Guest Blogs

“Most People Suffer the Opposite of ADHD – Low Energy and No Creative Ideas!”

“ADHD has helped and hurt my career. Still, I wouldn’t trade ADHD for anything, as it has defined my skills and made me unique in a world that values it.”

I was diagnosed with ADHD when my wife, Nancy, and I were having one of our children evaluated by Dr. Ned Hallowell. As Dr. Hallowell described the symptoms of ADHD, I was shrinking in my chair. I could see my wife looking over at me. By the end of the meeting, it was clear that I had ADHD.

My diagnosis explained a lot of things about my life, like why I’d get into so much trouble while in school. And like many people with ADHD, I also, unknowingly, relied on exercise and physical activity to help with focus and other symptoms. With my diagnosis, I felt a sense of relief, but I still wanted to understand ADHD at a deeper level.

ADHD has helped and hurt my career. My creativity in business is my secret weapon. I can see things before they happen by connecting random pieces of information and data. This skill has allowed me to detect major opportunities that have changed my life and that of others. The downside of ADHD, however, is that I am late for things, and have trouble keeping up with calls and some deadlines. It bothers me, and it bothers others. Still, I wouldn’t trade ADHD for anything, as it has defined my skills and made me unique in a world that values it.

[Read: Born This Way – Personal Stories of Life with ADHD]

I manage my symptoms through a simple system of meditation, exercise, nutrition, and sleep. I meditate almost every morning, exercise one to two hours a day, eat healthy (vegan as much as possible), and try to get seven to eight hours of sleep.

I didn’t always have such a system. For almost 20 years, for example, I slept four to six hours a night because my mind wouldn’t shut down. But increasing physical activity, cutting down on alcohol, and incorporating some reading in the evening has done wonders for my sleep and overall wellbeing.

My advice to fellow ADHDers is don’t beat yourself up, and don’t let other people beat you up, for your ADHD. It is part of who you are, and most people suffer the opposite of ADHD – low energy and no creative ideas! Find friends and a partner in life who will love you for who you are. Look for a career where ADHD is an asset, and take care of yourself. Find a medical provider who is knowledgeable about ADHD, and take it upon yourself to learn as much as you can about ADHD so that you can advocate for yourself. Most of all, don’t try to be someone you are not.

Living with ADHD: Next Steps

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