“Finally, Everything Made Perfect Sense”
Rhonda Khan, founder of Simply Speech Solutions, and creator of the one-woman show Food sounds off on her long road to an ADHD diagnosis.
"As a child I was enrolled in gifted programs but my teachers would say, “Rhonda is always looking out of the window. She’s falling asleep in class.” In high school I was called ditzy and spacey.
I had been going to therapy on and off since 19, but in my late 20s, I started noticing a pattern. Each therapist I met with had a different explanation as to what was going with me: anger management issues, anxiety, mood disorders. I was officially diagnosed at 29, and it was a huge sense of relief and validation. Everything in my life made perfect sense.
Attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) feels like standing in the middle of Times Square, all day, every day of your life. It’s being on a treadmill that constantly shifts speed with no warning. I lose everything—keys, phones, money, my car. So I am starting to create systems for how I put things away. For example, I place my keys in the same pocket so I always know where they are.
When I’m in hyperfocus mode, magic happens. I have bursts of ideas and I try to execute them immediately. I have blind optimism and tunnel vision until I get the goals accomplished.
I continue to thrive despite the challenges I’ve faced. Today I am a business owner, I produce my own work, and I’m a mom. I still have days filled with doubt, but I keep getting up and getting it done."
Yo can see more about RHONDA KHAN at ADDitude.com
You can read the full interview at kaleidoscopesociety.com
“That Explains Everything!” Discovering My ADHD in Adulthood
BY ZOË KESSLER ADDitude.com
“Many women with undiagnosed ADHD may cruise along until, as in my case, things start to fall apart. The unraveling often coincides with marriage and having kids. Suddenly, you have to organize not just yourself, but the kids, too. These added responsibilities can push a mom’s ‘ADHD stress-o-meter’ over the top.” Read one woman’s story of recognizing ADHD symptoms in adulthood and getting effective treatment — at last!
“Can’t you sit still for just five minutes?” Apparently not. But at least now, years later, I have an explanation in answer to my mom’s question — if only she were alive to hear it. Turns out, my excess energy is attention deficit-fuelled hyperactivity.
Perhaps I should have been tipped off by the tempo of conversations I had with my friend, Chris (who was diagnosed with ADHD as a child). Our dialogues have always been like a pool game, with both of us taking shots at the same time, bouncing rapid-fire thoughts off each other without skipping a beat.
Along with credulity came clarity. Maybe this was why I’d spent every day of the last eight months spinning in a circle in the middle of my living room, unable to decide what to do first. I’d repeat this procedure in my kitchen, bedroom, and office, then go back to the living room to start over. By mid-afternoon, I’d accomplished nothing. At this point, I couldn’t afford to pay my rent. I was in trouble.
Here I was, a 47-year-old woman who had written a book, run for MPP (Member of the Provincial Parliament) in Canada, earned two university degrees and three college diplomas, spinning like Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music. How do you solve a problem like Maria?
As if that’s not enough, chances are that the kids have the condition as well (some estimates suggest that up to 80 percent of ADHD is inherited), giving Mom an even greater challenge, as she’ll have to organize both herself and her kids.
Juggling career, marriage, and child rearing can be challenging for anyone. But for someone with ADHD, it can feel impossible. Add to that the increased demands of household management, and a woman with undiagnosed ADHD can feel completely overwhelmed. Let’s face it: Filing and paperwork are the nemesis of most people with ADHD.
In fact, the only part of Martha Stewart a mom with ADHD can understand is the going-to-jail part (it’s not uncommon to be so disorganized that taxes haven’t been filed for years). Perfect pastries? Forget it! It’s no wonder that some women end up feeling ashamed at their inability to keep up with their more organized friends and family. In the extreme, some women with ADHD tend to isolate themselves, unwilling to expose their self-perceived deficiencies.
Instead of receiving a diagnosis and treatment, many women with ADHD have been told since childhood, even by well-meaning but uninformed professionals, that they’re lazy and should just try harder. No wonder one of the ADHD classics is called You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!, written by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo, both diagnosed with ADHD.
Diagnosis during menopause can be even trickier, as problems with memory, organization, anxiety, and mood disorders that arise at that time of life can all mimic ADHD symptoms, says Hechtman. “One of the ways I would differentiate [ADHD] is to get a good longitudinal picture of that person from childhood onward,” she says. If there were no ADHD symptoms prior to menopause, the symptoms are pointing to something else.
Another imposter is learning disabilities (LD), which up to 20 percent of those with ADHD also have. Like mood disorders, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other ailments that accompany adult ADHD (80 percent of us have at least one co-existing condition), LD can be mistaken for ADHD.
You and Your ADHD
But, hey, let’s not get all stressed out about it; stress, according to Peter Quily, an ADHD coach in Vancouver who has ADHD) is like adding fuel to ADHD symptoms. We can take some solace in the fact that, although it’s not perfect, a newly minted set of diagnostic tools for adults was introduced with the DSM-V.
This is a good thing, because two of the current diagnostic criteria (developed solely for kids) are climbing trees and running about excessively. It’s no coincidence that hyperactive kids like to move their bodies: Physical activity is an excellent way to diminish ADHD symptoms. While tree-climbing and excessive running might not be realistic pursuits for adults with ADHD, the best treatment, according to long-term studies that observed kids into adulthood, is “multimodal,” using a variety of approaches — from medication and behavioral therapy to biofeedback, exercise, and other alternative therapies — to treat symptoms.
“Detailed, boring stuff is like kryptonite for people with ADHD,” says Quily. So delegate — or find a boss who will embrace your creative side, your mind that’s so out-of-the-box it’s from another planet, and let the regular humans handle the paperwork.
As for me, I’ll keep using deadlines as my organizing principle, and accept the fact that, even when I’m hyperfocusing, I’ll still have to jump up, water the plants, check e-mail, and pet the dog to keep me on track."
You can read the full article at https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-in-women-recognizing-symptoms-in-adult…
Marilyn Monroe, Under the Veil: Autism, Numerology & Norma Jeane Book by Lydia Andal available at Amazon.co.uk
The Marilyn Syndrome Article by Mark Goulston M.D., F.A.P.A. at Psychology Today