A reader commented on a recent blog of mine, "I never really knew what ADHD was until my daughter said she thinks she has it. That was last week. Since then I've taken every online quiz I can find, and every quiz tells me I have it." We've all been there. A friend, loved one, or colleague raises the possibility. Perhaps we read an article. Curious, we watch a few videos. We're surprised, "That's ADHD?" Concerned, we take a couple of online quizzes and the alarm bells get louder... TRANSCRIPT
Hi I'm Rick Green. I want to highlight a comment that was posted by Midwest gal on my blog 'Disclosure: Should I Keep My ADHD a Secret?' let's go through this one line at a time.
First of all welcome to the club or tribe or gang. I was a middle-aged man when i found out. Common to find out in adulthood. Let me guess your first reaction was 'oh this is me? this is this is me?' eventually you'll get to that point where it's 'oh if only I'd known sooner'
Ya, no, there are these subtypes, my son is quiet,thoughtful, funny, but he's not leaping around. Inside maybe, but that's a different matter. Those of us who were hyper as kids usually learn ways to hide it as adults, we internalize it, we may be sitting in a meeting like this but inside we're going 'oh God hurry up hurry up hurry up speak faster cause this is so boring'
So I want to acknowledge you Midwest gal 'I never really knew what it was' when a person can say that and share it online they've taken a huge step not knowing is great cuz that's easy to fix. It's the people who already know and know what I know, those are the ones who are doomed. I think everyone is shocked to discover that it's not what they thought it was. Even the name isn't right
attention-deficit? No. If it's any comfort and I don't know how it could be even the scientists aren't really sure what this is I mean the brain is so complex the disorders that are there they all run into each other and overlap. 20 genes have been identified that are associated with ADHD hundreds more are being studied. No wonder everyone is different it's, it's a spectrum.
Well they indicate that you might have it. At some point you're gonna need a proper diagnosis.
In fact you could argue that everyone does have ADHD just not as much as you, at least I assume everyone has some of these traits now and then, don't know, maybe there are people who never forget what they're doing, who always finish what they start, who never procrastinate, are totally
organized, and know exactly where their phone, keys, purse, wallet and... spouse are.
Think of it like say shyness. We can all be shy at times but for a few people it's a case of often or almost always, and we might call them introverted we might label them bashful, label them timid, soft-spoken, unassertive, not just shy but what about painfully shy? When something is painful it's a problem and the problem is worth addressing.
Right, but why? That's a question to ask. Why? Do they vow every morning I'm gonna be a better manager than the gal from the Midwest. Do you start your day by choosing to have an un-managed life? No, it's happening despite your best efforts despite your best intentions despite knowing what's
coming . So why is it happening? What's the cause? How about this, what if other people are better at managing their lives because they have more of the mental fuel, they have more of the neurotransmitters, the dopamine the Norepinephrine, that a person, any person, needs to stick with tasks, to stay focused, to shut out the distractions, to finish the boring stuff ,to plan long-term, or remember where they put their keys. Instead of dealing with these vague character flaws of timid or bookish let's get practical. Don't, maybe tell your daughter and at some your Doctor.
But I want to acknowledge that is not what you said to your daughter, you were willing to look into it, and if it's any comfort that's the response I got. I suspect it's the response that everyone gets from somebody, somewhere, at some point, as they move through this. By the way everybody thinks they know it is. They know what they've heard and as you admit you thought it was just manic people. When you know better you do better. Yeah, could be. It runs in families it's highly heritable. Everyone said I reminded them of my dad and my grandfather was on the British Music Hall stage doing comedy over a century ago. So it runs in families. I only found out because my son was diagnosed and when I looked at the symptoms I went, like you, Oh oh. Only if you tell everyone.
Very wise but at some point you might want to share it with a doctor or a therapist or a coach.
Suggestion. Do a bit of both a little balance, because this is a lot to take in. I've got what? You need breaks to process it all and and do take notes along the way what you realize the insight you have. If you're watching a video watch it several times not necessarily in a row but maybe come back to it a month later, six months later. Some people buy our videos (TotallyADD.com) and then watch them once a year, just to remind themselves, the whole family gathers around. Well hold it. Until now that's what you've always done, and you know no wonder you did the best you knew how, but now you know more, you know better what's going on with you, and you're just gonna keep peeling away more and more layers of the onion. As I said 18 years in and I'm still going 'oh yeah right'. Don't be too hard on yourself. At some point you've found the time to have a child and provide her with tens of thousands of meals and clean clothes every day and... okay maybe not on the weekends.
Priorities. Well maybe this is a bit of a priority, but being able to let go and step away that's the challenge. We get into that hyper focus. You can see why ADHD can overlap with obsessive compulsive disorder. We end up like a dog with a bone. Suggestion. You may find ways to use that
hyper-focus to your advantage that takes some training and a lot of awareness. As Dr. Hallowell famously says you have a Ferrari engine with model-t brakes, and just knowing that is crucial, but of course nothing changes unless you usethe knowledge. A coach can help. A support group can help, and you want to get information.
Some suggestions, if you're stuck on stigma and fear or the people around you don't believe it's real I recommend 'ADD & Loving It?!', that one changes minds. If you're wanting to get it handled there are dozens of great strategies in 'ADD & Mastering It!' so - to you Midwest gal with the midlife ADHD,
thank you for writing. I acknowledge your courage and good luck. Oh and thanks to my wife for reading your letter. I was wondering why you sounded so much like her. Hope you enjoyed that video. We enjoyed making it, so even if you didn't it was still good, but if you did enjoy please like share and of course subscribe to the channel, and if you can become a subscriber to https://Patreon.com/TotallyADD at any amount. it makes all the difference in allowing us to be independent. Well I'm still married.
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