Archives for ADHD
It's Autumn, not spring. My house is up for sale, but it's six months later than I wanted it to be. Okay, it's a year and six months later. Alright, fine two years and six months since I decided to sell. The two years doesn't mean much. I did procrastinate, but I also needed the time to come to terms with leaving a house that has been my home for decades. I would alternate from one week to the next, trying to figure out whether I would be happy leaving there or whether I would be happy staying and struggling with the cost of upkeep and mortgage payments. I spent the two years deciding, but in the end I still sometimes wish I were staying. The two years was needed for me to resolve myself to going, even though I am sometimes still not resolved.
Within Buddhism there is a sect of Japanese origin known as Zen Buddhism. And while its differences from many other segments of Buddhism are simple differences, those differences make for deep discussion and much admiration. Significantly, Zen Buddhism asserts that enlightenment can be derived from contemplation and meditation. But the word "Zen" has been borrowed and, if not corrupted, certainly broadened in its definition. It has come to be used for almost any approach to anything that is simpler and seemingly obvious. It has also been used to suggest that simpler approaches are better, especially if there is some mystery surrounding how those approaches work.
On Friday we talked about how to get yourself into prison, especially if you have ADHD. If it's something you aspire to, then your impulsivity and lack of executive function can be great tools to help you achieve this goal. If prison is something you would rather avoid, then it's best to discover how to manage impulsive behaviour and compensate for a lack of E.F. in advance of becoming responsible for your actions. And if you don't, you might end up in the general population of the corrections system. You might end up ... in stir, as they say.
Did you know there is a statistic for the prevalence of ADHD in the population of the correction systems? There is. In Canada, the stat says that adult inmates are five times more likely to have ADHD than the population on the outside. Unbelievable! Right? .... but it gets worse.
Let's face facts. We, are cool. We are the coolest! In fact, we are the definition of cool.Look up cool in the dictionary and there's likely a picture of a bunch of people with ADHD there. Oh sure, we make mistakes, get distracted, forget where we left our keys, do things impulsively, we have our problems. I know it. But hey, we do things impulsively, that's not really a problem, is it? And the things we do impulsively are always fun. And they are also often things that others would never have thought of.
I get a kick out of people who are dismissive of ADHD. Well, I don't really get a kick out of them. I don't get as big a kick out of them as the one I'd like to give them in return for their opinion, but still ... it's entertaining to hear how uninformed people can be. It's true, though. ADHD may not look like much because we are very capable. But that capability came at the expense of years of struggling with these symptoms. Struggling and learning, that's the life of the person with ADHD. We develop neuro-plasticity from having to deal with a condition that no one else can help us with very much. That's why, if you are a casual observer, you don't see what we go through. That's why you have no idea what goes on in our heads.
Recent studies suggest that memories, especially ones about ourselves, are likely suspect. That's not to say that they are false, but they may have details that have been manufactured, and they may have left things out. It's also suggested that some of your memories might not be real at all. And this is important to people with ADHD. Very important. It won't make any difference to how you behave, how your mind works. But it can make a great deal of difference in how we live, a great deal of difference to the stigma we experience at our own hands.
I get some interesting reactions when I tell people I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was fifty. I'm pretty sure that some of them are the result of people thinking, "How did no one know before then?" I'm equally sure that some are caused by people who are still willing to believe that ADHD, particularly Adult ADHD, do not exist. Many of those people also believe that vaccines cause autism, prisons correct behaviour issues, the world is flat, the moon landing was faked ... you get the picture. And then there are the people who can't help but wonder what I was thinking all those years if I actually had ADHD all along and didn't know what was wrong with me.
For years I didn't know I had ADHD. I didn't know what ADHD was. For that matter, for many of those years, ADHD wasn't even called ADHD. I did think that I was "normal," but I really could not have told you what normal was supposed to be. Not a big surprise, really, I still can't. I thought it was normal to have self doubt, massive self doubt. I thought it was normal to chatter to myself in my head. I thought it was normal to chatter to myself out loud when I was alone. I thought it was normal to be constantly seeking a quieter place inside my head.
You think you know what ADHD is? You think you've got it figured out? You think because you have a friend or two with it you recognize it and what it means? Or maybe you're a manager or an employer and you have someone on staff with ADHD. And you think that you have an idea of what that means? Or you're married to someone with it, or in a relationship with a person with ADHD. You think you've got it figured out?