Discovering the Truth about ADHD | Madison Messerli, LCSW

Discovering the Truth about ADHD

Have you ever wondered if you might have ADHD?

Well, let’s address some common misconceptions about it.

First off, ADHD doesn’t fit into a one-size-fits-all box.

You might think, “I don’t look or act like I have ADHD. I’ve done well in school and am not hyper, but my brain never seems to shut off. I constantly feel overwhelmed, and no changes in therapy or medication seem to make my anxiety and depression subside. I struggle with self-esteem and often feel like I’m drowning.”

Procrastination – Put off what you don’t want to do.

Oh, the ever-loving procrastination! Anyone can fall prey to it. Those with ADHD are more prone to procrastinating.

Procrastination is not just a matter of being lazy or unmotivated. ADHD affects the part of your brain responsible for planning, making it harder to tackle tasks. Sometimes, there is a link to uncomfortable emotions surrounding a daunting task, so you keep putting it off.

Interestingly, procrastination can strike even for things you genuinely want to do, while the things you don’t want to do become the bane of your existence.

ADHD is not about laziness.

Now, let’s debunk the lazy label associated with ADHD because it’s a sorely misunderstood aspect.

People often assume that laziness displayed by people with ADHD is a moral failing, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts various aspects of successful adulting, and it certainly doesn’t equate to laziness.

Emotions can get your brain off track.

Imagine your favorite teacher or professor being the part of your brain responsible for successful adulting. If left to them, things would go so well! They are great at their job. But in the ADHD brain, your favorite teacher took an extended vacation with no return in sight.

So, who fills in to be the substitute teacher and keep everything moving? Your inner toddler – your emotions! These emotions drive your time management, fueled by anxiety, stress, and panic – leading to impulsive decisions and intense emotional experiences.

Fear not. With awareness and informed responses, you can gain control over your inner toddler part of your brain and navigate your life more effectively. We will cultivate a new understanding of these emotions, unlocking loads of potential for how you navigate the rest of your life.

Feeling emotions profoundly and intensely is part of having ADHD. Yet another misunderstood aspect!

Perfectionism can create dysfunction.

Perfectionism can be helpful, getting you through training, education, and landing that dream job.

However, in the context of ADHD, it can become like leaving your car idling all the time. It drains your energy, leading to paralysis, and that’s the last thing a high-functioning individual like you needs.

Relationships require effective communication.

Life’s journey should not be solitary; relationships with friends and family make it more enjoyable, but if you have ADHD, you might have faced some bumps in the road.

Navigating relationships with ADHD can be challenging, leading to patterns like people-pleasing, out-of-sight-out-of-mind, or becoming overly dependent.

Effective communication and boundaries are vital to building positive, supportive relationships that uplift you.

Therapy can help you break free from these patterns!

Various signs and symptoms accompany ADHD, and therapy is an excellent option if you display some of the characteristics discussed previously.

Before developing treatment options, I diagnose whether you have ADHD. Then, we develop a therapeutic approach; in some cases, this approach may involve behavior management (e.g., creating routines, skill training) and possibly medication management with a referral to one of my trusted third-party prescribers. Of course, this step is up to you.

Remember, understanding ADHD’s true nature empowers you to embrace your strengths and challenges, leading to a more fulfilling and successful life journey.

Don’t let ADHD rule your life. Therapy can help you navigate and overcome behaviors that keep you stuck. Please get in touch with me today for more information.