EP 15: ADHD, Perfectionism and Anxiety: A Mother’s Story with Patricia Sung

The connection between motherhood and ADHD is often made through cases where children are diagnosed with the condition. But what about situations where a mother is struggling with some level of ADHD? Our guest today, Patricia Sung, has her own podcast that deals with that exact question! Motherhood in ADHD is her exploration of her journey, grappling with the difficulties of her ADHD and the beauty and glory of raising children. Patricia shares her story of a late diagnosis going into her college years and how difficult it was to manage initially. Almost twenty years later she has a much larger set of tools and strategies for managing but she tells us how becoming a mother threw another spanner in the works and posed a whole new set of challenges for her. She talks about how it is possible to flourish with ADHD and how your tools and planning can become your lighthouse in a stormy sea. We discuss the difficulty of separating ADHD from personality traits and how perfectionism is strongly linked to her awareness of her condition. Patricia wants to help mothers be the best they can be, even with the issues that stem from ADHD. For her it is all about reassurance and removing self-doubt, creating a sense of community and solace. The conversation also covers the shame spiral that can occur and ways that she has found to exit the cycle. For a beautiful, hopeful and honest discussion on something not often spoken about enough, tune in with us today.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Some background on Patricia and her podcast about mothers with ADHD.
  • Patricia’s later diagnosis with ADHD and what happened when she arrived at college.
  • Common reactions to ADHD diagnoses and the spectrum of feelings that arise.
  • Challenges to mothers with ADHD; Patricia’s experiences since having kids
  • The importance of planning and what happens when something unforeseen arises.
  • Connections between perfectionism and ADHD and the development of over-carefulness. 
  • The differences between each person’s kind of ADHD; no one size fits all system for coping.
  • Getting help and the role of a counselor in managing the challenges of ADHD.
  • Patricia’s experience of ‘brain-spotting’ and accessing uncomfortable feelings.
  • Untangling the messy ball of feelings and thoughts around perfectionism and ADHD.
  • Sitting with feelings instead of running away and diverting them.
  • Honesty and presence with children while taking the time that is needed to deal. 
  • Feelings of guilt and shame around motherhood and hopelessness in the face of struggle.    
  • Including your children in your life; keeping boundaries but showing up authentically.
  • The recipe for great teams, culture, and communication; less judgment for voicing issues.
  • Patricia’s message of hope, community and letting the light shine in safely.

Tweetables:

“When you have the right support with ADHD, you can flourish.” — Patricia Sung

[0:09:11]

“Everyone’s ADHD is different.” — Patricia Sung [0:21:25]

“You are not broken. You are not alone.” – Patricia Sung [1:09:18]

“We are supposed to feel feelings, we are humans. It’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to be frustrated. It’s okay to be sad when something terrible happens.” — Patricia Sung [0:45:13]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Mosaics of Mercy

Patricia Sung

Motherhood in ADHD

Brené Brown

Harry Potter

Burnout

C.S. Lewis

The Power of Habit

Smarter, Faster, Better

Charles Duhigg

HOW TO LISTEN

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