ADHD In My Case

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I get a lot of comments about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD. Some say it is a condition someone only builds up to grab attention. Some believe that it is just all in mind and that there is nothing to worry about it. Some think that it is not a complicated situation, and all individuals that have it can do something to cure it whenever they want. But I say it is never like that.

The Shame And Stigma Of  ADHD

In the world where everyone doubts you, it becomes impossible not to question yourself as well. According to CARL SHERMAN, PH.D., “People with ADHD tend to have trouble seeing themselves realistically, and the desire to avoid discrimination makes it even harder.” With all the stigma of how people look at the mental condition, everything about it becomes frustrating. It is as if the whole point of ADHD results in an unnoticed amount of shame. It is debilitating. It causes patients an intense amount of negative guilt. With that, people’s perception toward an action of someone with ADHD gets often considered wrong. That no matter how persistent these people try to create a meaningful life, their behavior will ruin everything for them. So with all the debilitating shame coming from people’s unwanted judgment, it becomes someone’s valid reason not to seek help.

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How I Look AT It

I also experience the same kind of judgment from those people who cannot seem to open their minds toward understanding what ADHD is. I know it is not people’s obligation to educate themselves on the medical condition. It is never their fault that some people like me have it. Honestly, that particular instance is what makes me feel vulnerable and weak. It is as if like I will never be anything but a failure. With all the negativity of people’s uneducated view of my condition, every inch of getting better becomes way too impossible. It feels like everything in life contributes significantly to my anxiety, stress, depression, and even addiction.

My ADHD is something I would never wish others to have. Honestly, although some may think that I am lucky to handle the condition well, they do not know how much effort I put in only to make things functional. I made a lot of sacrifices. There are times that I pushed my limits because I do not want people to treat me indifferently. The battles I have with my anger and agitation is the worst of it all. That is because even if I do not want to, I am hurting the people around who love me unconditionally. Unfortunately, that sucks. Psychiatrist Edward (Ned) Hallowell M.D. shares, “I invite you to speculate as to what has worked for you, what rules and tools helped you out most, and then see if what worked for me was what worked for you.”

Insight

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There is nothing someone can instantly do to manage their ADHD. Treatments and medication appear needed in some cases. I cannot also say that the ADHD I have right now is the same as everybody who has it because I know it is not. Every condition is different, as well as their symptoms. But when it comes to getting better, recovery is not just one choice we make. It is a series of life-changing decisions that we create, allowing us to be in control. As what EDWARD HALLOWELL, M.D. quoted, “We need to join the growing movement to celebrate mental diversity, celebrate the full range of what the human mind can do. We need get out from under the dark hood of shame and stigma that have held us back for millennia.”

An Advice For Those People With ADHD

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ADHD is a complicated chronic medical condition. Like any chronic illnesses, it comes with a lot of symptoms that affect a person’s life. In some unfortunate cases, there is a list of impairments that not all people with ADHD can manage. A lot of us know how hard it is for those people with ADHD. We might not understand how the mental condition affects a lot of people, but one thing is for sure – we care. According to Russell Barkley, PhD, “ADHD symptoms arise in a set of mental abilities called the executive functions.”

Most individuals with ADHD have difficulty regulating their attention. It becomes impossible for them to transition from one task to another. And even if these people want to, they cannot. And when the duty is less stimulating, these individuals with ADHD will not be able to focus. But is that enough reason to excuse themselves and blame their condition for the destruction they have in their lives? No, of course not. You see, even though people’s ADHD is not at all their fault, one thing is sure.

It is their responsibility to address it and find ways to work with their emotional and mental function. Yes, the statement may sound a bit straightforward, but that is the truth. Aside from embracing the signs and symptoms of ADHD, people should accept that the medical condition is not something to ignore. With that, those individuals with ADHD should try their best to make things better for themselves. They must look for helpful tools that can manage their anger and frustration. They also need to try loving themselves more and aim for their overall development.

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Understanding Both Sides

Since there are lots of people who can’t seem to understand what ADHD is, some of them label the person’s behavior as unmotivated, stupid, flaky, and disorganized. These are something that can torment individuals with ADHD. It becomes an internalization that they can never shake off even right after a diagnosis. Yes, it is painful to hear such words because others are ignorant about the mental condition. But can we blame them? Honestly, it is also not their fault for not knowing the medical condition. Everyone is having doubts about what it might be. But hear it out. The judgment individuals with ADHD may have is not something they should give attention. What matters is the recovery of a better and well-functioning life. Yes, the process of attaining it is way too hard. But people with the condition will never make it if they will not try.

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If ever you find yourself judging you, do not worry too much because that is normal. As what EDWARD HALLOWELL, M.D. quoted, “We need to join the growing movement to celebrate mental diversity, celebrate the full range of what the human mind can do. We need get out from under the dark hood of shame and stigma that have held us back for millennia.” The emotions you have are the same as what everybody else feels also. So what if you have ADHD? It does not mean you can never live a good life anymore. Just because you are having problems controlling your impulsive reactions, that does not give people credit to humiliate, despise, and mistreat you. Therefore, you should not also have to feel that way to yourself as well. Some people will still love you just the way you are. “To say that ADHD is sometimes misdiagnosed—even over-diagnosed—is likely true, say many experts. But to say that it doesn’t exist, as some critics claim, is “like saying the world is flat,” says Edward Hallowell, a psychiatrist who treats ADHD at The Hallowell Centers in Cambridge, MA, and New York City and who has ADHD himself.

 

ADHD And Aggression

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Individuals with ADHD tend to be emotionally and socially impulsive. That is the reason why a lot of people cannot seem to understand their moods most of the times. These mentally unstable individuals get frustrated and angry quickly. With their angry thoughts, things can lead to violent actions at certain levels too. In some unfortunate cases, these people do stuff that ends up costing them their relationship with their friends, family, and sometimes, significant others. All things in their lives get affected, and that includes their social interaction at school and work as well. About 25% of preadolescent children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder have impulsive reactive aggression, a common but so far unnamed comorbidity that deserves attention and therapy,” according to Robert L. Findling, MD.

But in most circumstances, those people with ADHD who allow anger run their lives feel awful afterward. From then, they will start to regret everything they did. “A lot of times people think of aggression as willful intent, but sometimes these kids can’t stop their impulses,” says  Dr. Ellen Braaten, an expert in the field of pediatric neuropsychological and psychological assessment. “That impulse isn’t about an intent to harm somebody, but about the inability to stop themselves before they act,” she says. Unfortunately, even though most of them know and understand the consequences of their actions, they continuously do it again. Well, it is not that these people are not capable of making better decisions. But the problem is, these people’s angry emotion is uncontrollable.

The Brains And The Mental Disorder

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Well, we can agree that every individual gets upset for some valid and considerable reasons. But what makes them different from those people with ADHD is the capability to control their reactions. There is a part of most ordinary people’s brain called anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) that helps hold back actions and emotions. That is especially when expressing a thought is never a good idea. It allows people to suppress their impulsiveness. However, those brains of the persons with ADHD is twice much faster than those people who do not have the mental condition. In a more unfortunate event, both in children and adult with ADHD, the ACC appears to do nothing. Experts describe this situation as “trouble with response inhibition.”

Since there is too much impulsiveness, persons with ADHD must build up their breaks and allow their ACC to function. Honestly, there is plenty of ways to do that. Here are the following guides.

  • Mindfulness – One way for people with ADHD to connect to their ACC is becoming aware of their thoughts. That is alongside with their feelings and body’s reactions toward something that makes them uncomfortable. To succeed in getting the right mindfulness, these people must focus on other things such as breathing. When you practice things like gratitude or mindfulness, your brain creates shortcuts for these skills, making it easier and easier each time you do it (like riding a bike!),” says Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.
  • Meditation – For people with ADHD, meditation is not about clearing the mind from a variety of thoughts and emotions while sitting around in an isolated place. For these people, it is an opportunity to practice not reacting to necessary thoughts and feelings that currently exist. When these people manage not to act impulsively, then there is a chance that the ACC gets activated.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – The therapy is useful for people with ADHD because it focuses on the cognitive process. It helps in understanding and controlling thoughts and emotions in a present moment. The main idea is to create a space between a particular scenario and the supposed reaction. CBT is best for impulse-control and emotional self-regulation.
  • Talk Therapy – This form of counseling can take place virtually or traditionally. You can call or text BetterHelp specialists or video chat with them through social media.

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People will have a problem understanding aggression in ADHD. That is why they should also consider educating themselves for the benefit of those who have the mental condition.

See Art Through The Eyes of Leroi Johnson To Realize How Good It Can Be For Your Autistic Child

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It has been emphasized many times over by therapists and general practitioners alike that the two hemispheres of the brain cannot function well at the same time. The left side can be more developed to make the person’s analytical and mathematical skills defined, while the right side’s advancement generates the creativity of an individual. Their performances are not supposed to be parallel.

This scientific belief can easily be disproved by Leroi Callwell Johnson, a local attorney who has been serving in the Buffalo, New York for more than 27 years now. His accomplishments, however, do not end and begin in being a man of law. Apart from this profession, he has been the manager of his older brother Rick James, a rock legend, as well as various entertainers in the 70s such as Val Young and The Mary Janes. His most recent travails have landed him in a respectable position in the art scene.

How Did Leroi Johnson Become A Painter?

Leroi’s deep passion for the arts has begun around the time that he was hospitalized for three years since the tender age of 10 due to a car accident. During that period of his life, he was not allowed to get up from the bed and take short walks in the hospital. Hence, the only things he has seen continuously are the ceiling and walls of the room.

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One day, the kind man next to his post there has gifted him with a sketch pad and some crayons to help him while away the hours. Because of his limited viewing space, the artist has learned to utilize his imagination and draw from his perspective. Besides, the position he has taken on the bed has had a significant impact on him. Up to this moment, the paintings made by Leroi are done vertically.

The art has continued to be a part of his life even after getting discharged from the medical institution. His job as Rick James’ manager has given him the prospect of visiting all the large art museums and exhibitions in every state of the United States at that age. Such an experience has inspired him to create masterpieces with acrylics on canvas.

Another factor that has propelled Leroi towards the craft is his intense enthusiasm for African art. He has been an avid collector for 30 years already. His love for African culture is evident in a lot of his paintings.

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Has He Ever Been Discouraged From Painting?

The short response is yes, but the story behind it is quite impressive. Perhaps before the years when Leroi was still supervising the career, finances, and company of his late brother, he has presented some of his older artworks to Rick James who then jokingly commented that he did not like the lawyer’s paintings. Leroi, on the other hand, took this seriously to the heart and stopped working on canvases for a whole decade. The hiatus has only ended when a curator of one of the museums he has gone to has taken notice of his other paintings. That and Rick’s clarification that he has indeed liked Leroi’s art pieces have given him the courage to pick up the brush and start making masterworks once more.

What Is/Are His Notable Painting Style(s)?

Because he has not attended courses or received formal training at any point, his genius is not restricted by the terminologies often used in the art world. In the beginning, the paintings seem to have a tinge of geometric abstraction – a form of art that the great master Picasso is famous for. Several years later, this has transformed into the depiction of his ideals and personal anecdotes.

Leroi now says that his paintings are “electric primitive” due to the way he draws and colors his subjects. It is primitive in the sense that the lines and figures are a bit similar to how the medieval folks have illustrated their traditions and practices on stone caves. The exciting part comes from the fact that, unlike the ancient people, he adds colors to his works.

The images he forms have an animated feel, and the shades are often vivid. You will not find a painting of his that has a single concentration. Every one of them consists of a conglomeration of figures and objects. Though they may seem simple at first, the truth is that the thoughts hidden underneath each picture are too profound and beautiful.

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What Are His Usual Subjects?

As an African American himself, Leroi Johnson’s paintings are Afrocentric. It entails that a good number of his masterpieces have been mainly focused on the African people and culture. Other than that, the time he has spent in Brazil and his involvement in Catholicism have motivated him to paint a few canvases regarding those matters.

Who Are His Inspirations?

Leroi has mentioned in every interview that his work is not influenced by any famous artist in history. Despite that, he still has much respect for people like Pablo Picasso, Abdias do Nascimiento, Marc Chagall, and Salvador Dali.

What Are Some Of Leroi’s Achievements In The Field Of Art?

Being able to present his artworks in different countries like Canada, France, and Italy is already a significant achievement that has never come to his imagination. Still, because of the brilliance that is innate in this man, there is no doubt that Leroi is going to be peppered with praises and awards in the coming years. It has recently started, for he has obtained recognition as one of the ArtTour International Magazine’s Top 60 Masters of Contemporary Art in 2015.

Leroi has been given leadership positions in various art organizations as well. He is a former member of the board at the Erie County Cultural Advisory Committee and serves at the moment as a trustee for the Burchfield Penney Art Center and the Buffalo Society of Artists.

Final Thoughts

Leroi Johnson is the best exemplification of an “exemption to the rule.” He has no qualms about going back and forth to the legal and art worlds. He can excellently fulfill his duties as a local Buffalo lawyer and a budding international artist without stumbling. May we see more people like Leroi in the future.

Because ADHD Is A Family Matter

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When someone in the family – especially one of the children – is diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, everyone feels it. But as a parent you can help your child overcome daily challenges, channel their energy into positive arenas, and bring greater calm to your family,” says Melinda Smith, M.A. and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. Thus, it is not only a condition suffered by one but by a whole unit, making it a family matter. Each of the members must help keep the harmony and the dynamic going. Read this article to learn some psychologist approved tips on balancing responsibilities towards your spouse, your regular children, and your child with ADHD.

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ADHD In Relationship: Understanding Instead Of Complaining

ADHD affects relationships, but not all people look at it as a huge issue. They didn’t know that there’s a far more damaging issue to the condition yet they seem to be not interested in talking about it. Perhaps that’s because it’s not a favorite subject. However, there are tons of articles and videos that discuss different useful advice on how to deal with the situation. There’s the discussion of impulsivity, hyperactivity, time-management, anxiety treatment, inattention, and a lot more. The good news is that learning about how your ADHD affects the relationship can help you find strategies and tools to improve communication with your partner and develop a healthier, happier relationship as a result,” says Katie Hurley, LCSW.

With this information, there’s a significant chance that people are now trying to acknowledge that ADHD in the relationship is becoming a big deal.

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All About ADHD

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a peculiar neurodevelopmental disorder which affects a child’s well-being regarding schooling and forming social relationships. “Children with this condition have less voluntary control over their attention, their level of activity, and how quickly they make decisions, so parents can become frustrated, impatient, and demoralized,” says Richard Gallagher, PhD. This neurological syndrome is highly genetic which affects the regulation of a particular set of brain functions relating to behavioral control. People may notice subtle to visible traits which may indicate its manifestation in a family member.

There is a high expectancy for individual symptoms of ADHD visible in a child. It usually appears during teenage years with an average diagnosis of seven years old. Some older children who exhibit ADHD symptoms show complex symptom in earlier years in life. As such, doctors need to evaluate the child using particular criteria during the diagnosis of the condition.

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Causes of ADHD

  • ADHD is not a manifestation or effect of a head concussion, traumatic life event, poor parenting, excess sugar, television, video games, or the lack of physical activity. Instead, it is a hereditary disorder which is the result of the following:
  • Structural Issues – Brain scans of adults with ADHD show significant reduction of mental activity. These include essential areas responsible for attention capacity and motor activity.
  • Chemical Issues – There are disruptions in the functions of serotonin levels which affect the regulation of the dopamine system where it changes behavioral patterns. It creates a difference in the pathway of dopamine activity which relates to reward and consequence decision-making in individuals with ADHD.
  • Brain Communication Issues – Brains of individuals with ADHD communicates differently compared to those with neurotypical brains. The dysfunction in DMN (default mode network) changes the performance and effort of a person in his activities.

Who Has ADHD

ADHD occurs regardless of gender, and it usually persists throughout an individual’s lifetime. There is no cure for ADHD due to its neurobehavioral origins. That’s the reason why the majority of individuals do not outgrow this condition. Two-thirds of children with ADHD require treatment because of its severe symptoms continuing in adulthood. And since every individual possesses a unique brain profile, it indicates that no two people with ADHD have the exact experiences and symptoms.

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Signs

Individuals with ADHD may show the following symptoms:

  • Unusual Selfishness – Individuals with ADHD tend to put their needs and desires first regardless of the circumstance. They have no to little ability to recognize other individual’s needs and wants.
  • Inability to Control Emotions – There’s a difficulty in controlling the emotions during most circumstances for ADHD patients. To some extent, they may have an anger outburst in inappropriate situations.
  • Interrupting Others – It is a self-focused behavior of children with ADHD. They like to intervene in activities out of their social limitations. These include partaking in conversations and games of strangers.
  • Lack of Focus – People with ADHD have trouble paying attention to a task at hand. As a result, it ends up in with learning problems, ineffective coaching, and having numerous tasks left unfinished.
  • Organizing Problems – Due to lack of focus, they have trouble in keeping tasks and activities in track.
  • Avoiding Long Arduous Tasks – Activities using extensive mental effort are shunned by most children with ADHD such as paying attention in class or doing homework.
  • Fidgetiness – Children with ADHD are unable to stand still. They can’t play quietly and may run around excessively. They fail to engage in most activities calmly.

 

Diagnosis

Seeking out medical professionals such as psychotherapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist who specialize in ADHD is the best way for condition evaluation. By carefully evaluating all of a child’s behaviors and emotional symptoms, a child psychiatrist can help parents identify the right combination of interventions for the complexity of the behaviors,” said psychiatrist Steven G. Dickstein, MD. They have the extensive experience needed for ADHD-specific diagnosis and treatment. Primary care physicians can also identify typical signs as well and take measures for mild ADHD symptoms.

Neuropsychological And Psychoeducational Process

Neuropsychological and psychoeducational testing is not a necessary diagnostic procedure, but these have numerous benefits such as specifying the correct therapeutic approach and medicinal recommendations. These procedures can help in profiling the individual’s unique brain identification which is advantageous in learning how to live well after ADHD diagnosis. These include interviewing of individuals with ADHD, the rating of symptoms, observing behaviors via the third party, and obtaining a medical history.

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Treatment

The most effective way for ADHD treatment is the combination of medication and therapy according to the latest research. Using both can cover a more significant number of symptom-related problems while suppressing frequent negative urges.

Medication can help normalize brain activity. It serves in managing brain-based functions while limiting some symptoms. However, a prescription must be done carefully and must be under monitor by a physician or psychiatrist. “When you find the right medicine, you can experience substantial improvements in ADHD symptoms,” says Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D.

As of now, cognitive behavioral therapy is the most effective therapeutic intervention. It has more promising results if combined with dialectical behavioral therapy. It is because both of these therapies focus on the identification of barriers adaptive to coping behaviors.

Learning about ADHD is the best way to discover symptoms as early as possible. Finding the most appropriate treatment options available is beneficial. Though the condition is incurable, there are ways to determine the best course of action necessary for patients.

How To Deal With Tantrums In ADHD Children

Having a child who is diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be challenging in the beginning, especially if you are not prepared on how to handle the situation. Take note that there are several adjustments that you need to make to ensure that you will not have a hard time raising your beloved kid. “We need to be more aware of how the ADHD impacts their ability to listen, follow through on tasks, and control their impulses,” Steven Pastyrnak says. Keep in mind that there are some special requirements or care needs that you must prioritize when it comes to caring for a child with ADHD. One of the common problems that you may encounter is dealing with the said individual once he has tantrums in public places.

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Fortunately, there are several smart ways on how you can address this specific situation. Before anything else, it is imperative on your part to remain calm at all times. Find a way to pull yourself together whenever you find yourself in a difficult situation where you have to attend to the tantrums of your kid. Once you panic, you will find it a complete struggle to provide immediate assistance. Here are some of the tips to put in mind:

Create A Plan Ahead of Time

If possible, make an effort to talk to your kid about the proper things to do whenever he starts to throw tantrums in public places. Talking through an upcoming event can be especially useful for kids with social anxiety,” said Perri Klass, M.D., and Eileen Costello, M.D. In this method, you need to make several assumptions to make it work. What you need to do is to create a sample scenario in your mind in case it happens. Imagine how your kids would react and how other people may have comments about it too. Educate your little one about what he can do whenever he encounters a triggering factor.

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Avoid Embarrassing Him

Never make the mistake of embarrassing your child in public. Do not easily get made whenever he has tantrums that manifest in the way he talks and acts. Instead, be more patient and understanding about his condition. Avoid yelling just to get his attention. Keep in mind that there is a high possibility that he will not respond to you if you do not learn how to communicate properly while he is having tantrums. Instead, try to bring him to a secluded area first before you react. Taking time to cool off will also help you avoid the last and most counterproductive element of ignore-nag-yell-punish,” said JOHN TAYLOR, PH.D.

Stop Being Dramatic

As already mentioned above, it is imperative on your part to become calm. Keep your cool to see to it that you can think clearly on what to do next. Avoid being melodramatic because it can only keep your mind off the things that matter. Stop blaming yourself for the tantrums that your child is going through. Accept the reality that your child has ADHD and one of its adverse effects is experiencing outburst. Do not be ashamed to seek help for others in cases where you have no idea on what to do next.

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Always remember that it is essential on your part to familiarize yourself about Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Read more about this mental health condition so that you will not experience difficulty in handling your child’s ADHD condition.