Guest Blog: When You All Have ADHD by Mandy Hasslen-Gartner

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MandyIn my first post I said I would share my story. I was trying to figure out how best to tell it and then I had lunch with a high school classmate in November, always a fun thing to do. I had posted on Facebook about officially launching my ADHD coaching business, ADHD Kid Coach and she sent me a message me about getting together. The lunch allowed me to tell my story to someone out loud in a way I had not, which helped me figure out how to share it with all of you. 

By the time I got my ADD diagnosis both my sons had already been diagnosed for sometime. In fact the joke in our house was I was the executive function of the house. I still am by the way, I keep all the appointments and everyone’s calendar, I get us where we need to be mostly on time, do all the planning activities and keep the house organized in every meaning of the word. It was December 2016 when I had my appointment with the therapist we had been using for parenting help for the past four years to discuss the results of the survey from Sari Solden’s Women with Attention Deficit Disorder: Embrace Your Differenced and Transform Your Life. I had just finished my basic coaching classes at ADD Coaching Academy and was interested in learning more about ADHD in women and girls and it was a book on the list of recommended reading materials.

Like many women with ADHD I had prior been diagnosed with anxiety and depression and while I took medication for to treat them it helped some but not completely. What I knew about myself was the more chaotic and crazy things got in our house the more I would get stressed and overwhelmed and the more I wanted to crawl into bed and hide. But what I figured out in reading her book is I was overwhelmed and going into shut down. Yes I was anxious but really I was emotional deregulated by clutter and chaos and it caused my brain to be more overwhelmed with all that was going on in it, so I could not process things and deal with them easily. See overwhelm and emotional deregulation are parts of executive function effective by ADHD and where I am most impacted.  Where for other people it is in their ability to be organized which it what most people think of when they think executive function skill. I look back on my life and I see so many things differently now and with understanding of why certain things have seemed harder for me then others. With time has come understanding and acceptance of my diagnosis and learning and apply skills I learned in coaching school to my own life. It also brings an understanding to helping my clients, though everyone’s ADHD is different there are many parts that are similar or at least I can relate too. 

Blog post written by, Mandy Hasslen-Gartner

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