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. …

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.

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…

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

I’ve recently gotten a bunch of new followers, so I want to share some of my favourite and best performing posts.

From 2018

I’m Just One Voice But Need to Speak Up

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about George Floyd and the racism that permeated long before that incident. I don’t want to say the wrong thing. I don’t want to pretend to comprehend an experience I’ve never had. I don’t want to make it about me.

Furthermore, I’m only one person with few followers on my social media accounts. Does my voice even matter?

As a white female, I sometimes wonder if and how I contribute to society’s problems that seemingly have nothing to do with me. Still, it has to do with us all. …

To all the moms, moms-to-be and those missing their moms

Image by Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay

Motherhood is a role I’ve wussed (I mean, opted) out of for many reasons, including that it seems like a lot of work to raise humans who talk back, defy and have the potential to break your heart continuously. Raising children seems like a test of wills, and an investment that begins during — sometimes before — pregnancy through teenage years and beyond. Parenthood takes great strength.

I love children and think that conception & birth are miraculous but they’re not in my plan.

The additional work that parents have experienced this year is especially impressive to me. I initially…

Andrea Toole

Digital Marketing Manager | Freelance Writer | ADHD Coach for adults | Available for hire. http://andreawrites.ca.

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