Saturday, October 23, 2010

Links: ADD/ADHD websites

Here is a link to Terry Matlen's website ADD Consults . This website is a great resource because through this website, Terry can help you find the help you need no matter where in the world you live. Also you can find a plethora of links to useful websites, where you can connect with others. It also comes with a free e-newsletter. You can find lots of helpful stuff over there. I challenge you if you haven't already done so, go check it out for yourself.

Here is a link to my own facebook group. Click here ADHD Support and Information. I have lots of resources posted there. I have lots of links to various websites and I have an ongoing bibliography/review of books I have read. My bibliography/review is divided up into categories based on what topics a particular ADD/ADHD book covers. Everything from explanations of the physiological basis of AD/HD to relationship issues to making the grade with ADD. The websites that I have posted there include a wide variety of topics/resources, which include patient assistance programs, blogs, social networks, websites with even more resources, websites that offer teleclasses/webinars on various topics concerning AD/HD, to various nonprofit orgs such as CHADD. The list goes on and on, so check out this group if you are on facebook and consider joining it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hypersensitivity and AD/HD

This article is by Terry Matlen on "AD/HD and Hypersensitivities". This is frequently an issue among us with ADD/ADHD. I have read about this issue on several websites and social networks. So if you are looking for validation or to not feel like you are alone consider checking this article out. Click here to read about it Article. To talk too others about it, check out the links I provided in a previous blog Links: social networks and blogs. Women With ADHD ADD and this discussion on ADDer World  the world is too loud.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I am different, therefore I think different

Diversity goes beyond race, religion, creed, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and so forth. Diversity also includes people with various challenges. To say nothing good can come from people because of there challenges, doesn't seem to make sense to me. To say this sounds like pure bigotry, it's like saying nothing good comes from being black, gay, or Muslim, and so forth. How is being white, straight, or Christian any better than being black, gay orMuslim? Blacks have often have great music, fascinating hair, and I find black men attractive, I love the soul, the sense of history the carry. My psychiatrist is gay, Jewish, and ADHD. He is a great psychiatrist, great listener, good with his pharmacology, is capable of doing psychotherapy as well. He's smart, well educated, always trying to learn. He has continued to treat me even though I can't pay him.

How can ADD/ADHD not create a difference in perspective? How can it not come with it's gifts? Yes there are "negatives" with ADD/ADHD and yes untreated ADD/ADHD have serious risks and possible consequences. That being said any trait can be transformed from "negative" to "positive". For example, Stubbornness and perseverance come from the same trait. Stubbornness is often seen as a negative thing because it can get in the way of one's progress. Perseverance is usually seen as a positive trait. It is the trait many strong people aspire to have and gets used a lot more by people with challenges. Sometimes these two manifestations of this trait as Stubborn perseverance, which confuses a lot of people. They sometimes confuse it with pride. Sometimes people with challenges, especially severe challenges need to be stubbornly perseverant in order to attain and maintain there independence. This has nothing to do with pride, it has to do with wanting to be equal and to be able to do things for themselves.

Notice that I use the word Challenges rather than disability(ies) or handicapped. To me the word "handicapped' is akin to a racial slur and equally offensive. At least the word disAbility does have ability, so it's better and more palatable. Challenge has a very positive connotation to me. It still acknowledges the reality of the challenges that are present, while encouraging a overcoming, independent mindset.

Yes ADHD does come with it's challenges, most of us acknowledge this and often are painfully aware of our stuff. Telling me that my ADD/ADHD is not a gift, saying I am "time-blind", and assuming I need behavioral modification for the rest of my life is offensive to me. Who says I am not aware of time, who says I don't remember my past, who says I can't take control of my own behavior, or that I can't see the future. Who says I can't learn from my mistakes? Why is the non-ADDers' sense of time superior to mine? There are different aspects to time than most non-ADDers think. Heck, time isn't even a constant. It can expand and contract, it is relative.

I don't like it when 'professionals' and 'experts' use the non-ADDer as the measuring stick of success of an ADDer. We ADDers need to get away from comparing ourselves up against other people and especially non-ADDers. A lot of us have had to dismantle that automatic comparison function in our minds in order to not feel like complete failures. Most of us will never be "normal" and that shouldn't be put down.

If I continued using how non-ADD I am as my measuring stick, I would never had achieved what I have achieved. My ADD/ADHD doesn't make me lesser of a human being, it doesn't make me less competent, it doesn't necessarily make me less mature and it most certainly doesn't make me an 'inferior'. It doesn't make me less of an adult than the non-ADDer. I am not inferior to ANYONE. I want to be treated as an equal, with respect and dignity even if I don't have emaculant home, or perfectly organized.

My right hand has 4 fingers and has no radius bone. I had a thumb made when I was 3 or 4 years old and repostitioned at 11 years old. I am happy with my thumb and capable of using my rotator cup if needed to turn my arm. I am not 1 handed, I am not one armed. To be called 'one handed' or 'one armed' is offensive to me because it doesn't give value to what I do have. This right hand allowed me to become an EMT, pass venipuncture (aka phlebotomy) class with flying colors. Actually, my right hand became an advantage when I was practicing my human blood draws because it happened to be at the perfect angle and incredibly stable. I never ever missed a vein, even on friends with rolling veins, cerebral palsy, and really dark friends. If you try to tell me my right hand is inferior to a 'regular hand' because it is different, you will be showing the entire world what kind of character you have or don't have.

This principle also applies to my ADD/ADHD, it applies to all my other challenges and it applies to others' challenges. I maybe different, I may have challenges, they may make me hard to live with sometimes; however, that doesn't mean I don't deserve the same respect as everyone else. If you can accept other people groups, why can't you accept my people group?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Andrew's example

So often people try to tell us what we are capable of based on what they see or don't see. They judge our abilities based on our diagnoses. That is if they even believe the diagnosis in the first place and then they try to box people in with that diagnosis. They try to categorize and box us into neat little categories, so that they have control over us. I watched this video on the social network called disability resource exchange. It is a very good example of a group of people, people with down syndrome, who are frequently judged as retarded, hopeless, with out potential and what not. Yet, this young man has everything he needs to be a brilliant, successful, creative, contributing member of society. He has parents, who believe in him and have worked diligently with him to develop ordinary skills, he has attended mainstream high school, has learned to play piano and the drums, he participates in sports every day and he can socialize with ordinary peers as well as his peers, who also have downs syndrome. So much for a man, who is "retarded", "developmentally delayed", or "hopeless". This young man is anything but these things. He can read, he can learn, he can socialize, he can achieve anything he wants.

So can those of us with ADD/ADHD, with depression, bipolar, learning disabilities, OCD, physical challenges, mental challenges, chronic medical conditions. I have been diagnosed with multiple types of ADD/ADHD as outlined by Dr. Daniel Amen in his book Healing ADD. I have also been diagnosed with depression and have some learning disabilities. I was born with what most people would call "multiple birth defects". Some people would say that I have no special gifts from all that I've had to deal with, but I feel I do. I have come to cherish my differences and have learned how to work with what I've got. Anything can be taken as a gift or a curse, as a positive or a negative, but that is a choice we make and can make. Treating our challenges doesn't eliminate our challenges, it merely makes it possible to turn them into gifts and assets rather than deficits and curses.

I have been through 5 hand surgeries, have been treating my ADHD for nearly a decade now, treating my depression actively for half a decade, worked with an ADHD/ADD coach for several years and doctor who does both pharmacology and therapy. I still have the hand I was born with and I still have the ADHD, the mood related stuff and the learning challenges. I still have my birth challenges and I still have my attentional challenges. I don't feel cursed at all, in fact I feel blessed; blessed with understanding of what makes us human, with what matters most, what my capabilities really are. Perhaps being different doesn't make one more creative, but I'd argue it makes us develop our creativity further than we would if we didn't have those underlying challenges. How else do you achieve excellence and overcome but through a positive out look on life. My right hand is just as useful as my ADHD is. It takes a large amount of creativity and courage and tenacity to overcome these challenges even in the face of naysayers. It takes courage to keep trying long after others would have given up. It takes courage and bravery to be positive even when our past is riddled with pain, darkness, and shortcomings.

I feel I have accomplished so much more valuable achievements because of my journey through my challenges. I wouldn't trade my experience in for anything. Why should I fold up and die just because the "experts" think I should? Yes, I may continue to have difficulty throwing out the bottle caps to my soda, but I have made a positive difference in the lives of others. I have managed to become successful, I have managed to become well respected by others, I have managed to cope with less than ideal living conditions. I am proud of who I am and what I've accomplished. And so should you be proud of what you've managed to achieve. Don't let any one cast a negative blanket over you and tell you how you should feel about having ADHD or any other challenge you might have.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Links: social networks and blogs
This link is to the social network: Moms with ADD/ADHD
Started by Terry Matlen.
These 2 links were started by Bryan Hutchinson. The first one is a social network and the second one is his blog.
This link is to the social network: Women With ADHD ADD
Started by Terry Matlen and Tara McGillicuddy
This link is to my facebook group: "ADHD Support and Information"
I have posted lots and lots of links to various sites there.
I know this isn't an ADHD social network per se, but it still might be helpful to connect with people with a variety of challenges.
This blog is by Tammy Murphy. It's her musings on raising her AD/HD son and family life. Great resource for parents of AD/HD children.
Thia blog is by Jeff Hamilton.

my first post

I just figured out how to create my own blog. This is totally cool. Now I can speak my ADD/ADHD voice/mind any time I want. This is totally cool, or at least I think so. I never even knew I could create my own blog for free. I need to tell my mom about this too. I totally love this, I mean really love this. I know, most people probably already knew this, but sometime I have to figure out these things for myself. The great thing is that I usually can figure these things out. It is almost more fun that way than being told how to do these things. I will post more meaty blogs in the future, but I just want to break the ice and experience what it's like before I get serious or humorous. You got to love my ADD/ADHD mind/voice. More to come as I grow as a blogger. LOL