Thursday, August 9, 2012

Who me? ADHD?

Information about women with ADD/ADHD have fascinated me in my later years. I suspect that I have ADD but have not been officially diagnosed. ADHD is a condition that may develop in early years but continue into adulthood and often gets worse in post menopausal women.

As women get older and take on more responsibilities, they tend to get overwhelmed with day-to-day events. ADHD makes it difficult to focus and control behavior. ADHD people are often bright but can be challenged by simple tasks. They might be very creative with the big ideas but terrible with the details of follow through. They may work on many projects but complete few. They wonder what is wrong with them and often develop poor self esteem.

So what can women with ADHD or suspected ADHD do?
  1. Develop time management skills.
  • Set schedules for the day - decide what 3 things they would like to accomplish for the day and block out times to do them
  • Learn to question themselves about projects - "I have 3 big projects I want to finish. What should I do myself and what should I delegate or hire out? Should I landscape my yard and paint my deck, or hire someone else to do it?"
  • Use a timer - decide ahead of time how long they will devote to a task - set the timer for that amount of time and then quit when the timer goes off - reward themselves for what they have accomplished
      2. Set up systems for they way they function.
  • Determine their learning style and utilize their learning strengths
  • If they are a piler instead of a filer, accept that and set up piling systems
  • Use labels for files, containers, shelves
  • Put things where they would look for them - not where they think they "ought" to go
      3. Accept themselves and be proud.
  • Focus on their strengths and accomplishments - not their failures
  • Learn that perfection is rare and that "good enough" is a better goal
  • Speak up for themselves and their accomplishments
  • Take care of themselves physically and walk tall and proud
Criteria for a formal diagnosis are determined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders from the American Psychiatric Association. If women don't want a formal diagnosis at their later age, they might want to work with a counselor, life coach, or professional organizer to learn some coping skills.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

3 comments:

janetbarclay said...

I love your focus on accepting ourselves as we are and working with what we have, rather than worrying about meeting someone else's expectations. At this stage of our lives, we've earned that right! :)

Jonda Beattie said...

You are so right. I also feel that if we allow fear or overwhelm to grab us, it only intensifies our ADHD tendencies.

Unknown said...

I'm appreciating your focus on identifying our strengths and learning styles - building on what we know works instead of focusing on improving our 'weaknesses.' A great self-esteem builder as well.