May 17, 2018 at 1:51 pm #84474MackParticipant
As an ADD adult holding a Master of Divinity Degree and deeply empathetic to persons in need at all levels, including LD, Mental Health, and more; I have been asked to share experiences/issues/impressions with the Senior High Sunday School class at my church this week. Specifically, I’ve been asked to address the interaction of my deep faith and my ADD personality.
One of the possible emphases I might take is to discuss differences between Mental Health, developmental disabilities and Learning Disabilities. I know that there are often as many definitions as there are people who respond, and certainly I have my own definitions and responses, but I would like to hear from other folks who are also ADD or ADHD about their definitions and responses.
Specifically, as an ADD/ADHD person what interactions have you had with others’ stigmatic responses? Also, how would you differentiate type from mental illness?
If you happen to be one — such as me — with a deep religious faith, please share what that has meant in your development as an ADD/ADHD person.
Please note that I have not called ADD a “condition” or “disorder.” I have used the concept of a personality type to describe myself. Understand that newer research has been piling up regarding the genetic nature of ADD.
I do not expect to use any specific impressions with the kids I will be leading. I just want to know how my thinking generally fits with others of similar experience.
May 17, 2018 at 5:51 pm #84490rebell90Participant
You’re post showed up on my email, I also have a deep religious faith, and that has been the cornerstone of my treatment. I actually see a specialist in adhd who works at a Christian-based center. A typical response “oh I have that too I think”. Not saying they may not qualify if diagnosed, but my case according to my therapist (who is also an adhd specialist with years and years of experience) I fall on the “ultra-extreme” end of the spectrum. Without my meds (was off for 8 months in regards to being pregnant with my daughter—next time I will STAY on, but didn’t know better) I had such painful hyperactivity they actually classified it as severe akathasia and another neurologist thought Parkinson’s. I was running 10 miles 3 x a day (yes 30 miles at 9 months pregnant) and I couldn’t perform my job I loved. It was hard for people to believe it was just my adhd, but once my Adderall resumed, I was back to myself. Actions convinced them. Still get heartbroken about not being Believed, but I know I need to continue the process of letting go. Also been told I’m just irresponsible and maladjusted and unreliable. I have been hit by a truck while walking across the street one morning that I didn’t take my med, ive started fires from forgetting I e cooked, lost 1000s of dollars by leaving at the store or dropping, etc. again, others may say “oh I’ve done that” (to the less hectic things). I am a recovering alcoholic, so I keep quiet about it there, although my sponsor who is VERY active in my 12-step program and has 12 years sober, and is a liscenced therapist knows that it is essential to treat my adhd, she knows how bad it is—I’m not one who can manage it by “clean eating”—and if I did exercise I would kill myself from exhaustion. I do still run 6-8 miles 6 days a week, but I can Ter. My vitals are back down to normal too (meds male heart rate lower ironically, bc I’m actually able to rest my legs). Anyway, It has been frusturatinh in the past..BUT my faith is actually what has helped me let that go!! I recognize, my goal isn’t to place my security in people. We are all human (including me ) and we make mistakes. I’m learning to depend on God for that security, He has always seen by heart no matter what, and He has redeemed me in miraculous ways over and over. I know all things are possible: I got that job back by the way, and it’s an even higher position!!! I believe I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and God led me to a job where my adhd is an asset rather than a deficient. I am a data scientist, and the first in the company, so I get to come up with all the projects myself!! I get to be my “messy genius” self (nickname from my mom l). I get to learn new things and stay challenged and never bored. And I only 1% of my job in clerical, if even that!!! Adhd doesn’t have to be a liability if you find the right fit!! It was God who led me to this place in life!! And my daughter is as hyper as I was (she’s 10 months old)—having to run around and entertain her keeps me from getting bored!!!! I’m learning creative ways to keep my commitments and “organize”. I guess my faith taught me persistence, and tenacity, and that no one is EVER too far gone
May 18, 2018 at 8:46 pm #84559MarrimemParticipant
I was born to parent with one considered legally blind. I think part of that conquence and the stigma she felt in her formative years, when I was diagnosed in 6th grade, they choose not to reveal my direct diagnosis of ADD to me. They just said I had “a Learning Disability”. They did tell me that I was not as challenged as others others with major behavior challenges after coming home from parent meetings. (much later I realized they were CHADD meetings.) Even asking as an adult what type did I have they refused to tell me even when I suspected in my late 40’s. One parent deferred to another who talked around it. They also had no desire to put me on what they believed was medication that would make me zombie like. They were still making that decision by not telling me. I was slow enough and my thoughts or other distractions took me off task, my memory was horrible like my memories getting lost in a full mental file draw that I was always searching for a key to get into, then scrambling around searching for the right one. Then losing things or forgetting things and appointments. I’d also have to rinse in at the last minute by the skin of my teeth for appoints. If something changed what was normal in a day, I’d forget that other things in my life was scheduled. My parents felt that doing regular church activities with the other kids was my Therapy. (No it wasn’t! It was experiencing normal life for a church attending kid.) I won’t be rediagnoised until 50 because I Searched and was overwhelmed with all the possible learning disabilities out there. Even a Special Education teacher of our faith said nothing when I shared my experiences. I felt lost until one day at a bookstore Sari Solden book and the Spirit kept staring back at me.
I grew up believing and being taught about God at home and Church. I had positive tender feelings for God and my Savior Jesus Christ. I’m thankful that He was not used in disciplining me. I do believe that is no ones fault, just like the child in the scriptures that was born blind, his parent and mine are not be blamed for my ADD challenges. It has nothing to do with anyone’s righteousness or lack of. There are those who can be healed from various things of the flesh, but others are not. Even the Apostle Paul had a thorn of his flesh that was not removed but the Lord said “his grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Im sure just as a tree who must sink it’s roots deep into the soil becomes stronger so have I gain strength and God’s abiding love if I seek him bring comfort. I may not understand all, but I am thankful for ever increasing knowledge that I was helped to find and people who understand my challenges and can help with further insight and in whom I can connect with.
There are those people who have worked with the challenges of ADD/ADHD and used aspects of their challges that help them in certain ways and they have found and strengthen the talents and presented them to the world. I don’t believe it to be a gift, but a challenge to be faced learning ways that help us work WITH IT using creative ways to work with the brains we have, and the medication that can be helpful to many that God has helped to influence to bless. God allow Jesus to help us find what we need for our growth and share what we do have with others with loving kindness.
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