ADD Consults

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ADD Goes to the Airport

Posted on November 18, 2014

flustered woman

 

I just got back from the CHADD Conference in Chicago, where I presented on two topics: one for women with ADHD and one for parents with ADHD raising kids with ADHD.

I’ve now been working in the field of ADHD in one way or another for nearly 20 years. I’ve written two books. I’ve given many presentations locally and all around the country. I’ve been a guest on NPR, been interviewed for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Redbook, and more. I have a zillion websites on ADHD (my main ones are at www.ADDconsults.com and www.QueensOfDistraction.com).

So wouldn’t you think that I’d have a pretty good handle on my own ADD? If you could see the clutter on my desk from where I’m sitting right this minute, you’d probably say- what? What’s up with this? How can you tell ME how to mange clutter when yours is pretty out of control?

Well, I have a secret for you. Most of us ADD “experts” still struggle with clutter, procrastination, time management and all the rest. But there’s a difference: for the most part, we’ve moved on from hanging our heads in shame over it. We’ve learned coping methods. We’ve learned to forgive ourselves and realize…hey…we will get to the piles (or whatever) and until then, we aren’t going to call ourselves lazy, unfit or incapable. I’m telling you this because we ALL have our ADD “moments”- even those of us who have ADD and are psychotherapists, coaches, writers, etc.

Let me tell you a little story about how my ADD blew up in my face only three days ago.

When flying home from the Chicago CHADD conference to my home in the Detroit area, I had a horrific ADD experience at O’Hare Airport. Lately, I haven’t been asked to remove my coat, shoes, belt, phone, laptop, etc. while flying- I just get swept through the scanner and go on my way.

On Sunday, however, the security regime changed and I was told to take off my shoes and coat before heading into the x-ray machine thingie. That right there threw me off. But I did as I was told and once through the machine, the TSA fellow with the short black hair berated me loudly for having left my laptop in its case. I apologized profusely as he grabbed the bag and put it through the scanner again, while I rushed to grab my coat and pull on my shoes so I could get the heck out of there, red-faced and all. Yessiree!

Ms. ADD expert had her head hanging real good as others glared at me for holding up the line. I didn’t even have a wailing toddler to blame it on.

Dashing to my gate, which as usual was the very last one, ¼ mile away, I grabbed some lunch, bought the latest People Magazine with some big celebrity on the cover that I’d never seen before and found a cozy (?) spot where I could wait until it was time to board. While munching on the cardboard, I mean, turkey sandwich, I figured I’d check my email. After all, I had about 20 minutes and you know what 20 minutes is like with nothing to do. It’s hell!

I pulled out my computer cord, plugged it in, then grabbed the case and to my horror, realized it was empty. The TSA guy must have put the computer in a bin instead of back in its case! That meant one of two things: either it was stolen or…it was stolen.

I ran the ¼ mile back to security check, but as expected, they couldn’t find my MacBook Pro (that’s a code name for VERY EXPENSIVE LAPTOP). But the fellow with the wide grin and kind green eyes offered to look at the video to see if he could track what happened to it. Mr. Kind Green Eyes spotted it! And traced it to the security room that- alas- was locked up for the weekend.

Long story short, when I got home, I arranged for security to UPS the laptop to me, though it’ll be days before I know for sure if Mr. Kind Green Eyes really did solve the problem for me.

So what’s the point of the story? We ALL have our ADD moments. I SHOULD have checked my computer case to make sure my laptop was, indeed, in there. I SHOULD have removed it from the case to begin with. I SHOULD NOT have eaten a cardboard turkey sandwich before sprinting ¼ mile to find my beloved computer.

But the biggest lesson of all? ADD will always be with me. And without those crazy moments, hey…what would I have to write about?

How about you? What crazy ADD moment can you share? What happened and how did you get through it? Post your stories in the Comment section below.

 

 


ADD Planning Guide for Thanksgiving

Posted on November 03, 2014

RHONDA PIC

 

‘Tis the season to start thinking about the upcoming holidays. If you get all worked up like I do, then you’ll love this! I’m excited to share with you a guest article written by my friend and colleague, ADD coach Rhonda Pawlan, MS. Enjoy!

ADD Planning Guide for Thanksgiving

By Rhonda Pawlan, MS (ADD Coach)

If you have ADD, and have decided to offer a Thanksgiving feast at your home this year, here is the way to survive the holiday – and possibly, even enjoy it.

Keep two things in mind — organization is the key, and things do not need to be perfect. Now, let’s move forward with some organizational tips that will help you get on task, and stay on task.

Start with three To Do lists — your House Preparation list, your Shopping List, and finally, the ever important Food Preparation list. Ready to get started?

House Preparation List:

Everything you need to do to get your house ready for guests goes here. This list includes things like – cleaning, straightening, perhaps setting up an additional table or getting out some folding chairs. In addition, you can get out all the dishes and silverware, (whether china or plastic), your serving pieces, and even your cooking utensils, pots, etc.

The best thing about the House Preparation List, is that these are all things you can get done in advance. Even a week in advance is not too soon to start. With so much to do for Thanksgiving, the more you can do ahead of time, the better. And as always, I recommend you assign dates in your calendar for the various tasks.

Shopping List:

Start by deciding what you’d like to serve, with the suggestion that you make reasonable choices. For instance, even though Thanksgiving brings eating to mind, it’s not necessary to go overboard. Are five side dishes truly necessary? Choose what you think appeals to most people., and stick with it. And while I’m on the topic of food choices, consider asking some of your guests to bring something along for the dinner. A side dish, a vegetable, a salad, etc., will make your load a little lighter. Be specific when asking guests to contribute to the meal, so you’ll know exactly what items are coming through the front door.

Your Shopping List may also include, any additional items you need. Some examples might be –- paper plates, napkins, a large tin in which to cook the turkey. Give yourself time to work on the shopping list, in order to avoid last minute trips to the grocery store.

Meal Preparation List:

Write a list of all the food you plan to serve and cook. Keep this list in your kitchen at all times, so you can refer to it – both while cooking, and when serving. The Meal Preparation List should also include the times you need to start preparing each dish. You can only juggle so many things, and ovens, at once. Don’t overload.. Again, make reasonable decisions and allow extra time.   Whatever dishes can be prepared in advance of Thanksgiving, be sure to do.

It all comes down to planning, keeping things as simple as possible, and doing as much as possible in advance.

Things to Remember:

Tasks often take longer than you think they will, so build in extra time for everything you do.

Assign tasks to your spouse and children. You don’t need to do everything yourself.

Neither your house nor the meal must be P-E-R-F-E-K-T. You won’t be able to enjoy family and friends if you’re frazzled. The holiday is not for impressing people, but for enjoying them.

If you follow this plan, all should turn out reasonably well. Or, you could tear up your lists, hire a cleaning crew for your house, and order the entire meal from a grocery or restaurant. Whatever you decide, I wish you a most Happy Thanksgiving!

Rhonda Pawlan, MS is a Board Certified Coach, specializing in ADHD.  She coaches adults and students around the country, helping them to get on track and reach their goals. Contast Rhonda at CoachMeRhonda.com or rhondamar@aol.com

** Do you have a holiday tip to share? Or a funny or horror story? Please share in the Comment section below **


ADHD and Women: When Your Senses Are Extra Sensitive

Posted on November 01, 2014

Queen of Distraction 2D

Psychcentral.com did a nice job discussing my new book, The Queen of Distraction, focusing on one of my chapters that discuses ADHD and Hypersensitivities:

“Psychotherapist Terry Matlen thought she was losing her hearing. Every time she’d talk on the phone, she couldn’t hear what the other person was saying if other sounds were present. Even a quiet TV and a loved one talking hampered her hearing.

But when she went to get tested, she actually learned that she has better hearing than most people her age.

Matlen, like many women with ADHD, is especially sensitive to stimuli. Women who have the inattentive type of ADHD tend to have a difficult time tuning out noise (any extraneous sounds), hearing sounds that no one else seems to hear, writes Matlen, also an ADHD coach, in her newest book The Queen of Distraction: How Women with ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus and Get More Done.”

Read the entire article HERE.


Last Week to Sign up at Special Rates: The Queens Clear Clutter!

Posted on October 27, 2014

FacebookQueensCrowns

 

The Queens of Distraction ADHD Awareness Month Special!

joinNOW2

Only 5 DAYS LEFT TO JOIN AT SPECIAL RATES

Do you want to:

  • Kick clutter to the curb?
  • See the surface of your tables again?
  • Get help getting started on your projects and start feeling good about yourself?

Come hang out with me in a secret, private room online with other women with ADD, who “get” your challenges and are there to offer support.

We meet throughout the week to get a handle on what is driving you CRAZY. It’s all about taking charge and finally making that decision to dive in. Be a part of this special group- we hold each other accountable but with compassion and understanding. Because we “get” it- we live it!

Imagine a place where you could be yourself. A place with accountability and support. A place where you don’t have to hide or feel ashamed of your ADHD habits. A place that celebrates the best in you and that helps you deal with the worst. That place is Terry Matlen’s Queens of Distraction Group! There, you will find encouragement and understanding along with the needed accountability. It is nice to not feel so alone with this thing called ADHD! 

- Paula 

Come connect with other women with ADHD and feel safe, accepted and understood.
 
 Register today HERE  and feel the relief of getting your life back under control. But hurry! Special rates end October 31!


Welcome home!


ADHD Awareness Expo Starts NOW through Nov 1. Listen to my session!

Posted on October 26, 2014


The 5th annual ADHD Awareness Expo is being held the week of October 26th through November 1st and the best part about it is that there’s no travel required. That’s right – it’s held virtually, so all you need to do is grab a comfortable seat at your computer and explore all the ADHD products, services and options available to you.

Some of the top ADHD experts in the country will be sharing information via short videos, plus there’s an exhibit hall with even more information and resources. I’ll be there! You can watch my session on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 1pm, where I’ll be sharing some secret tips on how to handle stress when you have ADHD. Plus, all session attendees will receive a free gift!  Mine is a secret, but I think you’ll like it.

The Expo is such a great opportunity to gather information, find out more and simply interact with the ADHD community – did I mention attendance is free? That’s right, all of this information, at your fingertips, from the comfort of your own home – free.

I’d love to “see” you there! Just follow the link to register and claim your free spot to attend:

http://www.profcs.com/app/?Clk=4487513


Watch my Webinar: “How Women With ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus, And Get More Done!”

Posted on October 25, 2014

QODwebinar

 

On Oct 22, 2014, I hosted a webinar and Q/A: The Queen of Distraction:  “How Women With ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus, And Get More Done!” I shared real tips on how to stay focused and get organized (and more)…and fielded GREAT questions from the audience. Nearly 300 signed up for the event and it was a blast!

If you missed the live event, you can watch it HERE.   Two lucky attendees won copies of my book, “The Queen of Distraction“. Check back here soon and find out who the lucky winners are. Or subscribe to my newsletter HERE - where the winners will also be posted shortly.

Didn’t win? You can order the book on Amazon HERE.

Stay tuned for more contests!


Does Everything Annoy You? You’re Not Alone

Posted on October 20, 2014

annoyUSE

 

People say I’m an extremely patient person. But you know what? I’m not. Things annoy me. Lots of things- just ask my husband. And if you think I’m just a good natured sort of gal, always smiling and engaging, you might be surprised to know that I’m most likely totally distracted and annoyed by:

 

  • The sticky glob on the floor that my unfortunate foot just stepped on.
  • Hearing someone talking on their cell phone while I’m trying to hear what you’re saying.
  • Having to wait in line.
  • Hearing mouth breathing over the phone by the computer tech guy.
  • Smelling the perfume on some gal coming towards me… a block away.
  • The tiny irregularity of my newly crowned molar that my tongue can’t seem to leave alone.
  • The driver ahead of me going 30 in a 50-mph zone.
  • The food stain on your chin that I cannot stop staring at.
  • Mosquito bites.

……….and the list goes on. And on and on and on. And it drives me crazy.

I was reading a thread on Facebook the other day where a woman posted how she goes bonkers when she hears mouth noises. Smack. Smack. Chew. Chew. And you know what? I totally get it.

But why is this? My experience is that these irritating  annoyances are very commonly seen in people with ADHD. Of course, we are a distracted bunch and it makes sense that such things would drive us off course (and want us to drive over a cliff).

Could there be more to it? Is it that we simply notice more things than others? Then why is this called Attention DEFICIT? Is it that we’re wired to feel and experience things more strongly and thus, we react too strongly?

Is it being impulsive and not being patient enough to just let things slide?

Or is it all of the above?

What drives you over the edge? And how do you deal with it? Please share in the Comment Section below.

 

 


ADD Consults Wins Best of the Web – Blog award from Psych Central!

Posted on October 16, 2014

PsychCentralBlogAward

Proud and humbled to announce that my blog has just been named as Best of the Web – Blog award from PsychCentral.com. The top ten list in ADHD was compiled with input from PsychCentral readers, an associate editor, and Dr. Grohol, founder/director of PsychCentral. This is a huge honor!

Thanks to all of you who visit PsychCentral.com and who have supported my work for the last 20 years. See the list of winners at http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/10/16/top-10-adhd-blogs-of-2014/


Terry’s Special ADHD Events: Time Sensitive- Don’t Miss Out!

Posted on October 15, 2014

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Are You Aware That It’s ADHD Awareness Month? Check out my very special events and come celebrate with me! Here’s how:

 

1. Win an autographed copy of my new book, “The Queen of Distraction“. Contest ends October 21. Enter HERE.

2. Join me for a fun, informative webinar October 22 from 8pm EST- 9pm EST:  “HOW WOMEN WITH ADHD CAN CONQUER CHAOS, FIND FOCUS, AND GET MORE DONE!”.

I’ll be sharing real tips on how to stay focused and get organized (and more).
Bring your questions, I’ll provide answers…and…one lucky attendee will win an autographed copy of my book,The Queen of Distraction.” Pssst- there is no fee to attend!
Register today
HERE .

3. To celebrate ADHD Awareness Month, I’m offering deep (and I mean, really deep) discounts to the Queens of Distraction exclusive online group coaching program. But…regular pricing returns after October 22, so join today HERE

Can’t wait to connect with you online! 


Do Your Hormones Make You “ADD Crazy”?

Posted on October 06, 2014

womanHittingMan

 

It always amazes me how much we have yet to understand about ADHD. What worries me more is how much professionals still need to learn about ADHD.

For example:

Recently a woman was worried about her ADD symptoms getting worse. As we talked, it became clear that she was entering perimenopause. Her mood worsened a week before and during her periods and her appetite was out of control. But what really put her over the edge was how much worse her memory and other cognitive symptoms were each month. Since her periods were becoming irregular, she couldn’t prepare herself and see these changes coming. She was more forgetful, having more brain “fog” and lost her temper more easily.

I often suggest to women who are having hormonal changes that affect their ADHD to first talk to their doctor about possibly changing up their ADD meds (I’m not a doctor so cannot offer advice, however…some docs will increase their patients’ ADD meds or add an antidepressant if needed).

Do you find that your thinking isn’t as sharp around the time of your periods? Do you feel more irritable and cranky, even more so than before perimenopause? Are you more forgetful? Do you worry you might have early onset dementia/Alzheimer’s? These are all valid concerns, and I address an entire chapter to hormones in my new book, The Queen of Distraction: How Women with ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus, and Get it all Done.

What to do in the meantime? Talking to your health care provider about your worsening symptoms is imperative. In addition to tweaking your ADD meds (and maybe adding an antidepressant if warranted), your doctor might also consider hormone replacement therapy if indicated. Bottom line- get medical advice!

In addition to that, pay attention (I know, ha ha) to what specific symptoms are worsening during this time in your life. Begin coming up with a plan and share it with your family. Explain to them that the changes in your behavior are due to the hormone/ADD combo. Make healthy changes in your life (I know I don’t even have to go into those specifics- you know what they are), but also, find ways to make your life easier during those rough days. For example, try not to schedule in stressful activities or take on additional work responsibilities. If possible, cut back on your hours at work. Take extra special care of yourself by spending more time doing what you enjoy.

Hormonal changes can be troublesome and for many, the ADD symptoms get worse, but there are ways to deal with that. Many post-menopausal women find that their moods level out significantly, so that alone is something to look forward to!

How about you? What changes are you noticing that relate to your hormones? Share them below in the comment section!