ADHD Awareness month intro

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October is ADHD Awareness Month and I’m hoping to share a few posts exploring ADHD through my work, from my creative process to pattern writing and more.

I’ve been formally diagnosed twice with ADHD, first in the UK, then in Italy. Getting diagnosed as an adult is far from easy so getting diagnosed twice is a little unusual. But… my ADHD is off the charts and I present so obviously that it didn’t take the specialists long. Which begs the question: why didn’t anyone notice before?

My first diagnosis was only 21 months ago, I’m now 50. I’m still unravelling years of masking, shame, trauma and coping mechanisms; I’ve lived with it all my life but I’m still learning who my ADHD self is. I’m a little hesitant to dive into #ADHDAwarenessMonth yet there’s so much of it evident in my work and that feels like a good place to speak from.

Before I get going, here’s a few facts:
 

  • ADHD is *not* a behavioural disorder or something that can be ‘cured’ with discipline.
  • ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition that shares a lot with Autism, and they’re often found together.
  • ADHD is one of the most researched neurodevelopmental conditions. MRI scans show that our brains are literally different.
  • We don’t have a deficit of attention, we have difficulty with executive function, emotions and regulating focus.
  • There are 3 types of ADHD – Hyperactive + Impulsive, Inattentive, and Combined.
  • Only a small percentage of ADHD folks are the externally hyperactive type. The hyperactivity is in all of us, except you can’t see it because it’s in our brains.
  • ADHD is genetic and runs in families. It’s estimated to have a heritability rate of 75% or more.
  • It’s something we’re born with and most of us won’t grow out of it. Like most life-long conditions it can change with the various stages of life but it doesn’t go away.
  • The stereotype of young white boys bouncing off the walls has done so much damage. It’s the reason so many BIPOC, women and girls go undiagnosed.
  • ADHD brings it’s own flavours of PTSD or Complex PTSD, especially when undiagnosed. It’s said that society is incapable of not traumatising folks with ADHD and I’m evidence of that in more ways than one.
  • ADHD is a recognised disability.

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