Ask a therapist: Everything you need to know about ADHD

Recently, young people have become increasingly aware of ADHD and its symptoms. In lots of ways, this increased awareness has been beneficial to people with ADHD who have been misunderstood by others.

But this increased awareness has also brought a slew of new questions for young people experiencing symptoms like inattention and a lack of organisation. Additionally, the picture of ADHD which is painted on social media sites can often be gloomy, focusing too heavily on challenging symptoms and not enough on positive ways this condition can impact the way your mind works.

That’s why for this video, we collaborated with Rashida Dungarwalla, a registered psychologist with years of experience talking to young people about ADHD and its symptoms.

Read the transcript.

A few things we’ve learned:

  • ADHD is a neurological condition that affects the brain's circuitry, leading to symptoms such as a shortened attention span, difficulty focusing on certain things, impulsive behavior, forgetfulness, and difficulty knowing when to speak in conversation.

  • ADHD can impact your brain in positive ways. People with ADHD can be better at creative thinking tasks, problem solving, feeling ‘in the moment’, and can even have a greater sense of justice compared to people without ADHD.

  • People with ADHD may experience "time blindness," where they feel like they are losing track of time or are unable to accurately gauge how much time has passed. This can be due to the ADHD brain's tendency to be more focused on the present moment.

  • If you frequently feel distracted at school, work, or in your personal life, fighting against those distractions with negative thoughts can actually make the problem worse. Instead, try meeting yourself with acceptance, forgiveness, and perseverance.

  • Women and non-binary people can also be diagnosed with ADHD. However, they may be underdiagnosed due to biases and stereotypes about who experiences ADHD.

  • Treatment for ADHD often involves a combination of medication, therapy, and self-care strategies. These can help manage your symptoms and improve daily functioning.

  • If you need help with challenges from symptoms that could be due to ADHD, the best thing to do would be to seek advice from a mental health professional.

What can I do now?

  • If you’d like to know more about ADHD, check out our article here.

  • As Rashida mentions, one of the best ways to manage ADHD symptoms is through self-acceptance. Here are some ways you can learn to love the way your brain works when you have ADHD.

  • If you believe you may have ADHD, read Dr. Amy Burton’s article ‘Do I have ADHD?’

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