Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADD
Hope you are having a warm winter down under.
I suspect that every member on this site can recognize some aspects of their own stories in what you’re going through. It’s a familiar pattern.
At a number of the ADHD conferences I have attended people have talked about how hard it is to get a proper diagnosis in Australia, how it is dismissed, and so on. I’ve also heard a few people say they have found help. Though I apologize for not being able to remember any specifics.
Have you done a lot of reading on ADHD? Have you watched videos?
Some suggestions. First, before you try to change your parents opinion, which sounds like a long shot at the moment, learn as much as you can about ADHD.
Take the Virtual Doctor test on our site, read about it, learn what it is, figure out what particular challenges you have. Some people are not that restless or impulsive but really struggle with focus. Others may have problems with Dyslexia, or over-sensitivity, procrastination, losing things…
The second thought would be to look at your parents, at both branches of your family tree, mom’s and dad’s sides of the family, and see if you spot anyone who has struggled with this in their lives. It looks different in adults. Sometimes the ADHD is due to a specific issue, a head injury perhaps, but the vast majority of us came by this mindset fair and square through our family’s genes.
If you find someone who has struggled with uneven attention, restlessness, impulsivity, and memory issues, talk to them. Perhaps get them to take some of the tests and watch some of the videos.
Third, suggestion: though this is difficult to do on your own, start adopting some of the strategies that work for ADHD folks and see if they make a difference for you. If so, that’s good, right?
Perhaps get copies of some of the better books and read up so you know what works. And you can explain what this is in a way that doesn’t have people dismiss it as a bunch of non-sense.
Trying to argue with people never works. Believe me, I know. But when you start making changes and seeing results, you may be on firmer ground in dealing with the dismissal of other folks. And do keep in mind, you may not have ADHD. And people are dismissive because, well, there was a lot of bad, harmful, and misleading stuff written about ADHD in the past.
It’s getting better. And I’m thrilled to be a huge part of bringing awareness to people, but for every person who gets it, there are still a dozen who don’t. It’s going to be ongoing.
Fourth suggestion: Get exercise. Hugely helpful according to many of the doctors we speak to. It doesn’t eliminate ADHD, but it can be hugely helpful with focus and restlessness. Read John Ratey’s book Spark.
Fifth suggestion: Try mindfulness meditation. More and more studies are showing it helps reduce the symptoms, and a recent study out of Harvard says it actually changes the brain.
Last suggestion: don’t start using marijuana to ‘self-medicate.’ Last week a doctor pointed out to me that the ONLY disorder that marijuana may help some conditions, and make no difference for others, but there is one disorder where it is actually counter productive, or what the doctors call ‘counter indicated’. And that’s ADHD. The marijuana can reduce anxiety, which makes regular users feel less stressed, and feel like they are better at focussing, but the studies show that that feeling they have is just a feeling. The studies show marijuana actually lowers memory.
Do these suggestions help?REPORT ABUSE