FOUR WOMEN’S PERCEPTIONS OF LIVING A LIFETIME WITH ADHD
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This project is written as a reflection of how ‘we’ think, ‘we’ being adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Although the project follows conventional methodology in terms of data collection and research, the presentation of my data does not follow conventional style. This style is in tribute to my main audience, ADHDers themselves and the people who know them well, as ADHDers are far from conventional. ADHD is a genuine disorder, both physiologically and psychologically, that is not biased towards age, gender, or race. The aims of the project were to create an interesting resource that: addresses the reality of female ADHD, provides an empathetic point of view for future students struggling with similar issues, and gives a voice to my participants. Through this project, you are introduced to four adult women living with and learning about ADHD. Candidates participated in an individual retrospective 1-hour interview and a follow-up focus group session. Interview data were then compiled into a series of biographical and autoethnographical stories: their stories and ‘our’ story. In writing these stories, I gained an understanding into the common experience. I found that the four women share common struggles and common landmarks along the path of understanding their own ADHD and finding success with it. Four common themes emerge throughout their stories that lead to a metamorphosis. Starting with diagnosis, they are able to identify strengths and integrate them into their passions. Through this process, a personal definition of success emerges. The integration of self-understanding, innate strengths, and personal passions brings the women onto the road of personally-defined success, the course of which is guided by interests and abilities. Although I am not yet ready to create my own version of success, I now finally have insight as to where to find it as the meaning of success is my definition to make.