ADHD: Create your Best Life, as Unique as You Are

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Personalized Strategies Work WITH your ADHD brainADHD is complex and different for each person. There’s a saying among ADHD professionals, “If you’ve seen one case of ADHD, you’ve seen one case of ADHD.” Although there are similarities of symptoms, no two cases are the same.  In the same vein, there are no simple answers to effectively treating individual cases. Types of medication and dosages vary according to personal responses.

Another common saying is, “Pills don’t teach skills.” Developing these skills and systems must also be crafted for to meet individual needs. It’s also important to note that ADHD is a chronic condition that can be managed but not cured. A number of non-medical interventions have been found to be useful.

It’s important to remember that successful treatment doesn’t mean you can correct everything that’s affecting your ability to cope. Addressing your challenges can only take you so far. At some point, you must realize that your goal is not to be “normal” but to do “enough” with what you have, warts and all.

It’s about accepting yourself and making good decisions based on what you do naturally, without the struggle. As ADHD coach David Giwerc says, “Your job is to discover the options that naturally work for you and integrate them into your daily life.”

I’m learning to accept how ADHD and bipolar disorder affect my world and develop those strategies that allow me to express myself, live without stress, AND be happy in my work. As the song goes, I did it MY way.” But all of us are uniquely ourselves and must follow our own path to happiness.

ADDulting with ADHD: Avoiding ADHD Life Hacks Overwhelm by Coach Lou Brown

We are all beautifully unique, no ‘one size fits all’ life hacks actually exist….”

“The trick is to get to know your ADHD, your likes, and dislikes as well as your strengths and challenges. And to then use this knowledge to work out which life hacks may work for you and your unique brain wiring, before giving one a go.”

Self-Advocacy for ADHD: Know Yourself (Includes tools for discovering your strengths).

Tools for self-discovery. Advocate for yourself by using your strengths to meet your challenges. Leading with your strengths rather than struggling to overcome your weakness allows you to fully express yourself in new ways. It’s about accepting yourself and making good decisions based on what you do naturally, without the struggle. Self- advocacy involves asking for help to support your own efforts.

  Encouraging Self-Advocacy in Teens  is also helpful and appropriate for ages eight and up and 8 Tips to Help you be your Child’s Advocate by Mary Fowler is for getting your child’s needs met at school.

 All three articles encourage you to:

  •  Name your challenges both at home and at work.
  • Identify the situations when problems are most likely to show up.
  • Know exactly what your strengths are. Your values, talents, and skills all contribute to forming your personal strengths.
  • Develop strategies that reshape how you approach life.

Exactly WHAT TO DO is another matter. The next articles offer a myriad of ideas that may INDEED be overwhelming. But keep in mind that they are only lists of ideas that have worked for other people, both with and without ADHD. Instead, you MUST make these ideas work for YOU. What helps others may be useless for you.

ADHD at Home and Work: 46 Small Steps to Save Time  by Coach and Organizer Sue Fay Working with Executive Functioning ChallengesWest

No big overhauls. Just tips to simplify your life. Categories include:  Working with Executive Functioning Challenges, Tips For home and work as well as Finances, Time, and Self-care. 

Time management: It’s a Family Affair by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M., ACAC adds:

“Effective time management skills are essential to all adults and children. By becoming proactive in how you approach time you can make a noticeable and systemic difference in the in your life and the lives of your family members.”

Addressing your challenges can only take you so far. In “The Secrets of the ADHD Brain,” William Dodson, M.D. suggests that you write your own rules. The ADHD nervous system is activated by things or tasks that are interesting, challenging, or urgent. Rather than focus on where you fall short, you need to identify how you get into the zone. At some point, you must realize that your goal is not to be “normal” but to do “enough” with what you have, warts and all. As Ned Hallowell, M.D. recommends in ADDitude Magazine:

• Do what you’re good at.
• Don’t go it alone.
• Ask for Advice.
• Get organized “enough” to get by….”

This may seem like an awful lot to do, but it truly is worth the effort. We are all deserving of love and the best treatment available. Addressing one thing at a time goes a long way. Take the first step.

All the best for you and your family,

Joan

Featured Videos:

They Don’t Know   (6-minutes) Building ADHD Awareness from Singing for Superheroes – “They Don’t Know” stars DeMarcus Ware, his two sons, Snoop Dogg, and Steven Battey.

“They don’t know… how much you go through. They don’t know the truth. You’re not alone. There’s someone just like you. If you give me your hand, I’ll hold it all the way. No need to be ashamed. You’re going to change the world someday…”

 

Let Me Be Your Camera – Understanding ADHD and Executive Function What happens on a movie set when the director keeps falling asleep? (2 1/2 minutes)

Picture credits:

Title: (Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhoto.net) Modified on Canva

Self-Advocacy “Image courtesy of ponsulak/FreeDigitalPhoto.net” Modified on Canva.com

ADHD at Home and Work: 46 Small Steps to Save Time (Photo courtesy of twobee/FreeDigitalPhoto.net) Modified on Canva.com

ADDulting with ADHD: Avoiding Life Hack Overwhelm (Photo courtesy of Supertrooper/FreeDigitalPhoto.net) Modified on Canva.com

Resources:

The ADHD Brain: Unraveling the secrets of your ADD Nervous Systemby Dr. Dodson

Seven Daily Habits to Close the “Success Gap” by Ned Hallowell