Thursday, November 15, 2012

CHADD—A Shame-Free Zone

Just back from CHADD’s conference in San Francisco, and it was incredible. More than 1300 people heard fantastic presentations and information. And then there was all the connecting with old and new friends.

Mark Katz, a clinical psychologist and contributing editor of the Promising Practices column in CHADD’s Attention magazine, was our inspiring plenary speaker on Friday with the intriguing proposition that “There’s never anything so wrong with us that what’s right with us can’t fix.”

Mark’s presentation reminded me that part of the purpose of CHADD is to provide a “shame-free zone.” It doesn’t matter how inadequate you often feel as a parent or as an adult with ADHD.

CHADD is the place where everyone understands what it is like to live with ADHD. In the CHADD community we can talk freely about our lives. We can celebrate our many, many strengths. And we can laugh at our ADHD moments.

In our struggling with what is wrong each day, we often forget to recognize what is right. So today build a “shame-free” zone or time in your life. Maybe the kitchen is the place where only the positive is allowed. Or maybe there is a time of the day when you routinely reflect on your strengths and what is right with the world—at dinner or when you tuck the kids in bed at night. The power of positive thinking and positive feedback is absolutely amazing and it is simple. Harness this power and reap the rewards in your own life and in the lives of your family members. You will increase the feelings of hope and happiness for everyone involved. And you will be learning and teaching an enormously important coping skill for dealing with life’s challenges.

Thanks, Mark, for reminding all of us how important it is to see what is good in ourselves and in each other.

Ruth Hughes, PhD, is CEO of CHADD.


Attentionnelle29 said...

Yes, we often forget all the beautiful things and strengths that we have in our lives, especially us, ADDers, who have to overcome many challenges and to face many failures. Because it doesn't worth to concentrate on the bad things. It won't contribute to our success and our happiness, either. I think positive thinking is the key to live a better life, even if it's hard, sometimes. But as we say :
« After the rain comes the sun ! »

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dr Katz for reminding us on Friday morning (not Thursday night) that there is no shame in being who we are (or making a mistake about remembering when you spoke!).