Archives for November, 2012
photo credit: Kitsadakron Yesterday, I stumbled on a blog post called Treatment of ADHD reduces criminality, by Dr. Timothy Bilkey. Recently, I tried to tackle the topic (from a slightly different angle) in Binders Full of ADHDers, Part II. Bilkey deftly handles a complex subject; but when I read his conclusion, I shuddered. My concern is not with his writing (which is excellent), my concern is that to those already laboring under misconceptions and misgivings regarding ADHD medications, the conclusion might be misconstrued.
Caught up in the recent U.S. election, I pondered the impact of Obama’s electoral win on those of us with ADHD. I introduced my discussion in Binders Full of ADHDers, Part I, and discussed the relative merits of spending on tougher crime measurements versus preventative social policies in Binders Full of ADHDers, Part II. Today, in Part III, I'll look at ADHD and education. While I don’t have answers, I do want to raise some of the issues we need to consider. Many research studies show that inadequately diagnosed and treated ADHD has a huge cost on society. In a recent article in Medscape Today News, "ADHD Takes Heavy Economic Toll" by Megan Brooks, Nov. 12, 2012), the overall economic costs of ADHD (in adults and children) is discussed.
photo credit: Robert S. Donovan So, tell me again when the world is supposed to end? You know, that whole Mayan thing about the calendar running out of days or pin-up girls or whatever. See, the thing is, if the world really is gonna end, I honestly don’t think I have the energy to get out there and Christmas shop. For nothing. I’m no good at it at the best of times anyway. I suppose I could give out the presents early, especially considering I still have a box full of last year’s presents that never made it to their intended recipients. They're around here somewhere (except for the one or two bags of gourmet jelly beans I accidentally stress ate by mistake).
I just finished a huge project I started four years ago. I had to hyperfocus for the home stretch, and now that it’s over, I’m wondering: was it worth it? First, what is ADHD hyperfocus, anyway? "Hyperfocus is when you pay so much attention to one thing you ignore everything else around you. Many adults with ADHD find hyperfocus helps at work, making it easier to complete tasks." (p. 171) ~ Eileen Bailey and Dr. Donald Haupt, authors, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD (2010) When this happens and you’re supposed to be doing something else, like paying attention to traffic when you're walking across the street but instead you're texting your boyfriend, it's definitely negative.
We all know that ADHD encompasses much more than the (un)holy trinity of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. These core challenges give birth to many lesser ADHD angels (or more accurately, demons) that plague us. These include dysthymia, low self-esteem, executive functioning problems, lack of self-confidence, exhaustion, lousy relationship skills, and so on. If you’re suffering from generalized malaise; if you’re feeling low, uninspired, exhausted, unworthy, or unmotivated, you may be suffering from ADHD battle fatigue. It’s time to recharge from daily head-to-head combat with the ADHD army’s second battalion. Here are some instant ideas to pep you up. Feel free to send in some of your own!
photo credit: sangak In Binders Full of ADHDers, Part I, I called for action, not lip service, to social change during newly re-elected President Obama’s 2nd term. Those of us with ADHD need pro-active measures on all fronts, including political, to see the changes necessary to make our lives better. Make sense, not war One area of concern, in both Canada and the US, is the notion of the “war on crime.” Shouldn’t we be waging a war on ignorance? ADHD is considered the most treatable of all mental health conditions, yet study after study has shown that those born with ADHD often find a “Go to Jail” card in their back pocket around the time they turn into adolescents (especially if they’re hyperactive boys).
Morpheus: This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill the story ends you wake up in your bed and you believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. [Neo reaches for the red pill] Morpheus: Remember. All I’m offering is the truth, nothing more. [Neo swallows the red pill] - from the film The Matrix, 1999 Sometimes I wish I’d taken the blue pill.
I don't want to get all political on you, but here's the thing: like it or not, politics and mental health are inexorably linked. With the conclusion of the US Presidential election, many of us throughout this great continent (and elsewhere; I believe I've picked up swoons of relief from my home planet) have heaved a collective sigh of relief. Let's hope this feeling is rewarded. One thing I don't want to hear Obama say is, "I have binders full of ADHDers."
Saturday is the day I wake up either wondering where I've been for the previous five days, or feeling great because I’ve accomplished what I’d hoped to and can cut myself some slack. Today I realized that it’s probably not a good system to just go by my feelings on Saturday morning (especially if I was out the night before). I needed a way to find out where I’ve gone astray, and to discern the biggest time-wasters and distractions for the week. I wanted a strategy to steel myself against these saboteurs (or at least to mix 'em up so I don't get bored with the same ones all the time). To accomplish these goals, I've created a handy End-of-the-Week ADHD Checklist to measure the week’s progress. Feel free to use, adapt, or modify it for yourself (this one is created for the home-office environment).
Deciding to dress up in a cloak, play Gregorian chants loudly to scare the kids, and put the good candies at the bottom of the bowl in case there were leftovers was easy. What hasn't been so easy is deciding what costume to wear when managing real-life Zombie attacks.