SQLBits 2023

ADHD - Failing at normal (and dealing with a mind that needs stimulation to focus)

Experience and tips and tricks on how to (better) deal with the challenges going together with ADHD. And of course, also, how to use the “positive side effects” to your advantage during your career.
Growing up as the “gifted child” with exceptional grades the only thing others worried about was that I was quiet, on my own, and dreaming away during school classes.
After I left school and started university (with little structure) I started struggling and had to work so much harder (compared to people around me) to still achieve the grades I expected myself to get. After graduating I changed jobs 6 times in 6 years and was feeling like a complete failure. How could I be caring at one moment and not caring just a few weeks later, why did activities that bring me joy one moment bore me completely the other? Why was my mind racing continuously (someone described this once as the feeling that your brain is switching 30 channels continuously, including volume, and someone else has the remote control).
Getting (exit) interviews with managers telling me that I was difficult, impulsive, had a difficult personality in general and that I just need to try harder to fit in I reached my lowest point. How could I have become such a failure?
Being diagnosed with ADHD did not change my life completely but it made it easier for me to make sense of my past and the things that happen in the present. It made me realize what is happening and I’ve learned how to cope and deal with everyday life (most of the time 😉).
During this session, I want to share my own experience but also tips and tricks on how to “tame” your mind and make life just a little bit easier (examples: exercising, making lists, timers, addressing the issue …). Also, I want to show the possible positive “side effects” like enhanced creativity, thinking outside the box, having new ideas, and being able to implement change & how you can use them in your job (or search for a job) to use the “disability” as an advantage.