In my practice, I’m often asked, “How do I know if my childhood negatively impacted me?”
I get asked this question a lot because there’s no definitive checklist for what makes a childhood dysfunctional or negatively impactful. We can come with resources like Kaiser’s invaluable ACE study, but what if you don’t see yourself in the extremity of those questions asked? Do your negative childhood experiences count as “negative” if they don’t look as “extreme” as the examples given in that study?
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We all have times when we're overwhelmed by our to-do list. When we feel overloaded, it can be hard to think strategically.
Why does this happen? When we feel overwhelmed, we tend to have a fight, flight, or freeze response. None of these options makes it easy to think calmly about the smoothest way to approach items on our list.
stressed from work, school, or relationships, some of your ADHD symptoms get more intense? When we are stressed, our weakest executive functioning skills are hit first. This means that you may feel flooded by anxiety or anger, or you may panic about estimating and managing time. Perhaps you distract yourself with everything but the task that is actually stressing you out.
Adolescence is a bruising process on this account.
Poor anger. It gets a bad rep. Of all the emotions humans experience, anger (and maybe jealousy) are probably the most discouraged and misunderstood. Here's the thing: Our emotions show up whether or not society deems them appropriate—and if we don't witness and learn healthy management of these more intense feelings, we're signing up for a lot of unnecessary frustration.
Despite claims that ADHD is overdiagnosed, the data overwhelmingly suggest that the real problem is underdiagnosis. People whose ADHD goes undiagnosed may live with stigma and self-blame while failing to live up to their full potential. But ADHD treatment is about a lot more than medication. ADHD coaching can help you, your child, or your whole family.
Titus, 6 foot 3 and all smiles, sought executive coaching with me. He wanted to learn better ways to impress upon his superiors that he deserved a promotion. I asked Titus about his background. He was born in upstate New York. As an infant, he was left outside in the winter cold so his parents would not be disturbed by his crying. Rescued by a concerned neighbor, he was placed in a foster home. He witnessed domestic violence between his foster parents. Child protective services removed him from that home after he was beaten by his foster father.
To understand adolescence is to take a front-row seat at the very essence of human development. It is a thrilling period during which the characteristics that make us unique from all other species are unfolding—things like consciousness, self-awareness, judgment, insight, romance.