Episode 96: ADHD Through the Lens of the Gospel with Kamden Hainsworth

confidence exhaustion hear him mental health mental health tips natural man May 08, 2023


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The month of May is a time I hold near to my heart because it is Mental Health Awareness Month. As a therapist I am acutely aware that many people face mental health challenges that impacts their lives every single day. Bringing awareness to them and what they are going through can bring understanding, self discovery, and compassion for each other and ourselves. Each week for the month of May I am diving into different mental health conditions and looking at them through a spiritual lens. To start this month off I sat down with Kamden Hainsworth and we discussed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, more commonly referred to as ADHD.

I invited Kamden to come and speak with me because, not only does she herself have ADHD, she is very knowledgeable on the disorder and her situation is relatable to so many women. She is a wife, a mom of four young children, and though she is an elementary school teacher by trade she is now an ADHD coach. She helps people with her same condition learn how to develop self-awareness, confidence, and agency in their life. She is also a member of the church and she shared with me the strategies she uses to feel closer to Christ even when ADHD can often get in the way.

Ask Heavenly Father

When Kamden first received her diagnosis she was at a very low point in her life. She was struggling in many areas of her life and she needed answers. As she began looking for solutions to help her child who was diagnosed with ADHD she realized it was helping her too. So she began looking into ADHD and what it really meant to live with it. She knew that because Heavenly Father had created her, He would tell her how to move forward. So she went to the temple and by the time she left she knew that She shared, 

"I just really felt led by the spirit in so many different ways to look further into ADHD and then it was officially diagnosed multiple times since then. So now I am an ADHD coach and I help other people that have gone through what I have to gain agency back in their life, and its a joy, I just love it."

If this isn't your first time here on my blog you know that I am huge proponent for asking God for guidance in ALL areas of lives. Even when it comes to your business and work life. Like Kamden knows, God created us. He knows how are brain works. He knows our strengths, our weaknesses, and our capacity for success regardless of whatever mental health diagnosis we may have. He knows us, He will guide us, He will help us be exactly who we need to be.

Create an Environment

One aspect of ADHD that is often misunderstood is that people think the condition means one can't focus. As a therapist I always describe it to people as an over focusing problem. Your brain has a difficult time transitioning out of situations that you are over focused on. This makes it hard to focus on things that are not interesting and so each time anything around you happens that is interesting your brain immediately hyper focuses on that instead. This can be a disadvantage for those who struggle.

"Its important to acknowledge that this is disability and that because of this disability we have a choice to just continue to struggle, or we have the choice to bit by bit start chipping away at it and make it into a strength."

Yes it is important to understand the ADHD is in fact a disability. It puts people at a disadvantage in many ways but it certainly doesn't mean they can't have success and turn it into a strength. They just need to right tools. When we look at this condition through a spiritual lens it makes it hard for someone with ADHD to do things that most members of the church really enjoy. Take scripture study for example. It can be extremely difficult for someone with ADHD to sit and study the scriptures, plan a lesson, or write a talk. This is where creating an environment comes in play.

For Kamden she has found a few things she can do to help her focus on what she needs to. First and foremost she recommends finding a space where you have your clearest thoughts. It could be while you walk outside or on your treadmill. Perhaps listening to music while you work on a lesson or talk. She herself uses ASMR or white noise. Having the right environment can help all the busy thoughts in your head focus on something else while you yourself can accomplish what you need to. Creating an environment that works best or you will give you the opportunity you need to connect with Christ.

Know Your Worth

A mental health diagnosis can carry a lot of negative perceptions regarding others and ourselves. Many people feel ashamed, less than, and not worthy of blessings or opportunities because of their mental health. It can be incredibly overwhelming but it does not mean in any way that one is of less value to those around them and cannot succeed in any way they want to. Kamden shared,

"That full body acceptance in this moment of this is going to be hard for me, and it means nothing about my worth."

Understanding that though certain aspects of your daily life are more difficult than they are for others has no impact on your worth will help you feel the Savior's love. Yes, having ADHD might make it harder for you to do all the things you want to do. Perhaps attending the temple feels overwhelming because you can't focus for that long because it is too quite and you sit for extended periods of time. Maybe when you leave the temple you feel frustrated that your family and friends are exclaiming how wonderful it was while you felt anxious the entire time. You might be someone that is unable to sit through a General Conference session while others sit and soak up every last word. Just because those moments are difficult for you does not mean you are of less worth. He is still talking to you, you just hear Him differently. Knowing that you are of great worth while using the right tools for you will bring you closer to Him than you ever thought possible.

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