Worried? Don’t be. One of the many positives about the ADHD mindset is the ability to anticipate problems. So let’s start by getting ready.
Love Trouble: Ask that special someone in your life if there is anything you can do to make their life easier. You might not be able to do it but just knowing about it will help you understand him or her better.
Money Trouble: Set up an account to start realizing your worth. A website I like to use is called Betterment. (The name just motivates you and the returns are splendid!)
Luck Trouble: Change your luck by changing your habits and patterns. The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over again and expect a different result.
Job Trouble: Start a side gig. Make sure it’s low investment on the front end when you’re all excited about it. Then, confirm that it can provide you with some income in case you lose interest for a while.
Health Trouble: Start with the basics. Download a water drink reminder app and follow it for two consecutive days and see how you feel.
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Too much TV, too much sugar, too many video games… I’ve heard it all. If ADHD was truly a disease (like diabetes or hypertension or even cancer), it would track differently between generations from a genetic standpoint and certain populations would be affected disproportionately. What if we change our viewpoint that TV, sugar, and video games don’t cause it? People that need more stimulation are finding it through the dopamine surges that are provided by these factors.
Hunter-Gatherer v Agricultural Age
My question is what if we were born this way? This trait affected all populations on Earth. Could there be a role that this trait helped?
Thom Hartmann, fellow ADHDer and author, describes this view perfectly. I’ve pasted an exerpt from his Amazon page.
In this updated edition of his groundbreaking classic, Thom Hartmann explains that people with ADHD are not abnormal, disordered, or dysfunctional, but simply “hunters in a farmer’s world.” Often highly creative and single-minded in pursuit of a self-chosen goal, those with ADHD symptoms possess a unique mental skill set that would have allowed them to thrive in a hunter-gatherer society. As hunters, they would have been constantly scanning their environment, looking for food or threats (distractibility); they’d have to act without hesitation (impulsivity); and they’d have to love the high-stimulation and risk-filled environment of the hunting field. With our structured public schools, office workplaces, and factories those who inherit a surplus of “hunter skills” are often left frustrated in a world that doesn’t understand or support them.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Please ask yourself if the next time your ADHD has you down, could it just be that you’re not a farmer in a farmer’s world? What causes you to have more stress? Managing a crisis or doing your taxes.
My heart breaks every time I come across a patient that is getting better but doesn’t believe it. I found that this is especially true of those with ADHD. One patient may say “Why can’t I learn from my mistakes?” while another says “I don’t think you are understanding what I’m here for”. How can I be consistently good and caring and follow my sacred oath when we live in a world that has truth but also many, many lies?
Everyday, I have to deal with patients that are at different stages of health, both physically and mentally. I sometimes forget conversations that I’ve had with one person because I was thinking about another person. I have learned to ask, “Did I recommend any book to you?” or “Have we discussed (fill in the blank)?”. I found this to be very effective in managing my ADHD while providing better care for patients everyday.
So what is the lesson to be learned?
My ADHD is a gift and a curse. I learned how to hone in on the emotional state of a person because I found that I can be fooled by spoken words. A patient once told me “I’m doing great”, but when I asked further, they were having thoughts of running their car into a tree.
ADHD can make you more emotionally sensitive. ADHD can also serve as a tool to improve other people’s lives. My advice is don’t ever be afraid of saying you don’t know something. Many people with ADHD have had to fight their entire lives to be heard so admitting a weakness like that may not come easy. Yes, you can learn from your mistakes with the proper guidance.
I was diagnosed with ADHD after medical school and I don’t think it’s a disease. There are many doctors out there who can’t recognize the signs of this disorder in adults, but anyone who has had an experience like mine knows that my opinion is worth something!
Let’s equate this current COVID-19 outbreak to the movie, “Outbreak“.
It’s no secret that people with ADHD have a keen ability to sense danger. It’s just that no one listens to us until it’s too late.
Cue Dustin Hoffman’s character, Sam Daniels. As I watched it again for the hundredth time (1st time on Netflix), with my wife, I couldn’t believe how much his character was classic ADHD.
So you should watch it again and see if you can see yourself doing the things he did. I mean the small things. The hero of the movie had certain idiosyncrasies that I related to very well. One that made both me and my wife laugh was not being able to honor time commitments (Renee Russo getting into cab scene) because something “important” came up. (In this case, a deadly virus).
Also, just like Bruce Willis in the Die Hard movies(because he was SO ADHD!), he had marital issues, was a loose cannon, was charming with a certain charisma, fought many obstacles but always got his way, risked his life to save so many people, and at the end, exposed himself to risk for love.
So in conclusion, let’s just hope COVID-19 doesn’t require a military quarantine.
People with anxiety and depression should always be screened for ADHD at the very least. The reason behind this is because people with undiagnosed ADHD have most likely learned to cope with stress in unhealthy ways. Imagine if you’re the kid that gets called on in class to answer a question but you got distracted by a butterfly outside. Now imagine this child living his entire life with micro-moments like that throughout the whole day.
How many times have you been questioned by your superior at work when you weren’t prepared? Was it calming? If adults can have anxiety over these things, think about the child that is just learning how to get through the mundane of every day but instead of being nurtured, she is ostracized. Is it so hard to believe that her thought patterns would evolve in such a way that she develops of very low self-esteem?
I find that many adults with anxiety suffer from mini-PTSD. They are always hyper-vigilant throughout the day and their coworkers notice this but they don’t know how to help.
If I described you or someone you know, please subscribe to this blog at the bottom of the home page because I will start offering treatment solutions soon.
Did you knuw that the hmuan mind can read between teh lines (and in this case words).
There are connections in the brain that hard wire our emotions to our memories and senses. Similarly, we have several pathways to take in what we see with our eyes. Many people with ADHD have dyslexia but they don’t know it. We don’t take spelling tests anymore and spellcheck is just great. How does it manifest or present in an adult? They can be slow readers or have poor comprehension (not remembering what they read).
One weird presentation is being able to read a book upside down. In a test of speed, while reading upside down, patients WITHOUT dyslexia have a lot of trouble deciphering words yet patients with dyslexia not only can make out the letters but they can read right to left well. Try it out.
I have ADHD. Now what? Do I start pills? Do I have to take them for the rest of my life? (We got that one covered at the end of the post.) Do I have to tell my work? How will I remember every day??
The answers are not so simple. I recommend discussing it with a doctor first. It’s easy to go online and read about the horror stories in regards to medicine. A doctor who is trained in adult ADHD may be hard to find (unless you sign up with our Direct Primary Care!). A knowledgeable one will tell you that stimulant medication is very effective but there can be side effects. You just have to work with him or her to find the right medication and dosage for you. This will vary upon your age, work schedule, medical history, and the severity of your symptoms. Unfortunately, there are some people that will not be able to tolerate medications but for those that do, I tell them to look forward to being more productive and focused at work and relaxed at night so you can get better sleep.
“Wait! I thought stimulants keep you awake!”
While that’s true that stimulants wake people up, an adult with ADHD with properly dosed and timed medication, will be able to sleep just fine. They may even be able to slow their brains down if they were able to accomplish more during the work day (or night).
The answer to most if not all your questions are in the book below.
As people with ADHD, we focus more on others, so it is important to take time to look inwards every once in a while.
Am I feeling positive? Do I have people that can reassure me when I’m feeling down? What am I getting out of life?
Self Reflection and Meditation are two things that are difficult, but not impossible, to learn for those with ADHD. I recommend going to artofliving.org and signing up for the Happiness Program. It’s a course over 3 days that will teach you how to do it properly.
The next step… START READING EVEN THOUGH YOU MAY SECRETLY HATE TO READ!
ADHD has been a topic of great controversy for decades among doctors, teachers, parents, the public. People with ADHD are stigmatized, are put down, do exceptional things but never are able to take pride in them, and are always willing to help others but they will never even consider asking others for help.
This blog is for those that can’t ask for help but want it. I am a doctor who made it all the way to and through medical school without knowing I have ADHD2.