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Your ADHD Journey- Finding the Help you Need and Deserve

Posted on June 26, 2017

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I remember when I first suspected that I might have ADHD. It was after reading a few books on how to help children with ADHD (I was looking for information to help my daughter), when I came across what, at that time- back in the early 1990s – was the only book out on adult ADHD… back when Amazon was known only as a rainforest. I think it was written by Dr. Paul Wender. Boy, what an eye opener that book was for me.

I was hungry for more but had to wait a few more years until people started becoming aware that ADHD existed in not just children, but in adults, too.

Then along came Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo’s, “You Mean I’m not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?!” which just blew me away. I followed that up with Dr. Edward (Ned) Hallowell and Dr. John Ratey’s, “Driven to Distraction” (‘OMG- I’m not the only one’) and finally- and most importantly – Sari Solden’s “Women with Attention Deficit Disorder” (‘She’s writing about ME!).

Honestly, reading those books changed my life. I began to get involved in support groups locally and volunteering my time to national ADD organizations (www.ADD.org and www.CHADD.org).

The rest is history. I wrote my own two books, “Survival Tips for Women with ADHD” and the award winning book, “The Queen of Distraction”. I’d found my muse. My calling.

You can find lots of excellent books on adult ADHD at Amazon HERE.

And books specific to women with ADHD HERE.

And…books on how to de-clutter and get organized HERE.

I’ve been working in the field for over 20 years now and what I’m most surprised about- after all these years- is how difficult it still is for adults with ADHD to find the help they need.

Here are some tips:

 

  1. Read. Just like I did. Then read some more.

  2. Visit GOOD websites, not hokus pokus ones that have no scientific or solid clinical basis to them. Start with mine! www.ADDconsults.com.

  3. Go to support groups. You can find one local to you at CHADD’s website (www.CHADD.org )

  4. Go to workshops, meetings, conferences. The next large ADHD conference- CHADD’s and ADDA’s is this coming November in Atlanta, GA. Start saving now- it will be worth every penny. Plus, I’ll be presenting on women’s issues and I would love to meet you in person! Details at www.CHADD.org

  5. If you think you might have ADHD, get evaluated by a mental health professional ** WHO UNDERSTANDS ADULT ADHD!! **  Search my directory for names, HERE.  **

  6. Get the appropriate treatment. This can include counseling, medication, working with an ADD coach and a professional organizer. 

Did you know I run a number of Facebook groups for adults with ADHD? Here are some of them:

 

 

There’s more, of course, like finding people like you, who celebrate you for who you are and staying away from toxic people who enjoy bringing you down.

What has been the best thing for you in understanding and accepting your own ADHD? Please share in the comment section, below.

 

 

 


Where’s Your ADHD Happy Place?

Posted on June 10, 2017

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By the time you read this, I will be back from my mini vacation to NYC, also known as my happy place. You’d think an inattentive ADHD woman (me!!) would hate the noise and the intensity, but I love this city. I can go crazy ADD-wise and not have to fight it. For example, I can go to one part of the city to look at art galleries, then hop on the subway and head to Greenwich Village to sit and people watch at a little café’. I can move on to Central Park and stroll around for a bit before heading to a show on Broadway. This city was MADE for people with ADHD!

This is an example of going “with” your ADD instead of fighting it. I think most people who come to NY have an agenda – Broadway tickets are purchased well in advance. There’s usually an itinerary that goes something like:

 

Monday:

Breakfast at Juniors

Boat tour to Statue of Liberty

Lunch at The French Cafe’

Walking tour of Greenwich Village

Dinner at Tavern on the Green

Broadway show 8pm Palace Theatre.

….etc.

Na uh. Not me. I love my freedom and love how things just happen. Then again, it can backfire. If I decide at the last minute that I’d like to see a play, well…good luck with that (though there are ways around it if you research this).

Sometimes we just have to let things go and see where things fall. It’s inherent in our neurology to have major difficulties with planning and executing those plans. Maybe we need to accept that part of us a bit more… as long as we don’t forget to take our suitcase when we leave on vacation. Oh, and the boarding pass. And hotel reservations. And…..

How about you? Are you able to ever go with the flow with your ADD? What can you ease up on? What tips can you share that have worked for you? Please share in the Comment section, below.

 

 


ADHD and Negative Self-Talk

Posted on May 28, 2017

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Last week was my birthday (woo woo). I love birthdays, as long as I don’t think too much about how old I’m getting.

Every year I have a flashback of the day I turned 7 years old. May 23. It was the one day I felt very very special. I remember getting dressed for school, eating breakfast, and waiting…waiting waiting waiting…for my mother to wish me Happy Birthday. I choked down my Cocoa Krispies, then headed for the door to leave. Still waiting. Walking slowly.

As I opened the door to leave, I couldn’t contain myself. Turning to my mother, I burst out in tears and wailed:

YOU FORGOT MY BIRTHDAY!!

My mother felt terrible and apologized left and right, reassuring me that even though it slipped her mind, she still loved me.

As adults with ADHD, even very important things can slip our minds. Anniversaries. Calling people we care about. Thank- you notes. Buying milk at the market when that’s why we went there in the first place. And we get angry with ourselves. We silently call ourselves horrible names. Stupid. Careless. Idiot. I’m sure my mother was thinking of words along those lines that May 23 many years ago.

It’s not bad enough that many of us hear or sense negative comments from others; we have to continually blast ourselves with even worse words.

I think it’s time to stop that. We certainly don’t forget the milk on purpose. Or wishing someone Happy Birthday. We don’t choose to hurt people.

Are you ready to tuck that negative self- talk away? If not, why not? How is it serving you?

I’d love to read your thoughts on this. Just post them via the Comment section below.

 

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Terry Matlen’s Top 10 ADHD Myth Busters (Updated May, 2017)

Posted on May 15, 2017

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It takes a lot to get me angry. Some of the more minor offenses are:

  • When someone wants to talk to me before 9am. Ok….10am!
  • Finding raisins in my food
  • Itchy clothes, perfume, loud TVs, sticky floors

And then there are the major offenses, which are obvious if you know me or have been reading my newsletters over the last 20 years. These include:

  • Children with special needs not getting an appropriate education; special needs adults getting crappy jobs because of stereotypical low expectations
  • Bullying
  • Unequal rights

You get the picture.

But last week in 2015, an article appeared in Psychology Today, which really riled me up. It’s titled No, There Is no Such Thing as ADHD, written by an M.D who blogs for the magazine. Which of course, gives him a lot of credibility. Even though he’s dead wrong.

Facebook was all aflutter over this (and sadly, I continue to see this junk article re-cycled and re-posted on social media). Fellow ADHD Myth Busters like me are still screaming at the top of our lungs. Some of us posted comments on the site back then, only to have them taken down (yes, I’m a rebel and get FURIOUS when I read such unscientific pablum).

So, to sooth my irritability and hoping this gets some attention too (as they say the truth rises to the top), here is my list of common myths that I work hard to debunk. Please feel free to share, especially to those who believe ADHD is a made up condition.

 

 Terry Matlen’s Top 10 ADHD Myth Busters

 

1. Myth: ADHD is not a real disorder.

Fact:  The American Psychiatric Society, The Centers for Disease Control, The National Institute of Health and basically all of the scientific organizations and government health agencies recognize ADHD as a true medical disorder. It is listed in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) which is the official mental health “bible” used by mental health professionals to diagnose psychiatric and other brain disorders.

 

2. Myth: Children outgrow their ADHD.

Fact: The great majority of children with ADHD continue to exhibit symptoms of ADHD into adulthood. More than 70% continue to have symptoms of ADHD into adolescence and at least 50% will continue to have it as adults, though many clinicians feel this estimate is low.

 

3. Myth: All people with ADHD are hyperactive and/or impulsive.

Fact: There are three subtypes of ADHD: a) hyperactivity/impulsivity b) inattentive c) combined. The inattentive subtype typically does not include hyperactivity/impulsivity. (note: the latest DSM no longer breaks these down into subtypes, but clinicians often refer to them this way)

 

4. Myth: Medications used for ADHD (stimulants) are highly addictive.

Fact: When used as directed, stimulants are very safe to use in both children and adults. In fact, studies are finding that those diagnosed with ADHD who are not being appropriately treated with medications, often self-medicate using substances that can be addicting.

 

5. Myth: ADHD is caused by poor or inconsistent parenting.

Fact:  ADHD is a neurobiological condition, often inherited. Parenting children with ADHD can be very challenging, causing much guilt for parents who are unsure how to best handle children who are hyperactive and impulsive. But parenting styles do not cause ADHD.

 

6. Myth: Sugar causes hyperactivity.

Fact: Earlier studies have debunked that myth, showing that children who seem to become more hyperactive while consuming a lot of sugar are often at parties and at other activities that stimulate them and their activity level. However, there is a small sub-set of children, approximately 1-3% that do seem to have food additive sensitivities.

 

7. Myth: Children and adults with ADHD have lower IQs.

Fact: People with ADHD do not have lower (or higher) IQs than the general public.

 

8. Myth: Children with ADHD are over-medicated.

Fact: Though more children are taking stimulants for ADHD than before, researchers believe this is due to clinicians identifying more children with ADHD who have been missed in previous years. In addition, it’s only been in recent years that more girls have been identified as having ADHD and thus receiving treatment for it.

 

9. Myth: There are fewer girls with ADHD and they are less impaired than boys with ADHD.

Fact: It’s believed that there are as many girls with ADHD as boys, but that they are less frequently identified and treated. Studies show that in some areas, girls with ADHD are more impaired than their male counterparts, in that in addition to their ADHD, they also more likely to struggle with substance abuse, anxiety and panic. Compared to non-ADHD girls, they have an increase in mood and conduct disorders and are more impaired in family, social and school functioning.

 

10. Myth: ADHD can be cured.

Fact: At this time, there is no cure for ADHD, but it can be well managed through a combination of medication, therapy, coaching, support and education.

What have YOU heard about ADHD that makes you want to scream and land a punch or two? Share your experiences in the Comment section below.

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Cut the Book Clutter with an eReader- Here’s My Favorite!

Posted on May 10, 2017

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I love to read but I’m starting to hate dealing with piles of books. So guess what I’m doing? I’m donating a huge chunk of my collection to the local library and am now reading on a Kindle Paperwhite.

I never thought I’d ever like using an eReader- I love the smell and feel of a book. But I’m now in love with my new Paperwhite. Why?

  • No more books gathering dust
  • I can read in bed and not disturb my hubby
  • I can store tons and tons of books
  • I can look up words
  • I can read outside in bright sunshine- no glare!
  • eBooks are usually less expensive than paper books
  • It’s lightweight

           I’m in looooove!

Great for Mother’s Day, Graduation, or just because. 

Check them out HERE

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Want something more than an eReader?  
       
FireTablets

Check out Amazon’s Fire Tablet. Besides reading books, you can watch movies, TV, listen to music, and much more.
Check out the Fire Tablets
HERE


NEW! Ask Me Anything About ADHD (and I will answer you!)

Posted on May 04, 2017

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PICK MY BRAIN!

I am announcing a new service to help YOU with your ADHD related questions.

I’m known as the Queen of Distraction and now I’m available to answer your ADHD related question right now- via email within 24-72 hours- when you don’t have time to wait 3 weeks (or longer) for an appointment.

Get direct access to me and everything I know for a low introductory fee.

Learn more at http://www.QuestionForTheQueen.com

 

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Chasing Kites: New Book by Tom Nardone

Posted on April 29, 2017

I just read Tom Nardone’s new book,Chasing Kites: A Memoir About Growing Up With ADHD.” Just when you think you know a lot about your own field (ADHD), a book like this comes along. I gained another 20 years of experience just reading Tom’s candid and honest reflection of his personal struggles, starting with his earliest childhood years of being bullied and taunted, to finding his niche’ (temporarily) in the service, to his struggles in finding the right job for him, and finally finding the woman of his dreams. I urge all of you to pick up this book and follow Tom’s journey. You will not forget it. And you certainly will learn from it.

Check it out HERE.  


It’s Spring! Let’s Get Organized!

Posted on April 27, 2017

There’s something in the air and it’s not Superman, but you can *feel* like Superman by making that first step in getting your home/office in order by starting your spring cleaning. I’m not asking you to clear out your entire house- let’s be realistic. We have ADHD. If we get through one closet, that is progress!

I have my eye on the paper shredder below. My biggest clutter problem is paper related and it’s time to be more careful about personal information finding it’s way into the trash. Ready to de-clutter with me? Check these great items from Amazon- some are on sale if you act quickly.








How Fidgets Can Calm you Down and Help with Focus

Posted on April 25, 2017

We know now that fidgeting can help with focus and calming yourself (or your child) down. When I’m on the phone, I simply cannot focus on the conversation. In the old days, I’d play with a paperclip (and end up stabbing myself, usually), but now there are tons of fidget toys out there. Now I use something similar to the mesh squishy ball and find that I can sit longer and not drift off into space while on the phone.

Check out the fidgets below to see which would work best for you-






Can’t Wake Up? Try These Alarm Clocks!

Posted on April 20, 2017

It’s almost expected that if you have ADHD, you’ll have a hard time waking up. Here’s a tip: place one alarm clock near your bed, one across the room (so you have to get up to turn it off) and one even further away, maybe in your bathroom or closet.

Or try one of these super loud or otherwise helpful alarm clocks to get you OUT of bed!