October is ADHD Awareness Month. Despite its challenges, there are things I love about having ADHD.
I know that many of you may not be aware of this but October is not just Black History Month or Cybersecurity Awareness Month but it is also ADHD Awareness Month.
If you have been following my journey, you would be aware that I have ADHD and was diagnosed in March 2018 as an adult. Interestingly enough, although it came as a shock, it wasn't a surprise. Through research, I found that women are less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than men. Furthermore, boys are more likely to show signs of ADHD at a young age than girls.
What is ADHD?
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a neurological development disorder that can have an impact on our behaviour whether it be effecting concentration, physical movement or mental state. Many people that have ADHD more commonly have other conditions alongside it such as dyslexia, autism, anxiety disorder or depression.
I'm still learning more and more about my diagnosis and how it looks like to me but despite the many challenges that come with having ADHD, there are also gifts that come with the disorder that I am proud to have.
Here are my top five reasons:
1. My creativity
I'm a very creative person. Growing up, I loved contemporary dance, music, street dance, playing the piano (I need to get back into this, actually) and art. My mind is like a brainstorm; constantly connecting and expanding on ideas I have to make it more interesting or innovative. Being in tech is an added bonus. With my personal projects, I allow my creativity to run wild in order for me to bring what I envision to life. I thrive in a space that allows me to think like this.
2. Very relaxed in times of high stress.
I didn't realise this was an ADHD thing but I am incredibly calm when there is a lot of disorder. There's been times in my life where I've witnessed something alarming, moments that'll make you freeze in shock and I have just been so calm and under control.
3. I jump right in!
Whether it be doing a task using something new at work or an idea I've thought off in my head, I dive in doing so much research into it.
I honestly wouldn't change my ADHD for the world. It has, and always will be, a part of my identity. It makes me 'me'.
It can have its disadvantages though. I could be researching for hours but for me, it feels so pleasing and interesting that it doesn't even matter. Whatever the topic is, it will become almost like a passion and then the hyper-focus kicks in.
4. Never-ending desire to try new things.
This is why I think tech is great for the ADHD mind. You are constantly drawn to something new to explore and understand. I have already experienced working in Test Automation using Python, Big Data using Scala (had to learn this) in my tech career so far. I've taught Front End Web Development, I've given talks but being in tech has allowed to explore all of these new things which keeps me so engaged in the industry. I'm excited to see what I will do next! I don't think I'm very predictable.
5. Constantly wanting to learn.
Someone can talk about Quantum Computing and my eyes will become wide-eyed as I do research into it and learn more about it. I'm always wanting to learn something new. Outside of work, I've explored Ethical Hacking, Machine Learning, AWS, Augmented Reality, Mobile Apps, I could go on. They all might seem a bit random but to me, there's a pattern to the madness.
I'm not speaking for all those with ADHD and I honestly wouldn't change my ADHD for the world. It has, and always will be, a part of my identity. It makes me 'me'.
If you would like to learning more about ADHD Awareness Month and access some resources, do check out the official website below for more information.