ADHD is Not a Gift

“Now let’s be clear, this is a very serious disorder. This is not some trivial little fly-by-night disorder.

Also, to emphasize something which I don’t think is emphasized enough: ADHD is no gift. There is no evidence in any research on any of hundreds of measures that we have taken that show that ADHD predisposes to anything positive in human life. Now let’s be clear, ADHD is but a small set of hundreds of psychological abilities that people will have, and many people may be gifted and talented in various aspects of these other human abilities, but never attribute that giftedness or that success to ADHD itself.

There is a profound tendency in the US right now for advocates to roll everything about a patient under the tent of their ADHD, and they use it to account for everything. So that Michael Phelps won eight gold medal Olympics because of his ADHD; and [David Neeleman] the owner of Jet Blue, [is] a successful entrepreneur running an airline because of his ADHD; and Howie Mandell on “Deal or No Deal” is a successful comic and gameshow host because of his ADHD; and Ty Pennington on extreme home makeover is very successful at destroying and rebuilding houses for other charitable purposes because of his ADHD.

None of this is true at all. These people are successful because they have other attributes in which they are gifted, but in no way does ADHD predispose to any of the things that I have mentioned. If so, we would have seen it.

So I want people to understand that while people may be gifted and talented and successful in spite of their ADHD, it is not because of their ADHD. The ADHD itself may in fact make you less effective than with other people who have equally talented areas in those human abilities. We don’t know, nobody has done that comparison.

But it’s going to be very hard for society to take you all seriously if you continue to trumpet this disorder as a gift. There is no way that we can go to Ottawa and walk the halls of parliament, arguing for accomodations, entitlements, funding of ADHD medications on the one hand, while rah-rah cheering ADHD as this wonderful giftedness that we have and you don’t [on the other]. They are antithetical to each other, and it doesn’t work. And it’s a lie.

So let’s stop deceiving people about this. This is a real disorder, it’s a very serious disorder, but it doesn’t mean you may not be talented in many other areas of life and that you can use those areas of talent to compensate for the disadvantages that ADHD may be producing. But success is not attributable to ADHD, not in any of the hundreds of studies that have been done to date. So I’m asking for clarification on this issue. I’m not saying people can’t succeed with this disorder, but it won’t be their ADHD that caused that.”

Dr. Russell Barkley
CADDAC Conference: ADHD, All in the Family
May 30th 2009,
Toronto, Canada.

Anxiety is Skyrocketing

It has been quite a while since the last time I wrote something here.

I am now approaching the end of my study. The anxiety is skyrocketing and I got really nervous. Thinking back, how many times before I ‘collapsed’ at this stage, and why I kept doing it again and again. My counsellor advised me to wear something tight that can help me to refrain myself from moving here and there, to focus. Try to break down whatever is needed to be done into smaller phases. I hope I can make it. I must graduate this year. Help me o Allah.

Google Calendar for Our Time Management

Today, kids are back to school after long holiday. They are so eager to get back to school, either because the school is so good, or the house is so boring. See… my negative thoughts! It can simply be both. The house is good, but at the same time the kids miss their friends! That is how I should self-talk myself to remove the ‘automated negative thoughts‘ (ANTs).

I need to update Google Calendar. Each of my kids has his or her own time to begin and end, different from one another, from one day to another too. So, each kid is labelled with specific colour to make the calendar more visible. Google calendar really helps me to keep on track not only with my own complicated schedule as a student, fathering alone four children, but with their schedule too.

I recommend you to beat your ADHD problematic time management with this simple free of charge, dynamic, visually well presented, Google calendar.

Hasrizal, Oulu FI

Bag Packing with ADHD

After so many months, almost a complete year-round, stuck in Finland, restricted from travelling abroad due to our residence permit application, I feel so relieved, being able to bring the whole family bag packing between London, Belfast, Dublin, Manchester, Durham, Newcastle and Sunderland.

All the anxiety are gone. All the negative thoughts are healed. I feel more positive and maybe will have a better focus on coming home to Oulu soon.

Some articles suggested that adults with ADHD have problems when travelling. Not to mention travelling with kids. But travelling is always my best therapy. My mind is always busy with so many things and never stops. Traveling help me to be ‘alone’ in the middle of the crowd and think clearer. Although I prefer travelling alone I understand how life with kids make that option closed to none.

So far so good.

I am happy.

Virgin Train Durham to London King’s Cross
14:38 December 28th, 2017.

ADHD is Behind the Idea Visualisation

Finland of Opportunities Demola Mid Pitch from Hasrizal Abdul Jamil on Vimeo.

“Wow, I just want to tell you that you’re very good at visualising ideas. The presentation was really good!” my friends said.

“It’s my strength, and my weakness at the same time,” I replied.

“And how is that?” they asked.

“Writing up for our final pitching next week is not easy for me. I cannot see clearly from essays plus writing them sucks. I need to have a clear picture in my mind how all our work for the past three months looked like when we sum them up into a 5 minutes presentation. So I immediately use Keynote, slide by slide and see how our understanding visually appears. I read all the scripts you guys wrote collaboratively, but I am sorry I didn’t write my piece. It doesn’t work for me. I work better with visual to gain the ‘big picture’ thing,” I explained.

“But it works. Even better!” they said.

“Yes. It is good for this kind of task. But I suffer in my courses where many collaborative essay writings involved. How to write my piece when I don’t know what others wrote before and after my part? And at the same time if I write it individually, most likely it will become a soul-crushing job with zero satisfaction. Exhausting! I guess maybe that has something to do with my ADHD” I stated that ‘keyword’ intentionally.

“Aha…. I see. That’s where the creativity comes in!’ one of them highlighted the¬†nitty-gritty part of it.

It is very rewarding to work with this team. We are given enough room to do our part in our own unique way. Today I will present our entire solution in the final pitching on behalf of our team. Wish me luck!

December 13, 2017 at 3pm Finland time

Oulu, FI