6/13/13

ADDvocates: What ADHD is like for Me, Lourdes Zalcik.

Lourdes Zalcik, ADDvocate.

I am so thrilled with the outpouring of responses to our ADDvocates series! What better way to give voice to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than by publicly sharing our stories and hardships? Today we meet Lourdes Zalcik (Edmonton, Canada), one of the first readers who wrote to me at WriteToJulianna about becoming an ADDvocate.

Women still have a difficult time finding information on the female ADHD. For that reason, I was so happy to hear from Lourdes, especially because we live in different countries and work in separate industries. Although Lourdes and my experiences of ADHD are unique, her trials resonate with my own, and I hope you're touched by them too.

There is always room for more ADDvocates. If you or your child would like to participate in this series, please scroll to the bottom of this post and read the instructions: 
1. At what age were you diagnosed with ADHD?
My doctor reluctantly told me that "my symptoms are consistent with ADD" when I was 44, after four years of treating me for depression and anxiety.
2. Does anyone else in your family show signs of having ADHD?
My son has ADHD.
3. What’s your profession or what industry do you currently work in? What are your strengths or weaknesses when it comes to working with ADHD?
I am currently working in several industries. For one, I am a translator and interpreter, and I run my own business because I excel at translation and interpretation. I also work as a sales associate at a retail store because I need physical activity that is not possible to have with my translation and interpretation work. I am also working in the test-marketing for a product that I am developing with the help of a partner.
Lourdes at Zalcik Translations.
4. Do you have any specific memories of when ADHD was helpful or harmful?
ADD has been helpful in regards to being able to accumulate significant knowledge about different subjects and learn several trades well enough to successfully excel at positions involving that knowledge.
The harmful part of ADD comes with having to stick to time constraints. I am not talking about the big deadlines or delivering for clients. I am good at delivering on time and showing up punctually. It is more about the many time reminders that people naturally follow, like paying the bills on time or submitting my hours or reports in a timely manner. That can be the worst nightmare for supervisors because in their time-counting control methods I will always show as non-compliant even if the work I do is actually excellent.
I also have problems staying on task or being able to remember commitments if I am extremely stressed.
5. Do you see a psychotherapist to help with your ADHD? Has she/he helped you?
I was seeing one until not too long ago. I was able to learn how to manage a lot of my issues, especially depression, anxiety, and memory lapses. My memory lapses were getting so bad that even my psychotherapist became concerned and ordered a test for me. I forgot the date, time, place, and the name of the specialist for my memory test! That is how bad it was, but I was accidentally reminded by my psychotherapist on the day before my test because she called to reschedule our next appointment. I managed to find the correct address and get on time to my appointment using a mix of intuition and detective work. 
That test led to my diagnosis of ADD and the prescription of the medications I currently take to manage my ADD.
6. Do you take medication for ADHD? If so, what type? How has it helped you?
I take Celexa, Bupropion, and Straterra to manage my symptoms. When I am on those medications, I am able to snap out of my thoughts and focus in reality, which is very important if you want to accomplish anything.
7. What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to deal with with ADHD?
Pleasing supervisors who base performance on time management over other qualities of the work.
8. What activities, habits, or hobbies help to ease your ADHD?
Meditation, prayer, and yoga. Hobbies provide a creative outlet for my ADD. A knitted sweater, a finished project, or some home improvement are a better product of my ADD at the end of a hyper focus outburst than a history of hundreds of visits to different websites or hours and hours of video gaming.
9. What do you like most about having ADHD?
I am very thankful for my ability to learn and do so many things.
10. What would you like to improve most about yourself?
I would like to improve my decision-making skills.
11. Any other questions, tips, tricks, or comments to share?
My son has ADHD. If anyone has another family member with ADHD or ADD, make sure you always stress the good part and keep promoting positive values.
12. Are you an ADHD Superhero?
I think I am.
ADDvocates Questions
Send me your answers at WriteToJulianna.
Include if you'd like me to change your name to a pseudonym.
Attach any photos that you'd like me to post.
Together we can create a new face for ADHD.

1. When were you first diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? 

2. Does anyone else in your family show signs of having ADHD?

3. What’s your profession or what industry do you currently work in? What are your strengths or weaknesses when it comes to working with ADHD?

4. Do you have any specific memories of when ADHD was helpful or harmful?

5. Do you see a psychotherapist to help with your ADHD? Has she/he helped you?

6. Do you take medication for ADHD? If so, what type? How has it helped you?

7. What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to deal with with ADHD?

8. What activities, habits, or hobbies help to ease your ADHD?

9. What do you like most about having ADHD?

10. What would you like to improve most about yourself?

11. Any other questions, tips, tricks, or comments to share?

12. Are you an ADHD Superhero?




3 comments:

  1. This is a great series Jules! It'd be interesting to get the perspective of the next generation, possibly someone still in high school or college? What age were they "diagnosed"? How do they feel it as affected their lives? The kids that are in high school these days are living much different lives than the kids of the 80s and 90s. It'd be interesting to know how younger folks feel about ADD in a life that has only known the constant stimulation of text messages, twitter and Facebook.

    I also just wanted to say that reading about how ADD can be a super power is extremely helpful to those who may be frustrated with the fact that they "suffer" from it. I use that word sufffer because we're conditioned to think that if you have to take medicine it's because something is wrong. That is not the case with ADD at all and that is continually hammered home in each of your blog series. The way you view your ADD is inspiring. Keep up the good work!

    -An Old Friend

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much for reading, Old Friend! I'd love to hear the perspective of high school or college students. If you have any way to connect me with them, please touch base with me - WriteToJulianna@gmail.com. I can only imagine that the experience of ADHD is that much harder while growing up with technology all around. Actually, I should write a post about exactly that topic. So thank you for the inspiration!

    And I strongly believe that the traits of ADHD can be used to excel and succeed. I've seen it happen with so many friends, who are now young adult and thriving in various industries and within their relationships. So to all ADHD super heroes, onward and upward!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your interview with Lourdes Zalcik clearly show me why and how woman feel some lack of ADHD. It quite strange, that woman are more susceptible, than men, aren't it? Ok, I wish you go to this resource and find many useful:http://www.proof-reading.services. Nevertheless, thanks for your post.

    ReplyDelete

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