crying retro womanWe received a call from a Mom in her late 20s who was diagnosed with ADHD at 19 and is now really struggling to cope.

She is self employed, married and has an 18 month old son. All mothers (and fathers) of toddlers struggle with parenting, the changes in the relationship when children come along and the pressures of the extra expense of balancing the budget.

Women are often even more severely impacted by their ADHD because of their hormones.  Emotionally and physically hyper-sensitive, women feel physical and emotional pain more intensely. Yes! Those mood swings.

At LADD® have found that the late 20s is one of the “danger ages” for those who have ADHD.

CrashThe first time many ADDers crash is when they get to the higher grades of 10, 11 and 12. Parents and teachers are no longer spoon feeding as much and the teens have to start taking responsibility for their studies and social lives. They have never learned how to study and Parents in their efforts to prevent their children from failing and suffering humiliation do everything for their children. Teens are also starting to have to think about what they are going to do when they leave school and it is terrifying. There are so many options but because they are frequently passionate (until they get bored) about so many things they have no idea how to make an informed decision.

The easiest option is to go with the flow - do what their friends are doing or do what their parents or siblings did or sit on the couch until the parents kick them out - hopefully before they reach 40!

In spite of the difficulties these teens face, ADDers are almost without exception very bright. There is little they can’t do if they put their minds to it.

The early 20s is the next critical stage. Many ADDers have gone to University or College after having achieved a number of distinctions in matric and pass first year with little difficulty. Second year is a bit tougher but they scrape through. By third year they often realise that they have chosen the wrong course, have got bored or that the level of work is too great. They have not learned the skills to plan their studies, how to prioritise, how to overcome procrastination and how to set goals. Many opt out of college and become drifters. The couch or the beach become far more attractive than their desk.

On the surface it looks like they don’t care and this drives the parents insane. They have spent all this money and now their offspring are lying around expecting to be waited on and indulged. To an extent this is true and if parents indulge them at this stage the pattern is set. No-one likes to fail and feel useless and putting on a false bravado is a way of surviving. The youngsters are paralysed and have no clue how to move forward.

Those who have survived these stages, complete their studies and start to climb the career ladder and think about marriage and children. The pressure starts to mount. They find that they can’t simply do what they want at work, they can’t throw tantrums, they have to work as a team (ADDers are not good at team work), they know they can do everything quicker, better or differently from the way employers want, so many get fired or they job hop before the axe falls.

ADDer relationships are wonderful and terrible at the same time. Money is frequently an issue and ADDers will attract someone who will “Parent” them and then rebel against being controlled.

The daydreamer (Inattentive ADDer) is often a late bloomer and many who fall into this category. They drift along under the radar living in their heads until they are forced to become part of the real world. For women this is often the result of becoming a Mom and having to become responsible for someone else.

ADDers in their forties have often achieved incredibly well. They are hyped, in charge, take over the world type folk who have created businesses or run companies with great success. Suddenly they burn out. Their health suffers, they may go bankrupt, their spouse may be tired of living a rollercoaster life and leaves and the ADDer’s world falls apart. They too have not learned basic life skills but the sheer force of their personalities have allowed them to get this far.

It is therefore not surprising that ADHD doesn’t occur on its own. Anxiety and Depression are constant companions. ADDers become Obsessive Compulsive about certain things. (When we can't control our own lives we try to control everyone and everything around us).

All types of addiction are common as we self medicate to fill the hole of failure and humiliation and loneliness. This morning I read an article about how businesses are suffering enormous financial losses due to addiction in the work place.

DrunkSizedWhen you think that more than 50% of addicts have ADHD it makes you realise that work places need to start understanding ADHD. You don’t grow out of ADHD.

So what are these skills that we don’t learn due to our distraction, the major symptom of ADHD?

  • How to think - because we are impulsive we don't think things through and this effects our decision making (in)ability
  • Decision Making
  • Goal setting
  • Social skills
  • Time management - the ADHD brain does not compute time like the non-ADHD

ADHD Coaching is different from life coaching, executive coaching and counselling. ADHD affects the whole family and is highly hereditary so you need to work with the family even the non-ADHD members. They need to understand ADHD, how the ADDer is changing as the coaching progresses so that they can support the ADDer through the process.

We conduct an indepth LADD® ADHD Impairments Assessment to see how your ADHD impairs your life and we offer ADHD Coaching via Skype.

There are many testimonials on the LADD® website from clients who have made the decision to live more contented lives.

ADHD can't be cured but when we learn to manage it productively we can achieve greatly.

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