Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The need for fairness - from Untapped Brilliance

another good read I found extremely applicable in my life......

3 Reasons why a sense of fairness is more visible when you have ADHD:

1.     Low Tolerance
ADDers have a low tolerance for things that arent in alignment with who they are. This is why they quit jobs that are boring. A nonADHDer might be able to put their head down and work in a job they hate for 20 years. Yet, someone with ADHD cant make themselves do that. Similarly, if a person with ADHD witnesses an event (big or small) that is seen as unfair, they will take action. Someone without ADHD might need to see or experience the same thing many times before they respond.
2.     Social Norms
People with ADHD aren’t restricted by social norms in the way other people are.  For example, they wouldn’t feel obliged to stay at a dinner party (even if the host spent hours cooking), if they weren’t compatible with the other guestsThis means they will do things to seek fairness that other people wouldn’t; such as standing up for someone in class, even though it might cause them problems later with their friends.
3.     Arbitrary Rules
ADHDers don’t follow arbitrary rules; just rules that make sense to them. If there is a rule that prevents fairness, then a person with ADHD is more than happy to break it.
At an airport, imagine there are long lines at the checkin counter for coach class. Yet the business class line could be empty. Many people with ADHD would take their coach ticket and try to checkin in the business line, because it makes no logical sense to stand and wait in line. This same principle is applied to all situations that don’t seem fair.
ADHD Characteristics
Sometimes, ADHD characteristics help with this quest for fairness. For example: impulsively jumping into action when they see or hear something that doesn’t feel right. ADHDers dont stop to think and wait until later when their energy or sense of urgency has dispersed.
Yet, even people with ADHD characteristics that would appear to work against seeking fairness (social anxiety or debilitating procrastination) will rise to the occasion, and do what is needed in order to right an unfair situation.
Your Time        
The need for fairness can be reflected in career choices and it can influence how people spend their free time. One client spent a lot of his spare time one year helping his neighbors child. The child had learning disabilities and needed help to get the right support from the school. There were meetings, long forms to be filled out and lot of research to understand what rights the child had.
It can also show up in small pockets of time too. For example: counting out the number of carrots everyone has on their dinner plates or reaching for a calculator at a restaurant to make sure everyone leaves the right tip for the waitress.

The Flip Side

There are downsides to fairness.
HDers can end up feeling completely discouraged and depressed about the world and its problems, the environment, the legal system, etc. They feel powerless to make a difference as they are only one person.
Standing up for other people, means there is less time for their own family, and this can cause hurt feelings because ‘you put everyone else before us.
Or, they might be considered a troublemaker, too rigid or perhaps the butt of jokes. 
Despite the negativesmost people find it very refreshing to be around people with ADHD and their desire for fairness.
Do you have a strong need for fairness?

Resources - Lou CHADD meeting info...

Location: Crescent Hill Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library
Address: 2762 Frankfort Ave. Louisville, KY 40206
Dates: 2nd Wednesday of each month
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Pets and ADD - Things I find helpful for me (and maybe you too!)

originally posted at:

Ways that getting a pet helps people with ADD - top answers. I know these all (and more) are very true for me after getting my dog Leo :)

1) Self-esteem

Low self-esteem and ADHD tend to go hand in hand. However, having a pet can help to  increase your self-esteem. Having someone who has missed you and is always excited to see you, makes you feel really good.  ADHD pet owners also feel really proud of themselves for taking care of their pets. Sometimes it is the first time they have ever been able to take consistent daily action. This builds their confidence and has a ripple effect on other parts of their lives. Some owners told me that they were barely able to take care of themselves, yet when they got their pet, it forced them to raise their game. Not only did they become outstanding pet owners, they also started taking better care of themselves too.

2) Maintain Structure and Routine

Almost every single reader mentioned how their pets help them with structure.  Having structure, routines and habits  provides a framework in your life, so you can effortless take care of all of your responsibilities and still have time for creativity and fun.  ADHD symptoms can make  setting up structure and maintaining it tricky.  Pets are very helpful in this area!
Here is what Marcia wrote about her dogs and routines:
My dogs: I cannot imagine living without my dogs. I never thought of them as helping with my ADD, but they do keep me on a routine, which I really need. Without a routine, I’m afraid I would push myself too hard and get far out of balance. I tell my dogs they have clocks in them. They get me up in the morning if I forget to set my alarm, and they tell me when it’s time to go to bed at night. If it gets to be 11 pm and I’m not moving towards the bedroom, Liesl barks at me until I do. There is just no option of continuing to sit at my computer or continuing to watch TV while there is a 12-pound dog barking at me! Also, I like to work and often try to continue working past dinner time. This is also not possible, as Gracie lets me know it’s time for dog food and a walk by 5:30 or 6 pm — and she is very insistent. Sometimes I just try to feed them and then go back to work, but then Gracie is up on my lap with her paws on my keyboard and her nose in my face. After dinner is our play, snack, and cuddle time, and if I’m not doing it, I have two sets of intense eyes on me staring and taking turns barking as they sit at my feet. They know how to get me up and moving, and it always makes me feel looked after in a gentle and fun way. 
Marcia Hoeck

3) Focus on The Now

Lots of readers mentioned that when they are with their pet, there brain slows down, and they are able to focus on the present moment. This has a calming and almost meditative effect.
Terry Matlen describes this effect beautifully:
Having grown up with dogs and having a dog  –  or two –  throughout my life as an adult, I can’t imagine living without one. For me, the connection between ADD and having a dog is about a sense of calmness I get when I’m petting one of them or simply hanging out with them. It slows me down, slows my brain and offers comfort. Of course, people without ADD might say the same thing, but having mine near me, especially after a hectic, stressful day, helps me to focus on something outside of myself. I stop worrying (what did I forget? What should I be doing?), and cuddling with my Elliott or Harper stops my racing brain, allowing me to slow down and connect with another living being- one that has zero expectations of me (for the most part) so that I can enjoy the moment. 
Terry Matlen and

4) Love You Just The Way You Are

Your pets love you unconditionally. They never get mad or judge you even if you forgot to take the trash out. They can see you at your worst, including the parts you hide from other people, and they still adore you.
One reader described it perfectly:
I love my dogs because they see me without my ‘mask’. They see my chaotic life as it really is and not the one everyone else sees, and they still love me for it, unconditionally.
Although I love my sons, I would give my life for them, but I find showing love towards my dogs is easier somehow. You can show them your tears, and they instinctively respond with a calmness that gives you an inner piece, then things just seem a whole lot better.
They don’t mind that I’m disorganized or slop about in my PJs when the ‘wheels fall off’…I just wish I could train them to find my keys though.

5) Reduce Stress

Living with ADHD is stressful! Research shows that it only takes 15 to 30 minutes with your cat or dog or even watching your fish for chemical changes to take place in your body and for you to feel less anxious and stressed. Lots of readers mentioned how their pets helped them to feel less anxious. In one longitudinal study it was found that people who didn’t own a cat were 40% more likely to die of a heart attack than people who did. Another study showed that cat owners had fewer strokes than non-cat owners.

6) Body Double

There is a term in the ADHD world called ‘body double’. A body double is usually a friend, family member or coach.  This person sits with you while you are doing something stressful, mundane or boring to  keep you on task.
Well in some situations (it depends on the task and your pet), your pet can be your body double substitute. Their presence can reduce your anxiety as you make that difficult phone call or file your taxes.

7) Help with Depression

One reader wrote to say that she credits her dogs in helping her deal with  bouts of depression that she has experienced throughout her life.
Unconditional love, a reason to get up in the morning, companionship, exercise in the form of walks, and getting out into the sunlight for some green therapy, are some of the ways that pets can help with depression.

8)  A Problem Shared

A reader told me that he always felt different from everyone else when he was growing up.  His black cat was the only one he could tell his problems to. Every day his cat learned about the struggles with teachers, friends and homework.  He would stroke his cat, whisper in his ear and then felt much better. A problem shared is a problem halved, and you don’t always need a solution, just a listening ear.

 9) Social Contact

Social interaction is vital to our mental and physical health. However, many ADHDers find social interactions difficult perhaps because they are shy, have social anxiety or are in hibernation in mode. Many people with ADHD also experience a deep loneliness.
Having a dog can help with all of these issues. Studies found that dog owners have many more interactions with other people when they are walking their dog than a non-dog owner walking the same route. Having a dog is an ice breaker. People will come and talk to you, and if you can’t think of anything to say, you can talk about dogs. The social interaction resulting from walking your dog helps you to  gain confidence with  talking to people in other situations.

10) Fun

Pets bring an element of fun to your life in 3 ways.  They force you to go out and have fun adventures together, they get into mischief, or their daily habits and quirky mannerisms make you laugh.
Here are some things that my cat kitty does that make me laugh.
*When sees some food she would like to taste, she licks her lips in advance.
*She always senses when we are heading to bed and runs to secure the best spot on the bed for herself.
*When she is taking a nap, she covers her eyes with her paw as if the light is too bright.

November 2, 2106

stream of consciousness for today -

I run into daily challenges due to my ADD. I'm not sure if it was less stressful before the diagnosis when I knew something was "off", but thought that's how everyone felt at times...or now when I can actively recognize "oh, another ADD thing."

The awareness of my habits and actions that are connected to ADD continues to overwhelm and amaze me daily...even 2.5 years after my diagnosis.

I am continually reminded that medicine is just a band-aid fix - not a fix for the actual root cause. That is where I am stuck right now and seems to be a cycle that I get stuck in every month-ish.

Not sure where to go from here, but once again know SOMETHING needs to change....

Hi, I'm Taylor

I'm starting this blog as a (hopefully) bounce board to later help become an advocate for ADD - especially women with ADD. I am a 24 year old woman who was diagnosed with inattentive ADD in June of 2014 (about 2 1/2 years ago) and feel that I still have not made much progress since that diagnosis.

Part of the problem, in my opinion, is the lack of (or maybe just my lack of knowledge of) resources easily available - especially regarding women and ADD. I am still not really sure of where to go from here and how to ever feel that I'm not always about to fall off the wagon.

My hopes are that through writing this blog, I can make sense of what I experience. From there, I hope to get help through maybe a coach or therapist (specialized in ADD). Then, eventually, my end goal would be to become an advocate and to help other women with ADD navigate their lives.

This is my story.