Archives for Hyperactivity - Page 4
I’ve always loved to teach – and loved to learn. Last Friday, I had a total, teary, ADHD adult-learner meltdown. You’d think after blabbing and blogging about having ADHD for so long, I’d be ok with sharing that I learn more slowly than others. Not so, as my recent bass guitar lesson proved.
I've written before about the work of Dr. Timothy Bilkey, a leading Canadian authority on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Bilkey has assessed over 3,400 patients for ADHD at his clinics. This month, Bilkey has released his second full length documentary, Her Fast Mind. This film, useful to educators, families and physicians, as well as women with ADHD themselves, explores ADHD across the lifespan as it specifically presents in women. Bilkey debunks the myth of ADHD being a medical condition predominantly affecting males, and shows the important differences in ADHD in women and how these have led to women's under-diagnosis. The film includes interviews with special guests yours truly, and filmmaker Karen O'Donnell (A Mind Like Mine). It was produced by Six of One Productions.
I don't know about you, but before my ADHD diagnosis, my life was kind of like an Escher painting: lots of elements looked normal, but the big picture was definitely screwed up. I particularly relate to the drawing where you're not sure if the figures are walking down the stairs, or up the stairs, or both. It's disorienting; it's anxiety-provoking; the perspective leaves you feeling slightly off-kilter. If you have undiagnosed ADHD and you see these works, something inside you screams: Hey! That's me! Continuously moving, but never getting anywhere!
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.
I've been feeling pretty nostalgic this Christmas. In particular, I'm remembering what it was like being a hyperactive little girl with undiagnosed ADHD. Based on on my research and my experience as an adult with ADHD, I'd like to suggest the following gifts that parents can give to their ADHD kids, both during the holidays and throughout the year. I know these gifts aren’t “one size fits all,” but I’m pretty sure most of them would have been great for me. Maybe some (or all) of them would be good for your son or daughter, too.
Ok, Universe. I can take a hint. Twice in the past week I’ve found myself talking to concerned adults (one parent, one teacher) about the connection between marijuana use by teenagers and young adults and ADHD. This tells me that there’s still not enough out there on this topic, so I'm devoting today's blog post to the subject. I've written about ADHD and self-medicating in previous posts (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Part II: Drugs), but obviously it's important to keep talking about it. One concern that's expressed time and time again by parents of ADHDers is that if they put their ADHD kids on medication, especially stimulant medications, before long, the kid’ll be smoking dope, snorting coke, and chomping on 'shrooms. The fear is that legit ADHD drugs will act as a gateway drug, a one-way ticket to la-la land.
I just figured out why I like being sick. I admit, it's partly the dreamy, germ-induced haze I'm enveloped in. It's much quieter than when I'm healthy and thoughts are bombarding me like electrons in a quantum physics experiment. I know, that sounds weird. But honestly, it's a complete relief not to have to live up my rigorous agenda or perfectionistic standards. I'm just too weak and tired to give a damn. And frankly, it's the most peaceful and relaxed I've been in a long time.
Halloween. Samhain. All Hallows Eve. All Souls' Day. Whatever you call it, it would be all too easy to be negative about ADHD today. It's a nightmare; it's like being one of the living dead; it's no treat. I'd like to offer another perspective on ADHD as I anticipate tonight's onslaught of goblins and ghouls.
I mentioned on World Health Day that I’d like to share a few personal sources of faith and inspiration that have helped sustain me as I’ve learned to manage and live with ADHD. Specialists agree that treating ADHD with a variety of approaches, including medication, exercise, coaching, and others, is the best way to manage ADHD symptoms. I’d like to add attending to your spiritual / inner life as an important component in treating ADHD in a holistic way, addressing mind, body, and spirit. I’m hoping that sharing some of my sources for inspiration and faith will help you think about yours. You might even want to expand your repertoire of resources to turn to for spiritual succor.
I was thinking about how many awards events there are out there: Oscars, Grammys, Emmys, heck, there are even child beauty pageants (ew) and an Olympics just for farmers! While a lot of us with ADHD started off with high aspirations and great expectations, by the time we're diagnosed as adults we can feel downright demoralized. Sometimes we feel like we’ll never excel at anything. This is depressing. So - how about an ADHD Olympics? At least if we had our own Olympics, we'd have a chance at a gold medal.