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: 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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posted: Friday November 15th - 2:27pm

No One Wants to Live with the Hulk

The author realized, finally, he had to change his angry ways.

the hulk, green monster
Earlier today I was on the phone with a mother whose son with autism has mood challenges. She and I talked about the difficulty of knowing when a child was misbehaving and when he was manifesting symptoms. My youngest daughter has epilepsy and is more than a little grouchy before the onset of a seizure, but she's so defiant and rude I often think she's just...
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posted: Monday October 7th - 6:55pm

How My ADHD Anger Hurt My Marriage and Kids

Learn to manage your hot temper—note: medication will not fix it—before you drive everyone away.

ADHD and anger go together like eggs and bacon, or peanut butter and jelly. Those food combinations may not be for everybody, and not everybody with ADHD has anger challenges, but ADHD anger is fairly common. Take an ADHD adult with his lack of social filters, toss in anger, and the results may be destructive — like lightning bolts that flare for an instant and fade just...
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