A Hitchhiker’s Guide to ADHD – Start Here!

ADHD-slider-woman-brain-women-with-ADHD-by-healthista

 

You’ve suspect you have ADHD, you have been told you have ADHD OR you have recently been diagnosed with ADHD….

WELCOME!

This post is going to help you get a better sense of what it means to have Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.

Those of us who have ADHD may struggle with absorbing information in a specific way, or have additional challenges such as dyslexia, so I’ll include all types of media — books, videos, articles, quizzes, slideshows — hopefully you find something that speaks to you. Let’s begin:

INDEX

What Is ADHD?

According to the experts, ADHD is largely a genetic brain difference, inherited at birth. What causes these genes responsible for ADHD to switch on or off? Well, the jury is still out on that. Studies have shown however that there are observable differences in the structure and function of ADHD brains. Since it’s highly heritable,  children of those with ADHD, are far more likely to inherit this condition. ADHD can affect a person’s ability to control the focus of their attention, it can lead to lack of motivation, poor emotional and impulse control, inability to stay on task or finish tasks as well as many other issues.

The term ADHD has gone through a number of revisions over the past few decades but is a catchall phrase to describe a number of observable symptoms. These symptoms are further broken down into 3 broad categories: Type 1: Inattentive, Type 2: Hyperactive, Type 3: Combination Type. An in-depth, professional diagnosis from a qualified ADHD professional will give you a better understanding of which category you fall into, however this video from the amazing (and very helpful)  Jessica McCabe, will give you a solid overview and also brings us to our next category….

Do I have ADHD?

How To Know If You Have ADHD

Also, here are some online ADHD tests you can take to help you decide if you should seek a formal diagnosis for ADHD.

PsychCentral.com – Adult ADHD Test 

MyADHD.co.za  Self-Assessment Test

TotatallyADD.com Interactive Adult ADHD Test

NB: If you decide to apply for a professional diagnosis, ensure that your doctor or specialist is equipped to diagnose adult ADHD as many physicians are not.

ADHD in Adults

According to the the latest statistics, the fastest growing diagnosis group for ADHD belongs to adult women. More and more parents who receive a diagnosis of ADHD for their children come to realise that they have many of the same symptoms. As they learn more about ADHD through online research and speaking to medical professionals it becomes increasingly clear that they too have been living with undiagnosed ADHD. This is not a inconsequential thing. Left undiagnosed, ADHD can lead to anxiety, depression, poor self-esteem, emotional outbursts, poor social skills, drug addiction, car accidents and even in some cases, crime. This is why it’s so important to get this information out there, so more people, including health professionals, will be aware of  condition and can recognise it more easily.

Here is a visual guide to Adult ADHD from WebMd:

A Visual Guide To ADHD in Adults

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Jessica McCabe from ‘How To ADHD‘ also has a great video you can share with loved ones who need to know more about your ADHD:

Does Your Love One Have ADHD?

 

ADHD Symptoms in Women and How They Differ

Women with ADD/ADHD often  suffer in silence compared with their male counterparts, says Patricia Quinn, MD, director of the National Center for Gender Issues and ADHD.  She says women often develop strategies to hide their deficiencies, but in the process, feel ashamed and have low self-esteem. They frequently find it difficult to make social connections. And, even when things are going well, they feel frustrated and besieged.

Any of this sound familiar? It certainly did when I read it! Below are a few links to resources you might find useful if you would like to know more about ADHD in women and girls.

 

ADHD women

The ADHD Symptom Checklist For Women

 

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ADHD Is Different In Girls

ADHD In Girls

 

Our Kids and ADHD

Parenting at the best of times can be hard work, let’s be honest.  But parents with ADHD find it especially difficult. Family life can often be a sensory assault with so many things vying for your attention  – add to this the amount of high level ‘executive function’ needed to keep a household organised and on schedule — this can often be a personal nightmare for someone with ADHD. Attempting to parent a child with ADHD when you yourself have ADHD requires a lot of effort, a support system, an effective treatment plan as well as a large dose of compassion for yourself and your child. It’s so easy to be hard on ourselves, to be exasperated, frustrated and angry but this is when we need to search for empathy and understand that everyone’s doing the best they can with the tools they have available to them.

Here are some articles that may give you a little insight into parenting with ADHD and raising ADHD children.

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Your Child Probably Has ADHD. Now What?

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When ADHD Runs in the Family

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Overwhelmed Mom Syndrome – It’s a Real Thing

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13 Survival Strategies for Moms With ADHD

The Science Stuff

It’s important to learn as much as you can about ADHD if you have it or if someone you love does. The science behind this particular ‘brain difference’ is pretty compelling and will help you fight the tsunami of misinformation and downright rubbish spread by those who don’t know any better.

 

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Is ADHD Hereditary? Yes and No

Screenshot - 2017_05_05 , 04_44_07 PMNeuroscience 101 – ADHD

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Imaging Study Confirms Differences In ADHD Brains

ADHD – approach with Science

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More Brain Differences Seen Between Girls, Boys With ADHD

The Positive Stuff

ADHD can be destructive and damaging when left undiagnosed and untreated. Once we learn to work with ADHD however,  instead of fighting and struggling against it, many are able to experience profoundly positive outcomes.

 ADHD sucks, but not really

My 10 Favorite Things About Having ADHD

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17 Things to Love About ADHD!

Resources:

Books


Sites

MyADHD.co.za

ADDitudemag.com

TotallyADD.com

CHADD.org (National Resource On ADHD – US)

Support Groups

Women With ADD/ADHD – Facebook Group

ADHD Parent Support Group – Facebook 

Psychcentral.com

 

South African Resources

Adhasa (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Support Group of South Africa)

ADHD Support SA – Facebook Group

Adhasa.co.za

 

helgapearson

Helga Pearson is somewhat embarrassed by the fact that she has FOUR cats. She should really be embarrassed by her tendency to overshare about the books she is currently reading. She occasionally writes as well - but she's not sure yet if she should be embarrassed by this.

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