14 Oct

Who Are You? Can You Answer That Question?

magic-mirror-copyIn my never ending pursuit of knowledge I found an article that spoke of the importance of knowing how you see yourself. How do I see myself? In my mind’s eye I see a mirror. With trepidation I step up to it and peer at the reflection with the hope of seeing who I am. To my surprise, there isn’t a banner waving over my head with proclamations of who this being is. Hmmmm…..isn’t this interesting? I’m 46 years old. How is it I have come to not know this person looking back at me?

I have come to believe a significant contributor to thwarting the creation of my personal description has simply been my desire to be “great”. In order to be “great” you must first determine exactly what it is you are great at. What can you do, or say, in order to be seen as great? For many years, I try and try to find the thing that can successfully allow me to be great. I now realize the error in my thinking has been the actual “thinking” about what can make me “great”. I have not only been telling myself I am absolutely no good at anything, I stopped being good or even mediocre at the basics. While I stare at the reflection of myself, I am unable to say, “There you are!” Instead, I stare in awe and think, “Huh! Where did I go?”

This so-called hunt for greatness and then significant lack of permission to accept mediocrity has left me empty. Well, this needs some serious fixing. A repair I assume can only be performed by an experienced professional. I make an entry on my to do list of – ask about who I am; and I dismiss this opportunity (aka problem) from my mind. My subconscious mind, however, worked away to determine an answer. An answer that suddenly appeared to me and in it’s simplicity lead me to believe that this was in fact what I should have been striving for all along.

I need to be, and I say to be without the word great. I need to be Me. I need to be exactly who I am. Who am I?

* I am a mom! I will be mom. I will be the organizer of schedules. I will praise their accomplishments, love them unconditionally, coach them through the lessons of life as they encounter them. I will be the one to set a positive example, be honest and teach them trust. I will be the one to maintain the home they live in and keep them healthy. I will embrace this part of me and be confident in my ability to execute and be proud of each moment.

* I am an employee! While I desire to be perfect, I will strive to be me. I will learn my role to its fullest. I will ask questions to gain the knowledge required to succeed. I will be confident in executing each task I am familiar with and not fear the unknown.

* I am me! I enjoy researching. I will keep doing that. Not when I’m needed in my other roles of mom or employee. I perform my research on my time. I will read, I will make notes, I will even share some of what I learn when I think others should know about. I will make sure I schedule time for me. Time for me to do what I love. I will continue to grow the list of things I love to do.

To me, these are the basics. They are what I need to do as part of my existence. I am a mom, as I have children. I am an employee, as I am not a self-made millionaire, yet. And wrapped up in those and even on its own I am me. What more could I have been striving for when dedication to these three things can leave me very fulfilled and satisfied? Acknowledging that these three things are my basics and working towards performing each one better already allows me to see the reflection that is wanting so desperately to proudly peer back at me and say, “Here I am!”

03 Oct

How Do You Know If You Have ADHD?

In the post Being an Adult With ADHD I wrote of how girls are being undiagnosed with ADHD.  If a girl is missed being diagnosed as a child, how is she still being missed as an adult?  A woman will seek medical attention regarding symptoms she is having.  In many cases she will present with emotional symptoms.  A physician may end up treating this as depression.  No further investigation of possible disorders will need to be performed at this time as medications for depression will ease emotional symptoms.  The underlying condition of ADHD still exists.  

How do you know to press for more testing?

Few people believe adults have ADHD.  In fact, two thirds of children who have ADHD will still have it when they grow up.  The reality is, 4 – 5% of all adults have ADHD.  The only way to know if you have ADHD is to get evaluated by a qualified professional.  An internet search for “ADHD evaluation” will return many options to help you determine if an assessment from a qualified professional is the next step for you.  In Russell Barkley’s book “Taking Charge of Adult ADHD” there is a list of 9 criteria that are most accurate in identifying the disorder.

(*The lists and table in this post are from Russell Barkley`s book “Taking Charge of Adult ADHD)

Do you often….

  • Easily get distracted by extraneous stimuli or irrelevant thoughts?
  • Make decisions impulsively?
  • Have difficulty stopping activities or behavior when you should do so?
  • Start a project or task without reading or listening to directions carefully?
  • Fail to follow through on promises or commitments you make to others?
  • Have trouble doing things in their proper order or sequence?
  • Drive much faster than others-or, if you don’t drive, have difficulty engaging in leisure activities or doing fun things quietly?
  • Have difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or recreational activities?
  • Have difficulty organizing tasks and activities?

If you checked four of the first seven symptoms, or six of all nine symptoms, you are highly likely to have ADHD.

Let’s say you are highly likely to have ADHD.  What is the impact of these symptoms on your life?  I have learned that no single person with ADHD will have the exact same symptoms as another person with ADHD.  There are countless ways that a symptom can be experienced.  It would stand to reason then, the way these symptoms affect the various areas of a person’s life would also vary significantly among individuals.

The table below lists typical impairments caused by ADHD in childhood and beyond.

Typical childhood impairment

Family stress and conflict

Poor peer relationships

Few or no close friendships

Disruptive behavior in stores, church, and other community settings to the extent that you are asked to leave or not return

Low regard for personal safety/increased accidental injuries

Slow development of self-care
Slow development of personal responsibility

Significantly lower than average school performance

Significantly fewer years of schooling

 

Typical adolescent and adult impairments

Poor functioning at work

Frequent job changes

Risky sexual behavior/increased teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases

Unsafe driving (speeding, frequent accidents)

Difficulties managing finances (impulsive spending, excessive use of credit cards, poor debt repayment, little or no savings, etc.)

Problems in dating or marital relationships

Less common but notable:

Antisocial activities (lying, stealing, fighting) that lead to frequent police contact, arrests, and even time in jail; often associated
with a greater risk for illegal drug use and abuse

Generally less healthy lifestyle (less exercise, more sedentary self-entertainment, such as video games, TV, surfing the Internet; obesity,
binge eating or bulimia, poorer nutrition; greater use of nicotine and alcohol), and consequently an increased risk for coronary heart
disease

What’s next?

If a lot of these symptoms and their effects on a person’s life sound familiar, you may want to seek additional assessment or evaluation from a qualified professional.  In a future post I’ll provide information on what the assessment entails.  Til then….just do the next thing.