2019, October 03

Mental Wellness Challenge

October 3, 2019

Before I get going to much into my challenge for this week, I’d like to recap a little about last weeks challenge and check in with you on how things went.

Last week I challenged you to “change your perspective”, to count your blessings and to be mindful about if/how you compare your situation to that of others. We all have “handfuls” of talents and blessings and we have different circumstances. I know that I am a healthier and happier me when I consider my blessings. I recognize that this isn’t always an easy piece to do… at least it isn’t for me…

I hope that you were able to appreciate your “handfuls” and that your perspective shifted, even a little bit, to one of a half cup full rather than empty. I know mine did.

October is ADHD awareness month. Since I have ADHD, I’d like to spend some space this month sharing some of my experiences with the disorder and a little about what ADHD is for me.

https://caddac.ca/adhd/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/What-You-Need-to-Know-About-ADHD_Final.pdf

The link above directs to a document produced by CADDAC, the Center for ADHD Awareness, Canada. It’s a decent resource for a first blush on the presentation, symptoms, and a little bit on treatment for ADHD in adults.

My diagnosis of ADHD came at the early age of 55. I went through most of my life dealing with what was thought to be a primary anxiety disorder. Turns out, the anxiety disorder was really untreated ADHD.

There are three basic subtypes of ADHD. There’s attention deficit subtype, hyperactivity subtype and then combined type. My diagnosis is the third type, combined.

While I do experience the hyperactive piece as an adult, I tend to have attention problems more now, as an adult. My adult experience is one where my mind simply doesn’t stop. Period. If I am not on a task that keeps my focus, my mind races/bounces from an item I am supposed to be focussing on to ANY LITTLE STIMULS that happens by.

I used to ask my spouse what she was thinking about… and her reply would be “oh, nothing”. I just don’t get it. My head is ALWAYS on, I am always thinking about this or that or that or maybe something else. It doesn’t stop.

The other side of that little coin is my “ability” to hyperfocus. If I am working on task, a task that I am into, time doesn’t exist. I have been known to work on solving a problem for tens of hours. Skipping meals, ignoring conversation – just zeroed in on what ever it is I was working on. 20 hours would go by and I would simply have lost all track of time.

This inattention, hyperfocus brain of mine caused some considerable chaos in my adult life. In the early stages of my treatment/awareness, I was required to map out – in as granular detail as possible – my “life story”. Jobs I’d had, life events that took place, good things, bad things, changes in jobs, etc. When I looked back at my working life there’s a pattern. Start a job, excel at the job, get bored with the job, and leave the job and move on to another job. This pattern was repeated over and over and over in my life. I chalked it up to just being a ball in the pinball game of life. In reality – this was a presentation of my ADHD.

I’ll share more about my ADHD throughout the month of October.

My challenge to you.

  1. Learn something about Adult ADHD. Read the article that I linked to, watch a youtube piece on it or maybe talk to someone who had the disorder.
  2. Share what you have learned about Adult ADHD with a family member, friend or colleague.

That’s it.

I challenge you!