Comments

Due to the paucity of real comment, compared with the utter flood of spam, there will be no further comments allowed on articles.

Apologies to anyone trying to comment – mail contact@maddchester.com instead and helpful comments will be edited in by hand (with full attribution).

 

LGF

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Want To Explain ADHD?

Here’s a useful guide

ADHD flash

 

 

 

10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PEOPLE WITH ADHD

Adults with ADHD were once children with ADHD. It doesn’t just lay dormant then pop up later in life. Those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder have dealt with it their entire lives. Since it goes undiagnosed with most people, they may not realize that they’ve had it until they get older. They may have been diagnosed by mental health professionals who believe they suffer with depression, avoidance disorder, anxiety, and/or addictive behaviours, then later are more accurately diagnosed with ADHD. The former behaviours often branch from the latter. Once people with ADHD understand the disorder and process how it affects their thinking and behaviours, it becomes easier to understand themselves- and love themselves. That’s not to say that people with ADHD are the easiest folks for others to love. They’re hot then they’re cold, they’re hyper-engaged or their totally disengaged, they’re as pleasant as a peach or as hot as fire. Here are 10 things you should know about people who live with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
1. They may be tuning you out
People with ADHD are engaged to a fault when talking about something that interests them. If it’s acting, they can rehearse lines for hours on end. If it’s music, they can practice their instrument without realizing they forgot to break for a meal. What they cannot do is feign interest when a subject doesn’t capture their attention. They often drift off into space when sitting in classrooms in grades K-12. They are not wired to be able to sit in a room full of cinderblocks with fluorescent lights and force engagement. They focus intensely on things that captivate them- to the point that they cannot stand any ambient noise or distractions. Even an air conditioner clicking on and off can rattle them! But to sit them down and try to talk to them about boring crap will get you a blank stare, and possibly even a distracted glance down at a mobile device. They are terrible party-goers, as they feel fraught with social anxiety. They worry they’ll say the wrong thing, or get caught in a conversation that they cannot get out of. If you have a spouse with ADHD, know that they listen best to bullet point information. They want to know how your day was, but they do best with brief, succinct information.
2. They are fraught with insecurity
They realize that they are wired differently than other people, but that doesn’t make it ok. They want to be accepted and appreciated. They long to stand out and do great things with their gifts. They take risks, and go for all-or-nothing. They never feel that good enough is really good enough. They have perfectionistic tendencies. They are conflict averse, but sometimes bring conflict on, themselves, by speaking whatever is on their mind in emotional moments. They never stop thinking, hashing and re-hashing situations. They wonder how they can improve relationships with themselves and others. They long for peace, but constantly feel at war.
3. They aren’t “sugar-rush” hyperactive
Sometimes, people with ADHD struggle to even find the motivation to get off of the couch. They are constantly thinking about what the value is of doing something. If they cannot justify a value in getting up and going on a jog, they’ll sit around and process it for hours. They are intuitive. They cannot turn off their brains. They may be laying around with thumbs twiddling or a knee shaking, but they aren’t necessarily running in circles like you may perceive someone with “ADHD” to do.
4. They struggle with mundane tasks
Waiting in line always seems longer to them than it actually is. They’ll say they were in traffic ‘half their lives’ when they sat in traffic 20-minutes. They lose their minds when waiting on hold with a 1-800 number. They leave things where they don’t belong, because they don’t make the time to put them away. They’re disorganized. They procrastinate on doing things that they don’t enjoy doing. They forget dates and meetings. They enthusiastically plan and begin projects, but often jump to something new before the project is done.
5. They get divorced more often than the general population
The divorce rate is nearly twice as high for couples where one partner has ADHD. Acknowledging the reality of (diagnosis of) ADHD, accepting the implications that it has on the relationship, and learning tactics that work can be hugely helpful.
It is expected that ADHD affects roughly 4 percent of the adult population.
6. They often deal with depression, addiction, and anxiety
As mentioned in the opening statement, these behaviours are not independent of a bigger issue. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may be the root mental health problem. Depression, avoidance disorder, anxiety, insecurity, and addictive behaviours may be “side-effects” experienced by people with ADHD.
7. They are everybody’s friend and nobody’s
They are so self-conscious that they build a wall up and don’t really let other people in. They’re friendly, outgoing, fun-loving, and energetic. People tend to gravitate towards them. They have hundreds of people who think they’re their best friend. But they really only cherish the relationships with a few people, and they’re scared to death that those friends will abandon them.
8. They don’t sleep well
People with ADHD do best on a schedule. They aren’t night owls. They can best control their symptoms when they are well rested. Going to sleep takes focus for them, since their minds are constantly racing. So, they need a dark, cool, quiet room with a comfortable bed. Even still, they tend to be fidgety, restless sleepers. They’ll toss and turn all night long- but God forbid their partner make a snore! They are terrible bedfellows. If they wake up in the middle of the night because something is on their mind, they will struggle to let it go and fall back asleep.
9. They are anxious
There is never any riding the wave for people with ADHD. They constantly feel like they are swimming upstream. Because their anxiety level is high, they do best in jobs where they can be creative but not where they have to handle a lot of added stress. They get bored in mundane jobs, but are easily pushed over the edge in high-stress careers.
10. They are all over the emotional compass
People with ADHD are emotionally charged. They love deeply, and protect those they care about like a mother bear loves her cub. They express their love without holding back. On the flip side, little things may set them off into a seemingly bipolar personality. They storm through the room like a tornado, then move on and carry on as if nothing happened. The debris left from their emotional storm may affect those they care about long after the person with ADHD has forgotten about it completely. They need to be made aware of the consequences of their “emotional seizures.” In a safe way, loved ones need to express how these outbursts can make them feel. Being aware of the ramifications of their outbursts can help a person with ADHD learn to control his/her temper. Awareness is huge with this particular issue. People with ADHD don’t tend to realize that the volatile needle on their emotional compass hurts other people. Once it is brought to their attention, they can work on dialling down the needle on their compass.

 

Many thanks to friend to this site ‘Tony’ who found a copy after the link was broken. You’re a star Tony.

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More Artwork!

flowerThis is an example of what we displayed at the previous exhibition (thank you Lynne) – and they want to do it again.

If you’d like to contribute something then get in touch (that’s any kind of artistic endeavour from poetry to instalations).

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Still Here!

Yes, it’s true.

mADDchester is still here.

 

earth_stillherebut probably not where that arrow is pointing

 

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We Say Exhibition

ShapeCome along to see what some of the service users of various Manchester charities get up to.

If you want to contribute any creative work (carving, drawing, gizmos, welded metal – whatever you do) please bring it along to Thursday’s meet (9th April at the Bull’s Head) or arrange with LGF for a collection/delivery. Set up day is Friday 10th April.

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Exhibit Your Arts/Crafts

Like this, maybe

Like this, maybe

Our good friends at Lifeshare (a Manchester support organisation for young homeless) are organising an exhibition and they’ve invited us, and several other similar groups, to contribute our arts/crafts. It can be anything – traditional painting,  poetry, carving, film…whatever you like. If it tells a story about ADHD then that’s great (we’re having our own area), but it doesn’t have to – anything goes, as long as it’s not ‘threatening’ – vulnerable people will see the exhibition so a little tact is expected, but ‘tasteful’ nudity and strong language are not banned outright. If you’re not sure ask. You might even be able to put on a performance.

The exhibition will be on between April 10th-17th so arrange for your work to be with me before that, preferably by Friday April 3rd. The Venue is on the ground floor of 3 Piccadilly Place – it’s a large, well lit, room with bare breeze block/concrete walls.

Since the venue is supplied for free we aren’t allowed to put nails in the wall and electricity is only available for low power consumption items – flashing LEDs OK, 3 bar electric fires, no.  If it’s not obvious how it should be displayed, or you have specific requirements, let it be known and if you want a description of your work (eg explaining something not obvious) we can have it laminated or stuck to a wall.

LGF

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Hello 2015

New year, same old problems.

 

The cuts to mental health funding are getting worse and it doesn’t help that there’s more of us year on year (I was here first etc etc).

For anyone reading this in Greater Manchester and is waiting for a diagnosis – it’s not really a funding problem that’s stopping the process (it kind of is…read on) but a lack of staff. It’s not all areas that have this problem but it is a lot of them – thank you postcode lottery.

Each staff member can only look after so many people so they can’t diagnose people who aren’t going to be looked after and they’ve reached their limit.

The world of research is going on and new techniques are coming in – as will a new medication.

A quick explanation about unlicensed medication

Some doctors might try to fob you off with nonsense about unlicensed medications.

A lot of ADHD medications are unlicensed, I’ve been taking them for years. It doesn’t mean they can’t be prescribed.

It’s not just ADHD meds – it’s common to be prescribed unlicensed medications eg I recently went to my doc’s with a skin condition and was prescribed anti dandruff shampoo. It’s not designed to be put on the skin…it’s shampoo. But it works and I don’t care what it says on the bottle – my GP was sure it would work so I went along with it.

It’s the same principal and not being licensed is frequently because getting the licence is expensive (lots and lots of testing over a very long period). It may have been tested in another country, with a good testing record, but not for here.

If a GP is fobbing you off with another flimsy excuse feel free to get in contact so I can tell you whether they are right or not – remember a GP is a generalist not a specialist.

contact@maddchester.com

 

LGF

 

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Who Are You?

Here’s a diagram explaing what I mean courtesy of our ‘cousins’ in the neuro diverse world, the autists.

How you talk about yourself matters – it sets the tone in any conversation ESPECIALLY WITH HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS THAT TREAT YOU LIKE A PIECE OF MEAT (not the good ones).

 

disease

 

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UPDATE – latest on Manchester Adult ADHD Clinic

Further to the update below.

The Manchester adult ADHD clinic is not accepting new referrals, except emergencies and transitions from CAMHS.

I have seen a letter stating that they have so many patients that they can’t treat any more, hence the lack of new referrals.

I have heard (word of mouth) that a new member of staff has been recruited and will start work shortly. Apparently there is a lot of training to be done (good) so they won’t be taking new referrals for some time, possibly 2015 (bad).

At least we know that the future holds an expanded service. Go on…gizzajob  😉

Why don’t you guys keep us in the loop? Come on Manchester – if we don’t know what’s happening we only live in fear of the worst conjecture we can think of, and we’re great at that.

LGF

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Life Tip – Especially Good For Parents

I stole this from a book about chimps – I hope they don’t mind.

 

Your child runs out of school with their very first painting. It is terrible.

They run up to you brandishing the painting. You say ‘what a brilliant painting, that’s going on the fridge door’.

Ignore that you have told a lie, that kind of lie is OK.

The rest of the statement is more interesting and could be said better.

What you should say is ‘hello darling (or whatever positive term you use, and it must be positive) – ooh, a painting. Let’s put it on the fridge door’.

Most people can’t see a significant difference between the two versions.

BUT the first one has made a connection, a harmful one, that might stick in the developing mind FOREVER.

The connection is that you have brilliant (or pretty, whatever you used) and an expectation of brilliance.

The painting is going on the fridge door whatever because it’s special, not because it is brilliant.

You may still be mystified. The difference between the statements is that the second one just says ‘I love you, whatever the circumstances and whatever you bring because I just do and you never need to worry about that’.

The first one says ‘I love you, but it’s conditional on you being brilliant. Fall below that standard and you’re toast’.

You might not intend to say that, I hope not. But communication is tricky and choosing the wrong words can hurt, or even do lifelong harm. For an ADHDer, with their oversensitive emotional state, that can be double.

As humans we are never brilliant at everything. Stephen Fry is a genius, lovely etc etc but is also deeply flawed.

I used an example with a child because it is more easily explained. But it works for any relationship – think about how you phrase things because you can connect things that you don’t intend to and can come home to bite you in the bum later on.

Don’t be conditional unless you actually mean it.

 

LGF

 

 

 

 

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