topic_interest is exactly ADHD
The Power of Pets: Health Benefits of Human-Animal InteractionsThis story shares how pets help people with their mental health in a variety of ways. Pets were vital in helping people with their mental and physical health during the pandemic. This article, while written pre-pandemic, shows the different ways in which pets are beneficial.
Moving During a Plague Year2020 began as an optimistic year. In January, I decided to apply to the Public History MA program at the University of Colorado, Denver. We were living in Amarillo, Texas, and dreaming of a home that allowed us to thrive in our chosen fields, something that was unlikely in our hometown. So in early March of 2020, we decided to make the out-of-state move to Denver, Colorado. I had not yet been accepted to a grad program, and my husband did not have a job in our new city. "We'll figure it out." That's typically how it goes for two easy-going free spirits: set the destination and let the journey figure itself out. We looked forward to our April 4th move date as the reality of the Pandemic slowly set in. I was thankful for my workplace shutting down because it gave me plenty of time to pack up the house with a blissful ignorance for the year to come. I packed, taped, and organized dozens of cardboard boxes while dreaming about my sunny balcony in Denver. I planned going away parties and meticulously arranged coffee meet-ups with my closest friends. Against my best efforts, the in-person experiences faded away as the isolation began to set in. "No worries," I thought, "this will only last a couple of weeks." Oh, how wrong I was. I'm typing this story on March 18, 2021, for an assignment that was given online after a lecture that was presented online. A year later and my life continues virtually. We moved with hope for our future. We weren't hoping that the future involved facing our deepest emotional issues or learning how to love each other in complete isolation. It certainly did not contain a life of unemployment and disappointment. Slowly, begrudgingly, we got to know ourselves and began to heal from years of emotional suppression. I was diagnosed with ADHD for the first time in my life. It changed everything, and I owe my current success to the therapist that offered a discounted rate in my time of need. My husband learned just how deep his depression went. But most importantly, we learned that we could do it, that we can hold on long enough to see the light at the end. My husband just accepted an incredible job, and my academic life is flourishing. Even as I grew increasingly annoyed at the idea of a "bright side," the bright side came and lit up just how far we've come as people and as a couple.
Supporting Children with ADHD During A PandemicADHD is thankfully not as new of a topic to talk about, but I cannot deny that the stigma against mental health still exists today. While thinking about how so many children are now spending a year and an uncertain future indoors, learning from home, and some unable to grasp why, I thought about those with ADHD. A person’s home is supposed to be associated with comfort and otherwise relaxation from a day at out in the world – at school and work for guardians. Associations can be very powerful, and it can be rather disruptive for children with this big of a change. Half a child’s day is typically dedicated to academics and social connections and is especially important for children in their formative years. Due to the pandemic, they have been pulled from that environment they have already associated with learning, friends, and routine. The links provide some assistance for guardians who may be struggling with their child(ren), especially those diagnosed with ADHD. Concentration and routine seem to be the biggest obstacles, so I do hope the strategies provided may be of help to guardians and their dependents. https://childmind.org/article/giving-kids-with-adhd-support-and-structure-during-the-coronavirus-crisis/ https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/ADHD-and-Learning-During-COVID-19.aspx https://chadd.org/adhd-and-covid-19/
“What are the risk factors for people with ADHD during the coronavirus pandemic?”I am submitting this article because it speaks in a broader sense the sort of experiences people with ADHD have/will continue to have during the pandemic. It writes of the intersections of ADHD and the coronavirus, such as how remote learning and working can lead to decreased motivation and increased social isolation can be expected to increase other symptoms of ADHD along with feelings of depression and anxiety at levels that neurotypical people may not experience. Rather than collecting multiple small objects that speak to a single aspect of neurodiversity and the pandemic, and potentially overwhelming the archive with repetitive, kitschy documents that may in the future confuse the research process, I wanted to include a single document that spoke broadly of what life is like with ADHD during the pandemic.
Hyperfixations through the past 9 monthsI am submitting this object because a very common symptom of neurodiversity is hyperfixation, and with the increased amount of time spent in the house, many people, including my dad are more free to spend hours upon hours doing the tasks stimulating tasks. An aspect of hyperfixation is the way it can “turn on” and “off” at seemingly random times, so for my dad, over the past 9 months, he began writing a novel, which he has 80 thousand words in, but is as yet unfinished, he then moved on to creating card and board games, complete with art and promotional material. Throughout quarantine, he has fixated and his health, and took up running. His most recent fixation is music, writing lyrics and music on a modular synthesizer. This object could be helpful in providing an example of how people with ADHD kept themselves stimulated through quarantine, as well as how their minds often flit from one project to the next, depending on how interesting or rewarding it seems at the time. It was also important to me to contribute this item because much of the time ADHD is only focused on children, so adding this object to the collection works to give representation to the many adults with ADHD who are working as well as trying to adjust to life during the pandemic. Sean Bateman (Provided screenshots and pictures) and Megan Bateman (made collage)
Trying to stay Organized and Self MotivatedI am submitting this object as an example of how some people with ADHD struggle with self-motivation and how they create workarounds for this. This is a photo from the wall next to my desk. Taped up are daily to-do lists for the next couple of days, a monthly calendar so I don’t get so caught up in the details of something I lose sight of larger projects and due dates, as well as random reminders. This method has been useful for me because it is not only repetitive, which helps me to remember goals and dates, which is important since memory issues are common with ADHD, but it also provides a form of motivation for me. Scratching tasks off of a to-do list, even if it is something simple like “eat lunch” helps me to stay engaged with my required tasks throughout the day. This object speaks to the ways that many college students and young adults are trying to learn how to live on their own, while also going without much of the support from professors, friends, and family they could have had due to the restrictions put in place to stop the spread of the virus.
Monster Pyramid: Caffeine and ADHDI am submitting this image of a friend’s empty energy drink collection because it is indicative of how some people with ADHD use caffeine to deal with their symptoms when medication is inaccessible. Grim is not currently in a position to get the sort of support they need for their ADHD because of the pandemic, so they have taken a gap year from school and are working in the meantime. This is a small part of the collection of empty cans they have from the daily energy drink they have to help them function at home and work. Not many people know how hard it is to get support for ADHD as an adult, especially as someone who was assigned female at birth, so this object serves to show the ways that some neurodiverse people cope, especially now that Covid has made it that much harder and daunting to get non-emergency related doctor’s appointments. This object shows the ways medical care has changed due to the virus, fear keeping people from going in and hospitals and clinics being overwhelmed with people and unable to provide as much care as they once could. It also shows how the pandemic interrupted or changed the plans of many students to continue their education.