When Others with ADHD Annoy You

Let’s be honest, having ADHD can be very annoying. We annoy our selves  and others are annoyed by some of our ADHD traits. Despite having ADHD it can sometimes be difficult to be understanding towards others who also have this disorder. One might think that it would be natural to be compassionate and extend grace towards others with the same challenges and struggles, but the heart and mind doesn’t quite work that way.

Part of my own ADHD traits include talking really loudly, talking fast, moving my arms all over the place when I talk, sometimes getting into people’s bubbles when I’m over animated, and being short with people when I am feeling tired overwhelmed, or overcome with anxiety. All these traits together sometimes catch people off guard if they don’t know me. This is one of the reasons why I don’t attend networking socials and feel uncomfortable being in places where I don’t know other people.

There are ADHD traits in others that I sometimes have a difficult time dealing with. Despite knowing that it is part of the symptoms of adult ADHD I still find myself becoming impatient or frustrated with the person. At times I feel disappointed in myself for not being more understanding and for not remembering that how upset I am when others with ADHD don’t extend compassion.

As I am writing this blog post I clearly remember a supervisor of mine who had ADHD, most likely inattentive ADHD. He was always late to work leaving me waiting to enter the building,  he had a habit of losing important paperwork, he was forgetful about things that were important (meetings, bookings, and passing on vital information), he rarely paid attention to staff when we were talking to him, and he was incredibly messy leaving our workspace looking like a high school student’s messy bedroom.

It wasn’t only I who found him frustrating, so did the other staff. However, I felt that I could have been more understanding towards him because we both have this disorder even if our symptoms were different. I wouldn’t expect people to make excuses for a supervisor who is a poor fit for a position; but there needs to be boundaries and a level of professionalism involved when dealing with a person who has a disability. Constantly writing a person up for poor performance without providing helpful suggestions for change, and workplace bullying such as name calling, ostracizing, and hostility is not alright.

When you know a person has poorly managed ADHD your expectations of that person need to change. In the workplace it’s easier to address because of performance reviews, policy and procedures, and sometimes clearly marked outcomes expectations. When you are dealing with that person as a friend or family member it’s more difficult, we have expectations, but they can’t be enforced, and you can’t fire a relative from being in your family.

What we can do is be more patient, understanding, and realistic. In the workplace a job might not be a good match for someone with ADHD and eventually the person might have to find something or somewhere else to make a living. The deeper issue is how we treat those with ADHD when we find their behaviour and actions frustrating and disruptive. It is well known that those who have adult ADHD are sensitive and more prone to have low self-esteem. Let’s try not to add unpleasant experiences to their lives.

I have been on both ends, the one who handled my frustrations in unhelpful ways, and the person who was treated horribly as a result of my ADHD symptoms. As adults the best thing we can do for our peers is show them some understanding while still maintaining our workplace boundaries.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12

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ADHD VS Lent: The Halfway Point

At the time of writing this blog post Lent is at the halfway point. For some it has been a struggle, for others, the days have passed by smoothly. The most important thing to remember is that Lent isn’t designed to be a season of self-criticism, guilt, shame, or any other type of feeling that tears one’s self down. Lent is a time for strengthening one’s faith and relationship with God.

Fasting from something is our way of remembering our dependence on God. What we fast from is always voluntary and is chosen based on abstaining from something we have come to depend on in the wrong ways. There are people who ask, “Why do Christians fast from something for 40 days, why not give it up entirely?” The answer: if you give something up entirely, it is no longer as fast. A fast is meant to be temporary. There are plenty of distractions and dependencies in our lives that we can not give up entirely because we depend on them for survival; these might include food,  a car needed for employment, the internet, or radio and television.  

There are also things that bring us daily enjoyment and don’t require forfeiting for the rest of our lives. Plenty of people give up coffee during Lent. Coffee is not bad unless it negatively affects your health. For them it’s a reminder to be appreciative of the ability to purchase this great tasting, overpriced beverage. For others, Lent helps them to decrease their dependency on a caffeinated beverage they’ve been using to be more alert or friendly towards others in the morning. A follower of Christ shouldn’t need coffee in order to be a nice person to their family and co-workers. A change in behaviour and outlook is needed and that is where fasting during Lent can help. The time that would have been spent waiting in the drive thru or brewing a cup at home can instead be spent reading an entry from a devotional or scripture. Lent is never about the object that is being given up, it’s about what is being renewed, replenished, and strengthened inside of us.

For those of us who struggle to manage our ADHD, there will be extra struggles during Lent. This is a religious observance that is guaranteed to throw off our normal routines, possibly contribute additional stress and frustrations, and reveal just how undisciplined we can be sometimes. Instead of allowing these times of struggle, falling behind, or forgetfulness to bring us down; see it as spiritual growth. God isn’t sitting in heaven with a score card documenting how many times we didn’t quite hit the mark. He’s interested in you coming to him and sharing what was happening in your day, how you were feeling, what you’re thankful for, where your heart and mind is at.  Lent is a period of grace, not condemnation. If you are willing to stick with it, in the end you are given the same strength that Jesus was given. Christ made it through the 40 days flawlessly, but we are not Jesus; we will have faltered at some point, but because God is a just god, he doesn’t pit us against one another in a spiritual competition. He knows each of our individual strengths and struggles, this is why Lent is a personal act of spiritual formation.

So, my fellow ADHD’er, don’t allow your failure to master a struggle or temptation during Lent become shame, embarrassment, or guilt. God is still with you in the desert and when you silence the negative self-talk you will hear him whispering promises to strengthen you, never forsake you, love you, have mercy on you, and extend grace to you over and over again in the midst of your journey.

John 9 – A Blind Man Sees and His ADHD Is Healed

This past week I read through John 9, the well known New Testament story about a man who is born blind and is miraculously healed by Jesus who gives the man sight for the first time in his life.

This man, and others who had been born with disabilities, had been deemed by religious folks to have been born without sight due to sin that he would have committed within the womb. Yes, that’s correct, their religious belief was that we are capable of committing sin as fetuses and this can be the only explanation for why a baby could be born with a disability.

The beliefs of the religious leaders were steeped in a form of social cruelty that left individuals believing they had caused their own misfortunate. Families were guilted into believing their faith and devotion to God was lacking and the consequence was a disabled child.

No visits to a doctor, no medicine, no surgical intervention, no hope. As far as the rigid religious leaders were concerned, you were born that way due to sin and your punishment was life long. A disability at birth was seen as a divine penalty that only God could redeem, and that was only if he chose to.

Upon being divinely cured of his blindness, the man is not met with celebration and well wishes; instead he is interrogated by onlookers and the scrupulous religious leaders. Onlookers chose to believe that the man was a fake who had never really been blind. The religious leaders finally decide he was born blind (after testimony of truth from the man’s frightened parents) and it couldn’t have been God who cured his blindness – in their attempts at righteous reasoning, the miracle could only have come at the hands of a devil.

I can’t help but see similar beliefs unfold when Adults with ADHD have their symptoms under control and life becomes less overwhelming. Some will say things such as, “He never had ADHD in the first place, a lack of discipline was his problem”, “She was lazy, she didn’t want to do the work”, “He just needed to get married, now that he has a wife he is more responsible”, “it was those energy drinks that were causing her inattention” and so on.

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I won’t say there is a “cure” for ADHD, there is no research to support such as a statement, but I do believe there are some adults with this disorder who function well in life. They have been able to maintain a steady job, pay their bills on time, take care of their children responsibly and have healthy relationships with others. Some have been able to do all of this without taking medication for ADHD.

When society encounters people with ADHD who are doing well in life they are questioned as to the validity of their diagnosis. There are also people who have the false belief that those with ADHD can never change, improve, transform, or experience personal growth. The story of John 9 in relation to adult ADHD is a reminder that the seemingly impossible can happen. When we see adults with ADHD who are doing well in life, let’s not doubt them or their diagnosis. Instead, let’s be supportive and encouraging. Comparison causes us to look down on our own personal victories and accomplishments.  Celebrate the positive changes that happen in your OWN life, be your own cheerleader if no one else is there to celebrate with you.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Eph 4:29

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ADHD and the KonMari Method: Don’t.

Sparking joy and getting rid of stuff is so far, the popular decluttering goal of January 2019. I admit, I Netflix binge watched Tidying Up. 14 days into 2019, I have piles of “joy” in different areas of my rental unit.

In case you haven’t watched Tidying Up or read either of Marie Kondo’s books The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up andSpark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up; Kondo is an organizing consultant. Her passion and career are to help people keep organized, clutter free spaces where the items you are surrounded by bring you joy. In our North American culture, the idea of a tidy, clutter free, mess free environment is uncommon.

I don’t want to say that everyone who has ADHD is messy. There are many adults with ADHD who have very organized personal and work spaces. If you’re like me, my tidy and organized spaces sometimes come at the cost of not completing other tasks that should have taken higher priority. For other adults with ADHD, their spaces are unclean, messy, and disorganized. For some it brings comfort, for others it creates anxiety; their messy spaces are an outward sign of their disorganized mindset.

If you’ve decided that you want to work towards achieving and maintaining an organized living or work environment, the KonMari method might be for you. However, I caution people that it may not be the method for you to follow. I belong to two online Adult ADHD groups and many of the women have become frustrated with their KonMari method. This is unfortunate because 1) we are not far enough into the year to give up on something new, and 2) organizing takes time, it is not something that can be accomplished in one day or even one week.

Be patient with yourself. Becoming an organized person starts with having an organized living environment; it takes time to achieve this and a lifetime to maintain it.

Be realistic with your timeline. Decluttering is not something that can be scheduled for a few hours or a weekend if you have multiple rooms and areas of your house to declutter and organize. If you have a spouse or children, be mindful of their emotions and habits. Not everyone is going to move at the same speed. Respect their abilities and efforts by not rushing them or pushing them too fast.

Be honest. If you find the process of decluttering and organizing overwhelming, don’t be afraid to seek help. This can come from trustworthy friends, families, paid assistance, or resources such as books and video guides.

Be yourself. After decluttering your personal space shouldn’t look like you are living in someone else’s house. Your living spaces reflect your tastes and interests. If your home looks like a

If the KonMari method doesn’t work for you or you’d like to combine the method with ADHD symptom management systems, here is a list of books that are specific to adult ADHD and organization.


ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life. by Judith Kolberg & Kathleen G. Nadeau

Organizing Solutions for People With Attention Deficit Disorder: Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized. By Susan C. Pinsky

How ADHD Affects Home Organization: Understanding the Role of the 8 Key Executive Functions of the Mind.  By Lisa Woodruff

The Queen of Distraction: How Women with ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus, and Get More Done  By Terry Matlen

 

Adult ADHD: End of Year Self-Reflections

As I write this Christmas Day is pretty much over. All the gifts have been opened, people are tired, the dishes have been washed, and people are hungry again, but don’t want to have a 5th helping of dry turkey with lumpy microwaved turkey. Others are upset, angry, bitter about something somebody said or did during the evening.

For some, Christmas Day has been a great day. They ate well, spent time with those they love, and received gifts they actually wanted.

Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to start looking towards the new year, 2019. During the last week of December I always grow impatient waiting for the calendar year to come to an end. I’m not sure why I am in such a hurry with time, it’s not as if my life is going to significantly change because December 31 and January 1.

This year my anxiousness is the result of shattered dreams, the realization that something I worked hard on and invested all my money into was not going to happen. I had been mislead by the person I was collaborating with and she plugged the plug on a ministry project.

With Adult ADHD, many of our dreams and goals end up going nowhere. Some become excited about an idea and before they can start working on it become interested in something else that they likely won’t start or finish.

There are those who started something , worked hard for a while and then became overwhelmed by the “boring”, detail oriented tasks. For others, they became overwhelmed while aiming to be organized, slowly falling behind on tasks, deadlines, and responsibilities. Eventually they finish all that needed to be done, but barely, and what was completed is sub par. Their work covered in anxiety, depression, exhaustion, and regret.

Then there are those who got stuff done. They accomplished what they set out to do this year and they did it well. Their ADHD helped bring out their creativity and energy. Their hyper focus did them well in learning new information, skills, and techniques.

Regardless of how your 2018 will or has ended, you’re still alive, you have all of 2019 to accomplish new goals. Leave the failures of 2018 where it belongs, in the past. Take the habits, accomplishments, gains, and lessons from the past year into 2019 and allow them to help you continue on the path to doing well.

As the holiday season comes to an end, take some quiet time to pray and reflect on the past year and plan ahead for 2019.

What are you most proud of from 2018? What are you least proud of?

What had you feeling stuck? How will you become “unstuck” ?

What were you most and least excited or passionate about?

Did you have self-compassion and grace for yourself? How about for others?

Are there any grudges that you are holding onto that you will be bringing into the new year? How can you begin to let go of them.?

What activities did you spend most of your free time engaged in? Will you continue to give the same amount of time to these activities for the new year?

What ways did you practice self-care?

What condition were your various relationships in? What will you need to, or what do you want to change about any of these relationships?

What were some new things you learned? Are there intentional things you are looking forward to learning?

Did you overcome any challenges? How will that impact your future?

What songs did you enjoy singing along to or found yourself humming when the music wasn’t playing?

What was your spiritual life like? Do you feel you grew closer or further away from God? What spiritual disciplines will you focus on in the new year?

What were some of your biggest obstacles this past year?

What were some instances where you felt relaxed and free to just be yourself?

How much of a positive or negative impact did your ADHD symptoms have on you this past year: work/family/spirituality/friendships/finances/creativity/health/fitness?

What are some of the symptoms of Adult ADHD you most need to work on managing or tending to this coming year? What worked and didn’t work for you last year?



aDULT adhd & rEJECTION sENSITIVE DYSPHORIA

This week is the first time I’ve ever heard of the term “Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria”. I saw it on an adult ADHD Facebook group and many of the comments were people who highly identified with the symptoms and how this disorder affects their work and relationships. 
ADDitude magazine states, ” Rejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD) is an intense vulnerability to the perception – not necessarily the reality – of being rejected, teased, or criticized by important people in your life. RSD causes extreme emotional pain that may also be triggered by a sense of failure, or falling short – failing to meet either your own high standards or others’ expectations.” 

The Greek word Dysphoria means “difficult to bear”. I can’t think of too many people who would describe rejection as “easy to bear”. What apparently makes rejection different for those with ADHD is, the rapid change from being fine at one moment to feeling deeply emotionally wounded. The switch is fast and the person sometimes erupts in anger towards the person they feel rejected by. 

At the time of writing this post, RSD is not in the DSM-5. Some psychiatrists believe in RSD, others don’t, but that can be said about many disorders, even those that can be found in the DSM-5 and past DSM. What is important is to recognize if you have the symptoms of RSD and if you do, address them. You might require behaviour therapy, medication, changes in your environment.  

I don’t know about the scientific legitimacy of this article https://www.thrivetalk.com/rejection-sensitive-dysphoria/, but it’ a good place to start. You can find further information about Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria and decide if it is something you’d like your doctor or therapist to look into further. 

 Rejection is not something that is easy to handle when you care about the person doing the rejecting or the rejection comes with major loss (opportunities, jobs, housing, etc.). Personally, I’ve only been able to handle rejection by rooting myself in God’s word and understanding that rejection, real or perceived, is not the end. I stop and do the dirty and difficult work of finding out why a rejection has wounded me emotionally. Am I over reacting, was I truly rejected, what does this rejection mean–what are my next steps. What’s most important to me is that I don’t allow rejection to become revenge. Revenge is not of God and it robs you of Godly joy, contentment, and energy. 
The following are some study books and devotionals that may be helpful to you in dealing with rejection.
Why Her – Nicki Koziarz
Anxious for Nothing – Max Lucado
Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out and Lonely – Lysa Terkeurst
Wait and See: Finding Peace in God’s Pauses and Plans – Wendy Pope
Victory in Spiritual Battle  – Tony Evans
Detours: The Unpredictable Path to Your Destiny – Tony Evans 



Adult ADHD: Cannabis Caution

In Canada on October 17, 2018 cannabis will be legal for all adults to use. Before October 17, a person was only allowed to be in possession of cannabis with a medical prescription. As a result of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to legalize marijuana for recreational use, there will be people accessing and using cannabis for the first time in their lives without fear of stigma, criminal charges, or going to jail. Some of these individuals will do so believing that smoking marijuana is medicinal. There are those who believe that it will cure cancer, ease asthmatic symptoms, reduce depression, and create world peace. There are high hopes and expectations of this now legalized natural drug.

On a personal level I am not against the legalization of cannabis, I think it is long overdue.  I don’t want people being fined, charged, or sent to jail for using marijuana, I think it is a waste of government money, and has too much of a negative effect on people’s lives to warrant it a criminal act. No one should spend years of their life in jail because of marijuana use. We don’t send liquor store owners, cashiers, and bartenders to jail despite the fact that alcohol has had more of an emotionally and socially destructive effect on families and society than any single drug ever has.

However, I am against the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. My concern is mainly due to the known potential effects of this product on the developing brain of teenage boys. I am also concerned that our government has not invested enough resources into mental health care. How do they plan to address and assist teenagers whose chronic improper use of cannabis leads to increased depression, psychosis, anxiety disorders, and other mental health issues? Not everyone who uses cannabis develops problems with their mental well being, but our government certainly hasn’t prepared to offer timely and proper help for those who do develop strong dependencies or addictions to this drug. 

I don’t believe the choice to smoke marijuana should be made lightly for those who have DSM diagnoses, including those with ADHD. I won’t criticize Adults with ADHD who use cannabis, because if it truly works for them, and has not had negative effects on their health, relationships, and ability to function well, then great, keep at it. But for many I fear it can make their ADHD symptoms and health worse.

It is easy to forget that just like prescription drugs, recreational drugs have negative side affects as well.  Before you decide to use recreational marijuana as a way to treat ADHD or manage it’s symptoms consider the following:

Don’t stop taking your medication abruptly. If you have made the decision to stop taking prescribed medication, speak with your doctor before doing so. Your doctor will be able to taper you off of medications in a way that will cause you less harm physically and mentally than doing so abruptly and/or on your own.

Check with your doctor. Find out if using cannabis in any form might interact negatively with your prescription medication.

Make note of any changes in your behaviour and habits and the results of these changes. Has there been an increase/decrease in procrastination? Has your short-term memory become affected? Is there an increase/decrease in your anxiety levels? Do you fidget more/less? What is your focus like, increase/decrease? Has your ability to problem solve become better or worse?

Are you using cannabis products as a way to avoid dealing with the undesirable? Is cannabis a way for you to self-medicate?

This may seem obvious, but I still need to point this out. If your cannabis use turns into, or involves any of the following, you’re not using it for medicinal purposes. If the answer to these questions are “yes”, you are placing your health and your life in jeopardy and ADHD is not your biggest issue right now:

Are you injecting a cannabis product? Stop. Ask yourself why you would inject this product thereby increasing your chances of developing infections and other possible illnesses.

Is your marijuana mixed with anything else, especially fentanyl?

Did you purchase your product off the street? Do you know the person who sold it to you and do they know who sold it to them, and on and on? There is no need to purchase anything on the streets or from a friend, now that cannabis is legal your safest option is to purchase items from a credible and trust worthy retail store.

However you choose to treat and manage your Adult ADHD, remember that there is no cure. We have this neurobiological disorder for the rest of our life, it can only be managed and not disrupt our life if we do the hard work. There is no fast, easy, or cheap fix for our symptoms and the struggles that come along with it. 

Be compassionate with yourself, be patient with yourself, love yourself, and forgive yourself.



You Middle of the Year Check-in 2018

It’s that time of year again. Time to do a personal check-in as we enter the last month of Summer.

August is an excellent month to do a check-in and see how things are going for you in different areas of your life. September will be here before you know it and our schedules will become filled again with activities, your kid’s activities, regular work routines, and school.

It’s important to review what had worked for you from January to the beginning of summer. Did you stick with the recreational activities you had signed up for? Did you spend too little or too much time socializing? Is your home still filled with clutter and looks like the after effects of a tornado? Did you lose the weight you swore you would?

Doing a seasonal check-in isn’t meant to be a time beating yourself up about what you didn’t get done or a time to create an unrealistic to-do/must-do list. It’s a time to acknowledge the things you were able to accomplish and work towards the things that have yet to be completed.

I’m thankful that I gave in at the end of last year and purchased the Cultivate What Matters Powersheets 2018. It has helped improved my ability to stay focused on my goals with a sense of compassion instead of aiming for perfection and beating myself up when I fall short. It is rooted in the grace that God has given us and the grace he calls us to have for ourselves and others.

The Powersheets are written in such a way that each month you are able to work towards your goals and break them down into daily, weekly, and monthly commitments. There are months where my sheets were only half filled and others that were completely empty. I was able to look back and see those times when life became difficult and overwhelming. At time stress, anxiety, fear, and the ever-present ADHD were at my side guiding me off track.

I was able to turns things around by accepting that life is not linear and therefore neither is the work we do in aiming to accomplish our goals and fulfill our responsibilities.

A personal check-in doesn’t have to be complex, but it does have to be honest. Answer the questions honestly, no one else has to see them except you. No one will know your responses and where your heart is at except you and God. He is there to help you search yourself. Remember that God knows we are not perfect, he is there to give us strength, and his Holy Spirit is there to provide us with the wisdom we need to grow and be our best selves.

Ask Yourself:

-What are some things that I have accomplished since the beginning of 2018?

-Have I shown an active and disciplined commitment to my goals and responsibilities?

-What are my different relationships like: Family, Spouse, Friends, Work, Church?

-Time management, how have I been doing in this area? What needs to change and what can I keep doing that seems to be working well?

-Learning: Did I make time to intentionally learn new things? e.g. how to use new features on your smartphone, enrolling in a class or workshop, taught yourself something new, tried a new recipe.
How did you response to this learning experience? E.g. Frustrated, happy, excited, angry, disappointment.

-ADHD management: how well have you been managing your ADHD symptoms? Have your symptoms increased, decreased, remained the same, or don’t know?
What are some changes you might need to make? E.g. Sleep less/more, alter diet or eating habits, stress reduction, let go of some activities and commitments, seek more support from others formal/informal, medication adjustment, less time on social media, find different time management tools and apps, etc.

-What is your spiritual life like? Have you been attending church/place of worship regularly? Have you been spending time outdoors in the sunshine and amidst nature? What’s your level of attitude of gratitude?
Are there spiritual activities that might be beneficial for you? E.g. meditation, mindfulness exercises, going a small group bible study, etc. If you are creative and artistic, have you been able to make time for creative outlets?

-Did I find myself developing new habits, were they helpful or do they need to be decreased or eliminated?

Remember, your mid year check-in is meant to be done with compassion and grace. It also doesn’t have to all be done in an afternoon or a day. Take a week if you feel the need to. Break the questions down by focusing on select areas of most importance. This might be your marriage, your work, school, or some other area of your life. If you feel overwhelmed, slow down.

Pray and ask God to guide you through your check-in and during your times of reflection.

 

 

 

Adult ADHD and the Challenge of Change

Proverbs 3:5-6

 

Change isn’t easy for most people, but when you include ADHD into the mix, change can be a major challenge.

Why do people fear, dislike, and avoid change while others welcome it? In pursuit of answers there are organizations that specialize in change theory and help organizations, non-profits, and government sectors deal with internal and external change. For people with ADHD/ADD there are ADD coaches, life coaches, psychologists, social workers, and your circle of knowledgeable friends and family.

Do you remember the popular Prayer of Jabez movement from the 2000s? My memory of that time was people boldly praying the verse from 1 Chronicles 4:10,

“And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!’ So God granted him what he requested.”

They didn’t ask for simple things like, ‘Lord, help me to be nice to my co-worker that I treat like garbage’ or ‘God please help me to understand my spouse with more compassion and empathy’; nope, there were people who were praying for a long list of material goods, a husband, pregnancy, and all sorts of personal wishes. While there is nothing wrong with asking God for something that is meaningful to you, the problems were that people didn’t seem to understand that when God “gives” or “blesses” you with something there is often change involved. If you want a child, then your life will change significantly when the child arrives. You want to change careers and start your own business, well, it’s important to understand that self-employment creates personal changes in income, insurance, and stability. When something significant comes into or out of our lives, it will include change. Sometimes that change is for the better, other times it is for the worst.

People prayed the Prayer of Jabez with a focus on “bless me indeed” and “enlarge my territory” but by passed the parts “Keep me from evil” and “that I may not cause pain!”. We are taught that change needs to benefit us 100% without consideration of how it might affect others. There will be times when we must make decisions and changes that will affect others, but as Jabez asked of God, don’t let evilness towards others and intentionally causing people pain be part of your plans for change.

When you have ADHD, change will need to include a lot of trust. Trust in your choices, trust in the future, and trust in your abilities; but most of all trust in God. Adult ADHD traits such as impatience, distraction, forgetfulness, ever changing priorities, anxiety, and moodiness not only affects our own journey of change, but it affects others as well. It is important to remember that as believers, change includes forgiveness, grace, mercy, all the fruits of the spirit, seeking wise counsel, and lots of prayer.

If you would like further information on change and Adult ADHD here are some further online resources:

Can Adults With ADHD Really Change?

Adults with ADHD Can Change Their Love-Hate Relationships

5 Warning Signs You Are Reaching Your ADHD Tipping Point

Change Management Models (not ADHD related)

What is Theory of Change?

 

ADHD: The Gift That Costs You

Is this a gift that can be re-gifted?

 

Recently a Facebook post came across my page asking, “Can AD/HD be a Gift?” It was posted by an Occupational Therapy group here in Canada. I clicked on the post, read the comments, and instantly regretted doing so.

It is not unusual to hear people proclaim that ADD/ADHD is a gift, however, speaking as a person with severe, life disrupting ADHD, I have never believed this disorder to be a gift. Would we tell a person their cancer is a gift? Would you tell a person who’s only mode of transportation is a wheelchair that not being able to walk on one’s own is a gift? Would you tell a person who is blind that their lack of clear sight is a gift? The answer to all these questions is likely to be an emphatic “no”.

There are people with ADHD who have gifts, this is no different than people without ADHD. Having this disorder doesn’t prevent a person from being born with incredible gifts or developing excellent talents. Those with ADHD experience different symptoms and are effected differently due to circumstances such as one’s occupation, gender, age, family circumstances, access to psycho-social supports, personal beliefs about the ADHD, and socio-economic status.

The Mayo Clinic lists some of the symptoms of Adult ADHD (2018):

  • Impulsiveness
  • Disorganization and problems prioritizing
  • Poor time management skills
  • Problems focusing on a task
  • Trouble multitasking
  • Excessive activity or restlessness
  • Poor planning
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Problems following through and completing tasks
  • Hot temper
  • Trouble coping with stress

Looking over this list, do these sound like “gifts”. If someone wrapped all these symptoms up in a bow and offered them to you, would you accept them. Would you trade your even temper, patience, and self-control for the “gift” of ADHD?

The key to living successfully as an adult with ADHD is managing one’s symptoms. Again, everyone experiences different symptoms and to varying degrees. Some manage successfully without medication, others need high doses of prescribed stimulants in order to maintain a job and look after themselves and their family. It’s important to find out what management methods work for each of us.

What I see as a gift is the fact that I was able to finally be diagnosed as an adult. I was able to find a psychologist who was able to do testing for free and refer me to a medical doctor for an official diagnosis. It was a gift to attend a university where ADHD was viewed as a legitimate disability and I was allowed to have a liaison and academic support; without this I wouldn’t have been able to complete courses and graduate. It is a gift that I don’t have to pay for ADHD medication. Health care is not free in Canada, we have to pay for a variety of services. There are adults who have ADHD and are not able to access free services. Health care coverage in Canada varies according to which province you reside in.

Those who do well despite having this disorder do so because they have been able to find suitable and/or accommodating employment, social and/or family support, the right medication and dosage (if needed), proper diagnosis, and a variety of ways to manage and decrease symptoms. This is the “gift”.

 

 

 

 

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