October 1st marks the start of ADHD Awareness Month and this year's theme is 'Knowing is Better', which highlights the importance of actually knowing whether or not ADHD is a present factor in your life.
It seems like such an obvious thing to say, doesn't it, but you'd be amazed at the number of people I meet who had taken the conscious decision not to know, such as:
The teenage boy who told me he would rather not know if he has ADHD because he didn't want to be labeled.
The middle-aged woman who told me that she saw no point in finding out if she had ADHD because it was 'too late' to do anything about it.
The father who told me he didn't want his 11 year old son to know whether he had ADHD because he didn't want him to have it to use as an excuse.
As I regularly tell people, the day I received my ADHD diagnosis was one of the most positive days of my life. Unlike most other medical diagnoses, which tend to be unwanted, I unashamedly considered this one to be a 'good news diagnosis', for a number of reasons:
Knowing that I had ADHD explained many of the unanswered questions I had about my life, my experiences growing up and the obstacles that were preventing me from moving forward. It helped me to understand the ways that my brain is different from other people's, and the role that these differences might have on my behaviours and personality traits. It opened up a whole new world of knowledge, understanding and support for me to tap into and benefit from and, like many people, I was shocked to find that ADHD is one of the most researched and treatable conditions in existence.
I came to the realisation that an accurate diagnosis of ADHD can be a moment of unparalleled empowerment and liberation and that is why I couldn't be happier that this year's theme for ADHD Awareness Month is 'Knowing is Better'.
Over the course of the month, I will share more of my thoughts on why 'knowing' is so critical and I'll try to highlight some powerful examples of individuals that have embraced their ADHD diagnosis and used their knowledge and understanding of the condition to help them to soar in their lives.
The first case I'd like to share is that of Brett Thornhill, whose story I identify with closely. We were both diagnosed with ADHD as adults and we both felt a desire to find ways to use the knowledge that we acquired to help others with the condition. Coincidentally, we also both completed our ADHD coaching studies at The ADD Coach Academy.
Brett was recently featured in two videos on the wonderful How To ADHD YouTube channel, where he talked about;
What life was like before he received his ADHD diagnosis at the age of 43.
The factors that led to him seeking a diagnosis and the intense and mixed emotions that he felt when it was confirmed.
The profoundly positive impact that his ADHD treatment plan had on his life.
The calling he felt inside him that led to a complete career change into ADHD coaching.
The coaching journey that he takes his clients on, how coaching differs from therapy, and his tips for how to find the right ADHD coach for yourself.
The two videos are here for you to watch. I couldn't help but smile throughout them both because of how closely Brett's journey mirrors my own.
I'd love to hear any thoughts you have on the videos in the comments section below and if you'd like to contact me privately to discuss anything whatsoever to do with ADHD, you can do so here.
Until next time, Happy ADHD Awareness Month!