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Faster Than Normal - The ADHD Podcast

Having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Hear from people all around the globe, from every walk of life, in every profession, from Rock Stars to CEOs, from Teachers to Politicians, who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their ADD and ADHD diagnosis, and use it to their personal and professional advantage, to build businesses, become millionaires, or simply better their lives.
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Now displaying: May, 2022
May 25, 2022

Jillian Ashley Blair Ivey (please, call her Jill) is a communications consultant, content strategist, writer, editor, voice actor, and yoga teacher based in South Philadelphia. No, she does not sleep. The thing that ties all of Jill's work together—yes, even yoga teaching—is storytelling. Jill has two degrees in creative writing that, contrary to her parents' initial reservations, she puts to use every day. She helps clients develop an authentic voice and works with them to create compelling narratives that resonate with their intended audience, and she helps her yoga students live the story their bodies tell. You can find Jill's recent essay, "The Very Real, Totally Hidden, Costs of Being an Adult With ADHD" on Medium. We’re old friends, and this is what we’re talking about today.

In this episode Peter and Jillian Ivey discuss:  

1:20 - Intro and welcome Jill! 

1:40 - Jillian’s article on Medium that inspired today’s visit

2:18 - So tell us your backstory; when did you get diagnosed and all of that?

5:30 - About early morning risers and quiet time

6:00 - Tell us about what inspired you to write this article?

9:38 - About how companies will continue to charge us and how the ’fine print’ is too often the ‘find print’. Ref: TrueBill.com  Ref: House of Lies

13:53 - So what’s our answer, what’s the solve; robots?!

14:80 - On activism

16:00 - Give us a couple of hacks that work for you which allow you to keep these kinds of things from happening?

18:30 - We honor Nancy Shankman’s time-honed “task list scratcher” technique! Ref: https://www.followupthen.com

20:30 - Jill this was awesome! How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? 

On the Web: http://www.jilletante.com also www.JillianIvey.com Socials: @JillianIvey on all the socials except TikTok here:  Twitter  INSTA  Pinterest  and Facebook]

20:52- Jillian’s consulting and new live story auditing service is at http://www.jilletante.com

21:35 - Thank you Jillian! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

22:41 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

 Hello, everyone, happy day, whatever day it is, but it's probably a Wednesday. Cause that's when this podcast comes out and is actually a Wednesday here as well and I am recording live from New York city is a beautiful day out as finally. It looks like we're about to get to summer. The sun is shining. Birds are singing. People in New York are still assholes, but that's who we are. Anyway. It is great to have you on another episode of Faster Than Normal. I'm thrilled that you joined us as I always am humbled and love the fact that you’re here. 

We are being joined today by an old friend of mine, a wonderful woman named Jillian Ivey. Jill and I have known each other since God, the early aughts, I guess, as they call them probably around, mid. 2007 ish, 2006 ish, something like that, I don't know. Uh, I've known Jill; she started in PR and then she went on her own, she started writing. Uh, I, when I met her, she was working for Philios, which was a similar site of Gothamist. Um, and she does a a hundred million things I'll let her tell you about, but one of the reasons that I wanted to bring it on the podcast, other than she's a great friend and I love her, is because she went an article a couple of weeks ago on Medium. She's a very popular [does he say contributor on Medium?]. She’s a phenomenal writer. And she wrote a piece about the untold financial costs of ADHD. Jillian does have ADHD; she's one of us. And she wrote a really interesting piece that I wanted to talk about because a lot of times we don't think about other things, other than oh Adult Hyperactivity Disorder blah blah, we don't think about the hidden costs of ADHD. And so with that- welcome Jillian! 

Hi, Peter. It's so good to be here. 

So tell us your backstory before we start, tell us, uh, when were you diagnosed and what was it like as a kid and, you know, the, the usual, the usual drama? 

Sure. So I, um, I'll work backward. I was diagnosed when I was 36 years old. I'm 38 now. So this is a pretty, pretty new thing for me. And it was something that my therapist had been suggesting for a long time before she just kind of came out and said, you know, I, I think that this is something that, like you should look into more. I think that you have ADHD. And so she sent me some things and I, I looked into a lot of articles because for me, having, you know, having grown up in the 1990’s is when ADHD was the thing that everybody was talking about, with like the hyperactive boy in the class, the boy who couldn't sit still and who was talking a mile a minute and PE was the only class they ever actually enjoyed. And so that wasn't me at all. I was a really good student. I have two degrees. I have a Bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master's degree from Rutgers Camden, uh, in Creative Writing, both of them. So there, there are degrees that involved a lot of time spent reading. And so I immediately just kind of wrote her off until I started to look into how ADHD is often missed in young girls, because they don't always have that hyperactive sort of behavior. And so if they don't have that behavioral marker that's associated with ADHD, or at least was in the nineties, then it was, it was missed. It was missed really, really frequently. Uh, what I had instead was hyper-focus. And so the things that I, I chose to hyper focus on were reading and writing. I was a really good student because I loved doing those things. And I've learned that as students, if you can find that thing that you're really interested in, that's how you're able to kind of see that hyper-focus work to somebody's advantage. It just happened to be for me that it was that. For some people it might be interested in dinosaurs or it might be an interest in math. I have no, no real aptitude for math at all. And I think part of it was that I started to see the numbers and my brain just shut off. And so I started, I started looking into that and I also started to look into some of the behaviors that are associated with ADHD that they don't talk about in kids very much; things like staying up really late, uh, which I've always, always been a night owl. And one of the things I like about staying up late at night is that it's very quiet. And so I feel like I can get my work done without distraction. Um, my husband is not a huge fan of that behavior. Um, but I recently.. I was talking to my mom about ADHD. And my mother is a grade school teacher. So for her, it really is still about that hyperactive boy in her classroom she sees it's just, oh, Jillian, you don't have ADHD. And I was like, mom, think about how often I was staying up late at night to work when I could have done my work earlier in the day. And you know, some of it I was doing, I was doing theater. I was doing a lot of other extracurricular activities. And sometimes I couldn't start my homework until nine or 10:00 PM, but sometimes I just didn't want to. And my mother is also a night owl. And when I pointed that out to her, the line just went silent.. and she goes, oh, well, you've given me a lot to think about. I’l; t alk to you later. The only time I've ever talked to her about. 

You make a really good point though, because I think that, that there's something to be said for people they need to see there's something to be said for silence. You know, there's something to be said for, um, for being able to shut out the rest of the world. Um, for me, that's early mornings and I was a night owl;  growing up college. I mean, I, I was, I don't, I didn't get it. If I didn't have a class, I didn't get out of bed till noon. Right. And then, but I was up to like three, four every, every night. And, um, you know, or in the morning or watching the sun come up and, and it wasn't until my late twenties, when I discovered exercise that I discovered getting up early and now, you know, but the same thing is a few hours. I'll get up at 3:34 AM and get on the bike for a couple hours. Um, you know, and no one's there and it's my time. Right. It's just our time down here, type thing. And so, so that's a wonderful, a wonderful feeling. 

Um, so I want, wanna, I want to touch this article because I really was blown away by this. You, you, you, you put into words, everything that I think so many of us think of, but we don't really think about it until it's as need be. So, so you talked about you, you called the article the, I don't remember the actual title, but the subhead was, “another collections agency called today”. [The Very Real, Totally Hidden, Costs of Being an Adult With ADHD

Or: Whoops—I got a call from collections again!] Okay. Great. So tell us about the article and then tell us sort of what prompted you to write it. I'm assuming, you know, obviously wrote it from personal experience, so talk a little bit about it.

Um, so I, uh, I, I started it actually as a Twitter thread. I, um, to make a long story short, I do go into this in the piece. I used to see a therapist through a company called Thrive Works, um, and Thriveworks is a huge company. They have offices all over the place. They have a bunch of therapists, and I went to see them. I already had my therapist who I love, but I had a very specific issue that I needed to work on. And my therapist said, this is probably something you should go to somebody else for. So for awhile, I had two therapists, um, which was, was really fun. Um, but I needed somebody who took insurance and a friend of mine saw a therapist from Thriveworks, and she said, because they're so big, most of their therapists do take insurance. And so I found somebody who not only was local to Philadelphia because at the time it was pre COVID. And so I wanted to see somebody in person, um, but they took insurance and they had an availability the following week. So over the course of this. I was in distress. There was a lot going on in my life that led me to the point where I needed this therapist. And while I was being onboarded, while I was setting this appointment up, I'm sure they told me that, you know, part of being a member of Thriveworks, you have to pay a monthly fee to be a member. I don't know what the membership fee actually gets you. I still haven't quite figured that out, but whatever. So this would have been February, 2019, where I started, uh, started this process, started seeing this therapist by March of 2021. She had left the practice. And so I, I don't know. I just kinda forgot that I had this monthly fee because I'm not somebody who ever goes and looks at my checking account, which I know I probably, I look at the balance, but I don't look at the individual transactions. Um, and then when I was doing like getting ready to do my taxes at the beginning of this year, I saw that I was still charging, being charged with ThriveRx. And I thought, oh, you know, I must’ve just been on an annual plan where since she left in March and my, I started seeing her in February, I must just be on the hook for the next year. And in March, I get an email saying your subscription has been canceled. I'm like, great. Not going to worry about it. Uh, checking email is also not a thing I'm particularly great at, and I'm sure that that's a, that's a common behavior that a lot of us have. Um, so what I missed was the email that came up it was in my spam folder saying, oops, sorry, we didn't mean to cancel your account. You're still getting charged. And so when I saw that. Oh, I wasn't actually, uh, like this, wasn't an annual commitment that I'd made. This was a month to month commitment. So I contacted, Thriveworks, and I said, Hey, I'm going to need you to refund everything that I've paid since my therapist left the practice. And they said, oh no, we don't do that. It's on you to end your subscription when your therapist leaves the practice. And I added up what I had been paying since she left. And then I started to add up all of the other things that I have had to pay because I forgotten to cancel something, or because I've missed a deadline and then I've had to pay a late fee. And so it started as a Twitter thread and then I was like 11 tweets in it. Isn't oh, no, probably a out to move this over to a longer form where I can really start to explore it. 

It is amazing, right? When you, you sit down and you think so, it's so funny, you, you, you, I feel very seen, heh, based on what you just said. Um, you know, I, I, I have a website, I have several websites that are hosted and. Recently, about a year ago or so I took my two biggest ones and I moved over to a separate host site that monitors them privately. And, um, it's much better, you know, if something goes down, I don't have to worry about it, they fix it. But, you know, I still have a bunch of others that they keep on this, on this other hosting platform. And I just randomly one day got an invoice and I think it was waiting for a flight, so nothing to do. So I clicked on the link and read the.. I was still being charged for the two big websites, even though they haven’t been hosting my accounts over a year and you know, you get the notification that says, okay, your website has been officially taken off this platform. I think there's something about the ADHD in us that wants to assume it's going to be handled for us. Right. Because if I have to think about it and then deal with it. That's a whole process. Right. So, so yeah, I was paying like an extra $40 a month for like past year for absolutely nothing. And I can't tell you how many, how many times I've done that. I mean, you know, I think for, for us sites, like, uh, is it Truebill or whatever those are are, are, are godsends, but they're also scary as hell. It was like God, when they go through our, for their first run, this is going to be really depressing. 

Yeah. Yeah. You know, I think that it's great that there are platforms like truebill and other services that allow you. I mean, I have, you know, there are, there are planners that are catered to people with ADHD. There are all sorts of reminders that you can set on your phone or your calendar to pop up an alert, like things that pop up once a month to, to remind me, you know, I have a subscription and if I don't want to get billed, I need to make sure that I tell them not to, not to charge me this month. Um, so, so that's all great, but at the same time with technology, there's really no reason that a lot of these companies can't do this stuff themselves. Like when my therapist left the practice. It would have been so easy for Thriveworks to go through their CRM and say, you know, pull all of the people who have seen this therapist in the last year and contact them and say, as you know, this therapist is leaving the practice. Exactly. Exactly. It's not the..

Company's bank on people like us, like on everyone, right, forgetting to do that. 

Exactly. “It’s not a bug, it’s a ‘feature’”!  [fml]

There’s a great episode of, uh, I think the first episode of a TV show on HBO or Showtime called House of Lies with Don Cheadle, Kristen Bell. Um, they talk about how they're going to, uh, uh, they're going to re revamp a big banks image. Uh, you know, that during the housing crisis, all these people lost their homes and the banks made billions they're going to revamp their image by. Uh, offering lone amnesty and that the CEO was like, absolutely not. And they said, no, you don't understand you, you, your normal DQ, like 90% of the people won't qualify. 8% of screw up in the application. Half a 4% will die. You know, you'll give out a couple hundred grand back, you know, and you accept the award of the year because they it's exactly the case. They don't expect us to follow through. And normally 910 times when we won’t. 

Yeah, I, um, I have the, I live in, I live in Philadelphia and, uh, the state of Pennsylvania has a website where you can go and see if you have any unclaimed funds. So this is like refunds from a doctor's office, that for whatever reason, they didn't prescribe it to your account. And so I have for, now that you're saying this is probably two or three years, had money sitting, waiting for me with the State of Pennsylvania. And the reason that I have not actually been able to claim it is because it involves printing out a form AND GETTING it NOTARIZED!?! And yes, getting this and then putting it in the Mail. And so I have to go through all of these extra steps and like, that's, I have several things that just don't happen because they have, I have to leave my house. I can't do it online. I have, um, I have some, I overpaid, uh, on medical expenses last year. Like I hit my out-of-pocket max. And so I have to submit forms to the insurance company, which can only be submitted by mail. There is, you can't scan it and send it to somebody. I have a friend who works with this insurance agency in the Social Media department. And I was like, what, what the hell is this? I know, I know it's just, it is the way that they operate. And so there is, there's a lot of money, not only that I've paid, um, because of this, but I think there's actually a lot of money that I'm owed, uh, that I haven't pursued because of this. 

So what's the answer. I mean, what do we, you know, obviously I, you know, Hey Siri, remind me of this, or, Hey Siri, do this is, you know, Hey Alexa, do this, that is great. But there has to be, I mean, look, we're not gonna, we're not, the companies are going to certainly not going to do it. Right. So at the end of the day, what's the answer.

Well, you say the companies aren't going to do it, but I think we forget how important a role activism is in the disability community and then neurodivergent community. So I think that part of this is going to be calling your Representatives and talking about the unethical practices of the people who are charging these fees, knowing that people who are neurodivergent people who have ADHD, people who have Autism are not able to meet the requirements in order to take advantage of the system. This system is calculated against these populations in the same way that there are systems that are calculated against Women and against People of Color against people in the Queer community. And so the more that we can raise visibility here, the more we can say, no, this is a real issue a nd it affects a lot, a lot of people. And I think since, you know, the DSM has been revised and the way that we see Autism has really expanded in the way that we see ADHD has really been expanded. It affects a lot more people than you realize. And to create that visibility so that the system works for us. I think we shouldn't, we shouldn't forget that we at least for now, live in a society where we have representatives met as part of their job.

That's true. And we do have that at least for another few months. Um, but no, I, I think, and I think it's interesting because, you know, I, I keynoted, uh, disability, the first ever disability confrence  for Adobe, and it was a global conference, uh, you know, 10,000 people online, all from all around the world. And the one thing that I got the most feedback on was the fact that. You know, upwards of 15 to 25% of the workforce is going to be neurodivergent in the next 10 to 15 years. That's a massive number! Right. And if you're a company and you're not A. hiring for that, but B. understanding your audience.. you're going to lose.

Right.

That's very, very true. I wanna be respectful of your time. Give us a couple of hacks that work for you that allow you to, you know, obviously, obviously it's not, uh, not in terms of, uh, paying, paying your therapist bill, but give us other hacks that work for you and tell us what you've learned and the kinds of things that you do to prevent these things from happening. 

So to prevent these things specifically. Um, as I said, I have an alert that goes off on my phone the first of every month I have, I'm a yoga teacher when I'm not doing the writing and, and also consulting on, on a content strategy for folks. But, um, I have a subscription to a service called Fabletics it's Kate Hudson's active wear line, and you get invoiced every, uh, I think the fifth of every month, so that you get your monthly credits to get more clothes. I have more yoga clothes than I could possibly need. And so right now I have an alert that comes up on my phone the first of every month. And I see it when I wake up in the morning and before I even get out of bed, I go to Fabletics and I tell it to skip this month. And so I think that those alerts, as long as we see them, as long as they come through at a time where we're likely to see them are really helpful. Now, if the first of the month is on a Saturday or a Sunday, and I'm sleeping in a little bit, it's not necessarily going to be at the top of my phone. So it's not a perfect system. But it does help. Um, I think other things that I've done are, you know, I, uh, I can't always rely on.. my husband is probably undiagnosed ADHD. He's got a lot of the same behaviors that I do. So I can't always rely on him to remind me to do some of these things, but what I can do is put something on our shared calendar that says, you know.. Six o'clock tonight we're going to get this thing. We're going to be making dinner. And it's going to say, talk about whatever this, this bill is that we need to figure out or talk about our taxes. Um, so, so it's really helpful just to have those, those things pop up on our phone. Now, that being said, I know that a lot of folks who are neurodivergent, who have ADHD turn off a lot of those alerts on their phones. 

Right? 

So one of the other systems that I used to do, I, I now I work all over my house, so this doesn't work as well for me anymore but when I always sat at my desk at the same place at my desk, every day, I put post-it notes on my computer screen of things that I needed to do. It's just around. The edge of the computer screen. And there's, there's something really satisfying about the tactility of- when you finish a task, taking that note off of your screen, tearing it up and throwing it away. Because it's more than just like clicking a box on your computer. There's actually something there that like, yes, I can do this. I can, I can get this done and I can actually feel getting it done, which a lot of us don't have when we work fully digitally.

It's funny. My, I used to make fun of my mother when I was growing up,  because she had a black book and in her book were all of her contacts, but she also had a calendar and every year she’d replace it with a new calendar. And she'd write down all these tasks that were do on the day. And she, when she was done, she would spend upwards of 30 seconds crossing it out. And, you know, like, like crossing it out, like, like you're, you're the, uh, woman in Hamlet trying to get the blood out of.. 

That’s Macbeth..

Ah Macbeth! That's what I meant. And I knew if anyone, if anyone would correct me on that'd be you!  But you know, like ripping the page as she crossed it out. And I always asked, Mom, why are you crossing so angrily?! She’s like I'm not angry, I just did it! It's done! LOL And I totally get it now! 

Um, you know, I, I praise these guys all the time. I have no connection to them other than the fact that they've saved my life many times www.FollowUpThen.com. Um, I I'm sure I've told you about before Jill. Follow up then.com is this free service where you create an account and then you send an email to any time period. I followed them,,,?So 10 minutes had followed them to come four hours about, then it comes Thursday, March 28th, 2023. It followed that and it will simply send it back, whatever you wrote in that email to you. And so, you know, on, uh, for your thing where you have to do your Fabletics. Um, I do the same thing with certain things that have to be paid or have to be looked at, you know, um, January 5th, February 5th, March, I send one email to all 12 months and every, every fifth of the month I get an email, Hey, check your subscription or whatever it is. So yeah, those kinds of things are, are, are game changers for people like us. 

Absolutely. Um, I think, I think while the system doesn't work for us, it's up to us to figure out what we're able to do to kind of hack the system. So, so, you know, apps like that, uh, offerings like that, just make it a little bit easier to exist in the world that is not really always made for us.

This was awesome. Jill, how can people find you?

[http://www.jilletante.com also www.JillianIvey.com and on the @JillianIvey on all the socials except TikTok Twitter  INSTA  Pinterest  and Facebook]

Uh, so a couple of ways I'm on social media, all, all platforms, except for tick-tock because I'm old and I still don't understand it, uh, at a, at Jillian, Jillian with a J and IVs IBE, Y um, I'm also, you can find me at Jillianivey.com. Most of my work is archived there so you can find the link to the Medium article that way. And I also, in my consulting work and I am at Jill Aton, like dilettantes. Spelled with two L's and one T because two L's and two T's looked weird. Uh, so Dillatant dot com. And I'm actually about to launch I an offering where I'm doing live story audits with people. So going through their website, kind of helping them to figure out whether there's story works live in the minute I send them a recording. And I find that this actually works really well with my ADHD, because I don't have to remember to do any followup work after I send them the recording. And that is that is it. 

That's awesome. I, you know, that’s funny. I never, for the life of me knew how to pronounce that until just now, haa! I love it. I love it. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today. I really appreciate it. This was a great interview. We'd love to hear what you think. And we'd love to know if you know, more people like Jill, who would want to be on our podcast. We are always looking for guests. We record a couple of times a month. We'd do like six or eight interviews in a day. So if you have someone that you know, or maybe yourself, shoot me a note, Peter@shankman.com. And we would love to hear your story and perhaps get it on the air. We get about 40 to 50,000 downloads an episode. So people definitely, definitely will hear your story. And, um, we'd love to help share that. ADHD is a gift, not a curse. 

Jill, thank you so much, guys. Thank you so much for listening. We will see you next week. Big shout out to my producer, Steven Byrom, the best producer in the world! [Thank you Peter!! :-)] Uh, opening theme recorded and composed by him and closing theme recorded by him. And The Voice you hear at the beginning of every episode is none other than Bernie Wagenblast the same man who says, at Newark airport. “The next stop is terminal C. Airlines at terminal C include United, United Express and United International departures.” We'll see you next week. Thank you so much for listening!  Stay safe, be well.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at shankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week!

May 18, 2022

Miles Mendoza is an author and freelance writer living in New York City. His writing often draws upon experiences as a veteran and various other emergency service roles he’s occupied. His poetic essay, “Escape From Harlem,” was published in The Void magazine’s December 2020 edition. Another, “Exotic Fruit,” was featured in the AT THE PITH art exhibit at the Nook Gallery in Oakland, California. Most recently, the author collaborated with artist and Professor Tiffany Lin to develop a satirical news story highlighting workers' rights issues (www.tlinart.com/fight-santorg). In September of 2021, Miles published his first book. "Speaking in Midnight Tongues and Other Symptoms of Neon Fever" is a collection of poetry, essays, and short stories that address themes of addiction, trauma, and creativity. When not freelancing, the author maintains a poetry and fiction website: www.MilesWrites.Blog. His work can also be found on his Instagram account: @mileswrites. Today he’s sharing about hyper-vigilance, a different- maybe more observant side/speed of the ADHD brain, and advice on how your anxiety can kind of direct you towards being more efficient, if not productive. Enjoy!

 

In this episode Peter and Miles discuss:  

 

1:17 - Intro and welcome Miles Mendoza! Ref: “Escape From Harlem

3:20 - What’s it like to be a freelance writer and be working on everything all the time & have ADHD?

5:49 - Ref: Ten Ways to be Happier When You Live/Love Someone Diagnosed With ADHD

6:09 - When were you diagnosed?

8:00 - upon joining the military

9:20 - What did you learn in the Marine Corps that you still apply to your daily routines?

11:00 - Ref: FTN episode with Jack Walston

12:25 - on processing everything at the same time

12:33 - on processing speeds

14:05 - on hyper vigilance

15:10 - about the effectiveness of flash cards

16:24 - Tell us more about how you processed the Will Smith slap?

17:42 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? Web: [17:42 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? Web: www.MilesWrites.Blog  Socials: @mileswrites on INSTA 

18:21 - Thank you Miles! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

18:55 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT:

Oh, hellooooo-Ladies and gentlemen my name is Peter Shankman and this is Faster Than Normal. Welcome to another episode! I am your host. I said that already. I am exhausted. I flew in last night from Montana. Boy are my arms tired. It was a three-hour delay on the flight. Um, I got home around 2:00 AM. I had to be up at six to get my kid to school. Um, oh. And by the way, I'm in the middle of an 120 hour water fast. So I am about 60 hours in and I am just exhausted. So don't come near me. I will kill you. But that being said, we have a phenomenal guest. 

Y’know.. there are some sites out there on the internet that are just amazing in terms of knowledge and things you can learn. And then there are sites that are just cesspools of filth and depravity. And I was on the cesspool side of the coin a few a month ago or so, and I was on Reddit and I was reading about it. It was right around the time of the Chris Rock Will Smith slap. And I was reading an article about it or a story about it, and I read it and I saw this quote that came from a guy and ran into his quote, said, dude, I have ADHD. So maybe this is just a me thing, but do you know how many of my day-to-day interactions slash reactions are autopiloted while my brain is working on a delay to process what was actually said. So.. what that told me, first of all, the brothers from another mother type thing, but what was amazing about that is that there really are two types of ADHD. There's the ADHD that says, oh my God, someone's not even halfway through their sentence, but I know I have to respond. I know what they're gonna say. And let me just respond right now and lemme interrupt. And then there's the other half. That says I'm just going to watch this because I, my brain has to catch. Everything is moving so fast and my brain moves so fast. But in this situation, I'm going to catch up and make sure I know all the facts. That is what our guest was talking about on Reddit. His name is Miles Mendoza and Miles is an author and a freelance writer. He's living in New York city. We met on Reddit. He lives like 20 blocks for me and his writing draws upon experiences and various other emergency service roles he's occupied. His poetic essay Escape from Harlem was published in The Void magazines’ December 2020 edition. And another exotic fruit was featured at the, At the Pith Art exhibit at The Nook gallery in Oakland, California. He's from the Bay area. He lives in New York city and in September of 2021, he published his first book Speaking in Midnight Tongues and Other Symptoms of Neon Fever: Poetry & Essays, which is a collection of poetry, essays, and short stories that address themes. Trauma and creativity; pretty much sounds ADHD to me. Every single theme in that, in that, uh, book of short stories is something that we've all dealt with as ADHD and that whole brain thing- we're in talk about it. Miles. Welcome. Glad to finally have you on the podcast, buddy. 

Nice to meet you.Thank you for having me. 

So talk let's let's go back. So you live in New York city. You're married. Um, you're a journalist slash a freelance writer slash author. Let's talk for starters about what it's like to be freelance and to be working on any given thing at any given time when you have ADHD. 

Well in many ways, it's great. You, um, you're working on a bunch of different things. Your brain is stimulated on a bunch of different subjects all the time. I wouldn't be able to do this 10 years ago though, because I had to develop a bunch of different skills that I.. like to overcompensate for what would have been a very messy approach to business. So I, I, I work off of, I think I have multiple to do lists every single day and in a lot of those to do lists, uh, have to do with like, Take my dog out for the second time today, you need to go up three times. So I need to put that on the list. You need to go up three times. So every single, I didn't hear everything from like haircut to have lunch is on this to-do list. And if there's not enough yellow check marks on that list at the end of the day, I know I did a bad job. Uh, so, but then there's the great thing of like, I get to research different subjects which is. Essentially, I've tried to commodify what I did with my days anyways. So I I'm the kind of person who falls into, um, an obsession on a new subject every other day, I'll fall down rabbit holes. So I try to like, to really kind of take that momentum and just try to commodify it. And, uh, for my own business, it has worked to a certain degree. Um, I do get myself into a lot of situations where I am, uh, I over-packed myself at work because I feel best when I don't have any idle hands, idle parents for at least myself, as some of the ADHD tends to lead to trouble. And, uh, and that's what I was kind of writing about. Um, I wrote a, uh, an essay about, um, what it's like to live with a wife who does not have ADHD in any way, in fact, a very, she's a great student. She's about to finish her, um, nurse anesthesiology master's program. And when she picks up a book, that's what she's going to read until it's time to put it down. Whereas I have hundreds of books I've read most of them, but I have not finished..most of them, you know, that's, that's just kind of how my brain works. 

It's funny. You mentioned that I wrote, uh, one of them when I was going through my divorce success at 16, one of the most read articles I published on medium was, um, Ten Ways to be Happier When You Live/Love Someone Diagnosed With ADHD. You know, it was, it was the whole premise that, you know, there'll be times when I have this great experience and all I want to do is share it with the person I love and I'll call and they'll be in a meeting, but they're not answering their phones so obviously it's because they know that I'm calling they don't want to talk to me and they hate me and in my mind I've already broken up gotten divorced moved on with my life um, you know, and then they call me back and they're like, you know, th’f*ck's wrong with you? So yeah, I totally, I totally get that. But. When were you diagnosed?

You know, interesting story on that. I, uh, I came, I come from that generation where like, it seemed like every other kid in the class was diagnosed, uh, right about right about when I was in middle school. So what was that; in the late nineties, early two thousands. And I was already. I clearly had it, but I don't think it was just coming into the national conversation um, so, you know, I, I did well on tests. I was a nice enough kid with my family. I just didn't do my homework. I’d either forget about it or just could not get up to the point of performing it. And as I got older, that became more and more of an issue. And so I think that somewhere around fifth or sixth grade, I went to a doctor. And that was a pediatrician, but the problem was that I was? able to keep up with  conversation with him. He put me down in like the lower range. He was like, if he has ADHD that he's like, I, I can give you the prescription, um, on the diagnosis, but he's on the lower range. And so I remember getting Ritalin when I was a child and it, it, I, it didn't react well with me. I, I don't know if you've ever seen the episode of the King of The Hill where Bobby gets a Ritalin. 

Oh my God favorite show! 

Yeah, exactly. So like, it was pretty much that I was like, I was just sitting, staring at a wall. My parents freaked out. They were like, no, get him off of this. Uh, so I never really thought about it too much.I kind of knew that I had, it was in the back of my head. Um, but it really didn't become an issue for me because, uh, my approach to school was all over the place, but, uh, it didn't become an issue until I impulsively joined the Marine Corps. And then suddenly having your ducks in order is very, very important. And yeah. And there were a lot of moments where to this day, I think back to bootcamp, I, I'm not a religious guy per se, but, uh, I almost turned to Jesus in that sense, because there were these moments where. I did not know, like you have to have your things, like, they will tell you, you need, you know, here's the 10 things on the gear list and you have to have them when you had asked for. And I was like, cool, I've got my 10 things. And then there would just be nine things and like, okay, now w where is it? And like, I need this right now. And then something would just appear. So I, I, I remember at one point I was like, there is a supernatural force looking out for me. I now realize it was probably some dude next to me going, I got to help this idiot. But, yeah, so I thought 

I want to stop. I let’s stop and talk about that for a minute. 

Of course. 

So you joined the military, [[microphone rustles across entire frequency spectrum]] and I have said multiple times on this podcast that if I was smarter about what was actually going on in my brain when I was younger, because ADHD didn't exist when I was a kid. Right. You’re disturbing the class did.. and I have a feeling that if I had been smarter about this and been more knowledgeable, I might've done the same thing because today my life is entirely based on rituals calendars alarms, set ups, do this, then do this. Then, you know, when COVID hit and I had, I would give a speech on zoom and then have the three days of travel that I'd normally be traveling busy to do nothing it was, it was hard, right? The calendar had to be full. So it seems me like Tell me what you learned. I'm fascinated by this. Tell me what you learned in the military that you were able to then apply, especially in the Marines, they were able to apply to life everyday. I mean, is that where you got the concept of the to-do list and the calendars and all that?

Yeah, exactly. So what the military does is it creates like a huge amount of consequences for when you screw up. So suddenly you're kind of always in a fight or flight reflex, and I'm not just talking, I'm not talking about combat or anything. I'm just talking about day-to-day life about living in the fleet is you need to, you need to be places 15, sometimes 30, 45m early. And so you start building buffers into your life and you start realizing like, okay, I don't want to spend my weekend on duty, or I don't want to get my ass chewed out by a staff Sergeant or something like that. So you start to like build in all these things, so you can live a decent life and not everything comes out of the military with you. You do relax a bit. I certainly relaxed quite a bit, but, um, And you do keep these certain things. Like I have like internal timers that tell me like, Hey, you're getting close to that meeting per se for like for today, I knew I had to be at a certain place to do a certain thing. And I started having like internal alarm clocks go off before and it's like, you should be ready 15 minutes beforehand, because what if, you know, you get mugged on the way back to your apartment and you're, you know, now you're late for the worst thing possible is to be late. And you start to worry about how you appear to the world around you because that perception and military.. is often “perception is reality”. 

Right? Wow. Okay. Interesting. We do a lot of the same things and, and it, it, it, it.

Back in 2001, a former Navy seal who's since passed away a man named Jack Walston, I've had him on the podcast. Very, very, influential man in my life, he started a course, uh, for civilians, uh, where he'd come to.. he was based in Houston and he'd bring it to New York for two weeks or two weeks, four times a year where you'd basically just go and play in central park from 4:00 AM to 7:00 AM and get your ass kicked. Right. It was basically bootcamp. And, you know, for someone who you know, up until the early two thousands, you know, only ran by pressing X on a joystick, um, you know, and to the store for cigarettes, like wanting to do this and actually enjoying it and needing it in my life and doing it like 15 times was massive for me. And, you know, they're totally unexpected, but I get it now. And then the more I talked to the people like you, the more, I totally understand it. You, these rituals, these things that, you know, I'm a free spirited, are actually what ground you and what allow you to be creative because you're not worried about, okay, I'm going to miss this meeting or that miss this appointment or go down this rabbit hole.

Uh, absolutely. It's uh, to me, I, I think we live in a pretty anxious society and I I'm sure part of that internally. Uh, but I it's like weaponizing your anxiety. Like let that anxiety kind of direct you towards being productive, or at least being efficient. 

Very cool. So let's talk for a second about sort of that slower brain.  Do you think that the concept of ADHD is faster than normal? It's faster brain? The, the, the, the premise that we are always thinking 20 steps ahead and, and that's what we need to control because otherwise, you know, we're going to crash into a tree, um. In your, from what I'm hearing from you, you're actually sitting and processing the reason you might have a, you mentioned something that, where you said, uh, you know, there'll be times when when you know, you've been called out or you're about to get into a fight and you don't, you don't even flinch and everyone thinks that oh wow, he's so, he's so brave, but no, you just haven't really processed what's been going on yet.

Yeah. So for me, it is still an issue of like doing too many things too fast. A lot of times when I'm having a conversation, I, I have like, uh, I've been diagnosed with hyper vigilance, so I'm paying attention to everything in the room. I’m listening to conversations next to me. I'm watching people walk into the room. Uh, and, and I know that that sometimes comes with ADHD. You don't necessarily have to have like, Uh, trauma necessarily to spark this, but it is, it's an over-processing, it's like more Ram than, than hard drive. It's operating with one and not the other. So it's, I am, I am paying attention, but it is possible that I may have rehearsed inter-reaction already. So like, I mean, you know, I'm going to go meet with a friend for lunch. Uh, I know how long it's been since I met that friend. I know the questions that I should ask. I am then applying like I am, I'm now deploying that social plan or that social plan while interacting with them.  And then as I'm doing that, I am also getting dragged, congratulating myself for deploying that correctly and not listening to the answers. It's not that I don't want to; it’s not that I don't value what they have to say; it's just that my brain is sometimes applying more focus on some background things that are going on as well. 

Well, I think that happens in, in terms of, you know, we're constantly, when you're able to see a lot of what you're doing also is figuring out what the next question you ask is what the next, where the conversation is going. Um, and I've noticed that happens to me when I meet someone for the first time and I ask them to name right as they're about, tell me the name I’ve already moved on to think about what I'm gonna say next and I will never remember the name. Ever.

Absolutely. Uh, the names, uh, spouses names. If I, I I'm sorry. A lot of my friends is, uh, third spouses.. I probably will never truly know their names. I will always be asking other friends or my wife, what is that person's, uh, girlfriend or boyfriend's name, you know, or before we even get there. 

That's funny. You're very fortunate to have a wife who's a, who’s got your back like that. 

Oh, she's incredibly tolerant for someone who just learns.. that's what I've noticed is that, um, a lot of ADH deers are, I don't know how we describe ourselves. Um, we, we absorb information. We can interact with it very intensely and then five years later, have no idea how to do that again, like our brain dumping abilities are quite impressive almost. Uh, and, and. 

No. It's funny, many times I remember in school, one of the things that was was, you know, I hated tests and things like that, but when I had one, I would sit down.. once I discovered flashcards, right  my life changed. I'd sit down. I've learned it. I get tested on it, I’d pass and then puke it up. It's gone, right? 

Right? It's like, it's like your brain does a deep fragmenting and it just like just tosses it and there might be shreds of it there, and you can fall back on it. But for me, I, it, it meant that I needed for a career to rely on internal skills that were actual, like baseline talents that I would always kno. For me, that was always writing so I that's what I, what I ended up going to ultimately, I also have, had I had a very adventurous personality. So for a long time emergency services for EMS, all of that, I loved it because I was just excited to be out there on the street and see what was going on right now that I'm, I'm calming down a little bit and I want a little bit of a safer career choice it’s I had to go back again to the thing that never left me. It was my ability to write, edit and whatnot, but, uh, learning actual new skills and then just holding onto them for years at a time. Never really been my forte. 

Interesting. Tell us about more about the slowing brain. You, you can use Will Smith as an example. You're watching it happen in real time and yet  you weren't processing. I, I think in all fairness, millions of us watching in real time didn't process it. 

Uh yeah.. It's one of those things where it's like, I, I identified mostly because like in real life, when, when events like that happen, they don't, they don't make sense. And they don't make narrative sense. If you're making a movie, the first thing you're going to do is show Will Smith, like getting angry at the joke. Right. But in real life, yeah. He's going to laugh with you. Uh, people react to things illogically sometimes. And I just identified with that for me. When I, when my wife's telling me a story, I sometimes I I'm trying to process and keep in mind everything that's going on. And it makes what her words coming out of her mouth it's a little like watching a washout VHS tape. And it's you kind of, you know it because you've seen the, you've seen that video so many times, but you're not getting grasping all the details in the weight of everything that's going on. So you kind of have to say either stop or say that to me again, or in my case, I often am able to replay back events. So I'm just operating on like a 15 to 22nd delay before I fully understand what's going on. 

Very, very interesting. Tell us, uh, I know you have a website that I mentioned earlier. Tell us again, tell us where people can find you things like that. 

[17:42 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? Web: https://www.nontradaccelerator.com/academic-coaching Socials: @mileswrites on INSTA www.tlinart.com/fight-santorg ] 

In September of 2021, Miles published his first book. "Speaking in Midnight Tongues and Other Symptoms of Neon Fever" is a collection of poetry, essays, and short stories that address themes of addiction, trauma, and creativity. When not freelancing, the author maintains a poetry and fiction website: www.MilesWrites.Blog.]

Oh, uh, Myles writes DOB blog is where I post, uh, I try to curate the best of my material at the mind, poetic essays, um, poetry, uh, some fiction I write in a broad spectrum. And then, uh, you can also find me at miles writes on. Instagram, uh, which is where I usually, that's more of my, my rough draft contents are, you'll hear me scream about some political opinions here or there, but for the most part, you can find all my best material on mileswrites dot blog right. 

Awesome. Very cool. Well Miles, thank you so much for taking the time! 

Guys. You've listened to Miles, man. I really appreciate you coming in and being so honest and you know, that's, I guess that's the one, my one, you get one shot a year where you find something worthwhile on Reddit. So I guess that was it, um, for this year. So I appreciate you taking the time, man. Thank you so much.

Of course, thank you. 

Guys, listening to Faster Than Normal as always you know the drill. If you like what you hear then leave us a review. If you want more info or advanced a dog just jumped in my lap oh hello Waffle. And we would love to know more, feel free to share uh what you're thinking. We will see you next week with a brand new interview. Thank you for listening. Stay safe, stay well.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week!

May 11, 2022
Camille Roney is a certified Academic Life Coach whose work has appeared in the New York Journal, Quizlet, MD Femme, Motivate MD, and more. She empowers students to earn competitive grades while actually ENJOYING the process and overcoming obstacles that may be impacting how they show up in their academics. You can learn more about how Academic Coaching can transform your high school or college student at her site: https://www.nontradaccelerator.com/academic-coaching. Today she’s sharing ways you can identify within yourself, via the use of a data, how to identify your, individual, best learning techniques! Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Camille discuss:  

0:57 - Intro and welcome Camille Roney!

1:28 - How do you get kids to enjoy it no matter the subject?! (i.e. Math) 

4:18 - Ref: Yerkes-Dodson law

5:15 - On being in the zone of focus/flow

5:30 - Q&A for Peter about how he gets into and stays in the zone/flow

6:52 - On teaching students to be bored

8:26 - Tell me about first time college students and their study habits?

10:10 - Success leaves clues. These clues may present as follows…

11:38 - Give us some quick tips. i.e. I have a test tomorrow and I haven’t started studying, what can I do?

14:13 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? Web: https://www.nontradaccelerator.com/academic-coaching Socials: @RoneyCamille on Twitter @thelearningmom on INSTA and @thelearningmomnet on Facebook

14:26 - Thank you Camille! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

15:23 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

Hey everyone, how are you doing? My name is Peter Shankman, you are listening to Faster Than Normal the internet's best, number one, most listened to podcast on ADD & ADHD and neurodiversity and it's because of you. I'm glad you're here. Thank you for that. Makes me happy. 

We’re talking to Camille Roney today. Camille is a certified academic life coach whose works appeared in New York journal Quizlet MD Femme, Motivate MD, and more. Here's the thing she empowers students to be to earn competitive grades while actually enjoying the process and overcoming obstacles that may be impacting how they show up in their academics. I’ll repeat that: she teaches kids to enjoy learning. All right. So Camille, you're obviously lying, um, welcome to Faster Than Normal. It's good to have you! 

Thank you for having me Peter!

So, so you teach kids to enjoy learning the problem with ADHD is that when you enjoy something. You get dopamine from it. If you're interested in it, you get dopamine from it when you explore it, if you don't enjoy it, you don't get domaine from it. So when, you know, if it's English class or something that I loved great, all the dopamine in the world, math or science, not so much. So you're telling me that you figured out a way to get kids to enjoy no matter what the subject let's talk about that.

Absolutely. Yeah. I'd love to, I'd love to dive in. Um, so in my experience, There's a few different ways that we can approach it. One is how we're approaching studies in general and the expectations that we have around it. So many students. In fact, I would say the majority of us humans come to school with the expectation that we're about to be bored out of our minds.

 

And therefore we have, we create the evidence to support that. And a lot of us are just thrown content at regardless of whether it has anything to do with anything that we as individuals care about at all. So what I like to do is invite students to consider what's important to them. What are their personal values, their interests, what are they into? And then there's a few different approaches that we can back; that gives us a bit of a compass with how to approach the studies. Do we need to integrate aspects of those into school? Um, what, you know, relating those values back into the, what the content that they're learning. So if they, um, decide that let's say peace wellbeing, global, um, like global warming global wellbeing. If we're approaching that with say social studies, we can say, okay, how was this really? How did this stuff that happened way back? How could that have impact a global warmingm, or how could that have impacted global wellbeing? How did this impact the wellbeing of others- that kind of invites us to get creative with the content and play with it because some content you really, really have to get creative with- how am I going to make this interesting? And if you, if you assume, let's say a student sits down for physics class, and the first thing that runs through their mind is I suck at physics. It's going to be awful. Rightfully so. But if you can say, if you're thinking throughout the course, um, man, I can't like I’m mesmerizing these formulas so that when I sit at the dinner table tonight with my family, I just get to brag about it and man, I will look so smart and like that we'll feel good. That's their motivation. That's totally fine. That's great. Also, um, you're you, are you familiar with the The Yerkes-Dodson Law of Performance? 

No. Tell us.

Okay. Beautiful. Beautiful. Imagine that this charge, if you will, on the, this graph on the X axis, you have stimulation. So low to high stimulation; and on the Y axis, you have performance. If this bell curve shape and on the left-hand side, we've got like, so you're under-stimulated therefore your performance is low. You're bored. You're not having fun in the middle the peak stimulation level you've got focus. Engaged energized, genuinely having a good time. And then on the far end, you've got anxious, stressed, restless. I like to consider both internal stimulation and external stimulation and considering how the classroom itself plays into that curve. I also like to invite students to consider. And I'm curious what your answer to this here is Peter; what's an example where it's a case where it's really easy for you to get into flow. Like you just, you don't even realize how much time has gone by, you're just your blinders are on your in the zone and it's just, it's amazing. You're completely in flow. 

When I’m on an airplane.

Gorgeous. Tell me more. 

So when I get on the airplane, I'm flying to Asia. I have 14 hours with nothing but my laptop in front of me and I started working. Next thing we've touched down 14 hours later and I, I mean, I wrote my last two books entirely on airplanes. 

Okay, cool. Can you give me another example with a completely different example of when you're in flow?

Umm… looking at the dog park and there were other dogs playing. I can, I can go to work for a while and let the dogs just have fun and get lost. 

Gorgeous. Okay. So what are, what are some of the common themes between those scenarios?

Headphones. Allowing myself to focus on the task at hand. No distractions.

Beautiful. How can you apply that to your school? Work life, something that you don't want to do? 

I would assume to get into the same zone when I'm doing something I don't want to do. But of course, the problem is, is that the problem is, is that you get bored with it. And then you wind up looking for distractions.

Is there something wrong with being distracted? 

No, there's nothing wrong being distracted. Unless it leads you down a rabbit hole that then prevents you from doing the work in the first place. 

Yeah, exactly. One of the most incredible skills that I wish we were taught in school that took me  just way too long to do, to figure out, is I teach my students how to be bored. We're often taught that boredom is like this awful negative experience. When in reality, it's just one of many human experiences that we have and there's nothing wrong with it, reframing it from negative to a positive. And what I see in so many of my students is that where again, when you approach school with the expectation that it's going to be boring. Yes- we create that. If we come with the expectation that it could be fun; that shifts things like a bit. We can actually create different behaviors so that we are enjoying the experience more. So let's say, um, to sit down to study a student suddenly starts bringing their favorite drink every time, some type of like fizzy soda or something that they genuinely enjoy, or like this pen that just like it glides so smoothly on the page that you think that you're going to die. Like, it’s fun. Like enjoy the experience. It doesn't have to be awful for us. Like honestly, if you want to. If coming to school and like a Hawaiian shirt and a wearing a lei and sunglasses, if that helps you like have more fun in school, that's a win, right? 

No, that makes sense. I mean, when, you know, when you think about it, does it make sense in terms of how you.. It's essentially what you're saying. It's a different way of looking at things.

 Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Tell me about the college student, who's in college for the first time and is on their own for the first time. And you know, whether they're neurodiverse or not, and all of a sudden they don't have a parent watching over them and then no one watching over them and they never, they never really learned that study to learn to do it. Now they're stuck in a thing where it's like, oh, no one can tell you where and when I can go out; no, one's going to stop me and they get kicked out, right?

Well, let me first say, there's nothing wrong with going out. I encouraged students to enjoy the college, the university experience, like what a magical time in someone's life. But when else are you going to be surrounded by so much diversity of experiences and people? Fantastic. What I like to suggest is. sorry, let me, let me take a step back. What I often see is people falling into this trap of, oh shoot. The expectation suddenly skyrocketed on my performance levels in academia, but I haven't, we haven't like we haven't had a class called how to read since like the third grade, yet the expectations of our reading skills are completely different since then. So what I, the tracks that I often see students in is they look around I what everybody else is doing and they just do that. So they're copying word for word what's on the lecture slides at the cost of not paying attention to the lecture. They're apt to suddenly sit still in a class for three hours at a time, which is a huge shock for a lot of students transitioning from high school. They've got all these things on their plate. And frankly, it's too much for a lot of people when you just try and do things the way everyone else is doing. What I like to say is success leaves clues. So let's look at the data, look at your information completely objectively, something that is so fantastic about academia is you do some work and you get a result. You get a specific number grade. So what you can do is take track, like keep track of as much data as you, as you feel comfortable with such as, um, how much sleep did I get before a test? Was I hungry while I was studying? What methods did I use? How many, how long did it take me to read this content that I read every word, consider the data and then look at the results of those yields because, but students often, like what I often say to my students, if you've mastered a very specific way of doing things. And you now have, are starting to collect the data of what type of result that yields. whether you like it or not is up to you. But this is a fantastic time to experiment and try new things and see what works and what doesn’t. And the key isn't to do everything. The key is to do what you know, works best. Finish all the rest. You don't have to, like, you can get through your entire degree without taking a single note. If that doesn't work for you, stop taking notes. You're wasting your time. Use it in another method for studying and really comprehending information. I think give your brain a break! 

Makes sense. It does make a lot of sense. Tell me about, um, give us a couple of quick tips. Um, other than the ones that you've given us are great. A couple of quick tips. I have a test tomorrow, um, I haven’t started studying, what can I do? I'm not saying that's what they should do every time, but. 

Right. This is such a good question! Okay. What is your favorite- to go from short-term memory to long-term memory for this specific type of content, because you should be studying, you know, how you study for Calculus, for example, should it probably looks very different from how you would study an English class. So that's my first question. How you go from a short-term memory to long-term retention. Just do that. If you get time to do anything else, that's gravy. Fantastic. So, um, I like, I get really into things like techniques, like speed reading or different memorization techniques. The high yield thing is to, sorry. My recommendation for you is strictly focused on the high yield content. Master that. Use your course syllabus or, um, a professor teachers outline on what's going to be covered on the test, how that, how the content is going to be tested matters, like how you study for a multiple choice problem. Uh, exam, it looks different than how you would study for an essay exam. So again, that's a matter of data collection. What works for you for that specific type of content and work with that. Um, my, if I had to give you just one, one quick takeaway from this is: As you're reading your textbook, never go beyond a single paragraph without asking yourself. How would Mr. Jones test me on this content? 

That’s really good!!

And you would think that that takes you longer to get through the content, but because we're strictly focusing on the high yield content, you're not reading every word in the whole, you know, in the assigned reading and because you're really giving yourself that time to get curious and play around with the content. Oh okay. I can see this being a multiple choice question. What would some of the potential answers be? And like really getting curious and creative with the content. Chances are, you don't have to review at all before the test. You've taken the time to really master it the first time, bringing it from short-term memory, to long-term retention, applying it based on how it's going to be questioned, know quizzed or examined on. And then you move on. 

Excellent. I love it. Very cool. Um, Camille, thank you so much. How can people find you? [[ Web: https://www.nontradaccelerator.com/academic-coaching Socials: @RoneyCamille on Twitter @thelearningmom on INSTA and @thelearningmomnet on Facebook ]]You can find me on Instagram. I'm at the learning mom or on my website, a non-trad accelerator.com. 

Awesome. We will definitely link to all that. We will have you back. There's a lot of fun. Camille Roney, thank you so much for taking the time! I really appreciate it. 

Uh, guys, as always Faster Than Normal, we try to bring a new and interesting different ways to learn and think about, ADD and ADHD and all forms of neurodiversity, as well as fun stuff. I know recently we've had some interviews about. We interviewed someone who, um, works with drug addiction, we talked to an accountant to is helping people with ADHD   in their math. If you know anyone who you think might be a good interview for us, let us know. We would love to have them on the podcast. You can find me at, at Peter Shankman. You can find past episodes at FasterThanNormal.com or anywhere that you get your podcasts, including-“Alexa”. I have to say her name very softly, because if I say her name..And if I say it three times Jeff Bezos appears in my apartment and tries to sell me something. So thank you guys for listening. We will see you next week. Camille, thank you for being here. ADHD is a gift, not a curse as is all neurodiversity, stay safe and stay well. —

Guys you've been listening to Faster Than Normal. We love when people come to us and say, Hey, I would like to be on the podcast, or when they have a great idea for a great story. And they have a great story themselves. If you're that person who knows someone who has let us know, we're always trying to find new people. We have a plethora!! of new episodes that we've recorded that are in the can that are coming up. The next three months are already filled but if you have someone to let us know, we'll record you and get you on the podcast as well. And you can find me at Peter@shankman.com  The podcast is FasterThanNormal.com on iTunes on Stitcher, Google play anywhere you get your podcasts. Thank you so much for listening and remember that ADHD and all neurodiversity is a gift, not a curse. And we will see you next week with a brand new episode. Thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you soon!

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week!

May 4, 2022
Kristin Wilcox has a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Mississippi Medical Center and has spent over 20 years in academia as a behavioral pharmacologist studying drug abuse behavior and ADHD medications at Emory University and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  She has authored several manuscripts published in peer reviewed scientific journals and presented her research at international scientific meetings.  Her book “Andrew’s Awesome Adventures with His ADHD Brain” shares her son’s experiences with inattentive-type ADHD, and her insights on parenting an ADHD son.  Dr. Wilcox serves on the executive board of the Inattentive ADHD Coalition, hoping to increase awareness and understanding of the inattentive subtype of ADHD in children and adults.  She lives in Maryland with her husband and two sons. Enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Kristin discuss:  

1:00 - Intro and welcome Kristin Wilcox!

1:40 - Cocaine for research whaaahht??

3:00 - Talk about inattentive-type ADHD?

4:45 - On adrenaline junkies. Ref Type T ADHD

6:50 - Is there a nature versus nurture component there? Ref: OneWheel & Multi-Access Trainer

9:00 - Tell us about the book!

10:30 - There was not much research in existence on inattentive ADHD in boys

10:52 - Does it occur in girls as well?

11:14 - What specifically are you studying in terms of drug abuse and behavior & things like that? Tell us a little more about your background?

12:15 - Is the book available everywhere?

14:15 - How can people find more about you and what you’re doing? @ADHDAdventures on Facebook And you get get the book from Here and here-> on Amazon!

14:25 - Thank you Kristin! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

15:15 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

TRANSCRIPT: 

Yo, yo, Hey everyone. It is Peter Shankman. It is Faster Than Normal! It is another interview. It is a great Wednesday. Uh, it's a great Thursday, Thursday? Oh my God the weeks are rolling into one. My daughter goes on a field trip for three days overnight and I no longer know what day it is. Ridiculous. Okay. Welcome. My name is Peter. Shankman. Said that already. We're talking to Kristin Wilcox today. She's a doctor. She's a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Mississippi Medical Center has spent over 20 years in academia as behavioral pharmacologist studying drug abuse, behavior and ADHD medications at Emory University and John Hopkins University School of Medicine. In other words, she's much smarter than any of us. It is great to have you here Kristin. Then she has written a book called Andrew's Awesome Adventures with his ADHD Brain, where she shares her son's experiences with inattentive type ADHD and her insights on parenting an ADHD son. She's on the executive board of the inattentive ADHD coalition of an increasing awareness and understanding of yet attentive subtype of ADHD in children, adults. She lives in Maryland where there has been two sons, Kristen. Hi, welcome. 

Hi Peter. How are you today? 

I am great. Thank you for taking the time to join us. Um, it's funny. I remember probably in 2005, I dated a woman briefly who was doing her second PhD at Rutgers, I believe, and was also studying drug abuse. And the thing I found so amazing was that when you are studying drug abuse in a university setting an academic setting, I guess, for a PhD or better, or whatever, you basically can call the government and they deliver you drugs like illegal drugs, like they delivered through cocaine to her or to her lab, I guess. And I was just shocked by that because my first question was, so can you.. and she immediately shut me down and said, absolutely not! But it was an interesting question. 

They do actually, um, the, uh, the cocaine that we used to use in our, uh, experiments with. Cocaine that was confiscated off the street and then purified by the DEA and that's how we got our cocaine for our research. 

Unbelievable. The DEA was purifying their own cocaine. That is brilliant. I love it. That's awesome. All right. I just need to throw that out there. 

I remember she sent it to me. She goes, yeah, this stuff is like a hundred percent. Yeah, you wouldn't want to use it or something like that.

That's crazy. Unreal. Well welcome. I'm glad, glad you're here. So tell us about, um, you know, we, we think of ADHD as both, um, you know, going down the rabbit hole of hyper-focus and also, you know; Hey, I'm bored. Give me some dopamine.  Talk about inattentive ADHD?

Um, well,  I think the most important thing is that, uh, there's very minimal hyperactivity and impulsivity. So a lot of the times when people think about ADHD and especially ADHD in a boy, they think about a boy who's bouncing off the walls, who can't sit still in class, who's constantly fidgeting. They don't really pay attention to the boy that maybe, you know, kind of dreamy and forgetting to turn in his assignments and has a desk that’s stuffed with undone worksheets. So that's probably the biggest thing to know about inattentive ADHD. They do also have the, uh, like, you know, the inattention and the forgetfulness and the disorganization, which also occurs with, um, the commonly thought of combined type, which does have the hyperactivity and the impulsivity, um, you know, and these kids are also, uh, they're very smart. Um, inattention has nothing to do with intelligence. Um, they're very creative. They're outside the box thinkers. They're great at problem solving. Um, they love risk-taking and adventure. They're adrenaline junkies. 

Yeah, that totally makes sense. 

Yes, my son actually wanted to skydive when he graduated from high school.

Well, tell him to give me a call and we'll make that happen. 

Haha! I’m glad somebody will go with him because it's not me. 

So that's interesting. I remember there was a, there was a study. I wish I could remember the guy's name, but it was, there was a TV show, probably the learning channel or something 15, 20 years ago, when I first heard it, got to me and it was talking about someone who came up with this concept of type T. T positive and T negative, where T is this adrenaline junkie right? And empty, positive T is someone who gets their adrenaline in positive ways based on upbringing. You know, they be able to do public speaking, whatever. And T negative is those who find it in negative ways, you know, drug addiction, um, um, you know, crime, things like that. And so, so in ADHD are they are adrenaline junkies. 

Uh, they are adrenaline junkies, but it can also go both ways they can. Um, you know, like you mentioned before regulating dopamine, they can regulate dopamine by jumping out of an airplane, but they can also regulate dopamine by taking drugs or driving fast. Um, so it's kind of a, it's a double-edged sword. Like the, the risk taking is, um, you know, can have complete benefits and be fabulous and, you know, kids with ADHD are not afraid to do something and jump right in and they, they live life. Um, you know, cause they don't think about it. We'll just think about the concept and we'll deal with the consequences later. There's no thinking about them. Um, but you know, they, they do get into problems with drug abuse and crime and driving fast cause that's also stimulating domain. So, um, you know, it, it, it is kind of a plus and a minus of having an iteration of inattentive ADHD. 

But is there, I mean, is there, you know, I think that, that for a lot of us, you know, especially when we're not diagnosed, it's just okay: Sit down. Right? And we don't realize that the things were drawn to come from this concept of…? but for me, for instance, you know, I never got into, I didn't get into drugs at least not in high school or as kid, um, you know, the worst thing I ever did was smoke. Right. And this was the eighties where smoking was good for you. But, um, you know, it's the premise that it is there. Is there a nature versus nurture component in there? Where, if you know, you, you, you, you look for positive things, or look for things to give you that dopamine, that aren't necessarily negative things.(?) 

Um, yeah, I, I, I would probably agree with that. Um, my son, as, as well, uh, hasn't gotten into the drugs in high school, doesn't go to parties and, and drank, um, you know, he finds his stimulation in other ways. Um, you know, like, right. He has a Onewheel, I don't know if you know what a one wheel is. 

Yeah, of course. 

So, so he just got a one. 

Yeah. For those who don't know what's next generation Segway with just one wheel on it and and, and you..

He just got on that thing and just took off, you know, he, he went to space camp when he was in seventh grade and they put you in this thing that, um, you know, turns you all around 

A Multi-Access Trainer. I know exactly what it is. I had a very bad experience with…

And he was the first in line to do it, you know? So he's, he's seeking his im, adrenaline out in self-regulating and positive ways. He's not self-regulating with, with drugs and alcohol. Um, is that partially because of the environment that he's in? Uh, probably he's, you know, we have an open dialogue about things like that and, um, you know, so we're kind of steering him away from that type of behavior, but, you know, um, if he wasn't in that type of environment, maybe if my husband and I were constantly gone; working all the time and stuff like that, and he was left on his own, you know, he might try to, you know, get into some of that to help self-regulate. 

And I think that, that, you know, that's one of the interesting things is that you look at, you look at, um, uh, prisons, you know, it's a 65 to 70% of um, incarcerated males are undiagnosed ADHD. And so it does come down to that question, you know, I mean, for me, you know, my, my being undiagnosed by parents just assumed, okay, he's hyper, let them run around so I’d take my bike after school everyday, and I'd ride around for hours and hours and hours. Right. And then, you know, I don't know if they ever noticed when I came back, I was much calmer. but obviously it was absolutely helpful. Okay. Tell us about the book!

Ok! So, um, so the book is in two parts. The first part of the book is my son's story with his inattentive ADHD and the ADHD elephant that lives in his brain. Um, and the second part of the book My experiences raising an ADHD son and I kind of, um, put, you know, some of the science behind ADHD and how that relates to my son's behaviors. And, um, the reason I wrote the book is because there is virtually no information out there on inattentive ADHD and boy s. So, um, when my son was diagnosed, fortunately, he was diagnosed in third grade, which is young for inattentive ADHD. Most of the time, these kids are diagnosed after nine years old, sometimes not until their teens, because, you know, it's what I like to call the silent ADHD, if they're not disruptive and, you know, creating chaos so they're not really noticed. Um, and we were fortunate. He had a teacher in second grade who recognized his symptoms because her son at the time was in high school and he had inattentive ADHD, so we were fortunate that he had that teacher. Um, and at the time is when I was working at, um, Hopkins on the ADHD project. And I was talking to a psychiatrist who was consulting on our research project. And he actually said, there's nothing out there on boys with inattentive ADHD. And of course I went home and started to look and do some research and he was right. So, you know, the purpose is just kind of to increase awareness that this occurs in boys. Um, you know, get it out there. 

Uh, it does occur in girls as well? 

It does occur in girls and adults and it's, um, most often discussed in girls and more recently in adults. 

Okay. And, and obviously it's, it's being discussed more in adults because adults are taking their kids to get diagnosed and they say, huh, it sounds like me.

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. 

Interesting. What, um, talk for a second about, uh, about your, about your background. What are you, um, what specifically are you studying in terms of drug abuse and behavior and things like that?

Um, well, when my son was diagnosed, I stopped working to focus on him. So I haven't done research in quite awhile. Um, but the majority of my research was looking for therapeutics for cocaine abuse and finding cocaine taking behavior. Um, and it was preclinical studies. Um, and then when I worked at Johns Hopkins, Uh, the ADHD study was looking at long-term effects of ADHD medications, because at the time there were no studies on it; long-term effects of ADHD medication. So we looked at, um, physical features. Um, we looked at cognitive functioning. Um, so that was, uh, was the nature of that study. 

Interesting. That's fascinating stuff. Um, is the book available everywhere? 

Uh, the book is available on Amazon. Um, and it's available on the, uh, publishers website, um, MSI Press, LLC.

Cool. Did you self publish it? 

I did not. Okay, cool. Excellent. A lot of our, a lot of people are, um, I've talked to a handful of people who've written ADHD books down and they're all self published. Um, just like, yeah, whatever helps people whatever gets it out there. I'm a fan of..

No, yeah, I was very excited. It was picked up by a publisher. I didn't, I didn't have high hopes. And I thought that if it wells, it's never really published, hopefully it made me a better mother to my son because it helped me to understand his brain and to work with him instead of working against him, because he doesn't think the way I think.

Yep. Now it's it is, it is, you know, I think that's one of the biggest things that the parents need to understand. I mean, I remember growing up, my parents just didn't understand the difference, you know, why, and then they still treated me a hundred percent wonderfully, you know, and, and I had a great relationship with them and I still do, but they weren't the way I was and it was just a, it was a very, they just never got it. They never really got it. 

Yeah. Now I asked my son before I, um, but while I was writing the book, I said, tell me what it's like to have ADHD, because I don't know what that's like. And here I'm writing this book about ADHD and I don't really know what it's like to have ADHD. And so he describes it as an overstuffed garbage can where the lid doesn't stay on and everything's falling out on the floor. 

So that's how he describes his ADHD.

Yes! 

I couldn't come up with a description nearly that eloquent. 

I love it. I love it. All right. Well, very cool. Um, how can people find you? 

Um, well, I have, um, my author Facebook page is Kristin M Wilcox PhD, or they can find me at ADHDAdventures on Facebook. [same page] And you get get the book from Here and here on Amazon!

Awesome. Kristen, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today. It's been a lot of fun. We will definitely check out the book and we will link to it on your Amazon link and in the show notes. And we really appreciate you being here today. This was great. 

Great. Thanks Peter. I appreciate it. 

Guys you've been listening to Faster Than Normal. We love when people come to us and say, Hey, I would like to be on the podcast, or when they have a great idea for a great story. And they have a great story themselves. If you're that person who knows someone who has let us know, we're always trying to find new people. We have a plethora!! of new episodes that we've recorded that are in the can that are coming up. The next three months are already filled but if you have someone to let us know, we'll record you and get you on the podcast as well. And you can find me at Peter@shankman.com  The podcast is FasterThanNormal.com on iTunes on Stitcher, Google play anywhere you get your podcasts. Thank you so much for listening and remember that ADHD and all neurodiversity is a gift, not a curse. And we will see you next week with a brand new episode. Thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you soon!

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week!

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