The Benefits of “Having” ADHD

ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - is a diagnosis that is given to more and more children at a younger and younger age. There are different types, and not all children with this "label" are hyperactive, actually, only about half of them are.

The CDC defines ADHD as:

"ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.

They go on to list the signs and symptoms:

It is normal for children to have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. However, children with ADHD do not just grow out of these behaviors. The symptoms continue, can be severe, and can cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends.

A child with ADHD might:

  • daydream a lot
  • forget or lose things a lot
  • squirm or fidget
  • talk too much
  • make careless mistakes or take unnecessary risks
  • have a hard time resisting temptation
  • have trouble taking turns
  • have difficulty getting along with others"

Hmmmm... that sounds like a list of issues that kids generally have. And so do many adults. Do we really need to treat this? 

There may be cases when it is necessary to address it, when it causes major difficulty in the life of a child.

The way we can address it is different, and in my opinion, medications should be the LAST resort, not the first thing doctors use.

The Benefits of "Having" ADHD

ADHD child

"Benefits of ADHD? Isn't that a Disability?"

 Asked me the mom of a coachee when I explained that "having" ADHD doesn't mean that her son needs to be  dis-abled.

Having tendencies of ADHD can be an advantage, I explained, and here is why:

I was coaching a young man recently, and he was very frustrated and sad when he talked about his struggles with ADHD, “anxiety”  and depression.

He had been put through many counseling sessions with different psychologists, had been  taken to several doctors and psychiatrists by his well-meaning parents, and had over the years ended up on 5 (yes, FIVE) different psychiatric medications for “his condition”.

He was doing okay in school, but at age 17, soon ready to graduate high school, he didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life.

I asked him what he wanted, and like many people that have been “trained” in the conventional medical system, he listed many things that he DIDN’t want.

Now, when you watched my video about how your brain works like your car, you realize immediately why that kind of thinking will lead inevitably to a disaster.

We started working together, and at first, he displayed everything that you would “normally” attribute to ADHD: He didn’t pay attention, he was late to the sessions, and he “forgot” his homework.

But after a few coaching sessions, I started to notice a change. His dull look changed, he leaned forward towards the camera, and his face and demeanor “came alive”.

He started coming to the sessions in time, eager to work on his future and explore possibilities. He started doing his homework and his mood improved.

He discovered that having tendencies and characteristics of “ADHD” can be a good thing - most people that have it are very flexible, creative, full of energy, and they love excitement.

He realized soon that what he thought of as “anxiety” could be just as well be called “excitement” and used to generate the energy he needed to DO the things he wanted to do (well, we had to explore this, too, and find things that HE thought were worth living - and working - for).

And that using his brain-computer to play the “video”-game of life is WAYYY more exciting than any man-made video game ever will be.

We are not at the end of his program but in just 4 months with me, he has come further ahead than in years of therapy.

This is what I call the “magic” of great coaching.

There are many other great coaches besides me, and the main difference is that coaches are mostly forward-looking, future-facing, focusing on the positive, the possiblilities. Our own brains get addicted to the positive transformations of our clients, and that is a good kind of addiction!

I am trained as a conventional physician (as well as a naturopath), and also partly trained as a therapist. During my own “dark night of the soul” I saw many psychiatrists and psychologists myself (and was exposed to the “Zombie pills” of modern psychiatry).

And maybe BECAUSE I had this training and these experiences, I’ve become very cynical about the “benefits” of the way modern medicine and psychiatry work.

Don’t get me wrong: I see the benefits of conventional medicine - even of some psychiatric drugs in some indications. For example, antipsychotics have freed severely disturbed paranoid schizophrenics from their external chains (as they chemically subdue those who take them).

Why these powerful drugs are now (ab)used as “augmentation” for depressed people or even to “calm” children, even toddlers is beyond my understanding and sense of what is reasonable or good medicine.

I see with great concern how our young people who struggle (isn’t that a hallmark of being young??)  get medicated too easily.

I believe that there are alternatives, and great coaching combined with good parenting can be a good one.

I agree with the attitude of one of my mentors, Dr. Daniel Amen, who maintains that we should try “natural” options, nutrition, lifestyle, and thought change, first before starting medications and labeling our children and youth with a “disability” that can stick to their mindset for their lifetime and make it easy for them to fall into a habitual victim-role.

There is help, with nutritional supplements, good food, lifestyle changes, and good coaching.

It is more complicated than “just” popping pills, but more effective in the long run - and has no nasty side effects!

Want to explore options for you or a loved one? Book a free “Sparkle Strategy call” with me and let’s talk.

https://calendly.com/docchristine/sparkle-strategy-call-fatigue 

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