Archives for January, 2012
I’ve been mulling over the controversy around the upcoming DSM-5. A friend and I were discussing the issue when she made a remarkable comment. It was one of those insights that, as soon as you hear it, the lightbulb goes on. Having a several decades-long career as a publisher, independent bookstore owner, and book lover made her remark even more startling.
Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year. It's the year of the Dragon. I thought I'd celebrate by starting off with some fresh-baked peanut butter cookies for breakfast. The Dragon made me do it... Confession: that's not exactly how I planned it; cookies for breakfast on Chinese New Year was serendipity, of sorts. I'd planned to make them yesterday, as a way to take a break from my work. As a little girl, peanut butter cookies were my favorite. How hard could it be? I thought. I found a website called Simply Recipes which I mistakenly read as, "simple" recipes. With only nine ingredients, and three - 3! - steps, I thought even I could handle this cookie-making thing. Goes to show how wrong you can be.
Girl Guides. They had me at "fire-starting." Did you go to Girl Guides when you were a young ADHD girl? I did, and I loved it. Turns out a lot of the skills I learned in guiding were handy for a budding ADHDer. The camping trips didn’t hurt, either. What’s not to love? There was the aforementioned fire-starting (initially, the leaders and I had different ideas about that. We worked it out.) Then there was financial management. I discovered that if I spent my dues on candy before the meeting, I’d be too hepped-up and sent home. I decided to pay my dues. Besides, I didn’t want to lie about losing my money. I actually did lose it often enough as it was.
Since I last wrote about the impending DSM-5, Dr. Ronald Pies’ blog post appeared in World of Psychology here at Psych Central. I found Pies’ post, Why Psychiatry Needs to Scrap the DSM System: An Immodest Proposal, interesting on several levels. Foremost was the fact that Pies calls for a replacement of the DSM that sounded hauntingly familiar. Storytelling is very Canadian, eh? Pies’ suggested approach to replace the current DSM diagnostic tool looked a lot like something already being used by Canadian psychiatrist Dr. Tim Bilkey. Bilkey has diagnosed over 3400 adolescents and adults at his ADHD clinics in Ontario.
I've written before about how difficult transitions can be for those of us with ADHD. In my post, 8 Gifts for ADHD Kids, gift #4 was transition time. Even ADHD adults need extra time to switch from one activity to another. This weekend, I looked forward to being taken out to dinner for my birthday. We’d arranged to meet at my friend’s house, and proceed from there. I arrived punctually, only to find that some of my closest friends were already assembled. There were helium-filled balloons, presents, bottles of wine, and a huge spread of incredible home-cooked food. In short, more than a few of my favorite things. But also an unexpected and therefore overwhelming array of stimuli to take in on a moment’s notice.
I'm celebrating not only the new year, but also my birthday (today). Birthdays remind me that the clock is counting down. What do I want to do with the time I have left? And how do I figure out how much that is? See? Time-management is impossible! Nonetheless, people without ADHD try to convince us otherwise, so I play along. I personally have learned how to be on time since my ADHD diagnosis, so that's something (and I'm sure my non-ADHD employer is grateful). Every year from January 1st to the 7th, I take time to reflect, clarify my goals, and to learn from the past years' experiences. A major problem with this strategy, of course, is that I can hardly remember last year. Still, I soldier on. I can still learn from what I think happened, right?
My first post for 2012 takes me full circle to one of the inaugural posts I wrote for ADHD from A to Zoë back in 2010. At the time, my ADHD diagnosis was a mere 2 years old, and I had a bag full of questions I needed answered, not least of which was: What The #$#%! Is ADHD? It turned out that the answer was not that straight-forward. Nor, it would seem, is it any more so today.