After being diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), I went through several stages before coming to full acceptance of the disorder. I don't know what it is about life after an official diagnosis, but I experienced everything from liberating aha moments to depression and despair. Everyone processes their emotions differently post-diagnosis—so I thought it would be helpful to share my timeline for those who've been recently diagnosed and/or struggling. The stages are listed in the order they were experienced.
Social rejection hurts me much more than I would like. I'm sensitive, and therefore I experience all emotions to a greater a degree. Everything from joy to depression can sometimes be overwhelming. And it's that tendency to experience emotions so strongly that keeps me from revealing parts of myself that I've labeled "unlovable."
I learned how to trick my brain by accident. You see, several years ago (before my attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis), to lose the weight I gained from my second pregnancy, I went on a diet. After learning the ins and outs of nutrition, I began meal prepping and working out four times a week, with only one caveat—Wednesday was "cheat" day. My weekly 10-piece nugget meal accompanied by a medium, mountain berry Powerade was the absolute highlight of my week. However, once Thursday hit, I was back to my daily egg whites, chicken, and broccoli.
I hate to say it, but my mental health hasn't changed much since the recent COVID-19 outbreak. Despite working directly with COVID-19 patients as a healthcare worker, lack of protective personnel equipment (PPE), and a limited supply of masks—my attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) remains intact.
Finding a balance between busyness and idleness is hard for those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some with ADHD keep their active brains too busy, sometimes resulting in burnout. Other ADHDers find it difficult to accomplish anything and consider themselves to be lazy underachievers. Many with the condition swing between both, overachieving one minute and dropping the ball the next. I would like to talk about why we struggle with this juggling act and what steps to take when finding a balance in our lives with ADHD.
Both children and adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are more prone to getting into accidents than the average person. Someone I know who has ADHD almost fell off of a climbing wall and later flipped onto his helmeted head from a bicycle, both during gym class. Several studies have shown that drivers with ADHD are perhaps 50% more likely to get into car accidents than those without the condition.1 There are a number of reasons for these results, and, fortunately, a few things that can be done to address these risks.
Around half of the children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also have oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).1 Oppositional defiant disorder is considered a childhood disorder and is a hard diagnosis to grasp, so here I will address a few of my own questions about the condition: What is ODD? How does it develop? What is ODD's connection to ADHD? Can it occur in adults? Most importantly, how can it be treated?
Writing with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) poses a challenge to both children and adults living with the disorder. Many with ADHD struggle with dysgraphia, a learning disorder that makes writing difficult on several levels. Problems range from the physical act of writing to organizing essays. After discussing ADHD and creativity in my last post, I wanted to go into more depth about why writing with ADHD can be so hard and what we can do about it.
Successfully treating attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults involves a lot of trial and error. Though I wish that choosing the best ADHD treatments were a simple one-off, finding the right medication, therapy, and coping skills requires perseverance and adaptability. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment. Unfortunately, this process is often counterintuitive for those with ADHD, so I will provide a few tips for coming to terms with the day-to-day necessity of trial and error for successfully treating ADHD in adults.
People with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) tend to have problems sleeping, even though good sleep helps reduce ADHD symptoms. It's a cycle—insomnia worsens the same adult ADHD symptoms that make it difficult to sleep. Why do people with ADHD frequently suffer from sleep deprivation, and is there anything we can do about it?