Embracing ADHD Challenges Through Art

Linda Hurd, our repeat guest speaker, came to the group on July 19, 2016, to talk about “embracing ADHD challenges,” as she put it. Linda started her presentation by asking group members about how ADHD manifested in their and their families’ lives. These are some of the group members’ personal experiences with ADHD:
  • R. shared that his uncle and cousin had ADHD. He himself was diagnosed at the age of 28 years old, the diagnosis being prompted by his girlfriend learning about ADHD in one in her classes and recommending R. to seek assessment.
  • L. recalled being told by parents that she was lazy as she was growing up. She had hard time having homework done, cleaning the room, and being on time to places. L. was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety in college. She is still working on getting her treatment in order. She suspects that her father might have ADHD, but, to her knowledge, he has never been assessed as he “does not believe in mental health.”
  • G. reported being disorganized and “not doing well with time” as she was growing up. She was diagnosed with non-verbal learning disability (NVLD) as she had a lot of trouble with understanding facial expressions and tone of voice. According to G., it is still hard for her to figure out what people are thinking and understand non-verbal cues.
  • A. was assessed 16 years ago and diagnosed with NVLD. She was also told that she had some symptoms of ADHD, Inattentive Type. She said that even though she was “extremely verbal,” she struggled on the job and “worked slowly,” which was a source of shame and frustration for her.
  • D. stated that ADHD affected her whole life without her knowing it, which included lack of organization and being slow. She stated, “It affected me a great deal in my work and relationships, especially with timeliness and being a person who collected too many things. Coming to the group is helpful in knowing that I am not alone, not stupid.”
  • N. reported “difficulty with staying on task and stuff.”
According to Linda, most people can relate to the challenges of ADHD, but for those with ADHD those challenges can be more extreme. Linda presented her artwork, including her ADHD Challenges series. She says about her drawings, “These are things that I have cried over.”
Linda recalls that she learned about ADHD when her two sons were diagnosed with it. She says, “In the beginning, I tried to fight it and fix it, I did not understand it. I started reading about ADHD, asked her husband to be evaluated, and eventually he got diagnosed with ADHD as well. Art was a way of learning how to accept ADHD. The things I drew are the things I cried over.” She started painting things that frustrated her, like a half-finished hallway that took 7 years to complete or dirty dishes in the kitchen sink. “Painting it helps me to accept it. Sitting down and facing whatever is the frustration and painting it somehow helps to change my attitude.  For me my relationship with God has been an important part in my acceptance for me as well,” says Linda.
Linda presented the following drawing series to the group:
To learn more about Linda and her work, go to her website at http://www.lindathurd.com/.

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