Jim Livingstone

27 March 2024

ADHD with JIM LIVINGSTONE

Hello, and Welcome

I grew up feeling like the odd one out. After forty-five years of trying to fit in, I was finally diagnosed with ADHD.

Since my diagnosis, I have spent the last twenty-five years researching and actively testing a massive amount of ADHD information.

Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way…

The Positive ADHD Factor

We need to change the current perception of ADHD that is commonly perceived through a negative and sterile medical lens.

While managing ADHD often involves coping with challenges, it’s vital to recognize that ADHD also has a positive face, a silver lining embedded within this neurodiverse experience.

We need to factor the human element into the bigger picture, and focus on creating environments that allow us to thrive and contribute our distinctive gifts, fostering a more diverse and dynamic community for everyone.

It is essential to approach ADHD with a balanced understanding, acknowledging the difficulties while also recognizing and embracing the strengths that characterize this neurodiverse condition.

ADHD undoubtedly presents challenges, but its positive aspects can be incredibly beneficial both to individuals with ADHD and to society as a whole. By emphasizing and cultivating the intrinsic strengths of ADHD, such as hyperfocus, creativity, resilience, empathy, passion, and big-picture thinking, we can better appreciate and harness these qualities.

In a society that values innovation and adaptability, it’s time to recognize the positive ADHD factor not as a deficit, but as a different approach to processing the world—one that comes with its unique set of advantages.

Shifting the perception of adult ADHD from a strictly medical or negative perspective to a more comprehensive and empathetic understanding involves a multifaceted approach that values the lived experiences of adults with the condition. Here are some methods to reframe the narrative:

1. Tell Your Story: I encourage individuals with adult ADHD to share their full narratives, not just their struggles but also their strengths, accomplishments, and the unique ways they navigate life. This can help paint a broader picture that’s not focused solely on the medical lens.

2. Diverse Representation: Showcase stories from people of diverse backgrounds, professions, and life situations with a wide range of experiences. This can help dispel the stereotype that ADHD affects only a certain type of person or manifests in a singular way.

3. Strength-based Approach: Reframe ADHD traits by recognizing the positive aspects, such as hyperfocus, creativity, and the ability to think outside the box. Highlight successful individuals with ADHD in various fields to demonstrate that ADHD does not preclude personal or professional success.

4. Education for Compassion: Develop more educational materials and programs for schools, workplaces, and communities that focus on understanding and empathy. Teach people about the spectrum of experiences of those with ADHD and how empathy can be a powerful tool for support.

5. Partnership with Artists and Creators: Collaborate with artists, filmmakers, and writers to create content that authentically represents the experiences of adults with ADHD beyond the medical context, including art exhibitions, films, books, and theatrecounsellors.

6. Multi-disciplinary Support: Promote a multi-disciplinary approach to ADHD that includes not only medical but also psychological, occupational, and educational support. Highlight the benefits of therapy, coaching, and supportive interventions beyond medication.

7. Inclusive Policy Formulation: Involve individuals with adult ADHD in policymaking processes that affect their lives, ensuring their perspectives and needs are considered and met.

8. Mental Health Integration: Incorporate discussions of ADHD into broader conversations about mental health and wellness to normalize the condition as one of many variations in human neurodiversity.

9. Training for Professionals: Offer specialized training for psychologists, counselors, and social workers to address adult ADHD in a way that considers the whole person, not just the diagnosis.

10. Community Events: Organize events and workshops that focus on life skills, creativity, and other interests of adults with ADHD, providing spaces for networking, support, and personal growth.

11. Research Inclusion: Ensure that research on ADHD includes subjects from across the adult lifespan and from diverse backgrounds. This can help to develop a more inclusive understanding of how ADHD manifests and is experienced by different populations.

12. Legislative Advocacy: Work with legislative bodies to advocate for laws and regulations that acknowledge the realities of adults with ADHD, focusing on support systems rather than only medical management.

13. Mindfulness and Wellness Programs: Introduce and promote mindfulness practices, physical fitness, nutrition, and other wellness programs tailored to the needs of adults with ADHD. These can emphasize overall well-being in conjunction with medical treatment.

14. Partner with Employers: Collaborate with employers to create ADHD-friendly workplace practices, provide education about the condition, and create an environment where diversity of thought and neurodiversity are valued.

By adopting these or similar strategies, we can all help to create a narrative around adult ADHD that is more inclusive, understanding, and representative of the diverse strengths and capabilities of individuals with the condition, moving beyond a narrow medical perspective.

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Digital Detox

  • Challenge: Spend an hour each day away from screens.

     

  • Benefit: Reducing screen time can lower stress and make room for more positive activities.

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I am currently writing this book, and I would like you to share the journey with me. I would love to hear your story and, with your consent, include it in the book, newsletter, or articles.

Peek Inside My Book…here is an unedited extract from Chapter 5

 

BUILDING A NEW IDENTITY…………………………

     – Why do we mask?

    – Removing the mask.

    – Reinventing yourself after a late diagnosis.

    – Finding meaning and purpose in your life.

FINDING MEANING AND PURPOSE IN YOUR LIFE

Discovering your true purpose and meaning becomes a transformative journey that involves self-reflection, embracing strengths, setting meaningful goals, and developing effective strategies to manage your ADHD.

Take time for self-reflection to understand your core values, strengths, and interests. What brings you joy? What activities or pursuits align with your values? Reflecting on these aspects can help you identify areas of life where you can find meaning and purpose.

Explore ways to discover new meaning and purpose in life through personal growth, engaging in meaningful activities, and making a positive impact on others.

It may involve re-evaluating priorities, exploring new passions, and developing strategies to manage symptoms effectively. Here are some steps to guide you: 

Explore New Passions and Interests

One way to find meaning and purpose is by exploring new hobbies, interests, or career paths to see what resonates with you. Seek out environments that provide novelty and stimulation.

 Allow yourself to be curious and open to new experiences. Experiment with different activities and interests to find what truly resonates with you. 

Reflect on past experiences that brought you joy and a sense of fulfillment. Allow yourself to dream without limitations and envision the life you truly desire. 

Set Meaningful Goals

Establish goals that align with your understanding of yourself and your newfound sense of purpose. These goals should be manageable, realistic, and specific, allowing you to work towards them step by step. 

Develop meaningful goals aligned with your purpose and values. Set clear and achievable objectives that reflect your altered identity. These goals serve as guiding beacons, providing a sense of direction and motivation.

As always, break bigger goals into smaller, achievable milestones to maintain momentum and foster a sense of accomplishment along the way. 

Embrace Personal Empowerment

Receiving a diagnosis opens the door to self-understanding and empowerment. Recognize that ADHD is not a limitation, but a unique aspect of who you are.

Embrace your new identity and believe in your ability to overcome challenges and thrive. By reframing your perception of ADHD, you can harness its strengths, to drive your success.

Through this process, you will gain clarity on what truly matters to you and help to uncover your unique purpose.

Cultivate Resilience and Optimism

Living with ADHD may entail challenges, but developing resilience and maintaining an optimistic mindset will propel you forward. View setbacks as learning opportunities and see them as stepping stones on your path to success.

By adopting a growth-oriented mindset, you can overcome obstacles, adapt to change, and persist in pursuing your purpose.

Leverage ADHD Strengths

 ADHD individuals possess unique strengths that can be leveraged to uncover their true purpose. Creative thinking, innovation, and the ability to hyperfocus on tasks can pave the way for success in various fields.

Identify and capitalize on these strengths to align your purpose and career choices. Find opportunities that allow you to utilize your natural talents, where ADHD traits are advantageous. 

Cultivate Mindfulness and Self-Care

In the pursuit of purpose, it is essential to nurture your mental and physical well-being. Practice mindfulness and self-care techniques that enhance self-awareness, reduce stress, and improve concentration.

Engage in activities that promote overall wellness, such as exercise, meditation, proper sleep, and healthy eating. By prioritizing self-care, you ensure the sustainability of your purpose-driven journey.

 Embrace Continuous Growth and Learning

Stagnation is the opposite of purpose. Embrace a mindset of continuous growth and learning. Seek opportunities to expand your knowledge, gain new skills, and challenge yourself intellectually.

Understanding that personal growth is an ongoing process is vital. Stay curious, continue to learn, and seek out opportunities for personal and professional development.

 Engage in activities that challenge and stretch your abilities, allowing you to continually evolve and refine your sense of purpose.

 Develop Strategies to Manage ADHD.

Effectively managing your ADHD symptoms is crucial to staying focused and on track toward your goals.

Experiment with various strategies, such as using organizational tools, creating routines, setting reminders, and seeking support from professionals or support groups.

Finding strategies that work for you will help mitigate the challenges and enable you to maximize your potential.

be continued next week………

Let me know what you think, the good, the bad and wtf?…link to comments on website

PS Love to hear your story if you want to share.

“Your true identity already exists, all you have to do is get to know it”

Jim Livingstone

Anthony Avina

“This is a must-read book for anyone having ADHD/ADD. The book presents advice, tips & tricks to not only deal with ADHD but to use it to your advantage. The author shares his own experience with the disorder throughout the book”.

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If you haven’t downloaded the complementary PDF of the first couple of chapters, now’s your chance.

Or if you have already and want to buy a copy

https://www.amazon.com//dp/B0BHKQV96M

Expect the Best,

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If you’ve got a second, I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. jim@jimlivingstone.com.au I reply to every email.

This site is not intended to provide and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. The content in this newsletter is designed to support, not replace, medical or psychiatric treatment. Please seek professional help if you believe you may have Mental Health Issues.

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