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Douglas Cootey, a single father to four daughters, works hard to meet the challenges of managing depression, ADHD, and chronic motor tic disorders. He describes his frantic but fun-filled life surrounded by his loving daughters as a “living sitcom.”

posted: Monday May 18th - 3:35pm

Stop Guilt Attacks Now: My Four-Step Plan

Why do we feel bad about ourselves when we can just shrug it off and live to fight another day?

Insecurity in Adults with ADHD
Adults with ADHD have challenges with chronic insecurity. Perhaps it is from a lifetime of being reprimanded for “stupid” ADHD mistakes and behavior. I can’t relate. I’ve never had an English teacher mock my essay, which missed the point of the assignment, out loud in class—while standing next to me during the worst parts. I can’t relate to that hot feeling you get in your ears...
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posted: Monday March 23rd - 9:00am

Exploding Eggs: What Can Happen When You Fall Out of Your Routine

When life throws distractions at me, I drop the ball in a big way. Do you?

ADHD in Adults: The Importance of Routines
My family watches a religious conference on television every fall. The last time I watched, my 15-year-old was sick at her mother’s, so it was just my 12-year-old and I for the day. After the conference was over, there was an ad on TV in which a dad learned to take time out of his schedule to play catch with his kids, tie on and all...
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posted: Tuesday February 10th - 2:01pm

Promises, Promises: Why I Broke Them and How I Keep Them Now

When it took me three years to refurbish a dollhouse for my youngest daughter, I decided not to let her down again.

ADHD Procrastination
Of all the negative aspects of ADHD, the worst for me is the long list of broken promises I have made to my daughters. “I'll give you one art lesson. I'll take you on a trip. I'll find it for you. I'll fix that toy.” I don't mean to break promises, but life happens, we get busy, and things I always meant to do get left...
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posted: Tuesday December 23rd - 2:54pm

The Kids Are Alright. But I’m Not.

When it's my turn to take the kids, I'm a master of routine. When they visit their mom, things fall apart.

I focus here a lot on ADHD hijinks as a single dad raising kids, but my girls aren't always with me. Many divorced parents deal with times when their children are with the other parent, but this on again/off again parenting wreaks havoc on an ADHD adult's rhythm. I rely on my daughters' school schedule to help me stay on task: I wake up at right...
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posted: Friday October 3rd - 11:17am

Boredom x ADHD = Depression

ADHD adults and ADHD children often develop the blues when they are bored. Here’s how I, and your child, can fend off feeling down.

ADHDers often experience depression after success. This usually occurs when the clarity of hyperfocus passes after completing a project. The noise and mental muddle returns, and, on their coattails, depression. For me, with a comorbid condition of depression alongside my ADHD, the “depression after success” syndrome triggers a major depressive episode if I don’t prepare for it. What about ADHD girls, who tend to be more inattentive...
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posted: Tuesday September 2nd - 1:03pm

My Big Fat Oreo Experiment

The cookies I baked for my daughter tasted like crud, but I had fun doing it. Let’s hear it — really! — for the joys of ADHD impulsiveness.

Kitchen recipes
Sometimes life's lessons come in somber robes with majestic fanfare and dramatic lighting. For me, however, life's lessons arrive in a clown car that just ran me over. I’m not complaining. The randomness that ADHD introduces into my life is often entertaining. I’ve learned to go with it. Sometimes the randomness yields new adventures. Take a recent shopping trip. I had three things on my shopping list...
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posted: Sunday July 27th - 1:46pm

Teaching My Kid to Cope: Lessons from an ADHD Dad

When my ADHD daughter came to me with a problem, I swore I would be there for her this time, and not wing it.

Dad and Daughter
One of my daughters recently confided to me that when she is bored, she gets depressed. Unfortunately, she confided just as I was getting ready to leave, preparing my other daughter’s medicine, and thinking about dinner. I froze in panic. This conversation now? But, but, but… I let her know that I understood what she was experiencing and that I wanted to talk to her about it...
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posted: Monday April 21st - 10:21am

A Breakfast to Remember

Even when that some "thing" is moldy maple syrup that could have killed me.

My nice meal of waffles with real maple syrup was just interrupted by Mother Nature's latest terraforming project. The shame is that I could have prevented the horror that happened in my mouth. My 12-year-old, who I call “the Brownie,” wanted me to feed her, so I suggested we finish off the frozen waffles. This was met with jubilation. So, like the cool dad that I am,...
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posted: Tuesday March 11th - 12:09pm

Crazy, Stupid "Love" at the Parent-Teacher Conference

My hyper-friendliness gives women the wrong idea, and my impulsive words make things worse.

man blushing
Despite years of developing and using coping strategies to manage my ADHD, occasionally I slip up. As chance would have it, I usually make a fool of myself when this occurs. Obviously, I've dropped my guard down for a moment, so something painfully humiliating should happen. Isn't that how things are supposed to work? I usually laugh off these glitches in my behavior, but recently something...
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posted: Wednesday January 15th - 4:56pm

Did I Really Say That — Or Was I on ADHD Autopilot?

When ADHDers misspeak or mis-remember things, it’s better to laugh off the chaos that often ensues.

I was propped up in front of the computer and unable to do much more than move my mouse around. I had been sick with a cold for several days and was getting worse. I could feel my motor-tic disorder kicking in, so I needed a protein infusion right away. I called out to my 15-year-old and asked, "Can you make me a sandwich with the...
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