What is ADHD? Are ADD and ADHD the same thing? How can I help someone who has been diagnosed with ADHD?
These are just 3 of the questions that come up during conversations with people that I speak to on a daily basis in my drive to help people young and old live a stress-free life.
ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is the preferred medical term for the biological-based neurological condition that was in past years called ADD. This disorder comprises three distinct subtypes:
1. Primarily Inattentive
2. Primarily Hyperactive-Impulsive
This disorder has been medically recognized since 1902 and has had several name changes over time. Symptoms vary by individual and do require medical diagnoses.
Some of the common symptoms of ADHD are:
○ Lack of focus
○ Poor time management
○ Weak impulse control
○ Exaggerated emotions
○ Executive dysfunction
So how can you help someone that suffers from ADHD? This is what Rachael Knight had to say to me when I asked her this question:
“People like to talk about ADHD as if it is just a naughty child that can’t sit still. But it’s not.
ADHD, in my experience, makes my brain feel like it’s running full speed ahead. My brain fills with thoughts and ideas and there’s so much I want to do that I can’t decide and I end up doing nothing at all.”
People like to talk about ADHD as if it is just a naughty child that can’t sit still.
“There are many tips out there for people with ADHD to focus and all that, but of course, everyone is different. You need to find a strategy that works for you. For example, I recently read an article about the best songs to help you concentrate. It was a list of music from classic composers, like Beethoven and Vivaldi. The music is great. However, I find that it has too many elements for me to be able to focus while listening to it. The best way I can explain it is that the music is too busy. For me personally, although I hate working in quiet, Bach’s concertos weren’t quite the way to go either. Instead, I prefer listening to piano instrumentals of my favourite songs, or nature sounds (more specifically, birds and rainfall).
Another way to help me get into that hyperfocused state that people with ADHD are known for is two techniques that my fiance introduced me to. Both techniques involve timers.”
Get into that hyperfocused state.
“The first technique, the Pomodoro technique, gives you 25 minutes of focusing, followed by a 5 or fifteen-minute break, depending on how much work you completed in those 25 minutes. Although this technique works for some people, this once again doesn’t quite work for me. I just find that 25 minutes is not enough, as it takes me a while to really get focused, and I don’t spend enough time in that focused state before my timer goes off and I lose my train of thought.
The second technique, and the one I prefer, is the 52/17 timer, also known as System 69. This gives you 52 minutes to work (and hyperfocus), followed by a 17-minute break where you do something to regain your energy, like meditating or practicing mindful breathing.
Having a to-do list and breaking your tasks into manageable bits is also great, as it’s very rewarding every time you tick off a task that you’ve done. Getting focused, for me, is all about being in a calm surrounding, and finding something rewarding to motivate me, like ticking things off a list, or setting clear goals to work towards, and writing down these goals. Writing down my goals helps to make them seem real and thus more achievable, as they are now tangible, on a piece of paper or a notepad app, instead of floating around in my head.”
If you think that you or one of your loved one’s may be suffering from ADHD, consult with a medical practitioner to get a professional diagnosis but before you jump into taking chemical medication, I would like to recommend that you investigate natural alternatives, which are healthier and many times more cost-effective. Take a look at your diet and activity levels. Work on ways to improve better sleeping patterns. As Rachael has done, look into meditating and breathing techniques. Start to keep a journal and track your highs and lows.
No treatment works in a vacuum so evaluate all avenues and select the best regimen for you.
NOTE: This resource is for personal use only. Youthful Elegance does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This material is provided for educational purposes only.