Having ADHD is challenging to self and others; how much more challenging does this become when we hit middle age?
The manifestation of falling into a slump which generally associates itself with mid life begins to surface. For the ADDer, two loud voices begin screaming in the head now instead of one.
One which comes with having the syndrome, the other now, which echoes of guilt, depression, anxiety not to mention the need to start catching up on the things that the middle ager has not so far accomplished. These are all symptoms of this unwelcome 'change of life'. It's as if a race to the finish suddenly begins, crowding the already buzzing mind of the ADDer.
Mid life crisis is a sort of coming face to face with yourself and if the life has been lived fruitfully, the 'crisis' is manageable, but a life which has been fraught with struggle is most likely to turn the person's new self revelation into a collision of sorts.
How much worse for the ADDer?
One would hope that the ADDer in his or her forties/fifties has managed by then to find solace in their syndromes through means of structure, management skills and support. If this is so, then perhaps more intense structures and skills need to be implemented to assist the Adder through mid life, not to mention stronger bases of support. If depression prevails, treat the depression; if anxiety prevails, treat the anxiety and so forth. Do not wait to become overwhelmed, strike while the iron is hot!
Let us remind ourselves that we have come so far and worked hard to get to the place that we find ourselves in and that we will not permit another enemy invasion to enter our heads. My belief is to not fight what is natural but to instead accept with graciousness whatever comes and move with the flow. In my own experience I have obliterated many a conflict, frustration and waste of energy by following this belief.
The onslaught of mid life should be treated the same. Nothing can stop this large wave that is about to toss us about in various directions. Fighting the wave will knock us over; going with it will be a lot easier as we allow our bodies to move with the force of the water. Deal with each shift as it comes and treat it accordingly. Rather choose to reflect on your life, the accomplishments achieved and the life changing moments that have been enjoyed, instead of forcing more expectation upon yourself.
The somewhat fragile soul of the middle aged ADDer has no doubt already experienced many a roller coaster ride, it's now time to take stock and re ignite the soul and prepare it for a thorough healing in this second half of life.
About Shannon Pluke
I am a Psychological Counsellor practising in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. I offer therapy in youth behavioural issues, crisis management, trauma, self esteem & motivation and specialise in ADHD. I have over 20 years of experience in ADHD and also conduct workshops for parents who are struggling with their children with this syndrome.
In addition to this, I facilitate group therapy with children between 14 and 18 years in a house in the country outside of Cape Town. These sessions take place over a period of between 3 and 5 days during the school holidays. I offer an all inclusive package, details of which can be found on my website: www.counsellingyou.co.za
I have also recently written a book ("Paper Rock Scissors") which is part testimonial, part guide on how to cope with living with ADHD family members.
I can also be contacted on : 0827885758
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