TotallyADD Blog / Women & ADD/ADHD Archives - TotallyADD.com | Adult ADD | ADHD in Adults
Welcome to the TotallyADD Blog.
By Dr. John Fleming, C.Psych.
“Dr. Fleming is a psychologist in private practice with more than 30 years of experience in the treatment of eating issues, including obesity.
John has been providing assessment and treatment for individuals with ADHD for 19 years, and one of those adults was me. He’s been my ADHD specialist ever since.
During the past 15 years, he has co-directed a research program investigating the connection between ADHD, overeating and obesity. He has also developed a powerful eight-week program, teaching mindfulness skills to individuals with ADHD. First published in 2011, this remains one of our most read guest blogs”
For more information visit: www.drjohnfleming.com
Starved Stuffed and Restless:
The relation between ADHD and the disregulation of eating.
How ADHD contributes to imbalanced eating is fundamentally unknown. Still, I will take a stab at outlining what I believe to be the primary contributing elements. This is based largely on over twelve years of working with clients with ADHD, obesity and binge eating.
At one level this relationship is a result of the fact that ADHD represents a problem with a central cognitive capacity which creates a distinct disadvantage in a great many situations. This is why such a high percentage of individuals with ADHD struggle with a variety of comorbid conditions including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, as well as increased difficulties with things like underemployment and marital discord.
A second key piece is understanding the experience of restlessness, which is tied to the problem of regulating emotions and arousal.
Want to be part of changing the way the world looks at women with ADHD? You can! My colleagues, Linda Roggli and Terry Matlen, have developed a ground-breaking online event and you are invited!
The Second Annual ADHD Women’s Palooza begins February 6th, and runs through February 11, 2017. It will be an extraordinary week of insight and answers exclusively for women with ADHD, presented by 36 ADHD Legends and Luminaries including: Dr. Ned Hallowell, Sari Solden, Dr. Russell Barkley, Dr. Thomas E. Brown, Free Registration Here
Being a woman with ADHD, I trusted her opinion.
Zoë first told us about Tim three or four years ago. A couple of years back, I finally met Dr. Bilkey as we were waiting at the airport, each heading home after an ADHD conference.
Dr. Bilkey and coauthor Dr. Craig Surman cleverly subtitled their book, How to Thrive If You Have ADHD (Or Think You Might) because what works for those of us who have the disorder will certainly benefit people who may struggle with some of the issues. What the doctors call ‘sub-clinical.’
And what are those issues? Well, F A S T M I N D S is an acronym, and it’s a condensed, concise catalog of the key issues we face:
- Achieving below potential
- Stuck in a rut
- Time challenged
- Motivationally challenged
- Novelty seeking
Enjoy! – Rick Green
Excerpt from FAST MINDS: How to Thrive if You Have ADHD (Or Think You Might), by Dr. Tim Bilkey and Dr. Craig Surman
Chapter 8: Feel Well; Function Well
ADHD colors every minute of her life when she’s awake, and even possibly when she’s asleep. Some people bound out of bed in the morning restored and full of energy. Not Rachel. She struggles to get to work by 9, despite three cups of coffee. The sinking feeling in her stomach that comes with realizing she slept through her second alarm clock – again – is all too familiar for her. The realization that she forgot to bring her lunch in with her is all too familiar also, as are the selections at the vending machine downstairs.
On a good day, she gets home in time to watch a show at 7 p.m. On a bad day, she doesn’t eat her microwave dinner until 9. She eventually gravitates from the TV to the computer – and somehow, she ends up going to bed too late again. The next morning, bleary-eyed, she has to drag herself through the first two hours of her day, until the third cup of coffee kicks in.
There is an unhealthy rhythm to the life of many people with FAST MINDS traits – a pattern where the needs of the person themselves are neglected. We see so many people managing to hold together one domain of their life, often work or school, and lacking dedicated time or energy for much else.
Additional information regarding Dr. Bilkey:
FAST MINDS: How to Thrive if you Have ADHD (Or Think You Might), by Dr. Tim Bilkey and Dr. Craig Surman, Harvard Health Publications, 2013
Her FAST MIND: An In Depth Look at ADHD as it Affects Women (DVD) 2012
ADHD Across the Lifespan (DVD) 2005
(DVDs available through Caversham Booksellers, Toronto, Canada)
Facebook: Bilkey ADHD Clinics
YouTube: DrBilkey’s Channel
By Elaine Taylor-Klaus (Parenting Coach, Co-Founder, ImpactADHD)
As parents, we tend to rely on the support of our “village” to help us raise our kids. We appreciate the give and take of a local support network. “Can I drop that off for you on my way home?” “Can you pick up this child for me?” It’s a kind of a dance. We learn to ask for help, and depend on each other.
But sometimes – all too often – your village doesn’t quite know what to do with your ADHD child, or with you. You find yourself bouncing from village to village, or sitting on the outside, looking for a way to fit in. Looking for a place for your child to feel understood, empowered or cherished. Sound familiar?
I WAS A VILLAGE HOPPER
For the first 10 years of my life as a parent, I tried one support network after another. I wanted other parents and schools to understand my children and their ADHD; but, truth be told, I didn’t really understand them that well, myself.
I mean, sure, I thought I did. But I didn’t fully grasp what I really needed to do, as a parent, to effectively support my children. It turns out, setting them up for a lifetime of success with ADHD requires a very different set of skills than just “regular-old-parenting.”
Now don’t get me wrong. I was doing my best to “treat” my children’s challenges with therapies and special programs. I was trying everything I could think of to help them. But I just didn’t know HOW to help them learn to MANAGE their ADHD.
And then, frankly, I lucked out. I accidentally learned the greatest secret of effective parenting for ADHD: THE CHANGES MY KIDS NEEDED MOST, STARTED WITH ME!
IT’S NOT ABOUT THEM. AT FIRST, ANYWAY.
When I started to learn the skills that would really help me manage MY fascinating, interesting and most-definitely ADHD children, a monumental change happened for my family. I learned to really understand the challenges my children were facing, and get strategies for coping and communicating more effectively – with everyone!
The results were pretty immediate. Less than a year into my journey, my then-9 year old child, with Dyslexia, anxiety & ADHD, actually said: “Thank you, mommy. Things are so much better around here.” I kid you not! I had become a much better parent to my ADHD children. And, truth be told, it wasn’t rocket science. I shifted my parenting to a coach-approach, including a solid diet of education & communication, and it made a world of difference!
I wish I could tell you that my husband immediately saw the wisdom of all that I was bringing to the family, and jumped right on the back of my band-wagon. Not so much – not right away. He eventually began to see what a difference the coach-approach was making in our kids’ lives, but he had been quite comfortable denying that ADHD (including his own) was largely responsible for the challenges we were facing, so he wasn’t in a hurry.
During that time, I learned another valuable lesson in family life with ADHD: all it takes is one parent to begin to turn the ship! Sure, it’s much easier when you’re both on board the same ship – or even in the same harbor. But it’s actually not critical. One parent can change the life of a child with ADHD. One parent can turn the tides.
THE GOOD NEWS? TAG, YOU’RE IT!
That one parent who makes the difference can be you.
But you will probably need support in order to do it.
In other words, you can be the one, but you’re not alone. Steven Jobs was the one. He didn’t do it alone.
Whatever else you believe about your “reality” right now – you might think it’s too late, or you need your spouse on board, or there’s just not enough money, or you’re not sure what to do or try – you can make a difference in how ADHD is managed in your family.
The choice is up to you!
You are part of a unique system of support here at TotallyADD.com. It’s like a “cyber-village” to get the education you need. So you’ve already taken the first step. But I want to encourage you to take the next step, to get training, along with coaching or therapy, to help you make real change for your family! Things will improve, dramatically, when you invest in yourself for the good of your child.
THAT’S WHAT I LEARNED. NOW IT’S WHAT I DO.
After searching for villages, I decided to create one. But like parenting, I couldn’t do it alone. With Diane Dempster, we created ImpactADHD.com, a parenting cyber-village, specifically for parents like ourselves, who want our kids with ADHD to thrive.
We support each other, and show parents how to take a coach-approach with their kids. We teach you strategies to help you manage in any challenging situation, and we encourage you to focus on the things that matter most of all, for you and your children. We help you really focus in on what you need to know to help your kids learn to master their ADHD. As Rick Green has said before, there’s lots you could learn about ADHD, the question is, what do you NEED to know?
Your child’s future is a wondrous world of opportunity. What village do you need – does your child need for you to have – to set her up for success? There is no need for you to wander, lost and alone. USE the village that understands and will support you and your family. And take advantage of that incredible give-and-take that happens when we parents lean on each other.
By Rick Green
There’s not a lot of good news in the media when it comes to ADHD.
But then, well, there’s not a lot of good news in the media period. Because, when things are working well, it’s not news. In my Balanced News rant, I talk about the reason why the news is always negative, and why increasingly, ‘If it bleeds, it leads.’ And that’s not going to change soon, I suspect.
Lisa Ling, the host of Our America, was diagnosed as having ADD.
Lisa has done some amazing and dangerous stories in her career, like fighting to have her sister rescued from North Korea, and covering the drug war in Columbia. But going public about her ADD, well, to me that takes courage.
She’s not the first reporter to be diagnosed with ADHD/ADD. In fact, when we were making ADD & Loving It?!, and more recently our video on The Perfect Career for ADHD, journalism is one of the fields that experts mentioned works for some ADD adults.
The difference is that Lisa Ling did a news report about it. She told the world. “This is me.”
Welcome to the Tribe, Lisa!
Bravo for having the courage to step forward. And bravo to the producers and OWN for running the story.
What’s so great is that every few weeks it seems another celebrity is talking about their ADHD. A month ago I read that Zooey Deschanel is quite open about using medication to manage her ADHD. Sports figures, columnists, comedians, business people… it’s terrific. Some are disclosing it, some mention it casually, a few go big. “This is me!”
As more and more public figures ‘come out’ and are loud and proud, it will be harder for people to dismiss this as a nonsense diagnosis. And that’s good for all of us. But it’s especially good for ADHD adults. Why?
Because when you know what’s going on, you have a chance to deal with it.
You have a better understanding of why you: don’t listen well, keep changing jobs, never stick with things, and can’t stand certain fabrics or tags on your clothes.
Knowing makes all the difference. And Lisa Ling’s courageous act of saying, “I have this,” will impact many other people. Especially, I suspect, women with ADHD. This will save lives. Careers. Marriages. If I hadn’t found out what was going on I’m pretty clear my second marriage would have gone the way of my first. Not good.
Knowing matters. It’s why Ava and I have made it our mission to spread the word. Education cuts through the tornado of mythology and ignorance around ADHD, and demolishes the stigma.
Telling Is Risky
But there are millions of people who can’t announce it to the world for fear of recourse. Who do you tell? Friends? Family? Coworkers? Your boss? Your employees? Your customers?
It’s tricky. Risky. Not because there’s something to be ashamed of, but simply because the vast majority of people still have no idea what ADHD is. And to be fair, the scientific community is still struggling to understand what it is.
So publicly acknowledging this diagnosis means you are not just dealing with your ADHD, you’re also dealing with everyone’s ignorance about ADHD. It can have serious repercussions and it’s why we don’t recommend it – not everyone around you may be supportive around you, especially at work for some folks.
Letting the cat out of the bag is easy. Trying to get the cat back in the bag? Not so much.
Here’s the thing to remember. You don’t have to disclose that you have ADHD. But you can certainly speak up when people say stuff that you know is wrong or ignorant. You can tell your boss, “I’m great at dealing with customers, but I need help with paperwork. In fact, if I can give my invoicing to someone who’s good at it, I can focus on sales and make you a lot of money.”
By the way, at an ADHD conference someone was telling me about a woman who had kids with ADHD and she only hired sales people who had ADHD, because she knew they would be great at it. She created systems to handle the stuff they didn’t do well, and they got to focus on where they excel.
Win-Win. In fact, Win-Win-Win-Win.
And Lisa Ling going public with her ADD diagnosis? Win – multiplied by the number of people who see her story.