ADHD and Thanks-Giving

ADHD Thanksgiving 1

As followers of Christ, every day is a day for giving thanks, but what makes Thanksgiving Day different is that you have one day where the entire nation collectively gives thanks and acknowledges the good things they have in life, be it family, friends, material goods, or health.

I’ve always believed in the importance of cultures and communities having holidays for remembering and acknowledging the past and the present. Thanksgiving is a holiday that always reminds me that we can always find the good and the positive in the midst of struggle and injustice. I see the systemic injustices and atrocities that are occurring in other parts of the world and I can’t not help but give thanks to God for being fortunate enough to live in North America.

So this year I encourage you to give thanks for something no matter what your circumstances are right now. Collectively as Americans we have plenty to give thanks for. Thanks be to God!

Give thanks Lord

As I was preparing to write this blog entry I had to stop and think about whether or not there really was anything to be thankful for in terms of having adult ADHD. Well, I found some!

ADHD and Things to Be Thankful For

Energy. When used properly, the energy we get from having ADHD allows us to accomplish a lot of things, sometimes more than the average person.

Creativity. When your mind is constantly thinking of multiple things at the same time and always on the go, you can end up developing a lot of ideas that are “outside the box”. For those who are ADHD day dreamers, you can sometimes turn those dreams into very creative ideas and concepts that others might not have thought of.

Adventurous. Sometimes ADHD gives people the ability to combine their energy and creativity which results in an adventurous spirit; think Richard Branson.

Knowledge. One of the best things about the ADHD attention span is that when we’re interested in a topic, subject, hobby, or activity, we delve in deep. Ask us anything you want to know about something we are interested in and we will likely have the answer; just be prepared for a long, animated, and passionate answer!

Medical care. Being finally diagnosed with ADHD as an adult has changed my life in too many ways to mention in this short post. I am thankful for doctors and psychologists who have studied ADHD and contributed to medical advances in the treatment of ADHD. Over the years I have taken medication for ADHD, but more helpful than this has been the alternative treatments that I’ve used to help manage my symptoms. I am also thankful to have assistance with covering the high costs of prescriptions. Mindfulness, meditation, and exercise have proven to be effective means for controlling my worst symptoms. I am thankful for those who teach and share these alternative methods.

Having rights. Having ADHD recognized as a disability in the workplace and educational institutions is important. I don’t think I would have made it through college if there wasn’t a department for students with disabilities. The specialists helped me stay focused and accountable; I was also able to take exams in a separate area so I wouldn’t disturb other students with the constant clicking of my pen, the shaking of my legs, humming, and my need to read things out loud. In the past people with ADHD weren’t recognized as having a disability and it made life more difficult for them than it had to be. Today, things have changed and I am thankful for this.

My list is not going to be the same as yours. We all have varying degrees of symptoms and different life circumstances; but I encourage you to take time this Thanksgiving season to make your own mental or written list of ADHD related things that you are thankful for. Having adult ADHD isn’t always easy, but there is always something to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!