You’re always winning

Photo by Japheth Mast on Unsplash

A few months ago, it occurred to me that we experience small wins every day. We also experience missteps, mistakes and gaffes (or what we perceive to be) every day. We either quickly recover from those, or we obsess over them. It’s our choice.

Here’s some insight: The brain intended to focus on the negative. It’s called “negativity bias”, thought to be an adaptive evolutionary function to keep us alert and safe from predators.

Examples of negativity bias include

  1. People pay more attention to and are more interested in negative news in…

It’s easy to forget that you have work to do when all is well

Image by Snap_it from Pixabay

Depression is an awful, useful scourge.

Depression is awful. There is no disputing that.

A new perspective of depression recently occurred to me during one of my low days. I decided that while depression is uncomfortable and often quite intense, it is useful to me.

Depression reminds me I’m carrying around a lot of junk in my psyche. It notifies me of the layers and years of accumulated trauma.

“You think the trauma is all healed? Think again, woman,” admonishes depression.

If you’ve watched the most recent season of Big Mouth, perhaps your inner depression voice sounds like Jean Smart — the voice of Depression Kitty.

I recently had an “a-ha” moment.

As an ADHD mentor with ADHD myself, I’m continuously learning about the condition. I’m aware that ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) share symptoms.

I recently heard an example that stopped me in my tracks, literally. I was listening to a podcast while out for a run. It wasn’t a podcast about ADHD or ASD.

Pete Holmes had Hannah Gadsby on his podcast, You Made It Weird. One comedian interviewing another.

Masking autism

In speaking about the differences between ASD in boys and girls and her own experiences, Gadsby — diagnosed only four years ago —…

Image by the author, using Canva

Do I have ADHD?

I answer a lot of questions about ADHD in online forums. Questions are often variations of “I [have symptom]. Does that mean I have ADHD?”

The answer: I don’t know. Maybe, maybe not.

ADHD Stranger danger

When I answer, I note that it’s dangerous for strangers on the internet to diagnose or prescribe. It’s also irresponsible. It’s irresponsible for you to ask for health advice and it’s irresponsible for others to provide it.

No one who doesn’t know you should diagnose or prescribe without any sort of assessment. …

Here's another perspective: You never know what will resonate with people. I have found - and others have agreed with me - that sometimes the blog posts and social media that I feel most connected to don't catch on; yet a casual remark Ior a piece of writing that I think is mediocre, gets traction.

Those moments that haunt people with ADHD for years

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

I was in grade 7 shop class. The teacher was explaining how to make a spice rack. I tuned out, likely daydreaming. I didn’t hear anything he said. When Mr. “What’s His Name” was done instructing, I had no idea what I was supposed to do or how to start. None.

It was time to start grabbing wood and tools. Embarrassment and shame took over. I panicked. I felt sick. I was disoriented. The teacher reacted with sarcasm, obviously ill-equipped for the situation. For months, one classmate mocked me about it. “I’m nauseous!” he’d whine. This triggered panic in emotionally…

Image by Mark Filter from Pixabay

When I was 20, someone close to me had a fatal accident. In wishing me condolences, several people told me, “I know how you feel,” shared, “I know how you feel, I [insert example of loss from their life]” or, blathered my (not) favourite, “I know exactly how you feel.”

It was their way of empathizing and relating. I understand that now, and I understood it then. Still, each time I wanted to respond to their politeness with an impolite two-word expletive that ends in “you.”

[I’ll let you think about that for a moment.]

I wouldn’t do it, but…

Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

Oh, ADHD and emotions.

Do you find yourself in full meltdown mode when emotions are released?

Do you show your emotions easily? Do people perceive you as aloof when really, you feel deeply?

Are your emotions easily triggered?

You are not alone. According to Psychology Today, about 70% of adults report problems with anger or emotion as part of their ADHD.

If you have ADHD, letting emotions out can be like turning on a spigot.

The emotions come and then they keep flowing. It can be overwhelming.

Sometimes we cut ourselves off emotionally. We act detached. Really, it’s a method…

You’re an adult with ADHD. Are you ready for an ADHD Thanksgiving?

Do you find holidays such as Thanksgiving overwhelming?

In Canada, we celebrated Thanksgiving last month, but Americans are getting into the holiday season. It will look different this year because of Covid. This post is written as if it’s a “normal” year. Take what applies and leave the rest until next year.

Thanksgiving (and other holidays) can be a challenge for people with ADHD, and ADHD symptoms are quite evident on thanksgiving. ADHD symptoms that usually lie dormant might flare up.

Here’s how you might experience Thanksgiving as…

This question was asked in an online group. One thing that fascinates me about questions and answers in online forums is that there are so many unique perspectives.

I liked this question because I’d never heard it before, and it was an interesting correlation to think about. It was a refreshing change from “Do you think I have ADHD?” ( I don’t know, Google the symptoms or make an appointment with an expert.) and “Should I take [insert medication here]?” ( I don’t know. Ask your doctor. It’s dangerous for people on the internet to answer questions such as this…

Andrea Toole

Digital Marketing Manager | Freelance Writer | ADHD Coach for adults | Available for hire.

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