It seems more and more people have been ‘coming out’ to announce they have ADHD, which has sparked more and more debate.
 Social media channels are alive with people either cheerleading and supporting or dismissing and berating all those telling the world they have ADHD – and that’s without going into all the discussions around the pros and cons of self-diagnosis and whether people should even be disclosing their condition.
 If you don’t know, Betterhelp has some great resources and explains the three subtypes of ADHD really well – way better than I ever could so, when you’ve finished reading this, click through and soak up the info. Regardless of where you stand, it’s always good to be properly informed.
 In short, though, just for now, it stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. No, people don’t grow out of it after their teens (though symptoms do display differently in adults) and there really is no such thing as Male ADHD and Female ADHD, though ADHD is thought to be under diagnosed in women and it’s more common for us to present with the ‘inattentive’ subtype of ADHD.
 For the past few years, more and more of the people who approach me for coaching have been saying something along the lines of: “I’m a bit ADHD – will that be okay?” or “I’m a bit neurodiverse – are you alright with that?” 
 It’s interesting how those two little words – “a bit” – usually sneak in. I’m not sure if that’s because people are embarrassed, or maybe they’ve self-diagnosed, or perhaps their ADHD only mildly impacts their lives. 
 Every time, I’ve said there’s no problem at all, so long as they’re willing to be really open with me in our sessions and help me to understand how it impacts them and, if necessary during our time together, how they might need me to adjust my approach or style to help get the best results for them.
 I can tell you, hand-on-heart, not once had there been any issue – just lots of really deep, power-full coaching conversations.
 What does this have to do with me? Well, more and more, signs have been popping up to suggest that I might be somewhere on that ADHD spectrum.
 At first, I really didn’t want to go there. In fact, the first time I took one of the online assessments, it was to support my wife after one of our friends said she thought Asha might have it.
 It turned out I scored more highly than Asha! 
 I took another test. And another. And another. Every one scored me highly and suggested I make an appointment with a specialist.
 My old, journalistic, cynical head kicked in. Maybe all the tests are geared this way to generate more appointments; most of them do lead to private diagnostic services, after all.
 I started to research. The more I read, the more Asha and I found ourselves nodding our heads at the way in which various ADHD traits applied to us, The more we watched online content, such as the brilliant ADHD Love on TikTok – they’re on other channels too, if you’re not a TikTok fan – the more we found ourselves nodding AND shaking our heads in disbelief.
 How could we get to our grand old ages without seeing this before? Well, it might be that symptoms start to become far more visible in peri-menopause and beyond, when hormonal changes have a nasty habit of shaking things up a bit. Just to confuse things, though, some menopausal symptoms can mimic ADHD as well.
 Finally, not too long ago, I was on a live broadcast with Kelly Swingler, talking about burnout listen to the podcast HERE, and was contacted straight afterwards by a chap who describes himself as a Neurodiversity Advocate. The LinkedIn message said this: “Listening to your conversation and looking at your profile, you show many traits of ADHD.”
 Honestly, I don’t know. Given the fact that I don’t feel I need medication or treatment, I don’t really see any point in seeking a formal diagnosis.
 The biggest reason I’m speaking out now is that I know there will be a gazillion and one people out there who tick boxes for a variety of conditions, but don’t feel able to speak up or ask for help.
 There will be just as many – if not more – who just feel a bit ‘different’, have always felt a little on the outside and never really felt they fit in. I cannot tell you how many times that’s been ME.
 And so, if that’s you, if you’ve been struggling in any way, I want you to know you’re not alone.
 By the same token, if you have others telling you that you display traits of ADHD, I want to reinforce for you that seeking formal diagnosis is very much a personal choice – look into why you might want to, what support might be available and how you qualify for that. 
 Please, just don’t sit there erroneously believing you’re ‘broken’, or ‘wrong’ or beyond help. I promise you, that will almost never be the case.
 And if you’re one of the people dismissing anyone talking about their struggles or challenges unless they have a formal diagnosis, please climb down from your ivory tower and find your compassion.
 Wouldn’t it be grand if we lived in a society where people felt able to simply ask for support and receive it? And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we felt able to speak openly about the challenges we face, and what we might need, without worrying about being judged?
 Not too long ago, I kindly gave one of my clients short thrift when they kept putting all their achievements down to luck. It’s not luck if you made it happen – it’s skill, determination, grit, courage, experience and many other descriptors that contribute to overall success.
 In this case, though, am I just lucky? 
 By and large, if I DO have ADHD, it contributes more to superpowers than anything else – my ability to go into hyperfocus and get things done is a prime example. The worst thing about it? Being able to be absolutely on it for my clients and my work, but being unable to keep the lounge tidy, and only noticing it’s actually a bit of a mess when I’m having to climb over a mountain of stuff to get to the kitchen.
 What’s more, I’m convinced some of the skills and tools I carry – those Asha and I teach on our 13-month spiritual empowerment programme (The Big One) – have helped us to keep everything running smoothly and to be really aware of, and able to manage, our moods, thoughts and emotions.
 In summing up, I don’t know 100% if I have ADHD. I suspect I probably do, but so what? I’m 48… there’s no massive change I’m looking to create, and there are already plenty of well known people out there talking about their ADHD, not least Mel Robbins and Richard Branson.
 I don’t need a diagnosis to support others who might be going through the same – just as I don’t need to be a rocket scientist to coach a rocket scientist.
 Whatever’s going on in your life, do what’s right FOR YOU. Always. 
 Let me leave you with some wonderful words from Asha: “You are always entitled to feel what you feel, respond in the way that you want to respond and decide what the best course of action is for you… if, indeed, that’s any action at all.”

Until next time,
Taz X
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