“Karen’s Noggin’ 🧠 Nuggets” #19 ~ October 2, 2022


What is the first thing you think of when I ask, what is ADHD? Since you are reading this blog, more than likely you’re looking for answers instead of giving them. I would like for you to think about what answer you would give if posed with that question. 

The amazing thing about ADHD is that there seem to be a gazillion answers to this one question. People have their opinions, guesses, what they heard others say, or even respond that it doesn’t even exist. 

Even the health institutes have somewhat varied responses. Let’s see what some of those professionals have to say beyond the meaning of the acronym, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

The Center for Disease Control states that ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, control impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active. Here’s the link as a reference and for more information https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/index.html

The National Institute of Mental Health states that Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. Here’s the link as a reference and for more information see https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd

The definition of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been updated in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to more accurately characterize the experience of affected adults. This revision is based on nearly two decades of research showing that ADHD, although a disorder that begins in childhood, can continue through adulthood for some people. Previous editions of DSM did not provide appropriate guidance to clinicians in diagnosing adults with the condition. By adapting criteria for adults, DSM-5 aims to ensure that children with ADHD can continue to get care throughout their lives if needed.

ADHD is characterized by a pattern of behavior, present in multiple settings (e.g., school and home), that can result in performance issues in social, educational, or work settings. As in DSM-IV, symptoms will be divided into two categories of inattention and hyperactivity and impulsivity which include behaviors like failure to pay close attention to details, difficulty organizing tasks and activities, excessive talking, fidgeting, or an inability to remain seated in appropriate situations. Here’s the link as a reference and for more information see https://psychiatry.org/File%20Library/Psychiatrists/Practice/DSM/APA_DSM-5-ADHD.pdf 

As you can see it is not a simple answer to the question of, what is ADHD. I guess it’s somewhat fitting since each person who has ADHD can show symptoms in so many different ways. 

What I have learned from my studies at the International ADHD Coach Training Center https://www.iactcenter.com/ is, ADHD is a constellation of symptoms and is a genetic medical condition that affects the brain and requires diagnosis by a qualified and experienced medical professional.

Beyond that, I’m always interested in what the experts have to say about ADHD. To me, those experts are the ones that have and are continuing to live with ADHD. They didn’t have to read about it, they’ve lived it. 

Since I consider myself one of those experts, I thought a lot about what ADHD is to me. I’m very much aware of all the negative things I do and my shortcomings because of ADHD; however, I’ve worked hard to discover my strengths and make ADHD work for me instead of against me. I like to see it as I have ADHD but it doesn’t have me. 

But since I was born with ADHD and I will die with ADHD, I made the decision that I’m going to make this work for me because I know God made me with a plan and purpose and instead of focusing on the negatives, I would find the positives and strengths. 

This made me rethink the acronym ADHD. Instead of being reminded of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, I like to think of my condition as Amazingly Divine Human Diversity. That’s right. Amazingly Divine Human Diversity sounds much better to me. I like to see it this way. I live in a way that causes great surprise or wonder (amazingly) while being excellent and delightful (divines’ informal definition). I’m aware that we are all in this together (human) as I celebrate my varieties and recognize that we are all unique and have individual differences (diversity). 

So as you can see, we have the medical definition of ADHD but it is much more than that, and those that live with ADHD are so much more than what the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) says we are. 

If you want, to learn more, you are in luck. There is a lot of information out there and we’ll continue to learn more about ADHD. 

I would be interested in hearing your definition of ADHD. Please comment under this blog about what ADHD is and what it is to you! Thank you! 

For more information on this subject and/or if you would like to work with a Life Coach to work through some struggles or have someone beside you as you navigate this life, contact me at https://happybrainlifecoach.com/

Thank you for reading “Karen’s Noggin’ 🧠 Nuggets” #19 ~ October 2, 2022

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