Archives for February 2016

ADHD, Imposter Syndrome, and much more

Jacqui on about.comHere is a roundup of my latest 6 articles on About.com as their ADD and ADHD expert! You could read them all, or pick the ones that sound the most interesting to you.
ADHD and working with your strengths.

When you have ADHD it is easy to focus on your weaknesses. Yet, when you start focusing on your strengths, your life changes!

Click here to read the full article.

ADHD and Anger Management

ADHD is a neurological disorder, which can cause rapid and strong emotional responses. Here are 5 suggestions to deal with anger.

Click here to read the full article.

ADHD and Imposter Syndrome

Many people with ADHD feel like they are imposters. One of the reasons for this is that you hide your struggles from the general public.

Click here to read the full article.

ADHD and Inaction

Inaction when you have ADHD can be a clever copying strategy to protect yourself from hurt and disappointment of life.

Click here to read the full article.

How to Stop Over-Thinking

When you over-think, you get caught in a loop, and go over and over the same thoughts. Here are 4 ADHD friendly ways to break the over-thinking loop.

Click here to read the full article.

Why Habits are Better than Willpower

Learn the 2 key reasons why habits are so helpful when you are living with ADHD. Plus, how to develop a good habit.

Click here to read the full article.

ADHD and an Unusual Sense of Fairness

ferris-wheel-905261_640Last week, a blog reader asked me about a trait that many ADHDers have… an “unusual sense of fairness”. As I was replying to that email question, I realized it made a great article topic.

People with ADHD have a very strong moral compass:

They hate discrimination, dishonesty, fake people and unfair situations.
They love justice, fairness, honesty, sincerity, equality and the truth
.

Most people say that they value those things. However
, someone with ADHD will take action and do something about an unfair situation.

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.
AD
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?

How Does Vitamin D Help ADHD?

sunflower-1009291_640Vitamin D is a superhero among vitamins! Yet it is only recently that we realize it had super powers. 20 years ago, we thought Vitamins Ds job was to make strong bones, because of its role in regulating calcium. Now we know Vitamin D plays a much bigger role than just our bones. It has a vital part in our physical, mental and psychological well being.

Vitamin D is the only Vitamin that is a hormone and each tissue in the body has Vitamin D receptors. Vitamin D is needed by every part of our body, including our brain, heart and immune system, so that we can operate at our best. Having optimum levels of Vitamin D protects against many illnesses and diseases including depression, flu, cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimers and much more.

Despite being so important, vitamin D levels in the general population are at an all time low. One of the leading reasons for this is because in the 1980s, we started to use more sunscreen. Optimum levels for a healthy person is 50 nanograms /ml. However, most people living in the modern world don’t meet these requirements.

Why is Vitamin D important when you have ADHD?

There is a connection between ADHD and low Vitamin D levels. A recent study found that Vitamin D deficiency was seen more in children with ADHD than in the control group. In children with ADHD, the average vitamin D level was 16.6 ng/ml; in contrast, in children without ADHD, it was at 23.5 ng/ml.

Here are 4 reasons why keeping your Vitamin D levels within the recommended range is extra important when you have ADHD.

Vitamin D:

  • Increases dopamine and norepinephine levels, which reduces the negative symptoms of ADHD) 
  • Increases production of Acetylcholine, which helps you to maintain focus, and concentration 
  • Encourages the growth of nerve cells for memory storage and executive function; both of which can be problematic when you have ADHD 
  • Is involved in the release of serotonin, which helps with depression and SAD: 2 conditions that people with ADHD can struggle with

Your Vitamin D action plan!

1)     Find out what your Vitamin D levels are.

Do you know what your Vitamin D level is?  Most people dont know what theirs is because testing isn’t routinely done by your doctor. However, you can ask to be tested! There are 2 test options. The best one for checking your overall Vitamin levels is the 25 (OH)D test; also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D.

2)     Create a plan to increase your levels.

It will probably involve spending more time in the sunlight (though be careful not to burn) and taking a supplement.
Taking a Vitamin D3 has been found to be more helpful in raising and keeping vitamin levels at a healthy level than D2.

How much should you take?

The recommended amount seems to vary depending who you ask!
From 600IU to 2,000 IU, and much higher. It would be best to consult with your doctor and get a personalized recommendation based on your current Vitamin D levels, your weight, skin type as well as your general health and the meds you are on.

3)     Recheck your levels

After you have implemented your plan for a period of time (e.g 6 months), get your levels rechecked to see if there has been an improvement. In addition to the test results, after a short period of time, you will (hopefully) notice improvement to your mood, memory, attention, etc.