Lost my brother, my confidant, to that cruel, indifferent disease. I will always honor my brother and the memories we shared thought our lives.
We don’t outgrow our ADHD, we adjust our behavior accordingly. For me, ADHD is perpetual refocusing; perpetual redirecting; and perpetual emotional regulation. The most challenging aspect of my ADHD is self-regulation. Depending on who you ask in the ADHD expert realm, ADHD is a “permanent” neuro-developmental/neuro-biological/neurological/neuro-behavioral disorder or chronic condition. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the diagnosis of ADHD is recognized as a lifelong disorder. (DSM-5 Fifth Edition; American Psychiatric Association, 2013). If you do a search using the terms “lifelong” “ADHD” “disorder”, it will return numerous scholarly articles which state that ADHD is a lifelong condition. Hence, WE likely (sorry, it’s the lawyer in me) DO NOT OUT GROW OUR ADHD.
If we don’t outgrow ADHD, what should we do?
So what do we do now? We grow with our ADHD. How you might ask – by learning! We become our own advocates with regard to our diagnosis and treatment. We learn everything we can about our individual symptoms. We dissect each symptom. Categorize them. Learn which behaviors manifest each symptom and why. Track these behaviors. Learn how to self-regulate. Talk to fellow ADHDers. Attempt a variety of interventions/treatments. Talk to a doctor who specializes in ADHD. Try an ADHD coach. Listen to podcasts. Read books. Learn how to meditate. Use healing crystals.
To learn more about ADHD, start here What is ADHD blog post.
Keep learning about your ADHD
There are many options available today, some free, some not. Do a Google search. Start somewhere!! Yes, it sounds easier said than done (and scary as all heck) but ADHD is your life long roommate. It’s the very fabric of your being, whether you like it or not. The more you learn about your roommate, the better your life together will be :). Have fun with it!!
For some resources on learning about ADHD, check out our ADHD Resouces page.
And remember, if we look at our ADHD as a life-long gift, rather than a life-long curse, we will embrace it as an ability, not a disability.
Part II. What is a L A W Y E R?
A Lawyer is . . . a noun. To lawyer is . . . a verb! Ha! Seriously, a lawyer is one who is licensed to practice law. Black’s Law Dictionary 905 (8th ed. 2004). As an aside (ADHD, sorry), my Black’s is pristine (because I never use it). The updated definition on Westlaw is, a lawyer is someone who, having been licensed to practice law, is qualified to advise people about legal matters, prepare contracts and other legal instruments, and represent people in court. Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014), available at Westlaw.com. Interesting upgrade from 2004. I guess a lot happens in 10 years!
I am not sure if Merrium Webster consulted with BAG but their definition is a bit grammatically off. A lawyer is, one whose profession is to conduct lawsuits for clients or to advise as to legal rights and obligations in other matters. Conduct lawsuits? The conduct of a lawsuit is litigation, hence conduct litigation but, a lawyer conducts lawsuits? I guess MW views a lawyer akin to an opera conductor. Ironically, when I searched Google for the phrase, “conduct lawsuits for clients”, the results were ethics opinions and malpractice suits. #interstinglyodd At, my age, I really shouldn’t be using hashtags (or dude, for that matter). #generationX
And the verb, lawyer, per Black’s 10th Edition: 1. To practice as a lawyer <associates often spend their days and nights lawyering, with little time for recreation>. 2. To supply with lawyers <the large law-school class will certainly help lawyer the state>. See lawyer up. (love the slang, BAG!). Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014)
Part I. What is ADHD?
In order to explain what an ADHD lawyer is, one must define ADHD. My definition of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or, ADHD, is a treatable condition, or affliction, or neurobehavioral disorder marked by persistent inattention and hyperactivity, and is usually hitched with impulsivity. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (herein, the “Institute’), ADHD is a brain disorder evidenced by an ongoing pattern of inattention/hyperactivity/impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. The Institute defines Inattention as, a person who wanders off task, lacks persistence, has difficulty sustaining focus, and is disorganized (and? hmmm) – such issues are not due to defiance or lack of comprehension (got that right!); Hyperactivity as, a person who seems to constantly move around (constantly?), including inappropriate situations; or excessively fidgets, taps, or talks. The Institute continues opining that in adults, hyperactivity may be exuded by extreme restlessness or “wearing others out with constant activity” (wt%?); and Impulsivity as a person who acts hastily in the moment without first thinking and, such actions may have high potential for harm; or a desire for immediate rewards or inability to delay gratification. The Institute defines an impulsive person as someone who may be socially intrusive and excessively interrupt others or make important decisions without considering the long-term consequences. Whew! Made it through the first opin……., I mean definition, sorry! That was close!
To continue defining ADHD, I turn to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (herein, “CDC”). The CDC defines ADHD in terms of children, not adults. According to the CDC website, ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder of childhood which is categorized by the predominant symptoms. The three categories or, presentations, are: (1) Predominantly Inattentive; (2) Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive; and (3) Combined. Predominantly Inattentive ADHD: A [child] is easily distracted or forgets details of daily routines causing difficulty with organizing or finishing a task, paying attention to details, or following instructions or conversations. Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive ADHD: A [child] fidgets and talks a lot, has difficulty with sitting still for long (e.g., for a meal or while doing homework). The [child] feels restless and has impulsivity issues such as interrupting others, grabbing things from people, or speaking at inappropriate times. It is difficult for the [child] to wait their turn or listen to directions. Combined ADHD: Symptoms of the above two types are equally present in the person.
With regard to Adult ADHD, the CDC website refers its readers to the NIMH and the Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or, CHADD. That’s it. They, the CDC, the federal agency indoctrinated for the promotion of the public health at large, and managed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, say nothing more about Adult ADHD. Rhetoric approaching . . . WHY!?!?! We will save that discussion for a future post.
More to come but . . . brb.
By the way, welcome to the lovely world of The ADHD Lawyer. And I mean that with the utmost sincerity. I embrace my ADHD because I am blessed to be embellished with such a condition – I wouldn’t be the person I am without it! So brace yourself and get ready for the ride of a lifetime! Let’s do this! But first, I need to recharge my focus (kind of like recharging your healing crystals). To follow: Additional definitions of ADHD and LAWYER. To. Be. Continued. Shortly. TTFN.