Insight Mind Body Talk

Most Downloaded Episodes #3: ADHD Mythbusters with Lynn Hyland

July 03, 2022 Jessica Warpula Schultz, LMFT Season 1 Episode 36
Most Downloaded Episodes #3: ADHD Mythbusters with Lynn Hyland
Insight Mind Body Talk
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Insight Mind Body Talk
Most Downloaded Episodes #3: ADHD Mythbusters with Lynn Hyland
Jul 03, 2022 Season 1 Episode 36
Jessica Warpula Schultz, LMFT

We at Insight Mind Body Talk have decided our official season will run September – May, taking each summer to re-visit our “most downloaded” episodes. Why most downloaded? Jess may have her favorites, Jeanne too, but what matters most to IMBT is listening to your voice. And we heard you loud and clear through the number of downloads each episode received.  What does re-visiting mean? Well, basically, that you’ll be hearing the original episode again. But this time, prior to the episode, Jess will giving inside information about her thoughts on the content, highlighting key moments, and sharing additional tips not mentioned during the episode.

Adults living with ADHD, an "ADHD MythBusters". Jess and guest Lynn Hyland, clinical psychologist,  explore the experiences of someone with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). What it is, how the body and mind are influenced, and identify common misconceptions of people living with ADHD. Lynn provides tools to help manage ADHD symptoms and feel more confident moving through life. It's a relevant episode for any person with ADHD as well as their neurotypical allies.   

Continue Learning 

  • Jessica McCabe (note: We apologize for incorrectly stating Jessica's last name during the recording of our podcast)   
  • Edward M Hallowell, MD., John J. Ratey, MD. 
    • Book. Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and coping with Attention Deficit Disorder.  
  • Edward M. Hallowell, MD., Sue Hallowell, and Melissa Orlov. 
    • Book. Married to Distraction: How to restore intimacy and strengthen your partnership in an age of interruption.  
  •   "This is the website of an ADHD support group and it has amazing articles, podcasts, and resources." ~ Lynn 



Produced by Jessica Warpula Schultz
Edited by Jessica Warpula Schultz

Music by Jason A. Schultz

Insight Mind Body Talk. Also, check out our e-courses!

Show Notes Transcript

We at Insight Mind Body Talk have decided our official season will run September – May, taking each summer to re-visit our “most downloaded” episodes. Why most downloaded? Jess may have her favorites, Jeanne too, but what matters most to IMBT is listening to your voice. And we heard you loud and clear through the number of downloads each episode received.  What does re-visiting mean? Well, basically, that you’ll be hearing the original episode again. But this time, prior to the episode, Jess will giving inside information about her thoughts on the content, highlighting key moments, and sharing additional tips not mentioned during the episode.

Adults living with ADHD, an "ADHD MythBusters". Jess and guest Lynn Hyland, clinical psychologist,  explore the experiences of someone with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). What it is, how the body and mind are influenced, and identify common misconceptions of people living with ADHD. Lynn provides tools to help manage ADHD symptoms and feel more confident moving through life. It's a relevant episode for any person with ADHD as well as their neurotypical allies.   

Continue Learning 

  • Jessica McCabe (note: We apologize for incorrectly stating Jessica's last name during the recording of our podcast)   
  • Edward M Hallowell, MD., John J. Ratey, MD. 
    • Book. Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and coping with Attention Deficit Disorder.  
  • Edward M. Hallowell, MD., Sue Hallowell, and Melissa Orlov. 
    • Book. Married to Distraction: How to restore intimacy and strengthen your partnership in an age of interruption.  
  •   "This is the website of an ADHD support group and it has amazing articles, podcasts, and resources." ~ Lynn 



Produced by Jessica Warpula Schultz
Edited by Jessica Warpula Schultz

Music by Jason A. Schultz

Insight Mind Body Talk. Also, check out our e-courses!

Hi there. It's Jess. Your friendly, licensed marriage and family therapist, trauma informed personal trainer, and your host. Today's most downloaded episode is about adults living with ADHD. I will tell you I got the most active feedback from this episode. People wanted to talk about it with me. 

And I think we address part of the reason why in the episode. Often when we think about ADHD, we think about children. And who is talking about adults who may be living with ADHD. Undiagnosed, because there are a lot of you out there. What I love about Lynn. Um, there's many things I love about Lynn Hyland, but what I love about Lynn. 

Is that she can really sift through the different experiences of an adult. And help them discover and find or assess whether or not they are living with ADHD. In a way that is very astute. Very clear. And I have sent several people her way who come through the process, happy to know either way. And if they do have ADHD, it explains a lot of things and they get a lot of skills. 

In the episode itself. I think that the most fascinating part was when we started talking about the brain and executive functioning. So executive functioning is like, Lynn says the master controller of your life. It's the master remote. It's in charge of your light fixtures, your ceiling fan. Your stereo system, your TV, everything just on that one. Remote control, right? 

And so for the brain, that's the area that controls a lot of things like paying attention, stopping and starting, right. Our inhibitions. Um, impulsivity our level of energy, even our management of our emotional energy. He also got motivation in this area of the brain time management. Not just kind of managing our time, but really being able to even tell how long something's taking. So for a brain with ADHD, maybe they thought 20 minutes past, but it's been two hours. 

I mean, that's a big deal when you're trying to stay organized and accomplish your goals. Right. And so, what happened with people? With ADHD as compared to people who are what we call, maybe neuro-typical because their brains wired in atypical fashion. Is that the areas that executive functioning in the brain are under-stimulated. So the executive functioning areas aren't working as well. 

And when our brain is understood. Stimulated. I mean, really? I think it's important to de-pathologize. here and say, this is, has nothing to do with you. You're an amazing. Using human being, you were not lazy. You are not distracted. You were not, you know, and put together chaotic. Your brain is just wired differently. 

I mean, that's why, in some ways some people take medication. Because that will instigate the brain help the brain become more active more stimulated But there's other ways of working with that as well So i hope you enjoy this episode i think it's super informative Works really well to deep pathologize the diagnosis of adhd and really normalize that we're all human 

It's just for some of us, our brains are wired at a little differently. welcome to Insight Mind Body Talk, a body-based mental health podcast. We're your hosts, Jessica Warpula Schultz and Jeanne Kolker. Whether you've tried everything to feel better and something is still missing or you've already discovered the wisdom of the body. This podcast will encourage and support you in healing old wounds, strengthening relationships, and developing your inner potential- all by accessing the mind body connection. 

Please know, while we're excited to share and grow together. This podcast is not intended to be a substitute for mental health treatment. It doesn't replace the one-on-one relationship you have with a qualified healthcare professional and is not considered psychotherapy. 

Thanks Jess. And thank you for listening. Now, let's begin a conversation about what happens when we take an integrative approach to improving our wellbeing. 

Jess: Welcome today's episode is about adults living with ADHD, an ADHD MythBusters, if you will, I've been really looking forward to this episode because I'm fascinated by the brain. And I'm really interested in hearing what our guest has to say about how the brain influences a person's lived experience. we'll Explain what ADHD is, what it is not and de-stigmatize this mental health disorder. Our guest today is clinical psychologists and ADHD expert Lynn Hyland, someone. We are very proud at Insight Counseling & Wellness to call ou rown. Welcome Lynn. I'm so glad you're here. 

Lynn: Thank you, Jess.

I'm very excited to be here too. A little bit nervous, but mostly excite

Jess: about it. Well, you know, I get nervous to and yet that's what makes it so amazing, the process of showing our selves as therapists, 

so thank you. Thank you for being vulnerable and bringing your excited and nervous self today table. Yeah, I'd love. If you can share with our listeners a little bit more about who you are and how you chose this area of expertise. 

Lynn: Okay as you said, Lynn Highland I am a clinical psychologist. I work at insight, which I love and have been doing clinical work.

I E therapy psychotherapy for 20 years. And ADHD is very close to my heart because I have ADHD. I was diagnosed when I was five which was a really long time ago because at that point they called it hyper activity. And I, so I was diagnosed with that, but not really treated for it. Through, into my adulthood.

 I wasn't totally aware of it. I knew about it on the side, but when I was in grad school, we went over, discussing ADHD and it just made a lot of sense to me since I had it and I could see it in myself. And so I was very interested in treating ADHD as well as evaluating for ADHD.

 I used to see children as well as adults had lots and lots of children that they evaluated for ADHD. And also some adults. Now I just see adults and over the years, I ended up becoming one of my very big specialty areas. And especially because I can completely relate. And I think that my clients really appreciate that. I do understand what's going on and it's good for them. I think so. Yeah. 

Jess: I think that's so important that we can bring, a lived experience to the work we do.

And I, I would assume it would be very validating for a client when they're building a relationship with a therapist, which is a relationship that being seen, being heard, feeling understood is essential to the work you do to have your therapist understand what your lived experience has been. I believe that would positively impact the relationship and the work that the clients get to do.

Lynn: Yeah, absolutely. That is the one thing. I always make sure if I'm seeing somebody for ADHD or doing an ADHD evaluation or just think they might have it, I will share with them that I have it, because I think that's really important for them to know that I'm not just going from the books, 

Jess: yeah. That little bit of self-disclosure we call it in the therapy world. When we share about ourselves in a way that serves and benefits the client it's called self-disclosure. And I think that your choice to share that piece of who you are is really brave and 

Lynn: yeah well, 

Jess: let's get into it. 

We really want to talk about what is ADHD, which in the diagnostic manual, . The proper name is an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Yes. there's three classifications inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity, and then combined type.

Am I correct? 

Lynn: Correct. Yeah. So it's ADHD, predominantly inattention ADHD, predominantly impulsive hyperactive and ADHD combined type. Okay. 

Jess: How would you explain what those three mean? 

Lynn: Oh, it's funny. One of the things that is a pretty big myths for ADHD is that people with ADHD will all look alike, all look hyper, right?

They're the ones that jump around and ADHD was first diagnosed for children. In fact, it wasn't an adult diagnosis at all and it continues to not be. Turned quite as an adult diagnosis. And the descriptors that we use for the criteria that we use to diagnose it is based on children, not on adults.

And so people think about ADHD. They think about a child who just can't sit still. And that is, is quite the myth that ADHD, predominantly and attention what the people call ADD is one where the person is having trouble paying attention and staying focused. They're easily distracted.

And you'll see, these people will be the kids that are adults, that kind of zone out also, you get distracted by things and it may look like you're not paying attention, even if you're trying, you're distracted by something. And we see, especially a lot of girls with ADD, attention deficit in-attention don't get diagnosed because they're quiet and attract a lot of attention, but they zone out a lot.

And so they miss things in class. I actually, generally I'd say I diagnose, I evaluate more women than men because I think more boys get the diagnosis as children. And so I'll have somebody come in to me, who's female and they have it, but they never got diagnosed because they were quiet and didn't yeah.

Jess: Part of, in a way that gender conditioning people pleasers. Wait until spoken to, conditioned not to push the boundaries so I can see how that diagnosis might fly under the radar.

Lynn: Absolutely. Absolutely. And these girls then have they zone out like in classes and they miss a lot of stuff. Yeah. And it's very frustrating and they get told you have so much potential, you're not living up to your potential. And without getting that diagnosis, which is explaining why they're not living up to that potential.

So then there's ADHD predominantly hyperactivity, impulsivity. So hyper activity is lots of energy. And we see that in kids with ADHD, we see it as they're, they're constantly on the move. We talk about like they're driven by a motor. We also see that they are also verbally hyperactive.

They tend to be the real talkative ones. Okay. The impulsivity combines with us where you do something without thinking about it first. And so you say something impulsively, these are the kids that run out, That are playing catch and the ball rolls out in the street and they run out to catch it, not even paying attention to other cars.

Lovely. And in adult with the hyperactivity often you're not going to see it as much. Usually adults have learned enough self-control but also learned enough ways of working around it. So for example, you can have ADHD with hyperactivity as an adult. And if you're in a meeting, you get up to get a drink of water or you have to go bathroom, or, you wander, leave you to go look at something, whatever you're do things that are socially appropriate, so that you can get out of your seat.

But oftentimes adults have verbal hyperactivity. So they're just really talkative as well as mental hyperactivity, which is something one of those myths that people don't realize is part of. Part of ADHD, hyper activity is mental hyperactivity. Your brain's constantly going and it's going fast all the time.


Jess: I want to get back to that. I know we're going to talk about the brain in a second. What does both look like when it's combined, 

Lynn: That's the big part where. There's not a specific it doesn't all look the same, right?

So if you've got somebody who has more inattention than hyperactivity impulsivity, but they still have the hyperactive impulsive, they are more likely to maybe be a little quieter, maybe not as running, but their brains going and they get distracted by their own thoughts. And so that's part of distractability, it's not just external, it's also internal.

Others, there'll be more hyperactive, impulsive, but still have that and attention component. And there are ones that actually hurt a lot of people's feelings pretty easily, because they just say whatever comes to mind, they think really quick. You'll find them a lot. Like you, you miss their transitions.

There'll be in a conversation that suddenly start talking about something you weren't talking about. It's Whoa what, where this isn't what we were talking about. And they've already gone through this process of a transition and they don't realize nobody else was following 

Jess: So we have these three types. What do you see as most common?

Lynn: In adulthood, I tend to see more of the combined type that's for sure. , 

 if somebody has reached adulthood without an ADHD diagnosis, they're probably mild have mild ADHD.

And , a lot of people have a picture in their head somebody with extreme. With more significant ADHD. And so that the person with mild ADHD who has made it through, into adulthood relatively successful but it's it's struggling with some things and wonders.

Why am I always sticking my foot in my mouth? Why do I always miss out on the conversation? , why can't I just sit still and relax on a vacation? Those sorts of things are more mild. 

If you've gone through, into adulthood being relatively successful or at least functional, and you're like what's the ADHD diagnosis going to do for me? It actually just explains a lot. It takes that guilt that you have for not meeting your potential a way. And it also says, Oh, look here's a bunch of things, coping strategies.

You can try to help you with your ADHD. And and you can start applying those things and you wouldn't have gotten those probably if you hadn't gotten that diagnosis 

Jess: I'm excited to share with our listeners some of those strategies that you use with your clients and with the groups that you work with, going back to the.

The de-pathologizing , which means, helping someone feel like they're not the problem. I think giving a diagnosis can do that. I agree completely. And that there are these symptoms or experiences we're having. And often we internalize and look for fault, right?

Just normally trying to figure out what's going on. And often like you said, why am I always sticking my foot in my mouth? Why am I struggling to maintain this relationship? Or why is it so easy for the people around me to get their homework turned in during a pandemic when we're all online.

But it's really hard for me to do that or why am I trying harder than everybody else? And yet I'm farther behind everybody else. And the diagnosis can help take the "I" out of it and give reasoning. 

Lynn: Yes. And then, and it is a, it's not something, first of all, it's invisible, which is hard, but it's not something made up.

There's actually, brain function involved and it's how your brain is wired. And it's not your fault. You have ADHD, you have you have a condition, your brain is wired differently from birth. And that's just how it is. And Indian to adapt to it. But it's not your fault that you have it.

And, a lot of it's Oh, you just need to be more disciplined about it. You just need to put in more effort and willpower, but the whole point of ADHD is. It doesn't respond to effort and willpower. When people try and try and try, and then they come into me with depression or anxiety, because they spent their whole lives, not quite being their potential.

And they've been, they don't know why they become kind of, there's a unexplained in competence sometimes. That's absolutely 

Jess: true. I've seen that as well, where there are outlying influencers or factors that have nothing to do with how hard they're trying or that they're not good enough.

 No wonder you have anxiety, no wonder you're feeling low and depressed about. Your future. So maybe let's look at it this way and see if we can treat the symptoms or assess. First of all, for ADHD, and consider whether you want medication in your life or not. Since about 80% of people respond pretty well to medication for ADHD, and then looking at how can I work with the diagnosis in a way that makes me feel better 

Let's talk a little bit more. You mentioned the brain. I'm always excited to talk about the brain. I don't know that much about the neurology of ADHD. What can 

Lynn: you share with us? So what's going on in the brain, the wiring quote-unquote issue. The wiring difference in that is that the, it takes place in the prefrontal cortex, which is near the front of the brain.

And there's an area in there that manages what we call executive function. And executive functioning is the master controller of your life. And so it controls things like paying attention, starting and stopping attention inhibitions, right? Whether you are inhibited or impulsive managing your level of energy, managing your level of emotional energy.

Motivation is in there as well. Time management, not just planning things but also being able to tell how long something is taking or even what time it is. So there's all these different in that one area to control so many different things.

And what happens with people with ADHD as compared to people who are, what we call neuro-typical cause their brain was in a typical fashion, is that, that areas under stimulated. So the executive functioning areas under stimulated in the brain, which means that it's not working as well, and when the brain is under-stimulated in that area, it means that you just don't, you're not, that's a weakness. You're not able to do those things well, and those executive functioning things.

Really make you functional, that's why the medications that's often prescribed are things like Ritalin and Adderall and all their various formats and psychostimulants is to stimulate that area in the brain to get it working. Because if it's more stimulated, it's working more, that means you're going to have more control over those things.

And you're going to function better with those executive functions. 

Jess: That makes a lot of sense. Do you know anything about the root cause? Is it genetic? 

Lynn: Yeah, it's very genetic. In fact it is so heritable. It's more heritable than eye color. Wow. 

Jess: Wow. That's fascinating. 

Lynn: Yeah. So if you have ADHD and you have a child, your child has a 50 to 80% chance of getting ADHD.

 For example, I have ADHD and I have two children. Each of my children had a 50 to 80% chance of getting ADHD both of them got it. But their ADHD looks different for each of them. It, even though it comes from me the same, same antecedents.

Jess: I hear what you're saying, even though it's coming from the same source. Yes. The presentation epigenetics, within them is very different. It is. Yes. Yeah. 

Let's talk about Jessica McNabb. She did a Ted talk it's called, how to ADHD and she shares her story. Very very moving dang story, by the way, if people want to check it out, she, she does a great job of, summarizing her personal experience of having ADHD and feeling as though she wasn't living into her full potential . She talked about how for her, when she was a child, it was like, if she wasn't interested in something, it was like trying to nail jello to the wall to get her that's like clear visualization really is. Yeah. Speaking of that, especially in the body work I do. Sometimes it's moving the body more changing the diet meditating, trying to create lifestyle changes or change habits, or even change how we think about ourselves. I hear stories of shame of like, why can't I find that motivation? I must be lazy. I'm just 

Lynn: I don't care enough. 

Jess: So I'd love. 

If you could explain to our listeners the idea of motivation.

Lynn: Motivation is controlled in the executive functioning part of the brain. Like we were talking about earlier, people with ADHD have little to no internal motivation. Internal motivation is where you say, I'm going to do this thing and you do it. You don't say I'm going to do this because you just say, I'm going to do this thing.

Which I 

Jess: don't know, by the way I did not know someone with ADHD does not have an internal source of I didn't know that. And if you think about how much self-help propaganda is just do wit it's all within. If you can't be with yourself and find motivation, something wrong with you that you have to work on.

 Yeah, I call it propaganda because it's very stigmatized So they think if I can't pull that from within what's wrong 

Lynn: with me? Yeah. And the answer may be, you have ADHD and you have little to no internal motivation. So you have to get external motivations and external motivators are not just things like, grades and money.

It's also how you feel about things, which you'd say is internal. But what it is that because of the stuff around you, it makes you feel good or bad. So I work with people with ADHD. They come to me because they're having trouble with something like.

Focusing on the job, getting their work done for work or for school, or what have you. And it's okay, you probably have little to no internal motivation. So we need to figure out what external motivators can motivate you. What external things can motivate you. Do you want to get straight A's if you do, that might be enough motivator.

Do you want to get a promotion at work? If so that might motivate fake deadlines are huge motivators for people. It's an, and I cannot tell you how many people over the years I've spoken with, who had ADHD, who are like, it's the. Two days before the project is due to be at school or work. And there, they pull an all nighter and, but they couldn't get to it and they kept wanting to get to it, but they never got to it before then.

And it was that deadline. It was that pressure. And so some people with ADHD can really thrive in high pressure environments because they've got that constant, external motivator pushing them. If you don't have an external motivator then it's like creating one.

Sometimes one of the best ones is accountability, right? It's if you say, okay, I'm going to get this done by Monday and it's not due till Friday, eh, you're never going to work on it to get this done by Monday because I promised. My coworker that I get it to them so they could do their part or right.

If I having somebody that you have to get something done for, or they're going to. Be upset or they're going to fail those sorts of accountability, can really help. One of one big external motivator is actually it seems an internal, but it's not the motivation.

Isn't is not internal, but the feelings are anxiety is a huge motivator. For example when somebody is really worried about getting good grades, they can actually be very motivated and get everything done and look like an ideal student because they are so motivated by their anxiety just keeps them on edge.

It's like pressure, like this pressure of the anxiety. Then what happens is they reach adulthood. They where they've succeeded really well school. College, if they go work, and then they get to a point where they're not worried about it anymore, or they get treated for their anxiety.

And when their anxiety goes down, all of a sudden they're not functioning very well anymore to get the motivation, to get things done, because they've always had that anxiety pushing them they don't know why they're suddenly not able to get things done. And they're finally relaxed for the first time in their lives.

And it's so hard because when we get to this point in a therapy session setting, the person oftentimes has to decide between, managing their ADHD, functioning and being anxious. Wow. And that's why it's really good to identify ADHD as well, is that, if it was anxiety, keeping you going, you don't want to spend your life anxious.

You need some coping strategies and different ways you can do things like create motivation so you can live, be functional, not anxious. 

Jess: Yeah, because that anxiety, it wears on us, it wears on our body I've seen that as well. That's absolutely true.

Lynn: One of the main things we see for people with ADHD is a lot of procrastination, right?

And, just attending to things when you have trouble attending is really tiring, and so you want it to be easier to attend to things? it's easier to tend to things when you have motivation. And so if your motivation is low and you're, yeah, they're struggling to find something then then you generally procrastinate a lot.

 we have a technique, I just call it the procrastination technique, but it's used to help you when you're struggling to get something done that you think you should get done, but you just can't see him to get the energy and the motivation to do that, to start we don't use this just for ADHD.

I actually use it for people who have procrastination through other things they're depressed or they're anxious, or just darn busy. So what happens with the procrastination technique is if there's this wall to getting started, it's you've got this big project and you're like, okay, I gotta do this project, but actually starting on the project, it's the hardest thing.

Oh, so 

Jess: true. 

Lynn: Yes. Wall, this barrier between you and getting the project done the procrastination technique is so when you have a big project, to get over that wall.

can make the wall smaller. If you've made the wall smaller, then you can get over the wall with the amount of motivation you already have. And the way to get that smaller is to have the project be smaller.

And so how we do this is I tell people and I do it myself is okay, you've got this big project, break it down into small pieces. So you have small goals. So for example, if you have say a research paper, you have to do for school okay, break this down. This research paper it's like a 10 page research paper. Oh my gosh, it's going to take so long. Break it down. What's the first thing I do. Come up with a topic. So go ahead and get a topic and next, do something that's only going to take you a few minutes to do. And then you're going to say, I'm going to go Google, search it and write down five articles to read.

And then, okay. I'm going to read one article today or what have you, so you can break it down in the small bites. You can also break it down into time pieces. I'm going to work on that for 10 minutes today.

 Now, if you think about these, most people are like 10 minutes. I can do that for 10 minutes. That's fine. And then the timer goes off.

I recommend people use timers. If they want to timer goes off. You're like, okay, I'm done. I can do a few more things. And so what we find is that you make a goal, say you make a goal 10 minutes each day, you're going to work okay. And people are like that's not very much.

 By the end of the week, you've done 70 minutes. 

Jess: The motivation, I believe sometimes kicks in once we're doing something like the inspiration and the interest kicks in once we've already started going.

 During our production meeting, you brought up a concept that you've witnessed in your work, something you called the zone of comfort, right now, this procrastination technique it's reminding me about breaking things down and getting into it.

 Can you explain for our listeners the zone of comfort? 

Lynn: Absolutely. It's about the amount of stimulation that you have. So everybody has this place where they there's too much stimulation and they get overwhelmed, or there's too little stimulation and you get bored. And for most people they prefer not to spend time bored or overwhelmed. Those are really uncomfortable. And so everybody's got this band that is their zone of comfort between too much stimulation and too little stimulation between overwhelm and boredom.

The thing for people with ADHD is they also have this band, but I believe it's much more narrow. So in other words, they are easily thrown out of that zone of comfort by a little more stimulation or a little less stimulation. And that people who are neuro-typical and don't have ADHD, there is this kind of wider.

So they can tolerate more stimulation before they get overwhelmed and they can tolerate less stimulation before they're bored. Now, the thing with ADHD is that doesn't mean it's strictly right in the middle, cause there's some people with ADHD who get bored very easily. And so there's zone of comfort is near the top where there could be a lot of stimulation and they're still bored.

And these would be the people with ADHD, you think are thrill seekers, the ones that like to bunch of junk dive or drive really fast, whereas other people with ADHD can get overwhelmed by too much stimulation. I actually, I think I'm one of these people, because what happens is I can't stand to work at a desk that isn't neat and tidy.

If there's papers scattered around, it's too much stimulation. It feels like chaos to me and so I have found, what am I coping strategies for my ADHD? And this zone of comfort is that I make sure my task, my desk is tidy when I'm going to work on it and then I feel it's less stimulation and I'm more comfortable and I'm also able to focus better.

Jess: That reminds me of sensorimotor psychotherapy. We have what's called the modulation module. 

Our thoughts or feelings are physical sensations, movement the senses at all times that information is coming together in our present moment and within this window of tolerance. And so if something happens that makes us feel overwhelmed, we may leave our window of tolerance and go above it.

 We also go down into hypo arousal. So we freeze or we feel numb or shut down or collapse. And the way you describe that comfort zone is the way we described the window of tolerance.

 Everyone's is different. It can be smaller. It can be bigger. It can change based on the day or even let's say now, if you're a person with ADHD, your window of tolerance may be smaller than the neuro-typical brain. And why that's interesting knowing this, I think can really help a person in predicting triggers or observing what's happening within their system so that they can make individualized choices for coping.

Like you said, , you're closer to the edge that needs less stimulation . Less input coming into your brain helps regulate your system 

yeah. Yeah, absolutely. That's so cool. We're not done yet, We want to share practical strategies for anyone listening. . 

Lynn: Yeah. 

Jess: Someone with ADHD has a poor working memory right. 

Lynn: So what happens is in the brain with memory is you have to keep something in short term memory, long enough for it to go into intermediate and longterm memory.

So the short term memory is a few seconds to, a couple of minutes, mostly seconds, and that, but you have to stay focused on it. And so it takes your attention. A good example of this. Say you meet somebody at a party. And you meet them and you're like, hi, and you each give your name.

Let's say, Bob, you meet Bob. And you're like, Oh, this is Bob. Okay. Hi, it's nice to meet you, Bob. So what do you do for a living? And Bob starts talking about what he does for a living. By that point, I'm now focused on one asking the question, what you do for a living to listening to him, say, what do you do for a living?

And I have forgotten Bob's name because I can't keep it in my head long enough because you have to focus on it long enough to get into intermediate and then long-term memory. And so the same thing happens if you decide you're in the middle of say your living room and you realize, Oh, I need to go grab that.

Piece of mail and get it up to the mailbox. It's in my office. And you walk from the living room to your office and by the time you've gotten to your office, you've been distracted by something. And you forgot what you came to the office for. Yes. It just can't remember. Again, most people have these moments and everything, but people with ADHD have them a lot.

So one of the things I really recommend is technology. We have such amazing technology now for helping with various skills, but this one for memory, really good ones. And so Alexa, Siri, Google, nest, whatever it is those devices that are set up to listen and answer you can say Alexa, add something to my to-do list. And Alexa will ask you, what do you want to add? And you say what it is or add, hamburger to my grocery list and you don't have to stop and find a piece of paper. You don't have to take care of the issue immediately.

Right now, I just use my phone, whether I stop and type something in, or I have Siri at it. My coping strategy for this for many years I would think of something I meant to tell my husband and then I'd go into his office to say, Oh, I remember we're supposed to talk about this.

And he would look at me and go could you not interrupt my words?

Oh gosh. Because one I'm impulsive, but two, I know if I don't. Do something about it immediately. I absolutely will forget it. And in fact, many of the times I'm would go into Buncombe is because I'd remembered and then forgotten and remembered them forgotten and remembered them forgotten.

And by the way, for anybody who is lives with somebody, with ADHD, close your office door, I will tell you to just close your office door. If I kept telling him, please close your office door. If you close your door and he just didn't want to close the door, I'm like, it will stop me from interrupting you

I promise because I'll have that barrier 

Jess: there. We have just such access to technology and I just wonder how many marriages are flowing better,

but that does bring up having reasonable expectations for ourselves and for our loved ones, with ADHD and, you know, having that conversation about how to support each other, the more we can educate loved ones or family members on what it's like to have ADHD, the more we can increase the empathy and the understanding of how to support them.

So that in those moments, if you walk in, it doesn't feel like you did something wrong, both people in the equation now up, there's some ADHD, and we can support each other and move through it. 

Lynn: So there's a really good book called, Driven to Distraction, that explains ADHD. It was written by a I believe a psychiatrist and I'm not certain, but I think he has ADHD.

You have to understand, I read this 17 years ago but it gives you all these case examples. So you can see all the different ways that ADHD can present, it gives people kind of an idea. And in fact when my husband and I were dating, I gave him this book to read and he read it and he really understood my ADHD more.

Jess: Understanding there's a shift to compassion and supporting each other I can imagine how, if it's either diagnosed or the partner or family member or employer have an understanding of ADHD, that it can cause some pretty big conflicts or issues. So I'm glad you mentioned that book.

That's wonderful, driven to distraction. Do you have any tips or tricks for bringing the body into the equation and helping the whole system regulate and better? 

Lynn: Absolutely. One of the things is that especially for people with the hyperactivity component, you can have a lot of energy.

And so just, straight out, if you have the hyperactivity thing, get regular exercise, take it, use it it can help you feel more in control of your energy levels. Mindfulness, meditation, yoga, things like that , all help to slow down thinking in the brain, but also to, to bring things into focus as well.

 They've studied mindfulness with ADHD, especially with kids with ADHD and found that kids getting trained in mindfulness really helps kids with ADHD quite a bit. Sure. And I think it's great for adults as well.

One of the things just to mention is that I know for myself, and I've spoken with a few people who, with ADHD who have the same kind of experience is that I really struggled to meditate on my own to sit still for 10 minutes. And just frankly, just to sit still for 10 minutes is really hard.

Yeah. Place. But this day in the moment and everything. I struggle with that. But when I do guided meditation, it works really well for me. If that works for you to have some sort of external guide for it, then, use that it, you don't need to be sitting there frustrated.


Jess: helpful. That's helpful with my clients and I'm leading guided meditations.

That is something we've talked about. Whether or not a person has ADHD, but especially if I've learned in my practice that the more. I can guide and help someone stay in the present moment, either through a body scan visualizations or positive affirmations. The more they feel as though, or they report back to me they can turn their brain off, or it gives their brain something to focus on.

Like you said before, for some the hyper activities inside the mind. 

Lynn: Absolutely. Yep, absolutely.

Yeah. It's a lot of this is doing what works, right? And when you look around somebody with ADHD looks around at their coworkers, say, and they see everybody's getting their stuff in and they're not having problems with it and they're not working so hard and you're trying to work the same way they work.

It's not working because you have a different wiring in your brain and it's like finding what works for you. And sure. If the people around you don't quote, unquote, need to do these things that you need to do, but what does it matter? You need to, do what you need to do of course, safely and not harming others and all that stuff.

But just if , you need to ask your boss to give you hard deadlines, They give you plenty of time to get the project done before it's due, ask your boss to give you hard deadlines, right? 

Jess: Good point. And the more you know yourself, and you can communicate about that.

Those around you, the more opportunity you have to get your needs met.

Lynn: Yep, absolutely. Yeah I find, right now with coven and people working. From home, I've gotten this like rush of Deleuze of of ADHD evaluations to do, because so many people who have not been diagnosed with ADHD and who were functioning and doing okay, have now been trying to work from home and it's pulling all these really problematic ADHD symptoms from them.

They no longer have that accountability of somebody working next to them. They don't have the the people around them that makes them focus more. They have more distractions in their house than they did in their, at their desk or their office or what have you. It's such a good point.

Yeah. Yeah. I've never had such a rush of. Of adult ADHD evaluations, and it's all these people. Who've been very functional. They've got mild at HD. They've been very functional. It's worked for them and boom things change and they are struggling a lot. And wow. I, some people with ADHD would say, what I need is I need one room that's completely empty, in my house or my office or whatever, like all the distractors are gone.

So you could just go in there with your work and there's no distractors and your house tends to be more distracting than your 

Jess: workspace. Oh, I can only imagine I think that's a really valuable point, even though the world, is opening up a little bit more.

Now, things are going to shift offices are closing. It is changing more to remote work and a lot of different industries. So share one last tip how do you support someone in those moments? 

Lynn: The distractability thing is a quote unquote quote, unquote, simple fix of creating a space. Even if you don't have a room for it, but creating a space that's not as distracting. And that may be, you have to wearing headphones while you work . The tidy desk if you have to create a corner in your room, that is nothing on the walls, it's a desk with a laptop on it or computer on it and you sit there so you, don't not distracted by, you have to face the corner of the wall.

Don't face a window, cause I'll tell you what you will be watching every car that goes, 

Jess: again, Lynn, this has been a great conversation. I appreciate your time and your skill and sharing with all of us. I want to let our listeners know too, if you identify with any of this information there are ways that you can seek a formal assessment from a specialist like Lynn.

There's several in our community, and we hope this information also helps the loved ones of those with ADHD increase their understanding and their compassion for the atypical neurological experience. So to close out, Lynn, let's end with talking about the wonderful qualities that ADHD can create within a person. What do you see in your clients and even within yourself? 

Lynn: Oh, I have to tell you. One of the reasons I do specialize in ADHD is my clients who have ADHD are my favorite clients, because they are so dynamic.

Having conversations with them is so much fun. And, they'll hit all these different things cause they'll meander in there. Thoughts as they get distracted by things. And that's really cool. It's fun. You find a lot of energy and

people with ADHD tend to be pretty sensitive. And of course there's lots of people that will say, Oh, you're too sensitive, negative quality. I, as a fabulous quality, find more great passion. You find more creativity, . A lot of people with ADHD have a lot of positivity as well, which is very cool.

And one of the best parts is the hyper-focus. If you get somebody with ADHD that is interested in a certain area they can do amazing things because they're able to just completely hyper-focus block other things out and really work on it and they can be incredibly productive, incredibly good, incredibly detailed at things.

Thinking outside the box. There's just really some absolutely fabulous parts to ADHD and people withh ADHD. And I have to tell you, I don't know what it's like to be neuro-typical I don't know, but I wouldn't, I don't think I'd ever want to not be ADHD some days it's a little hard to pay attention, but I've been able to manipulate my life in a way to make it.

Fit and work. And so it doesn't cause me a lot of issues and I think it gives me a lot of positives and who really like it. 

Jess: I agree. I agree. And I'm glad you're you, I always appreciate your energy enthusiasm your drive and commitment to serve and yeah. They just have so much to share.

So thank you again for being here. 

Lynn: It was fun. Thanks. Oh, 

Jess: good. Good. Okay. Join us next week, where we talked about the wisdom of the body, a sensorimotor approach to healing. We'll talk about treating trauma using the body as the entry point. It's one of my areas of expertise . It's an episode, not meant to train you in using the model. I promise no, one's walking out a sensorumotorcycle therapist, but instead deepen your understanding about sensorimotor psychotherapy, its guiding principles and its key concepts I'm grateful to have Kate.

Lauth a fellow sensory motor psychotherapist as my guest. 

, I hope you'll join us. 

 Thank you again for joining us on Insight Mind Body Talk, a body-centered mental health podcast. We hope today's episode was empowering and supported you in strengthening your mind-body connection please join us again next week as we continue to explore integrative approaches to wellbeing. Until then, take care.