Help me to understand and educate bet... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Help me to understand and educate better!

lozz_eira
lozz_eira

I'm an animation student with ADHD and both are things I'm very passionate about. I think ADHD is really misunderstood so I'm planning to make a stop motion animation explaining it as best I can to the people who don't understand it, or just want to know more. If anyone can answer a couple of the questions below I'd be so grateful. It all helps me to understand what should go into the video and get different perspectives on how it impacts other people. Also if anyone has any suggestions for anywhere I can get really good ADHD explanations / information that would be great too!

1. Do you think there is actually a stigma and misunderstanding around ADHD? If so where are the gaps in the general understanding? Which aspects of ADHD are the parts that are misunderstood the most in your experience?

2. How does ADHD affect relationships?

3. How does ADHD affect employment and employability? Would a better understanding of ADHD make employers less likely to discriminate?

4. How does ADHD affect education? What should change in the education system to cater to people with ADHD?

5. What are the biggest risk factors for people with ADHD? In terms of developing depression and anxiety or turning to substance abuse to cope with ADHD?

6. What is something that you would like people to understand about ADHD?

7. Are there any positives of having ADHD in your experience?

7 Replies
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This is a fantastic idea...I can’t write anything now as have to go out...but will write some things later x

lozz_eira
lozz_eira in reply to Greenbeeps

Thank you I look forward to your answers! x

1. Yes there is a major misunderstanding. Everyone just thinks it's being hyper. It is so much more than that depression, emotions, how we think, and so much more. 2. Relationships is a major issue that I have been married twice and although both exes state they don't feel it had an impact I feel that it did. This is a perfect example: If you’re the person with ADHD, you may feel like you’re constantly being criticized, nagged, and micromanaged. No matter what you do, nothing seems to please your spouse or partner. You don’t feel respected as an adult, so you find yourself avoiding your partner or saying whatever you have to in order to get them off your back. You wish your significant other could relax even a little bit and stop trying to control every aspect of your life. You wonder what happened to the person you fell in love with.

If you’re in a relationship with someone who has ADHD, you may feel lonely, ignored, and unappreciated. You’re tired of taking care of everything on your own and being the only responsible party in the relationship. You don’t feel like you can rely on your partner. They never seem to follow through on promises, and you’re forced to constantly issue reminders and demands or else just do things yourself. Sometimes it feels as if your significant other just doesn’t care. 3. I don't have an issue with employment however I communication has been an issue but they work with me and help classes, mentors etc. ADHD and education I feel you need to let them know how it effects you taking test. Understanding the program information sometimes I feel professors explain in a way I don't understand and of course I ask a million questions until I did. I like visuals and hands on I learn more. I get bored with reading however audio books I like. 5. Education understanding what is out there to help with depression, anxiety. At diagnose 52 was shocking but it explained a lot. The only thing is I researched for answers. It wasn't a doctor or anyone else. We are as a just now recognizing ADHD is real and Education in schools and workplaces etc. 6. Everything to education everyone about how everyone can be different and how it affects them. Some worse than others in all areas. MOST OF ALL IT IS REAL. For others to be patient and kind. 7. Positives having these abilities is a superpower that no one else can ever take away. We are unique.

Thank you for being so detailed this will be incredibly helpful :)

Hi @lozz_eira

First, I think more educators should start asking these questions, so thank you for asking. I will answer to the best of my ability.

Some info about me. I’m a 30-year-old man. I live in the Pacific Northwest. I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 5. I was medicated with Ritalin until 12. I stopped taking medication for 17 years. As of March 1st, 2020. I was prescribed Adderall. So, this is going to be the first time I’ve written in a while, so please excuse the tangents and horrible grammar.

Do you think there is actually a stigma and misunderstanding around ADHD? If so where are the gaps in the general understanding? Which aspects of ADHD are the parts that are misunderstood the most in your experience?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder is largely misunderstood simply because of the prescription stimulants that are often associated with the disorder. Like why would you give a hyperactive kid a stimulant? The answer is that ADHD is not that the individual cannot pay attention and sit still, it is that the individual’s brain cannot produce the neurochemical Dopamine, that feel-good chemical that we all love. Without an adequate supply of this important neurochemical, the whole system is hindered, systems like executive functions and the default mode network. What looks like a student skipping class might be a student that has crippling anxiety and can’t get out of bed. What looks like a very talented bright capable student not turning in homework and failing the class might be a student that is trying but is having an EXTREMELY hard time starting. What may seem easy to a neurotypical brain may be 100x harder for a person with ADHD because that feel-good chemical Dopamine is not there to satisfy that of our brain that allows us to pay our bills on time, or not be late, or appear lazy. Most of us have some sort of mood disorder and are perceived as awkward, weird, and hard to connect with other people.

2. How does ADHD affect relationships?

My ADHD has made it harder to connect with people in general. Family and friends alike. It makes dating a little bit more difficult, nobody wants to date someone who is inconsistent in everything or has trouble regulating emotions. I was fortunate to meet a woman that had the patience to work with me.

3. How does ADHD affect employment and employability? Would a better understanding of ADHD make employers less likely to discriminate?

I never told any of my past employers that I was ADHD because it wasn’t their business. I worked in retail for most of my late 20s, so it was easy to fly under the radar. I’m not sure if they would have accommodated me, but maybe if I had asked, I would know.

4. How does ADHD affect education? What should change in the education system to cater to people with ADHD?

This is a big one. When I read this question, I started bawling. Here’s why:

When I was in the third grade, my teacher was this woman named MC. I was a young, bright, and happy 8-year-old. I loved going to school and I had friends; until I had this vile woman as a teacher.

I don’t what I did to upset her, but this teacher hated me like it was her job. She would make an example of me in front of the class every chance she got. She dared to call my mother a bad mom because I wasn’t performing to HER standards. Despite numerous meetings with the school principal discussing her conduct in the classroom, the emotion and verbal abuse continued. This led to the loss of friends, my performance slipped even further, I was depressed, and I hated school. I was assigned to MC’s classroom the following year as well (4th grade).

In my journey of processing this trauma, I have come to realize why she had treated me the way she did. I was a handful. I was always speaking out of turn. I wouldn’t stay on task. I had all the mannerisms of a child with ADHD and she did not know how to deal with it, so she dealt with it the only way she knew how. MC’s actions alone would have a lasting impact on my mental health and my education experience that would last until I dropped out of high school; ADHD just made it a bit messier.

It's not that we need to change to cater to people with ADHD. Special attention is not what we need. What we need are more compassionate educators. Accommodations are awesome and everything, but that doesn’t help a student if that student doesn’t feel comfortable approaching the teacher.

I’m not saying that all teachers are bad, I’ve had plenty of teachers since that have been awesome, but MC made it very hard to trust teachers. I’ve only recently in my been able to work through that trauma.

When a parent sends their child off to school, the last thing that they expect is the teacher bullying their child. That is exactly what happened to me, and that is wrong. As an educator, you are helping to raise that child indirectly, and you can seriously hurt a child emotionally if you’re not careful.

5. What are the biggest risk factors for people with ADHD? In terms of developing depression and anxiety or turning to substance abuse to cope with ADHD?

Major Depressive Disorder and General anxiety disorder are commonly associated with an ADHD diagnosis. I have both.

I don’t have any major substance abuse issues myself, although I’m not surprised. Millions of people use substances every day to cope with existence.

What it boils down to is that we are all unique in our ways, we are products of our environments. Some people with ADHD learned good ways of coping and some cope in their way but it’s probably not healthy.

6. What is something that you would like people to understand about ADHD?

BE MORE PATIENT WITH US

7. Are there any positives of having ADHD in your experience?

ADHD is slowly becoming less stigmatized.

I hope these answers help you with your video. Good luck!

First off I applaud you for doing your part in educating others about ADHD. To give some perspective I have a teenage son soon to be 15 years old , who has had Adhd all his life but only recently officially diagnosed by school after he got in trouble.

ADHD is a serious complicated issue that often is not diagnosed/treated and early. It affects all aspects of life, learning, concentrating, making friends, constantly losing things...eye glasses, phone, keys, sneakers, etc. Lack of motivation, don't participate in afterschool programs or sports. No interest in things because of fear and anxiety, unable to form friendships because of anxiety. It's a sad way to live. BIGGEST RISK FACTOR BESIDES SUICIDE, IS GOING TO JAIL, or drug abuse.

ADHD needs to be recognized, and treated with medications and along with therapy.

Hi, sorry, only just replying....

1) people belief what they hear at school, gossip, if it’s not in their radar they don’t think they have the need to research, look further, they may also have a bias against it so would seek out anti-ADHD research rather than a broad spectrum. People tend to think of ADHD as one presentation.....disruptive boy....

2) ADHD isn’t what disrupts the relationships it’s the lack of knowledge and understanding that causes the conflict.....the person without thinks their partner/child is being deliberately difficult, chaotic, rude.....the person with it has no idea they have this condition and turns inward and towards drunk drugs to escape/relax/switch off their brain

When people learn about ADHD it will not be as disruptive....no more so than you partner/child having a different disability...in fact it should eventually come to a point where we wouldn’t describe ADHD as being disruptive to a relationship because it would be wrong to describe a person in wheelchair as causing ‘disruption in a relationship’

3) and 4) same as question 2

5) Feeling shame, different, not understanding self, negative self talk, lack of support because of lack of understanding, turning to alcohol/drugs to calm the mind/relief

6) inattentive women

7) I love my tangential thinking, my open mind, my creativity and thinking way outside the box, I love my compassion, taking medication helps with the responsibilities and stuff I find boring but want to be capable of...in turn I have more room for my creative side.

I am very interested in helping you with your animation and have similar ideas xx let me know if you’d like to chat...ADHD needs to be out there for everyone xxx the fact that there are hundreds and hundreds of people in prison probably due to undiagnosed adhd is dreadful xx

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