The Revelation of A Lateral Mind

Kalaki Clarke, MD

The positive difference in my life after receiving a late diagnosis of ADHD at age 35 as a Family Physician has been incredible. Primarily, I have had increased level of self-awareness and self-acceptance. Being able to understand the cause of many of my behavior patterns (time management, task initiation and organization struggles) has helped me to obtain solutions and increase my level of self compassion.

I have also been able to advocate for myself, my peers and my daughter. Knowing my diagnosis has also increased my capacity to request and receive accommodations in past and present work settings. This has afforded me to level the playing field and maximize my potential.

Above all, awareness of my diagnosis of ADHD has augmented my empathy. I not only able to help patients based on a textbook knowledge, but my relatabililty of living with a chronic, invisible disability has fueled both my passion and my purpose in my calling. All thanks to the revelation of my lateral mind.

Kalaki Clarke, MD


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My ADHD Strengths Are Responsible for My Corporate and Entrepreneurial Success

woman without glasses

I  was undiagnosed for decades and decades. When I was sent off to a therapist by the person I was living with in the early 1990s, he said, “I was far too successful to even consider ADHD.”
I had managed my ADHD with exercise and nutrition from the time I was a child. As a 3-year-old my nickname was Bunny – given a choice of a raw cucumber and a piece of candy, I chose the cucumber. I have continued exercise and nutrition all my life.

I did live with the confusion of being labeled Lazy, Crazy, or Stupid at various points in my life because of the clutter that has always been part of my life.

It has only been recently that I have been able to understand and accept my successes are the results of the STRENGTHS of ADHD – Creativity, High Energy, Persistence, Out-of-the-Box Thinking, Confidence, and Leadership.

I have been sharing my experiences with a series of podcasts with emphasis on female struggles that are ignored by the researchers. Our hormones are too challenging.

Carol A. Vincie

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From outside the classroom to a life of learning!

woman with headset

Hello. My name is Clare, I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 47, but the tsunami of difficulties that ADHD gifted me started at an early age. I just couldn’t focus. Or concentrate. People talked too slowly, things never happened quick enough. SO I made my own entertainment and often was sent out of class for being the class clown, or for just creating my own entertainment. Creativity. ADHD has gifted me with a lions share of creativity, I loved books and could skim read one in record time, extracting just the data I needed to pull the story together. As I got older I realised this wasn’t how books should be read and struggled to focus my eyes across every line. I managed to get decent grades, but now see how much better they would have been if I had been diagnosed and treated earlier. At 47, I started methylphenidate and suddenly I could focus like never before! Thats it in a nutshell!

Clare Knighton


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ADHD ruined my life & saved it

My parents enrolled me in acting classes at 3 as a way of managing my ‘inability to stay still for any length of time.’ I was diagnosed with ADHD at 13; it came as no surprise to my parents. Being a performer on stage has been my mainstay; I have experienced much anguish & turbulence as a consequence of my ADHD: lots of school exclusions & loss of friendships by people who thought I was deliberately naughty.

My impulsivity’s got me into trouble & I lost my place at a famous performing arts school because of it. In spite of this condition’s downsides, there are upsides. I’m on a full time acting course at a different place now & they really ‘get me.’ There are others there who struggle with ADHD too, but we’re in a theatre all day now, not a classroom, which makes things more manageable. I have lots of energy but I am more able to control my impulses now with the help of strategies & low dose medication. I used to feel sorry for myself having ADHD but I’m so determined to succeed!

Sam Gould

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ADHD and Leadership

I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 25. I was working as a sales rep, then a forklift driver, then a shop assistant then I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I’d always hyper focused on creating 3D art as a hobby and one day after being fired from a job, I begged my wife to let me explore that route.

After 6 months I’d gotten my name out there as a game developer and managed to get a job in the industry, within 5 years I’d climbed from a Junior Environment Artist to a Lead Environment artist overseeing innovative and new games that are well received across the world. Part of my job is to lead a group of artists in creating a realistic world that can be explored. I also took a sidestep and taught Game development at a university before the pandemic. Now I’m still a Lead artist working on some exciting projects. What makes me proud of this achievement is I didn’t finish Primary or secondary school. I’ve now also been published on an academic book I was asked to write.

Henry Kelly


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ADHD, PhD, & Meds

woman in graduation cap

Growing up, ADHD was still stigmatized so it was treated as a “personality” problem & told things like, “girls don’t have ADHD” & “you can’t have ADHD, you’re smart.” So, like many others, I did my best to blend in & find tricks to keep myself “normal” & survive like tapping my feet & submerging myself in learning to overcompensate for the fact that my social skills were AWFUL.

Even after my diagnosis in high school, I shied away from meds because it was so ingrained in me that I couldn’t be ADHD AND smart. I was so afraid people would claim the meds were the only reason I got a PhD & not because I deserved it. But they were wrong; The meds help calm my racing thoughts, help me be rational during bouts of rejection-sensitive dysphoria, & keep my body from hurting if I don’t tap my feet.

I hope this reminds you that you CAN be smart & have ADHD, meds are NOT a sign of weakness or a “cheat” or “smart pill,” & you can do anything you want to do because ADHD is YOUR superpower.

Elizabeth

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The Long Haul

The hardest thing starting at about three was my disturbed mind banging my head on the floor, later my attention-seeking behaviour always for the wrong reasons at my frustration at school. My mother got the blame as a bad parent but she was driven so never gave up. It turned into OCD from seven then suicide attempts at twelve & still running away from school as well as from home. From eight was sent to boarding school, told was for own good; male discipline but humiliation from teachers was always a problem as I found hard to follow instructions. The option for a special school my Mum thought would hinder me? But my self-confidence/esteem could not have been lower. I could never concentrate, even topics was good at. Distractions & tense, nervous energy the norm. Diagnosed at 44, medication doesn’t work, 54 now. Catastrophic thinking hinders & masking. Treatment options day-to-day is cycling, self-help books & talking to parents of children with it. Feeling locked in my head.

Dominic Gauden

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Love

child in car with feet on roof

Meet Sarah. She is smart, funny, strong willed, and loving beyond measure. She fills my life with the unexpected but equally fills it with the most genuine love I’ve ever known. Sarah is in Kindergarten and is learning to read. She has learned to write the word “love” and often colors pictures for me and signs them with a simple word of “love” without her name. This melts my heart.

Sarah is perceptive and emotionally charged. She struggles to regulate the happy and sad emotions and all those in between. As a parent, I’ve learned to avoid criticism and focus on positive encouragement. She also needs more physical touch than my other children seem to desire. Therefore, I support her with huge bear hugs that last for what seems like hours. With a mindful approach to her needs she is more calm, relaxed, and emotionally stabilized. I believe the key to parenting a child with an ADHD diagnosis is realizing different isn’t a bad word and each child is capable of amazing things!

Christina


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I’m Alex, and I have an ADHD diagnosis

boy on swing

For me ADHD is a superpower. With the right medication it’s super helpful. It takes away some privileges but did you know I love having an ADHD diagnosis even though it takes those privileges away?

It makes me learn so fast that I am in the gifted class on Thursday’s. It also makes me moody in the mornings and evenings. Did you also know that when I haven’t had any electronics I act amazing and am super respectful? I also love to read and ADHD boosts that and makes it a good habit. Having a diagnosis helps my mom realize these things and so she forgives me easily.

The next thing I want to share with you guys is just like any other kid I want people to know me. I am Alexander, a 9 year old kid from Thomaston, GA. I have been diagnosed with ADHD since the age of 5. I like to collect different kinds of trading cards like Yugio and Pokémon. My favorite colors are gold, silver, and bronze. I love metallic colors because they are used in the Mycenaean period.

Alexander


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How to Cope with ADHD

At age 18, I was diagnosed with ADHD. Here is how I cope.

  • First: yoga, deep breathing and stretching. Slowing down my breathing dissipates negativity and I transform into a happy-go-lucky person. The stretching and yoga gives me body space, flexibility and raises dopamine levels. What could be better?
  • Second: address fear and trauma. During childhood, it was unsafe to talk due to my Christian, family values. Also, I was bullied during high school and by my sister. I learned to develop my own self-worth and ignore toxic people.
  • Third: talk therapy. In 2019, I sought therapy. (I’m on my third therapist and she gets me.) She’s a nerdy, cat lady who accepts me, which is amazing. She reminds me of my accomplishments and grants me new skills to use immediately. I take notes to remember important details.
  • My final strategy is writing down daily goals and priorities. I use bright, neon sticky notes. Write down appointments and daily obligations first, then do fun stuff.

HilDizzle


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