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Archive for June, 2012

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Explaining ADHD to a Child

If you’re a parent of a child with ADHD, you may have asked yourself, “How should I explain to my child that he has ADHD? Should I tell his brothers and sisters? My parents? School. The basic answer to the question of how to explain ADHD to others is, be honest. ADHD should never be a secret. Secrets imply there is something to hide, something to be ashamed of. ADHD is nothing to be ashamed of, any more than waring eyeglasses is something to be ashamed of. Siblings, grandarents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and the school should all know about ADHD. The key here is education. you, the parent, should learn enough about ADHD to be able to explain it to your child and the rest of your family.

More about ADHD and Parenting @ http://www.drhallowell.com/add-adhd/add-parenting/


Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Promoting HOPE in ADHD

Most people who discover they have ADHD, whether they be children or adults, have suffered a great deal of pain. The emotional experience of ADHD is filled with embarrassment, humiliation, and self-castigation. By the time the diagnosis is made, many people with ADHD have lost confidence in themselves. Many have consulted with numerous specialists, only to find no real help. As a result, many have lost hope.

So the most important step at the beginning of treatment is to instill hope once again. Individuals with ADHD may have forgotten what is good about themselves. They may have lost, long ago, any sense of the possibility of things working out. They are often locked in a kind of tenacious holding pattern, bringing all theory, considerable resiliency, and ingenuity just to keeping their heads above water. It is a tragic loss, the giving up on life too soon. But many people with ADHD have seen no other way than repeated failures. To hope, for them, is only to risk getting knocked down once more.

And yet, their capacity to hope and to dream is immense. More than most people, individuals with ADHD have visionary imaginations. They think big thoughts and dream big dreams. They can take the smallest opportunity and imagine turning it into a major break. They can take a chance encounter and turn it into a grand evening out. They thrive on dreams, and they need organizing methods to make sense of things and keep them on track.

But like most dreamers, they go limp when the dream collapses. Usually, by the time the diagnosis of ADHD has been made, this collapse has happened often enough to leave them wary of hoping again. The little child would rather stay silent than risk being taunted once again. The adult would rather keep his mouth shut than risk flubbing things up once more. The treatment, then, must begin with hope. 

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

ADHD is not your fault!

Most people who discover they have ADHD, whether they be children or adults, have suffered a great deal of pain. The emotional experience of ADHD is filled with embarrassment, humiliation, and self-castigation. By the time the diagnosis is made, many people with ADHD have lost confidence and blame themselves.  It’s important to remember, however, that ADHD is NOT your fault or the effect of bad parenting.  ADHD is a neuropsychiatric condition. It is genetically transmitted. It is caused by biology, by how your brain is wired.  It is NOT a disease of the will, nor a moral failing.  It is NOT caused by a weakness in character, nor by a failure to mature.  Its cure is not to be found in the power of the will, nor in punishment, nor in sacrifice, nor in pain. ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS.  Try as they might, many people with ADHD have great trouble accepting the syndrome as being rooted in biology rather than weakness of character.

So if your blaming yourself for having ADHD, remind yourself right now: “IT’S  NOT MY FAULT,” and I encourage you to:

  1. Educate yourself.  You need to learn what ADHD is and what it isn’t.  Perhaps the single most powerful treatment for ADHD is understanding ADHD in the first place. You need to understand what a positive attribute ADD can be in your life. So read books.  Talk with professionals. Talk with other adults who have ADHD. You need to understand ADHD well enough to embrace it so you don’t blame yourself. You need to realize that while it may be holding you back right now, in time, with the right help, it can propel you to the fulfillment of your dreams.
  2. Try Coaching.  It can be helpful for to have a coach, for some person near you to keep after you, but always with humor. Your coach can help you get organized, stay on task, give you encouragement or remind you to get back to work. Friend, colleague, or therapist (it is possible, but risky for your coach to be your spouse), a coach is someone to stay on you to get things done, exhort you as coaches do, keep tabs on you, and in general be in your corner. A coach can be tremendously helpful in treating ADHD.
  3. Consider joining or starting a support group. Much of the most useful information about ADHD has not yet found its way into books but remains stored in the minds of the people who have ADHD. In groups this information can come out. Plus, groups are really helpful in giving the kind of support that is so badly needed.

Your habit of blaming yourself for having ADHD will not change overnight, but in time through education, coaching and therapy, you will realize that ADHD is not your fault!


Thursday, June 21st, 2012

ADHD and Anger

Anger is a big problem for most adults with ADHD. Instead of waiting for the situation to arise in which you get angry and perhaps become destructive, try developing stragegies for dealing with anger in advance and work on ways of reducing the anger and frustration you carry around with you. These methods might include:

  • Frequent exercise to work off stress
  • Control of substance use so that you do not lower your level of self-control with drugs like alcohol or cocaine.
  • Regular practice of meditation or prayer.
  • Getting a reasonable amount of sleep every night.
  • Psychotherapy or coaching to learn how to put feelings into words instead of action

Of course, anger can get the better of everyone from time to time, whether you have ADHD or not. When it gets the best of you, however,  accept the human inevitability of messing up and do not let the sinking feeling of here-we-go-again devastate you.  Instead, learn from the experience and say,  “I messed up. I apologize. Let me make it right.”

Good article in Attitude Magazine on Don’t Let Your ADD Get You Down.



Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Blaming ADHD?

If you have a tendency to hide behind your ADHD,  let me stress that ADHD is not an excuse for anything and it should never be used as one. It may be an explanation for certain behavior, but it cannot excuse any behavior. If you tell a traffic cop who stops you for speeding that you have ADHD, he will still give you the speeding ticket.   If you tell your boss you have ADHD, you will still be expected to work. If you tell your spouse or partner that you have ADHD, he/she will still expect you to pay attention to him/her. The demands of everyday life do not yield to the diagnosis of ADHD.  It is up to the individual with ADHD to adjust to the demands of everyday life.

However, you can and should use your knowledge of ADHD to make your life go more smoothly. Avoid getting the speeding ticket by using your knowledge that you have a taste for high speed and deliberately drive more slowly. Talk to your boss about your ADHD and work out a plan so you adapt better to our workplace. Come to an understanding with your “significant other” so he/she can use hand signals or verbal cues to bring you back when you tune out or involuntarily cease paying attention. These are examples of using your knowledge of ADHD not as an excuse but proactively, to prevent problems before they occur.

If you have a child with ADHD, the same principle applies: ADHD is an explanation, not an excuse.  Most kids, once they catch on to what ADHD is, they go through a phase of trying to use it as an excuse.  So caution the child not to use ADD as an excuse. They still have to take responsibility for what they do.

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

The Shocking Medical Condition Ruining Your Marriage: ADHD

With Dr Oz!

Seventy-five percent of men with ADHD go undiagnosed. If you recognize the warning signs in your spouse, learn ways to cope.

Watch the video…

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