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Luxury VS Accommodations: Surviving the Holidays with ADHD

Posted on November 28, 2016

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You’ve survived Thanksgiving and Christmas is just around the corner. If you’re a hyperactive extrovert, then you might be in your glory. But if you’re an inattentive introvert- like me- you’re completely depleted of energy.

I had 12 people for Thanksgiving at my house- people I absolutely love to death- some whom I only get to see a few times a year, since they live out of state.

Yet even with being around my family who knows me pretty well, it has taken me nearly a week to recuperate. And don’t laugh, but I ordered in all the food because it’s simply too much for me to manage for that many people. I also doubly splurged by hiring a cheerful woman who heated up the food, served it, and…..tada…cleaned everything up for me. For $60, it was well worth that luxury.

But wait, is ordering in and paying for help truly a luxury if one has difficulties with time management, planning, executing, getting distracted and getting easily overwhelmed?

No!

I’m fortunate in that I was able to afford these accommodations. Note my word, accommodations, because getting help is not a luxury. Without help during times like this, I actually get physically ill from the stress.

Next: Christmas/Chanukah. Every year, I purchase all of my gifts online because I cannot handle crowds and chaos at the mall. I wait for Black Friday and Cyber Monday to get huge discounts.

So for you, dear readers, I’ve already done a lot of the work for you. See my page of hand picked holiday gifts- they’re all via Amazon, a trustworthy site. (I get a small commission for anything you purchase starting on my page HERE).

You can get all your shopping done in probably less than 20 minutes. And wouldn’t you rather spend that time in the comfort of your own home?

Shop your holiday gifts today HERE.

 

 

 


Some of My Favorite ADHD Gift Ideas

Posted on November 17, 2016

Here are some great holiday gifts for the ADHD person in your life (including yourself!). These are all on Amazon and many are on sale! Can’t see the items? Please turn off your ad blocker then re-fresh the page. :)







Bed Tents! A Great Sensory Solution for Staying Calm

Posted on November 16, 2016

Back when my daughter was just a little thing, she just couldn’t settle down- not for naps and not at bedtime. I found a bed tent similar to some of the ones here and she found her safe haven where she could shut out sensory overload, play with her toys, and yes…nap and sleep! Now I see they have them for adults, too! Check out the Privacy Pop – the first photo below. They come in all sizes, from Twin to Queen and in various colors. Hands down, this is what I would have purchased if they’d been available back then. Check the other tents/bed tents below. Would this help your hyperactive kiddo to settle down?


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I Love Boogie Boards!

Posted on November 15, 2016

I use a Boogie Board at my house for leaving messages for my family: where I am, who called, etc. I also use it to jot down phone messages and shopping lists. Wait, what are they? They’re basically a portable electronic whiteboard. Boogie with me- check these out, below.



Politics and ADHD: 7 Survival Tips

Posted on November 13, 2016

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I have thought a lot about what and how to write on this topic, yet I keep re-writing this piece because I can’t seem to quite get it right. My hope is to support you, my many readers with ADHD, through these turbulent weeks of political tension. I want to tell you that it’s ok. That it’s normal to have anxiety if your candidate didn’t win and tension if your candidate did win. Whether you are celebrating or stinging with pain and anger, express it with dignity. Regardless of your political leanings, we all have ADHD. ADHD is what is bringing us together; what’s making you read (I hope) this newsletter.

ADHD makes us super aware and super sensitive. And yes, super impulsive at times.

I am on social media. A LOT. And I see- I FEEL the anger. The fear. The resentment. I see people un-friending others because of how they voted. I see people trying to make sense of what is happening in this country. And happily, I see people taking action. Good action, not flag burning action.

As a therapist, I am supposed to try my best to stay neutral. To be accepting. To understand behaviors…

Today, I am at a loss.

So I keep thinking- how can I help all of you? How do I keep politics out of the equation and focus on your feelings?

The country is in flux and just about everyone is feeling stress.

Having ADHD is stressful even on the best of days. But right now, I’m hearing and seeing a dramatic increase in emotional reactivity. From both sides. And guess what? I feel it too. I’m not immune, believe me.

With ADHD comes rumination, worry and oftentimes, impulsivity, hypersensitivity and even rage. I think we need to put that center stage as we deal with others and deal with our own inner feelings. These are not easy times for those of us (meaning: most of us) who are acutely sensitive. And many of us have a very very strong sense of right and wrong. We want to make things right because things have gone so wrong for most of our lives. Thank you, ADD!

So how do we deal with the stressors? How do we move on? Here are some tips that I hope will help you.

 

7 Survival Tips for Dealing with the Election

 

1. Remember that life goes on. Certainly you have felt like things were going to push you over the edge before. Yet, you survived.

2. If you’re feeling angry and depressed, and it seems excessive, please reach out and get support from others or consult with a mental health specialist.

3. If your candidate won, you are probably stressed, too, hearing comments from people who are chastising your party, your choice. You want to lash out. You don’t understand “the other side.” Find ways to comfort yourself.

4. If your candidate lost, take action. Nothing feels better when you feel helpless than to take charge. Volunteer to help others in need. Join groups (peaceful ones, please!) who share your values and political leanings. Try and learn from those who have opposite political leanings. What makes them tick? Why did they vote the way they did?

5. Take better care of YOU. Take some time off work. Get away. Indulge. Rest.

6. Telling yourself you’ll stop worrying or ruminating can be almost impossible. Instead, set aside a specific time each day and let yourself go ahead… and worry. Then stop and move on.

7. Stop reading political posts on social media, take time off from the news on TV and avoid the newspapers.

 

I hope this helps.

How are YOU managing? Any tips you’d like to share? Please do so below in the Comment section.

 

 

 

 

 


Some of My Favorite ADHD Books

Posted on November 07, 2016

Can’t see the books? You may have to re-fresh your browser- and/or turn off your ad blocker-sorry!





Terry’s Favorite ADHD Fidgets

Posted on November 06, 2016







When and How to Reveal Your ADHD (and when not to)

Posted on October 30, 2016

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Over the years, I’ve had many people ask me how to go about explaining to their boss, partner, friends and family their ADHD diagnosis. Often times, these are folks who have recently been evaluated for ADHD and are eager to explain their lifetime difficulties to people they know, with the hope that they’ll be better understood.

I’m all for openness, honesty and disclosure, but you may be surprised to hear that I don’t always recommend that people share their ADHD diagnosis; at least not to everyone.

Sadly, there are many people in this world who still do not believe ADHD exists. We can spin our wheels forever, talking till we’re blue in the face trying to prove that it does, indeed exist. We can point out the new research coming out that shows chemical and structural differences in the ADHD brain. In many cases, the effort is worthwhile, but in others, it can backfire. For example, if your boss is concerned that you are consistently late for work, you may want to explain that your ADHD prevents you from getting out of the house in time. If your boss is one of those people that firmly believe ADHD doesn’t exist, or that it’s over-diagnosed, then revealing your ADHD can put you in a pretty tough situation. A red flag might go up and your job could be in jeopardy. It doesn’t matter if you have the top ADHD expert in the world telling your boss you have ADHD. If your boss doesn’t care or doesn’t get it, it may just backfire for you. Even though there are federal laws in place to protect employees with disabilities, it is very very hard and expensive to win such cases.

When and Who to Tell

Once an ADHD diagnosis is given, it IS important to share this information with your loved ones. Whether it’s you carrying the diagnosis, or your spouse or your child; the rest of the family needs to know so that they can begin to understand the challenges the family member has experienced all his life and set up ways to help and support them. This is part of the healing process- sharing the information and receiving the support that’s needed.

Many adults still carry the stigma from (not that many) years ago that ADHD means they are “stupid, lazy or crazy” and fear that family and close friends will judge them negatively. Unfortunately, there are still people who DO believe this, therefore, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of disclosure. If you’re certain that sharing the diagnosis will only make matters worse, re-consider the urge to do it. If you think it MIGHT help but you’re not sure the person in question believes ADHD exists, find other ways to explain your symptoms without using the term, “ADHD.”

For example, if your symptoms at work are creating problems for you, you could tell your boss that sitting near the door is very distracting for you and prevents you from doing your best work. Before discussing the problem, though, have a plan in place. Follow up by saying, for example, that you know you’d be more productive if you could move your desk further away from all the activities in the office. This way, you are stating a problem and offering a solution. Compare this with the following scenario:

You: “I just figured out why I get distracted at work. It’s too noisy in this office. I was just diagnosed with ADHD. Could I swap offices with Sally?”

Boss: “Everyone has ADHD these days. It’s just an excuse for lousy performance. Just try harder and you can get your work done.”

See the difference?

When NOT to Tell

Because ADHD has been in the news quite a bit, many people do believe that it is the diagnosis “du jour.” As in the example above, consider who you wish to tell, why and what the possible outcome could be. Telling your boss can backfire. However, if you have a solid working relationship with him/her and feel your job is stable, then it could benefit you by being up front and open. But if you’re already on thin ice, think twice about disclosing it blatantly. Again, in general, use a description of your symptoms rather than full disclosure of your diagnosis, and offer suggestions on how to make things work for you.

You probably have a relative or two that thinks ADHD is a made up disorder. The obvious reaction, when you get a formal diagnosis, is to explain to them that you actually do have a neurobiological problem and it’s not a matter of being lazy or incapable. Again, think about what you want to achieve here. Typically, it’s to be better understood. But if Aunt Ethyl is too set in her ways to consider that you have a valid medical condition, then what will you get out of disclosing your ADHD?

How to Tell

First, arm yourself with information and have books, pamphlets and websites ready to share with friends and family. You want to first educate yourself as much as possible, so that you’re ready to answer any questions people might have. Start with a bit of history. If you’ve had a long difficult time as a student and continue to struggle in college, explain that you now understand the reason for your academic struggles.

Explain that this is a lifetime, often genetic condition that can’t be cured but can be managed. If your ADHD has impacted those you love in a negative way, discuss how this new bit of information- your diagnosis- can help turn things around for all of you, but that you need their understanding and support. Explain that you will be pro-active by getting appropriate treatment for your ADHD.

Since ADHD is a lifelong, chronic condition, it’s important for you and your loved ones to understand that even with proper treatment, you will still face roadblocks along the way. Your ADHD won’t go away, but chances are, you’ll be able to tame it.

Remember, too, that ADHD is not an excuse for your difficulties; it’s an explanation for them.
(Originally published January, 2009)

What has been your experience? Who do you share your diagnosis with? How? Share your experience with others below in the Comment section.

 


Turn Off the TV! Get off of Facebook! ADHD and Political PTSD

Posted on October 16, 2016

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This election season has me worn out. Since a lot of my work involves being on social media, the endless articles, videos and bantering has me on edge. Heck, more than being on edge- I feel slammed and shaken to my core. It’s not important to discuss here which candidate I support, but my stress has hit the zenith level to the point where it feels like Political PSTD (post traumatic stress syndrome). I can’t get away from it. Fear is in the air. Who will win? What will happen?

Having ADHD is a bit like PTSD as well and we know that many with ADHD also have PTSD, for a number of reasons that I won’t get into here.

With ADHD often comes hypersensitivity, hyper arousal, ruminating and obsessive thinking and well…just plain worrying.

Life can be hard enough just finding our toothbrush in the morning and our slippers at night. Though we DO need to educate ourselves so we can choose the candidate that reflects our core interests, concerns and more, we also have to take a step back and get untangled from the mess we are watching on the news and other media.

I have vowed to read fewer posts and articles about the election unless it pertains to just facts and other information I need to keep up with the basics.

How about you? Are you feeling overwhelmed? What can you do to help calm yourself down? Please share your thoughts in the Comment section, below.

 

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ADHD Grows Up: ADHD in Women

Posted on October 07, 2016

Journalist Pam Houghton of Neighborhood SEEN Magazine,  wrote this great article on adults with ADHD, with a focus on women with ADHD and includes quotes by me and my colleague Sari Solden. Read it at seen-magazine-oct-2016adhd-grows-up or click on the photo below to read the full article.

 


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