Happy February and happy … *checks calendar* … Groundhog Day!
I feel like there must be a “hey, look, a squirrel” joke in here somewhere, but I can’t quite find it.
Anyway, according to Punxsutawney Phil, you can count on six more weeks of winter. But snow or shine, here are one ADHD study, one interesting news article, and one coping tip for the next four of those weeks.
Study of the month: ADHD and social anxiety in children
We know that ADHD often comes with other, “comorbid” mental health conditions, and that a common one is social anxiety disorder. So a team of researchers in Turkey decided to investigate whether ADHDers with social anxiety tend to differ from ADHDers without the condition.
They specifically looked at children and adolescents with ADHD. Among the factors they looked at, they found three that distinguished ADHDers with social anxiety: 1) higher rates of social anxiety (obviously!), 2) higher rates of inattentive ADHD, and 3) lower self-esteem.
These findings hint that clinicians, teachers and parents should be on the lookout for inattentive ADHD symptoms in particular in children with social anxiety, and that addressing self-esteem issues is an important part of helping these children.
News article of the month: Succeeding with ADHD
A military pilot, an entrepreneur and a business professor walk into a bar … er, make that a podcast.
On a new episode of a podcast from Harvard Business Review, the three talk about how they struggled with ADHD but also managed to find careers where they thrived — each in their own way. The podcast puts their stories in the context of research into the link between ADHD and entrepreneurship, as well as other fast-paced jobs like firefighting.
I won’t try to summarize the podcast anymore than that because their stories are best heard in their own words. In different ways, the three ADHDers’ experiences circle back to a theme described by Johan Wiklund, the business professor: “It’s a matter of finding the right context for you.”
And yes, I know a podcast isn’t quite a “news article.” But when an HBR podcast covers ADHD more thoroughly than any news article from a major publication this month, you have to give credit where credit is due!
Coping tip of the month: Delegate or divide work when you can
People with ADHD have a notoriously large gap between the things they’re good at and the things they’re not.
The classic ADHD advice is to delegate tasks that are especially brutal in terms of ADHD symptoms, such as extremely tedious tasks that sap motivation and have high potential for inattentive mistakes. I want to reiterate that advice, but also to expand on it — because really, most of us with ADHD don’t have personal assistants waiting for us to delegate tasks to.
For one-off tasks though, it’s worth looking at how much it would cost to hire someone from TaskRabbit, an online freelancing platform, etc. In the same vein, since it’s tax season, let me say that just because you can, theoretically, do your taxes doesn’t always mean that you should.
The other way to “delegate” is to swap tasks with a partner, family member, or friend. It’s a great thing if you can find someone in your life who is good at some of the things you’re bad at, and maybe vice-versa. So stay on the lookout for creative ways to delegate and divide up work!
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