Dealing With Stigma

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A common struggle that can be felt by many who are dealing with a disorder – the stigma that comes attached to it. ADHD sufferers from all walks of life have probably experienced some judgement or stereotyping when it comes to telling others about their condition. These unwanted opinions given by others could potentially deter you from being open about your struggle. It is important to recognize that you are trying your best in dealing with the condition. The symptoms are not happening to you by choice, but by genetics. The best way to combat this type of judgement is to educate others. Do not allow yourself to become a subject of speculation. Instead, inform people about what it is like to live life in your shoes. Those who give judgement usually do not know what it feels like to experience the hardship.

 

The Harm in Hearing

 

When you experience stigma, a few things occur. Without either party realizing, you may begin to internalize these judgements. The mind subconsciously stores information that could be impacting you daily without your knowledge. If you are hearing negativity from others, this could affect your self esteem in the long run. It is important to have a thick skin, but at the same time, you are only human and words can be harsh. There is no one group that is exclusively targeted by stigma; everybody has an equal opportunity to feel impacted by being judged. When you feel that someone is being insensitive to your condition, speak up. Tell them how it makes you feel, even if your voice quivers. Standing up for yourself is important, and you should never feel ashamed to do so.

 

Seek Support From Others

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There are times when your friends or loved ones may not be able to fully understand what you are going through because they cannot relate. If you want to spend time with like minded people, try joining an ADHD support group. Being around those who know exactly what you are going through and can share similar struggles is going to help you feel less isolated with your disorder. This form of group therapy is a great (and often free) alternative to seeking out a private counselor. You can form relationships with members of your support group and even spend time together outside of the group setting. This is beneficial because it helps you to meet new people and also voice your ADHD struggles.

 

End the Stigma

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Using your voice in an impactful way is exhilarating and super important to ending the stigma attached to ADHD. In time, if you feel ready, you can use your personal experience to educate others who might have misconceptions about what it is like living with ADHD. Negativity is often stemmed from ignorance, so do your best to teach people and correct them when you hear any kind of hate speech. Behind every disorder is a human being. People often forget that we are not our labels. Show others the power of their words and judgements, how they can be detrimental to the human spirit if used in a negative or malicious way. Take action on a larger scale by making your voice heard by your local politicians. Healthcare reform is only possible when we advocate for it. Call or write to your local reps and tell them why you believe mental health is important.

 

Becoming an empowered and educated individual is admirable and will get you onto a much needed path of positivity. Remember that struggling through ADHD is normal and you do not have to deal with it alone. Lean on your support system, and make sure that your voice is heard.

 

   

Late Onset ADHD

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A mental disorder that affects the way your brain functions – This is ADHD. It is a psychiatric disorder that is prevalent amongst babies and children. When it is seen in adults, late onset ADHD functions differently. A lot of people think that you must exhibit symptoms in childhood if you are experiencing ADHD in adulthood. This is not necessarily true; many people suffer from late onset ADHD when their childhood brain was completely unaffected. It is often assumed that the two automatically have a correlation, but sometimes this isn’t the case. As a study published by JAMA Psychiatry in July of 2016 shows, late onset is actually the most common form of ADHD, even including those cases seen in children.

Endorphin Rush

 

A current study from this year published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise reveals that a simple 20-min period of exercise can significantly improve the symptoms for those who are experiencing late onset ADHD. This boost received from the exercise can significantly jump start motivation to complete tasks, provide much needed energy, and diminish most harmful negative emotions. Developing a new hobby can also provide some improvement with ADHD symptoms. Completely immersing yourself into something new can prove to be a great distraction and a way to allow yourself to focus on one thing at a time.

Reach Out to Someone

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If you feel that the symptoms have become unmanageable for daily living, don’t be afraid to seek help. Therapy can often have a stigma attached to it, and it is not the solution for everyone, but each situation varies. If your finances do not allow you to see a conventional therapist, look into schools. These teaching schools allow their students to provide services for discounted rates, or even for free. If you do not wish to see a therapist, try asking for help from your family and friends. Your loved ones are often your biggest support systems and can help your situation if you open up to them. The importance of realizing you are not alone should be emphasized.

 

The internet is a great tool for connecting you with resources, or even like minded individuals. Talking with people who share your struggle can be very beneficial to learning how to cope with your late onset ADHD. From daily challenges to tips on dealing with symptoms, a quick internet search will allow you to access several forums and chat rooms dedicated to the topic. The more education you have on the disorder, the more equipped you will be to make a change in your own life.

 

Think Outside the Box

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Seek out new ways to stay organized. If lists and timelines aren’t your style, try out some alternative ways to make sure that you are not forgetting important tasks throughout the day. Determine which of your senses is most dominant. Are you a visual learner? Do you prefer to take instructions verbally? Once you figure out what method your brain responds best to, you will be able to cater to your strengths.

Technology is a dominant force in the current times, and you will be likely to find several apps that are geared towards self help and organization. With ADHD, it is important to plan not only in the moment, but also far ahead of time. By doing this, you will allow your brain much more time to prepare for the event or activity. You are your own greatest tool in the journey of balancing your life while dealing with late onset ADHD. Be kind to yourself and inspire others around you to do the same! 

 

    

How to Seek Help

Dealing with a disorder is a challenge for most, but what proves to be even more difficult is asking for help. Most of us would rather try everything in our power to not ask for help when we really need it. This mindset might stem from the negative connotation that comes with asking for help; some see it as weak or needy. This is not the truth. When you know what you need and how to ask for it, this showcases your strengths, the exact opposite. Once you work up the courage to do it, what is the next step that you should take? There are many resources readily available. You can seek counseling in the form of a therapist, ask your doctor for a prescription to help with the symptoms, and even utilize the internet. Living with ADHD does not need to be debilitating.

 

Good Listeners

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Therapy can be beneficial for those of all ages. There are different types of therapists. You can choose one that practices in a traditional, conversational way. During counseling, you speak to your therapist as if you were having a long conversation. This is a chance to clear your mind and share any concerns that you have as you deal with your ADHD. Another type of therapy is art therapy. This comes from a more creative approach, allowing you to express your feelings through various forms of artwork such as drawing, painting, and writing. If you are unsure of where you should seek help, try different doctors until you feel comfortable enough to continue going.

 

Prescriptions

 

Some people elect to taking medication in order to ease their ADHD symptoms. A sometimes controversial topic, many try to steer clear of prescription pills because they only want to handle their ADHD in a holistic way. If you decide that prescription medication is for you, consult your doctor to ensure that you will be receiving the appropriate medication and dosage. There is nothing wrong with taking medication for your ADHD, especially if it significantly improves your life. If you or those close to you are not convinced that medication is the route to take, virtually any drug can be researched on the internet. Being educated and knowing about any side effects that may occur will put you in charge of your path to living symptom-free.

 

Support Groups

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From the comfort of your own home, you can get support from people who also suffer from ADHD. Message board style groups exist online, and can even be specific to your area if you wish to connect with local people. In these groups, you will be able to vent, share stories, and see what tips and tricks your peers are using to deal with their ADHD. By becoming a part of the online support group community, you will feel less alone and less misunderstood on your down days. This can be a huge and much needed morale boost, one that could even potentially lead to in person meetups. 

 

Triple Threat

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With one or all of the above methods of treatment for your ADHD, you are putting yourself on the path to living a happier and healthier life. Remember, it is still possible to live a normal and fulfilling life, even when suffering from a health condition or disorder. Always remember to keep an open mind, and be easy on yourself during the process. By seeking out help, you are gaining someone (or many people) to be on your team. There is strength in numbers, and with the help that you are seeking comes great strides with your mental and physical health.