Archives for December 2014

2014’s Top Ten Most Popular Articles

Top 10 ListThis time of year, there are a lot of ‘best of’ lists wrapping up 2014. I love these lists and I thought we should have one too!

This list is ‘Top Ten Most Popular Articles on Untapped Brilliance in 2014’. In true Letterman style, they are in reverse order!

10) ADHD and Pets

Having pets in your life when you have ADHD is very beneficial not only in reducing unwanted ADHD symptoms, but also for your overall physical health and happiness. Here are 5 reasons why having a pet is helpful when you have ADHD.

This article was first published way back in 2009, which seems so long ago now! I love pets and very happy it’s still so popular.

9) ADHD and Motivation

Dr. Russell Barkley says that ADHD is more about loss of interest and motivation than attention and concentration. This makes sense, as we know ADHDers can pay attention for hours on tasks they love.

8) ADHD and PMS

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is never pleasant, but when you have ADHD, it can strike louder and harder. The reason why PMS is so challenging when you have ADHD is related to dopamine. To learn more, check out the article.

7) 7 Reasons Why ADHDers Seem Self-Centred

Are you often being told ‘the world doesn’t revolve around you!’ It’s not that people with ADHD are more self-centered than the rest of the population, but some of the characteristics of ADHD can give the appearance of being self-centered.

6) How to Wake Up When You Have ADHD

When you have ADHD, waking up before noon can feel like trying to wake up an animal up in the middle of hibernation. Here are 8 suggestions (that work), so you can wake up even when you have ADHD.

5) 8 Reasons Why Adults with ADHD Feel Stupid

I hate the word ‘stupid’, but I put it in the title because that is how many people with ADHD describe themselves. There is a big discrepancy between self-description and fact. Here are 8 common reasons why people with ADHD feel stupid.

4) ADHD and Loneliness

Many adults with ADHD report feeling lonely. Loneliness is a state of mind that makes us feel disconnected from others. Loneliness can make you feel depressed, isolated and more prone to addiction. Here are 7 reasons why ADHDers feel lonely.

3) Can you have ADD and ADHD

I first wrote this back in 2012, and it continues to be a popular post, mainly because the official meaning to the terms ADD and ADHD changed over time and got confusing! To learn if it’s possible to have ADHD and ADD, head here.

2) ADHD Feels Like…

This is the article I am most proud of in 2014, but I didn’t write it! Instead, I asked people to describe what ADHD feels like to them. I thought it would be helpful for non-ADHDers to understand what ADHD is like. However, it’s also been validating for people with ADD to know they aren’t alone and how other people experience ADHD.

Readers have left descriptions of what ADHD feels like to them in the comments section.  I would love it if you added a short description of what ‘ADHD feels like’ to you.

Drum roll please! This is the number 1 most read article on Untapped Brilliance in 2014!

1) PTSD vs. ADHD

PTSD is a condition that frequently co-exists with ADHD. In fact, Dr. Hallowell believes most ADHD adults have a mild form of PTSD because if left unmanaged, ADHD can mean repeated traumas, humiliation, rejection and failures.

ADHD and PTSD can look similar, so check this article out, as it explains the similarities and differences of the 2 conditions.

Thanks for reading the Untapped Brilliance blog, and for emailing and writing your lovely comments! 2014 has been a fabulous year and 2015 is going to be even better.

7 Reasons Why ADHDers seem Self-Centered

Are people with ADHD more self-centered than the rest of the population?Probably not. However, some of the characteristics of ADHD can give the appearance of being self-centered. As annoying as these characteristics might be to your loved ones and friends, they don’t stem from a mean or selfish place.7 Reasons Why ADHDers seem Self-Centerd

  1. Don’t Follow Traditional Rules

A very attractive quality ADHDers have, is seeing things differently from the rest of the world. You see things with fresh. inquisitive eyes.  This is how ADHD entrepreneurs become wildly successful. When people spend time with you, it feels exciting, empowering and that anything is possible.

The downside of this characteristic when someone wants you to follow a conventional rule and you don’t want to, is that it can appear self-centered. For example, your wife might want you to wear a suit to a wedding that you are attending.

Conventional thought is:

a.) It’s standard dress code for a wedding,

b.) Everyone else will be wearing one, and

c.) It shows the couple respect and that you care.

You on the other hand time think:

1.) Suits are itchy and that makes me grumpy,

2.) I don’t feel myself in a suit; it makes me feel restrained and changes my personality,

3.) Why would I want to look like everyone else, and

4.) Of course they know I care; I wouldn’t be going to the wedding if I didn’t.

  1. Extreme Self-Care

An ADHD friendly diet, daily exercise, meditation and 8 hours of sleep, all help reduce the negative aspects of ADHD. However, those things take time, every day; time you can’t be with and do things for people in your life. Rigidly following these things are as important as taking medicine. Unfortunately, not everyone sees it from this point of view.  They might say, ‘one day doesn’t matter,’ but it does! In our society, we place high value on doing things for others; doing things for yourself is seen as selfish.

  1. Advanced Planning

Sometimes ADHDers are impulsive but sometimes, you need to mentally prepare yourself before starting something. This is particularly true for the tasks that aren’t fun. Suppose you and your partner have a plan to go grocery shopping at 10am on Saturday morning. But they are ready earlier, it seems plausible for them to say ‘Hey, let’s go now’.

However, for you, it’s not such an easy request. You had mentally prepared to leave at 10am, and had primed your brain to transition from what you are doing to the new activity at 10am. If you are forced to change your plans, you can’t help but be grumpy and annoyed. To your partner, it looks strange that you can’t move away from Facebook to accommodate them.

  1. Communication

Some ADHDers really struggle with communication skills.  Here are some common things that people perceive as being self-centered:

– Interrupting a person to share a thought that popped into your mind. You wanted to share it straight away; otherwise, you would have forgotten it by the time they had finished talking.

– If a conversation is boring you, abruptly changing it to a topic that is interesting.

– When you are talking, you look at the other person. However, when they are talking you, you find it hard to look at them, so you look away, out of the window, etc.; all signs that indicate that they are boring you.

– If there is a gap in the conversation, you fill it. Often, you don’t want to be talking about what you are talking about, but you can’t seem to stop.

  1. Protecting Yourself

Growing up with ADHD diagnosed or not, is hard.  You get more rejections, put-downs and disappointments than your non-ADHD peers. As an adult, this can result in a high wall of emotional protection. When you are trying to protect yourself from getting hurt and rejected, you behave in ways that look distant: unhelpful, uncaring, and well, self-centered.

  1. Time Management

ADHDers aren’t naturally good at time management. A classic ADHDer behaviour is arriving late, unprepared, and unable to plan into the future. These are all things that people interpret as not caring and being self-absorbed.

  1. Poor memory

Like time management, memory is also one of the executive functions that causes problems in ADHDers’ lives. Remembering birthdays, personal details,etc. are things people attribute to you caring about them. When you don’t remember, the conclusion is that you don’t care because you’re too busy thinking about yourself!  What people don’t know is: you have to work very hard to do ‘simple’ daily things that they do without thinking.

Have you ever been called ‘Self-Centered?’ Leave a note for me in the comment section below.