The holidays are nearly here! But do you enjoy them? If you answered no; don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Many adults with ADHD feel the same. While many people love vacation time away from work, eating good food and spending time with their families, it’s not always the case with ADHDers. [Read more…]
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is never pleasant, but when you have ADHD, it can strike louder and harder. During the first half of your cycle, you probably feel ‘normal’, clear headed and productive. Then, as your period gets closer, you begin to feel like Mr. Hyde.
Beside the regular physical symptoms of PMS such as:
Changes in sleep patterns
Your ADHD symptoms can get much worse, and you can find it difficult to: [Read more…]
How to Wake Up When You Have ADHD
Waking up at a particular time can be very difficult when you have ADHD and it can cause huge problems, such as being late for work, flights, interviews or lectures.
If you have difficulty waking up, don’t just see it as a morning problem; instead, look your sleep habits as a whole. Everything is connected and if you can’t wake up, it could be because:
– You couldn’t make yourself go to bed
– you had problems falling asleep
– the quality of sleep was poor
However, while you are addressing those issues, you still need to wake up in the morning!.
Here are 7 suggestions to help:
1) Have More Than 1 Alarm Clock.
3 seems to be the magic number. Place 1 by the side of your bed and the others in your room but a walk away from the bed, so you have to get up to switch them off.
2) Don’t Press Snooze!
Pressing snooze just delays the inevitable, and those extra 7 minutes won’t help you feel less tired.
3) Getting Up to Take ADHD Meds
If you take ADHD medication, consider setting one of your alarm clocks 30 minutes to 60 minutes earlier than the time you need to get up. When this alarm clock goes off, take your ADHD medication, then go back to sleep. When the next alarm goes off, your medication is already in your system and it will be easier to wake up.
4) Wake Up and Smell…
Have you heard of the bacon alarm clock where the smell of bacon wakes you up? You might not have been one of the peeps to get the limited edition device for your phone, but waking up to a tempting smell is a great idea to get you moving in the morning.
– Set a coffee maker on a timer and co-ordinate it with your wake up time. Then Voila! You wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee.
– Cook your breakfast in a slow cooker overnight. This might sound weird, but I tested this recipe out and it was awesome!
5) Have Something to Motivate You in The Morning.
Dr. Russell Barkley says ADHD is less about attention and more about motivation. What motivates you to get out of bed?
– Your dog?
– Getting something checked off your do to list?
– Eating a favorite breakfast food, or your first cup of coffee?
The trick is to pick something that really motivates you and not something that you would like ‘in theory’ or feel you are supposed to want.
The thing that motivates me first thing in the morning is to answer emails. This isn’t necessarily the healthiest thing to do, but it does motivate me. I check my email on my iphone while still lying down in bed. If an email has come in overnight, there is no way I can snooze, I have to get up and answer it.
One of my clients was really struggling to get up to get to work on time. After several conversations, we made the connection between him arriving on time and getting a promotion he really wanted. He has been on time and even early ever since then.
It’s very hard to stay asleep when there is upbeat music playing. Pandora has made waking up to music very easy. Thanks to the alarm clock feature on the app. Check it out here:
7) Have a Morning Routine.
A morning routine sets the day up for success. In his book, ‘The Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod, explains his formula for a successful morning routine and people love it! It’s so compelling that you will be bounding out of bed earlier than you ever thought possible.
8) Get a Novel Alarm Clock.
There are 3 great alarm clocks to help you wake up:
Clocky Is an alarm clock on wheels and makes snoozing a thing of the past. If you don’t get up when the alarm goes off, Clocky jumps off your nightstand and hides, all the while making a sound like, (and I quote) “deranged R2D2 hitting a bell”.
The Sonic Bomb Clock is the answer for everyone who sleeps through their alarm clock. It has an adjustable alarm that you can set to go off so it’s louder than a jackhammer. However, if that wasn’t enough, it comes with a bed shaker! You pop a harmless looking device under your mattress and when it’s time to wake the alarm sounds and your whole bed shakes until you are wide awake and UP!
A Full Spectrum Light Alarm Clock
A Full Spectrum Light Alarm Clock has a light that gets brighter and brighter rather like the sun rising, so that you wake up gradually. This is particularly good for people who are grumpy when they are woken up abruptly.
There are many on the market, with all different features to meet your needs. A quick Google search will help you choose yours.
Wishing you a fabulous Good Morning!!!
If you need some extra help with your sleep and waking up, come and join us for the ADHD Sleep Course
You know the saying, ‘There is light at the end of the tunnel?’ Well it is a good motto to remember as you are going through the steps of getting
You will know the following:
*What type of ADHD you have
*Recommendations for the best treatment
*If you have any co-existing conditions with ADHD (this is very important)
*Or if you don’t have ADHD, you will learn what condition(s) are causing the ADHD like symptoms.
Since putting the wheels in motion to get an official diagnosis can seem daunting, you might be tempted to try and self-diagnose with an online quiz. However, there are downsides to this. ADHD can look like many other conditions, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, learning disabilities and much more. It would be easy to misdiagnose yourself with ADHD and not get help for the condition you do have.
In addition, if you self-diagnose, you would not be eligible for accommodations at work or school and neither would you be able to get a prescription for ADHD medication – all of which can be very helpful in managing ADHD symptoms.
Online quizzes can be helpful as a screening process though! Sometimes, taking an online quiz can give you the confidence you need to speak to your doctor about getting an ADHD evaluation.
A well-recognized tool is the Jasper/Goldberg Adult ADD Questionnaire. If you google it, it is available on many websites.
How is ADHD Diagnosed?
“The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” published in May 2013 (DSM-5) provides the criteria that all clinicians use when assessing a patient for ADHD.
The criteria differs from previous DSMs as it takes into account that ADHD presents itself differently in adulthood compared to childhood.
The DSM lists 9 inattentive ADHD symptoms and 9 hyperactive/impulsive symptoms. If, a person who is 17 years or older experiences 5 or more symptoms from one of the lists, and they meet the following points below, they can be diagnosed with ADHD.
- The characteristics have been present for 6 months or more
- The symptoms were present before you were 12 years old
- The traits affect your life in 2 or more settings (e.g. home and work)
- The symptoms impact performance so that you are not able to perform to your full potential
- The symptoms aren’t due to another condition, such as bipolar disorder, sleep disorder or anxiety.
If you meet all of these requirements, you will be diagnosed with one of the 3 presentations of ADHD.
- ADHD Predominantly Inattentive presentation
- ADHD Predominantly Hyperactive Impulsive presentation
- ADHD Combined presentation
Also, the severity level of your ADHD will have been identified.
- Mild (while still meeting the diagnosis criteria)
How Does the Clinician Reach Their Diagnosis?
They become a detective! With your help, they gather information about you and your life. This information primarily comes from speaking with you. However, with your permission they might speak with your spouse or a family member or ask them to fill out a questionnaire.
The clinician also needs to discover how you perform in different areas of life, for example, at work and school, both now and in the past. School report cards from childhood and work evaluations are helpful.
Your medical history including information about your birth or problems that your mom experienced during pregnancy are all relevant. Your family’s medical history is also of interest because the biggest ‘cause’ of ADHD is genetic.
Sometimes a physical condition needs to be ruled out, so you might be asked to have tests to check your thyroid, liver or kidney functions or have a test for epilepsy. Eyesight and hearing tests could be requested too.
The clinician might perform tests in their office to measure your memory, attention and disability levels too.
The diagnosis is often done over a couple of visits so that you are fresh and alert for the appointments and to give you time to get questionnaires completed. In total it approximately 3 hours.
Who Can Evaluate you for ADHD?
Psychiatrists, psychologists and some family doctors can all carry out evaluations. Finding a professional who has experience testing for adult ADHD is properly the hardest step in the evaluation process. Once you have found someone that you trust, they will be able to guide you through the rest of the process.
A few summers ago, I had a conversation with a 9-year-old little boy. He had been diagnosed with ADHD because he was struggling in school. He hated having ADHD. It made him feel different from everyone else, and he didn’t think it was fair that he had to struggle so much with things that all his friends found easy. He was so hurt—I really wanted to help, so I asked him a few questions. He loved sports, and the Summer Olympics was fresh in everyone’s mind, so I told him about Michael Phelps having ADHD.
I had never seen such a rapid change in someone’s mood. This little boy was thrilled. He knew he would be OK. In fact, he knew he was going to be more than OK, because ‘clearly’, having ADHD gave Michael Phelps the winning edge!
We aren’t that much different from that 9-year-old little boy. Even though as adults we try to be cool and pretend that celebrities don’t influence us, they do (we live in a celebrity-centric world)! Famous ADHDers can inspire us with their victories as well as their stories of struggle; Michael Phelps was bullied as a child, and Tarma Mellon went to rehab..
Celebrities can show us that using their gifts (often the ones that non-ADHDers want you to get rid of!) is how they became successful, and their success paves the way so that you know success is possible for you, too.
6 Reasons Why Knowing Famous People Have ADHD is Helpful
1) It normalizes the condition – anyone can have ADHD.
2) It shows that it’s possible to have ADHD and still be successful.
3) Their stories can act as an inspiration for us.
4) It validates us. We realize we aren’t alone with quirks and ‘annoyances’.
5) It gives us confidence to use our ADHD strengths.
6) It gives us HOPE!
Here are 15 Famous People Who Have ADHD.
1) Tom Hanks
Movie star. Tom Hanks has won 2 Oscars for ‘Best Actor’. He credits his success to having ADHD (not in spite of it). He has starred in many brilliant movies including Philadelphia, Bridge of Spies, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, The Da Vinci Code and Toy Story.
2) Richard Branson
Billionaire and founder of all things Virgin. Richard has achieved success in many areas of life, including business, relationships and humanitarian work. Learn more about the secrets of his success here.
3) Michael Phelps
Swimmer and most decorated Olympian ever! He has a total of 28 Olympic medals – 23 of which are gold medals and has competed in 5 Olympics. Learn about the lessons we can learn from him here.
4) Justin Timberlake
Singer-songwriter, actor, record producer. JT is an all around performer. He can sing, dance and has incredible stage presence. He is funny, genuine and can fill a huge stadium in 6 minutes.
5) Robin Williams
Everyone loved Robin Williams. When he passed away, the sad news affected people all over the world on a deep level. We know he was a talented actor and comedian and after his death, many people shared personal stories of how he touched their lives. He had empathy and sweetness that resonated with us all.
6) Tamara Mellon
Founder of Jimmy Choo’s, the luxury shoe brand. Tamara thought of the idea of creating a shoe brand while she was in rehab. When she shared her idea, people suggested perhaps she could work in a shoe store first. However, like many ADHDers Tamara was a big thinker and created the Jimmy Choo empire. You can read all about her life and adventures in her memoir called ‘In my shoes.’
7) Seth Godin
Author of 18 best selling books including, Tribes, Purple Cow and What to do When It’s Your Turn. He is a thought leader, entrepreneur and writes on his blog every day.
8) John. F. Kennedy
The 35th President of the United States. One of the qualities that people who met him use to describe him was his vibrant energy.
9) Simone Biles
At just 19 years old, Simone Biles holds the title of being the most decorated American gymnast.
10) Albert Einstein
Theoretical physicist. There are no words needed to describe this legend.
11) Michael Jordan
Professional super-star basketball player. Considered to be the greatest basketball player of all time, MJ is known for his skill, talent and burning desire to win.
12) Will Smith
Singer and actor. Will has won 4 Grammy awards. He is also a 2 time Oscar nominated actor for his role in ‘Ali,’ a movie about Muhammad Ali, and ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’
13) Salma Hayek
Oscar nominated actress. Salma is also a director and producer and brought Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo, to life in the movie Frida.
14) Britney Spears
Pop Icon. Britney is a Grammy award winning singer. She has sold 100 million albums and over 100 million singles, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
15) Ryan Gosling
Oscar nominated Actor, writer, director. Ryan began his career starring in Disney Channel’s Mickey Mouse Club. He has starred in movies such as The Notebook, Lars and the Real Girl and The Big Short.
Who is your favorite famous ADHDer?