Understanding ADHD

ADD/ADHD THOUGHTS 11/15/2018. Warning, this is long and thought stimulating. 😁👀❤️

I am getting to that point of finding my strengths instead of beating myself up for my “faults”. The negatives get more attention typically, because those are the things that bother other people most such as chronic lateness, distractibility, difficulty following through on tasks, daydreaming, etc. However in spite of those traits, I discover there are many people who treasure my strengths enough to overlook the weak areas. This has helped me so much in my process! For example, I am blessed with a boss at my part time work who treasures my strengths, enough to overlook things that would have gotten me fired (again) by most bosses (chronic lateness!).

At this point I would expect some family or friend to pop in and say “you just have to make it happen, you just need to set alarms earlier” etc.. You would laugh to see the system of repeating alarms I use to trip myself up and keep on some semblance of schedule. Not that they work often! And then there was the time I rushed late to another appointment only to discover I was a week early. Or recently, an hour early… wow! So I took pics of the lovely sunrise and went back to my usual 10 min late 😂🤪. Time and me do NOT have an understanding of each other. Mother called me her “Just a minute Kid” because I said that so often, and it meant anything from a second to an hour.

My dad was chronically late, so am I. Drove mom nuts at times 😂😂 I was daddy’s little girl, and she was hoping for a pinafore and curls kinda girl. Instead I got grease on my Sunday dress helping Dad check the oil about the time we were supposed to leave for church. We were both also super sensitive/empathic, and spent most all summers camping. I am sure Dad’s mind was more at peace out on the river fishing. Mine sure was. I suspect he also had ADHD or something similar. Some have suggested he was bi-polar, but my studies and experience lead me to think otherwise.

The ADHD was diagnosed maybe 3-4 years ago, as part of the breakdown I had. I also had strong PTSD, depression and anxiety. I now believe that the latter 3 diagnosis stem from the ADD. Since then I have had some great counseling and found some really good books on audible.

“The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer is not a book about ADD, but it certainly helped tremendously. I think this book should be required reading in schools!

The book “Driven to Distraction” by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D helped me to come to grips with what it is and that I certainly have it. So does the author!

“ADD-Friendly Ways to organize your life” by Judith Kolberg, Ph.D. Has been helpful.

My new favorite is “Focused Forward: Navigating the storms of Adult ADHD” by James M. Ochoa LPC. He narrates his own book, also has ADHD, and has a theory about the emotional distress it can cause. He calls it Emotional Distress Syndrome, or EDS. He has some great ideas, helpful tips like creating your emotionally safe place for when things get too stressful.

Another incredibly helpful therapy is EMDR.

“EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.  Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.  EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.  When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound.  If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes.  The brain’s information processing system naturally moves toward mental health.  If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR therapy training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.” Find their website at emdr (dot) com, to learn more.

EMDR did amazing things for my brain! James M. Ochoa (book above) says this practice has been extremely helpful for the ADHD individuals.

Many of the worlds famous inventors, geniuses, musicians, artists etc have had (or do have) ADHD and/ or Autism (Asperger’s Syndrome)

Maybe it is time that the rest of humans who tend to be impatient and judgmental of those of us who are “different” try to educate themselves as well. Books like those above can give you a good insight into 5-10% of the population who have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or ADD (without the hyperactive component.. these are more often but not entirely women, they are the dreamers staring out the window, in their own world). They often have high intelligence, but have difficulty channeling their thoughts.

Many in this category slip thru the cracks in schools. Homework is not finished on time, or lost, and teachers give up since they have so many other kids to teach. With the correct meds, and genuinely helpful therapy, along more understanding and knowledge of the disorder among teachers, these students could possibly go on to bring about good things for the world.

I have long thought that basic life skills taught at an early age in school should include basic therapy such as cognitive behavior therapy. This would give students life skills for coping under stress. Also a better understanding of different brain processing types… what IS ADHD and Autism, for example. Perhaps children, with help, could learn more tolerance in this way.

Yes, I am a dreamer… but I am not the only one. Being a minority does not make us wrong by default. And yes, that song reference crept in there and became intentional 😁❤️.

Share your thoughts with me!

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