ADHD & Productivity

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"Wondering if you might have ADHD? Take this online inventory to assess your symptoms.

Having ADHD does not mean you"re stupid. ADHD and IQ are separate entities. A person can have ADHD and also be a high-achiever. A high IQ can compensate for some ADHD symptoms, but can also make it harder to recognize, resulting in misdiagnosis; a later age of diagnosis; and other unique challenges. If this might apply to you, read more here or here. You might also want to learn about the concept of "twice-exceptional" as it applies to people who are both gifted and have a neurodivergent pattern such as ADHD, Autism, or other forms of Neurodivergence.

Understand that ADHD is often under-diagnosed in girls and women. Check out ADDitude Magazine"s section for women with ADHD.

Familiarize yourself with the concept of executive functioning: the brain skill set that is lagging in ADHD, often leading to shame. Check out Brendan Mahan"s concept of the "wall of awful" that ADHDers must overcome.

Learn about emotion dysregulation and rejection-sensitive dysphoria, both of which can make ADHD look like Bipolar or Borderline Personality Disorder. Learn how untreated ADHD can lead to anxiety and depression, which may be the conditions that initially bring people to therapy.

Another way of conceptualizing ways in which you might be getting stuck at various points in a problem-solving process is the Gestalt cycle of awareness, also referred to as the cycle of change, cycle of experience, or cycle of needs. This video explains it succinctly.

Exercise helps ADHD symptoms. So do a healthy diet and good quality sleep. These are all very important for physical and mental health, and I recommend them for everyone. But if you"ve been unsuccessful in implementing these strategies consistently, or if they"re not quite doing enough for you, don"t beat yourself up. When it comes to making healthy lifestyle choices, untreated ADHD can make it hard to stick to your plans, despite the best of intentions. Sometimes giving your brain the dopamine and norepinephrine, boost it needs is the key that unlocks your success so that you can take these other positive steps more consistently. So don"t let fear, shame or stigma stop you from talking to a doctor about medication.

Medication can be prescribed by your primary care physician, a psychiatrist, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), or a naturopath who specializes in mental health, such as Dr. Lana Ferris. If you are a current patient of mine, you can complete a Release of Information authorizing me to send your diagnosis to a physician of your choice.

When monitored by a doctor which it always is, since stimulants are controlled substances stimulant medication has proven a safe and effective ADHD treatment for children, and older adults, although stimulant medications may be contraindicated for those with cardiovascular problems."

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