Mindset Health

ADHD: How’s Your Attention Span?

How's Your Attention Span - ADHD?

The Times had a brilliant feature on ADHD recently, I completed the questionnaire and it confirmed I have it

I’m pretty sceptical of questionnaires for this purpose (as you can imagine) and I also believe neurodiversity is a spectrum of traits and behaviours that is hugely altered by our environment.

But many of the points in the article resonated with me.

I struggle to maintain focus in conversations sometimes and any topics that don’t interest me.

I’m restless always, fidgety and struggle to relax when I finally get the opportunity. I hoovered the whole house at 8pm twice this week!

I’m currently trying to stop myself from interrupting and finishing sentences, especially Matt’s lol!

I can be terrible for finishing tasks I originally felt engaged with and procrastinate like a pro at times, if I dislike something then last-minute urgency is my desired driver.

I mentioned the environment earlier, it has a massive effect on me, including the people and the places.

I now know where to plonk myself to bring out my productive side and the places that encourage me to faff and spread my attention.

My phone is my attention nemesis, leaving it in another room is a game-changer.

My internal environment is relevant too, coffee makes me so much worse, whereas protein, meditation and yoga remedy the chaos in my head and bring me down a gear.

I’ve also noticed I’m getting worse with age, when I look at my Dad I can see where I’m going. He has the attention span of a flea. The article mentions that hormone decline is a factor and I can definitely identify with that.

Estrogen supports dopamine levels which enable you to stay focused and concentrate. Progesterone has the opposite effect and may explain why I should be sent to a silent retreat for the second half of my cycle.

Hamish has also helped me understand dopamine too. Hounds have a lot of it as it makes them awesome hunters, but too much of it creates anxiety and obsessive-compulsive behaviours.

You can convert dopamine to adrenaline with exercise. He paces the house in the morning whining and trembling until we’ve done a big walk to run and then he’s a different dog. As is his owner LOL!

I wanted to share in case you struggle with any of the above too. Brain chemistry is complex and there are cases of severe imbalances that warrant diagnosis and professional support.

And then there are instances where we can feel our personality slipping into extremes and losing our true identity in the process.

Or being overly concerned that we don’t fit or belong because we’re different and hoovering the house at 8pm on a Saturday night.

I think it helps to observe, reflect and put some things in place to support your mental and emotional health on a daily basis.

Whilst things that help me might work for you, your chemical balance is like your fingerprint, unique to you. So explore this for yourself.

Here’s the website featured in the article, I’ll be having a gander for sure.