- Politics and Social Issues
Thousands Lose Jobs Because Of ADHD Epidemic!!
Do you know that every day in America, thousands of individuals like you lose or will lose their jobs because of a sinister and slow moving virus called Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)?
The real tragedy is that most of it's victims are not even aware that they have been attacked...they know that they have believed deep down within their beings that they were somehow different...that they danced to a different drum but never could figure out why. These individuals have often been stigmatized, called stupid or lazy by their peers, and made to feel less than. They have not performed as expected and have often had personality clashes with their co-workers and supervisors. They have tried.... and tried.... and struggled....and struggled, but still have been unable to achieve success.
Until the 1990s, these individuals and the rest of America did not know the name of this insidious virus; they didn't know that such an enemy existed. In (1994 ) two acclaimed psychiatrists from the Boston area, Ned Hallowell, M,D. and John Ratey, M.D., co-authored a book called Driven To Distraction.. This book caused a revolution as it significantly increased our awareness and understanding of ADHD. Approximately 3-5% of all school children in America are diagnosed with ADHD. 60% of these children will go on to become adults with ADHD. We learned that all children who were diagnosed as having ADHD did not "outgrow" or that their symptoms did not just disappear during puberty as originally thought.
This means that roughly 8,000,000 adults in the USA have ADHD symptoms and that 75% of those individuals do not know that they have it.
Many of these adults are in the work force. Many of these individuals are struggling and don't know why. You may have observed in your work place individuals that didn't fit in....individuals that did not get along with their peers or supervisors....individuals that did not turn in or complete their work on time....individuals who talked non-stop about nothing, often going from subject to subject....perhaps you have been or are one of those individuals.
Well, this is your lucky day because you will learn why you and other individuals have been fired or why you may be at risk for termination.
Before the 1990s, it was believed that only children could be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). Driven To Distraction enabled us to learn that adults also experience ADHD symptoms and that these symptoms, when not diagnosed and treated, wreak havoc in the work place and in all areas of their lives.
If roughly 8,000,000 adults in the US have ADHD, and only 15% of those adults know that they have the "disorder" and are being treated, what's going on with the remaining 85%?
These individuals are struggling in the workplace, in their relationships, in their studies, in their homes and communities. Our prisons are full of individuals who, because of untreated ADHD. They have not been able to control their tempers or impulses because of their hidden and often undiagnosed and untreated ADHD.
Drs. Hallowell and Ratey's book, Driven From Distraction (2005) sparked yet another revolution in the mental health realm. We learned a new way of thinking about ADHD. We learned that those of us with ADHD were blessed...that we were unique in a good way, and that we had inborn talents and gifts that "normal" individuals did not possess.
This signaled the beginning of spreading the word and a drive to educate the general public on the need for adults, especially those who were diagnosed as children or teens with ADHD, to seek assessments if they recognized some of the symptoms of ADHD in themselves.
ADHD is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.
Dr. Ned Hallowell, the guru of ADHD world wide, has this to say about ADHD.
"ADHD is not a mental disorder but a collection of traits that define a way of being in the world. There are some negative and positive traits; some glory and some pain. If the negative becomes disabling, then this way of being in the world is a disorder. The point of diagnosis is to transform the disorder into an asset."
Driven From Distraction led to new drug therapies, increased our understanding of the roles diet and exercise play, and drastically changed how we define and view ADHD. We began to focus on individuals strengths and encouraging them to minimize or adapt ways to get around their weaknesses.
We learned that when we focus on the positives or up sides of ADHD, transformation occurs. We began seeing ADHD as a blessing rather than as a curse.
"The goal is to sculpt ADHD into a blessing." Ned Hallowell, M.D.
This can be accomplished by focusing on and developing the good or positives and paring down the bad or the negatives.
Knowledge is key to your success if you are one with or have reason to believe that you or a family member is experiencing symptoms of ADHD.
Some symptoms or behaviors found in adults with ADHD are:
- Difficulty with concentration
- Poor organization Skills
- relationship Problems
- Low self esteem
- Low frustration tolerance
- Mood swings
- Substance abuse or addiction
Adults with ADHD may have:
- lower economic status than their counterparts
- multiple driving violations
- use illegal substances more often
- smoke cigarettes more often
- rate themselves as having poorer driving habits
- are maladjusted
Many of those adults with undiagnosed ADHD are in the work place. They exhibit some of the following symptoms:
- following instructions and directions
- Completing their work in the prescribed time
- remembering things
- follow through on projects
- relationship problems with co-workers and managers
- organization problems
- prioritizing difficulties
- problems with procrastination See my article: http://ladydeonne.hubpages.com/hub/Is-Procrastination-Keeping-You-From-Success-In-Your-Business
- hyperfocus - focusing on one thing to the exclusion of all others
- task frustration
If you are experiencing any or all of these problems in the work place, your first step should be to get an evaluation and a diagnosis. The importance of finding out what and why you are having certain symptoms cannot be stressed enough. When I confirmed that I had adult ADHD, it was a liberating moment. I finally found out why I was "different"...why I danced to a different drum...why I had not experienced some of the successes in my life or career I desired, and yes, why I had, often times failed in certain areas.
I felt exhilarated as well as exonerated! I realized that I was not just a f...up, as I had been told.
Adults with ADHD, exhibiting the characteristics mentioned above are often on the verge of being fired and may feel especially at risk. We all know that in the event of layoffs, the least competent and problematic are the first to go. Thousands of employees with untreated ADHD symptoms are fired every day.
Adults with untreated ADHD often have unstable work histories...they hop from job to job. They are either fired or leave out of frustration on their own. They are not satisfied with their jobs or careers. They do not move up the ladder into management positions as often as their peers who do not have ADHD.
So, what can individuals do if they see themselves in the scenarios mentioned or if they are experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned in the work place? As previously mentioned diagnosis is the first place to start.
For a sample self administered evaluation go to:http://www.hcp.med.harvard.edu/ncs/ftpdir/adhd/6Question-ADHD-ASRS-v1-1.pdf
This self-report will give you a general idea as to whether you should be evaluated by a Mental Health professional. You may choose a Licensed Professional Counselor, A Licensed Social Worker, a Licensed Psychologist, or a Psychiatrist.
There are no tests that you can take to determine if you have ADHD. The assessment that the Mental Health Professional will do will include an in-depth medical and family history, your life story, your experiences and behaviors in school, your work behaviors and history, your activities, etc. They may solicit feedback from your family members.
If it is determined that you have ADHD, your Mental Health professional will, along with you, draw up a plan of treatment to address your particular symptoms and behaviors.
Please note that psychiatrists today are mostly involved with medication management. For therapy you will need to visit a Mental Health Therapist, Social Worker, or Psychologist.
The typical mode of therapy that is usually beneficial for those with ADHD is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which is based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think and in doing so change the way we feel and the way that we do or act.
You will learn how to control your thoughts in order to change your feelings and your behaviors.
It is important that you learn all that you can about ADHD and what being diagnosed as one with ADHD means for you and your family.
The dark side of ADHD:
- difficulty with turning ideas into actions
- chronic under achievement
- major problems in handling money and making sensible financial decisions
- lack of time management skills- problems with estimating how much time a task will take
- poor organization skills
- need for high stimulation - need for excitement or danger as a means of focusing...will drive 100mph in order to think clearly
- low frustration tolerance
Now for the fun and good side of ADHD.
If you are diagnosed as one with ADHD, consider your self blessed. These are some of the positives and wonderful things you possess if you are so diagnosed.
- highly imaginative and intuitive
- original out of the box thinking
- persistence and resilience
- many creative talents
- warm hearted and generous
Individuals with these traits are often artists, inventors, musicians, writers,entrepreneurs,actors, airplane pilots, astronauts, race car drivers, teachers,etc
It is my desire that you have benefited from this discussion and that you will take what you've learned to help your self or your loved ones. Adult ADHD is real and impacting upon the lives of millions of Americans as well as those world wide. We must all do what we can to stop the epidemic and to encourage others to seek help and treatment before it's too late. In my next post, we will continue our discussion on the blessings or up sides of having ADHD and provide some examples of individuals who have learned to capitalize on their positives and adapt or work around their weaknesses.
if you, like me, are one with adult ADHD, rejoice and celebrate! You are special, gifted, and talented. You just need to discover your genius and learn how to embrace the essence of YOU.