’re looking for. People with ADHD can also seek other alternatives to help manage their symptoms such as diet, sleep, exercise, and the use of supplements. It’s a purely individual decision whichever way you choose.

Many people with ADHD (especially the newly diagnosed) will seek help to become more familiar with the multitude of characteristics with ADHD. Coaching is an active process that helps with awareness, strategies, and goal setting. In my practice I ask lots of questions so I can understand what makes you tick, and I do assessments to gauge where your strength and challenge areas are. ADHD coaches should have specific training and experience to help identify the many moving components of this complex disorder.

If you know someone with ADHD, it’s important to know that life is a little more complex because of how their brain works. Think of ADHD being like other conditions that you can’t see. Invisible doesn’t mean the struggle on the inside isn’t real. The positive characteristics of ADHD such as creativity, intuitiveness, high energy, and endless new ideas are what make “ADHD’ers” great family members, friends, and colleagues. Want to know more but didn’t know where to go until now? Connect with me, questions are always welcome!

*Christine is a coach with specialized training in ADHD and Executive Function. Her company works globally and is based out of Guelph. Focus ADHD Coaching provides one/one, small group, corporate training/awareness services, and college/ university student coaching and programming.

She can be reached by email, info@focusadhdcoaching.com or by phone, 519-767-2878.

Author: LivingSpaces

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