Today I address a sensitive topic: ADHD.
They call it Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. But I don’t like the word disorder. You are not broken. You just process differently. In a good way. Maybe not the way your boss at work understands. But in a good way.
I hope you realize ten things
Dr. Edward Hallowell used to say that people with ADHD have a Ferrari engine for a brain, and bicycle brakes. Your brain is amazing, almost constantly racing, but you need to develop better brakes.
Here are some hints.
- You might suffer from PTSD. When you were a child, adults may have said and done cruel things to you. They were very frustrated by your behavior. Maybe they were trying to manage 30 other kids in a classroom. Please forgive them. But also realize that it did hurt. You might be suffering from an actual disorder, affecting your behavior.
For example, ADHD makes it difficult to do difficult things. So you might avoid them. And because of a history of public shaming, doing difficult things is even more difficult.
(Recently, PTSD became a term that people throw around to describe a stressful event. That is unfortunate. It is a serious condition so we should not treat it flippantly.)
- Don’t give in or give up. Don’t say “this is just the way I am.” That ignores your potential. The world needs your awesomeness.
- Don’t try to mimic the work flow of a non-ADHD person. I spent years trying to be a person I admired. He was so organized and orderly. I was disappointed in myself when I couldn’t be the same way. That made me unhappy.
- You don’t need to be the class clown anymore. In the past, maybe, you developed a role to cope with your weaknesses. Maybe it was a cover. But now you can take off the class clown hat. Toss it aside.
- Seek advice from others who have been down the same road. Other people have similar experiences, and they can share coping mechanisms.
- Be nice to yourself. ADHD is both a weakness and a strength. Remember the way adults used to talk to you as a disorganized child. Are you talking to yourself that way?
- Find your strengths. This is a super difficult task. But it is the most important thing you can do.
- Marry a patient person. Don’t marry someone like your third grade teacher, who was always frustrated with you. Find someone who will do the tasks you can’t do. Find someone who helps you focus on your strengths.
- Read more about ADHD. Dr. Hallowell’s website (www.drhallowell.com) has some good topics. Or you could read one of his books.
Keep fighting. Stay in the game. But play by your rules.
::: Be fierce. Be kind. Be knowledge-hungry :::
My name is Brock. I teach principles of self-directed learning to help all adults, I focus on those with learning challenges (ADHD, dyslexia, language barriers, Auditory Processing Disorder, etc.). I teach you how to teach yourself to succeed.
People with learning challenges want to make a unique contribution to the world. They are often super smart.
But they can be exhausted by a lifetime of completing tasks by sheer willpower. A lifetime of belittling by teachers, parents, and bosses can leave them traumatized.
I combine research, personal experience, and interview output. Leave a comment and push me if I forget a source reference.
I try to keep sentences short. But warning: the language alternates between academic and gritty.
My intention is not to sell you vitamin supplements or to recruit you into my MLM group. I just want you to reach your potential.