It’s been an emotional month here at The ADHD Podcast. With guests and topics all targeted at the emotional centers of our ADHD, you can be sure our fantastic community has come to us with feedback and questions. So, this week we embrace and extend the November theme of Emotion and ADHD and take on your thoughts about rejection sensitivity, emotional storms, sex, plus a bonus dose of seasonal affective disorder, to boot!
Pete Wright: Hello everybody. And welcome to Taking Control, the ADHD podcast on RashPixel.FM. I’m Pete Wright, and right over there is Nikki Kinzer.
Nikki Kinzer: Hello everyone. Hello Pete Wright.
Pete Wright: How are you, Nikki Kinzer? You had a big weekend.
Nikki Kinzer: I did. I had a great weekend. I got to see my favorite performer, Jason Mraz.
Pete Wright: Jason, J. Mraz in the house.
Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.
Pete Wright: He was great. He was everything you wanted him to be again. You’ve seen him 19 times now, right?
Nikki Kinzer: I know. I don’t even know how many times I’ve seen him. But yes, it was fantastic. It was him and Raining Jane. He’s great.
Pete Wright: It seems like he only comes to your neighborhood.
Nikki Kinzer: Well, he probably knows I’m a super fan. So if he didn’t come to Oregon, he knows that I would probably be stalking him.
Pete Wright: Where did you see him? Where does he play down here?
Nikki Kinzer: Well, he, let’s see, last week he was in Eugene, actually, at the Hult Center on Wednesday, October 30th. And then he was in Portland on Friday, November 1st. And that was in the Arlene Schnitzer.
Pete Wright: The Schnitzer, yeah.
Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, so that’s where I went because I went with friends from college.
Pete Wright: All right.
Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. It was a good time.
Pete Wright: That’s great.
Nikki Kinzer: It was a really good time.
Pete Wright: That’s great, great, great. What fun.
Nikki Kinzer: Yes, I had a great weekend.
Pete Wright: Awesome.
Nikki Kinzer: You did not though. You had a weekend of technology horror.
Pete Wright: You know, I’ll tell you what it was. It was ups and downs. My MacBook Pro, I have a MacBook Pro that is super powered. Right? It’s my primary work machine. I do all my video production on it. I do everything. And they decided, it’s a year old, and Apple decided we’re going to make the thinnest keyboard we can possibly make. And it turns out that making a thin keyboard makes it incredibly unreliable. And so it’s been into the shop twice. It is now I’m sending it away, so they can hopefully just give me a brand new keyboard that they have fixed these problems in. And so I’m waiting on that, and that has impact … I’m working on a horse and buggy of a computer, but the keyboard is amazing on this little seven year old MacBook Air.
Nikki Kinzer: Much better than what you were using.
Pete Wright: It is incredible. It’s just a tank. It’s what I want out of a keyboard that I pound on all day. But the upside is I did a photography, I did a shoot for a dear friend, for her daughter’s senior photos. And I was doing it as a gift. The time was as a gift. But she ended up giving me a gift card to the Apple Store. You know I’m an Apple fan. What are you going to say?
Nikki Kinzer: Oh, yes.
Pete Wright: But I couldn’t do anything responsible with this gift card. You can only buy Apple stuff with this gift card, so I bought these new AirPods Pro that just came out this weekend, the noise canceling and everything. They’re amazing. I used to love my little Etymotic, high, high end wired ear buds. And I had custom molds made for them, and they totally isolated sound. I mean, they’re studio monitors. Right? You put them up over your ear and stick them in there. I love those, and they died, and literally after five years, disintegrated. And so but these are the first time I have wireless earbuds that feel that good in my ears. They just feel great. The noise canceling is wonderful. I don’t know if they’re quite powerful enough to do an airplane trip. But so far, if I’m sitting in a coffee shop and I turn on that noise canceling, it’s like I’m not even there.
Nikki Kinzer: You’re good.
Pete Wright: Yeah. It’s beautiful, so I’m very happy with these.
Nikki Kinzer: That’s great.
Pete Wright: And they really stick in your ear. If you ever had trouble getting ear pods to stay in your ear, these stay in your ear because they have the rubber tips on them. So I am a man bereft because I don’t have 100% sunshiny, wonderful things to say. But at least I have that.
Nikki Kinzer: You have that. We’re going with it.
Pete Wright: Before I take my old computer in and put it on train tracks.
Nikki Kinzer: That’s right. All right. Let’s move on.
Pete Wright: Yeah.
Nikki Kinzer: Let’s get this show started.
Pete Wright: Oh, we got some stuff today. We’re doing a little bit of … We’ve got some things that’ve come up in your life and practice. And we have some things coming up. It’s a kind of a feedback episode from our month of emotion.
Nikki Kinzer: Emotions.
Pete Wright: And what was last month? October. Goodness, it’s November now.
Nikki Kinzer: Yes.
Pete Wright: Before we dig into that, head over to takecontroladhd.com. Get to know us a little bit better. You can listen to the show right there on the website, or subscribe to the mailing list, and we will send you an email each time a new episode is released. Connect with us on Twitter or Facebook at Take Control ADHD. You know, we had an amazing month of fantastic guests.
Nikki Kinzer: We did.
Pete Wright: And the guests come to this show because we continue to grow and because they know that our community is the best ADHD community. And part of the reason that it’s the best ADHD community is because it’s so supportive of what Nikki and I do here. If you have ever been touched by the guests, by the work that we’ve done, by the insights that these wonderful people bring to you and your life with ADHD, head over to patreon.com/theadhdpodcast, and consider joining, supporting the show. And you will be taking part in the future of the ADHD community that continues to grow. We certainly appreciate it. It allows us to do new things.
Pete Wright: It allows us to sustain the work that we do here and continue to prioritize, frankly, the ADHD podcast over other stuff that earns us a living and puts food on the table. So in addition to that support, you also get access to this fantastic Discord online community, to our members only Facebook page. And you get access to the weekly livestream of our podcast recording session. It’s just all this wonderful stuff. Patreon.com/theadhdpodcast to learn more. We hope you will consider supporting this community. All right, Nikki, reflections of the week. Where would you like to start?
Nikki Kinzer: It’s actually the last few weeks.
Pete Wright: Yeah.
Nikki Kinzer: Last few weeks, yeah. So you mentioned we had some great, great guests on the show. And we dug into some really important subjects, especially around emotions and ADHD. And so today I thought it’d be great for us to share some of the comments that we’ve received through Discord, share some of our own observations, answer a couple questions that people had about it. But before we get to that, I do want to talk about something that’s come up in a few of my sessions recently, with conversations with coaching clients about seasonal depression. So this is otherwise known as SAD. It’s Seasonal Affective Disorder. Are you familiar with what I’m talking about?
Pete Wright: Oh, yeah. And boy, we’re in the middle of it too.
Nikki Kinzer: Well, we’re at the starting of it.
Pete Wright: Weather changes, sky gets dark. Yeah. It’s like it happens overnight it feels like. The season changes, and I can already feel it, yeah.
Nikki Kinzer: Especially with the fall back, so now it’s going to get darker sooner. And yeah, usually it starts anywhere from October and goes into the winter months. What I want to do today really is just to give you guys, our listeners, some information about what it is, and what causes it. What are some of the symptoms? And also tell you a little bit about how ADHD is related to it. And if you feel like this is something that you have suffered in the past, or something that you feel could happen to you, then we definitely want you to reach out and get help from your doctor. A lot of people will call it the winter blues. Right? I’ve heard that before.
Nikki Kinzer: It is definitely a type of depression that is related to the changes in seasons. And like I said, it usually starts in the fall and continues into the winter months until we get some spring weather. And probably depending on where you are in the country, there’s probably more of this in Oregon than there is in Florida, is my guess. I don’t know. But it certainly does depend on where you are. Have you ever experienced this? Is that too personal of a question?
Pete Wright: Not too personal. Yeah, I absolutely have. And I think I do as a result of … It is a result of ADHD and anxiety stuff. It comes at the end of the path when I realize I don’t have the strength, or the wherewithal, or the wit, to pull myself out of the pain that comes from an anxiety, or an ADHD day, or a week, or a month. And it extends that experience much longer than it should. And I went to the doctor for it, and I have been treated for it. And honestly, the result for me was pretty simple. And it was rooted in a catastrophically, this is what they wrote on my chart, catastrophically low levels of vitamin D for living in Oregon.
Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, in Oregon.
Pete Wright: Right. Yeah, once I changed that, I was able to have a little bit more energetic resilience to some of the things that normally would get me down and keep me down during that long, gray season.
Nikki Kinzer: And that is definitely one of the treatments, is to increase your vitamin D. We’ll get to that in just a second. But some of the symptoms that people might feel is definitely, we all have kind of blue days. Right? So maybe it’s raining outside, and we’re not feeling really motivated. And we’re just going to kind of sit in all day. But what’s different here is that it’s feeling depressed most of the time, like every day. It’s not just one day. It’s like I’m feeling this way day after day. And one of the key components to really look for is if you’re not interested in doing the things that you usually like to do, and the things that you love to do. That’s a pretty big red flag to be checking in with yourself and seeing what’s going on.
Nikki Kinzer: Low energy, oversleeping or not sleeping enough, so it could actually go one way or the other. Appetite changes, weight gain are some of the symptoms that you might see. Some of the causes is the circadian rhythm is off because of the reduced level of sunlight. So for us, gosh, what time does it start getting dark? 4:30, 5:00 it feels like.
Pete Wright: Geez, yeah, early.
Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. So all of this is disrupting your body’s internal clock. So this really is something that’s going on inside you. Right? It’s a chemical thing that’s going on. You’re not getting as much of that serotonin that you need. Those levels drop in your brain, which affects your mood. We know that. Melatonin levels may be changed, which it has everything to do with sleep patterns and your mood. So with the serotonin, the melatonin, the circadian rhythm, there’s a lot of stuff going on here that could get you into this depression.
Pete Wright: I just checked. 6:56 sunrise and the morning, 4:54 PM sunset this afternoon. That’s early.
Nikki Kinzer: That is really early, really early.
Pete Wright: Especially for those of us living … I know. Once you get to where we are in a latitude, it feels really strange, Canada, Alaska, it’s just otherworldly. But for people who get used to that short summer stretch, where the sun sets at 9:30.
Nikki Kinzer: 9:00. Yeah. Right, at least. Yeah.
Pete Wright: This is an adjustment, and it’s important to acknowledge. That’s a lot of hours of the day that you don’t get recharged.
Nikki Kinzer: Right. Right. So some of the treatment that we already talked about is increasing your vitamin D. And that was actually the very first thing that my doctor said. I had just had a medication checkup with her a couple weeks ago, and she was one of the people that brought this up, and said, “Definitely be taking your vitamin D. Increase it if you need to, but be aware of this.” In the research I did, sometimes the first line of treatment is light therapy. And that is actually having a special light box on within the first hour of waking up each day. And she actually mentioned this after the vitamin D, and said, “You might want to think about having a light box when you’re having breakfast in the morning or something,” wherever it would make sense. I am not very familiar with these light boxes. Have you ever been around them or seen them?
Pete Wright: Yes. In fact, there is a company that makes full spectrum natural daylight lighting named Ott, O-T-T, the OttLite. And you can go to ottlite.com and get bulbs that are specially designed like full spectrum light, so that you are getting that right sort of daylight light balance. I have light bulbs that also can achieve the full spectrum light, so I can change scenes that actually give me that full spectrum daylight light balance. It’s important to have those and at least spend some time. My understanding is, I’m not a doctor, what I’ve been told by my doctor is I need to spend more time in full spectrum light, which is a substitute, if not the best substitute for being outside in the sun. And so these are good for that kind of SAD self care.
Nikki Kinzer: Absolutely. Absolutely. Of course, you can talk to your doctor about medication. You can do talk therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, CBT, has also been a treatment that has helped with people thinking about changing maybe some of their negative thoughts or behaviors, identifying what those are, and changing that mindset a little bit when it’s kind of gloomy outside. When you can, definitely get outside. Open up your blinds. That was something that I thought was really just an easy thing to do, but something that we could definitely forget to do if we’re kind of feeling low. So open up those blinds. Exercise regularly. This is so hard to do when you’re not motivated. And believe me, I am the first one to admit to that. It is so hard to do. But I’m going to encourage myself and everybody else out there that’s listening that even if we can just get a couple jumping jacks in, a little bit of a walk around the house, whatever it is to get us moving, it does make a difference, and it does make us feel better. So those are some of the things.
Pete Wright: Go for a block around the block, just circle the block once.
Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.
Pete Wright: Take you 10 minutes.
Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, that’s right.
Pete Wright: If that.
Nikki Kinzer: I’m not saying go to the gym because I know I’m not probably. So I should, and I probably maybe I will someday. But I’m being realistic here.
Pete Wright: Right.
Nikki Kinzer: Now this is one I thought was interesting, is I did try to research a little bit about the connection between SAD and ADHD. And there hasn’t been a lot of studies that go into great depth between the link. However, with they have studied, they do show that ADHD folks are more likely to experience SAD than the general population. Women are more prone to SAD in general. Women with ADHD are more vulnerable to SAD than men with ADHD. And it was discovered that those with inattentive ADHD were most prone to seasonal changes, which really makes a lot of sense when you think of the motivation piece of inattentive ADHD. And so nothing really earth shattering here, but it was kind of interesting to see that those were the things that they did find.
Pete Wright: The thing that gives me a little bit of relief around seasonal affective disorder is that so much of it is chemical. And even in your darkest kind of periods of seasonal affective disorder, there are things you can take and change and eat that can give you a leg up, at least again, speaking for myself, that’s been my experience when I’m feeling like I go on a week straight where I really struggle getting my feet on the floor out of bed. If I can just change some of my diet and get walking just a little bit, and dramatically increase my vitamin D, it doesn’t take long to find a ray of light. And so that’s really positive. Right?
Nikki Kinzer: Right. Absolutely.
Pete Wright: Keep an eye on that. There are things you can change in your life to help you get to the other side of that. And if all else fails, consider a sunnier climate.
Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.
Pete Wright: That’s legit.
Nikki Kinzer: I mean, it is.
Pete Wright: There are a lot of people who evacuate the Pacific Northwest because of exactly this.
Nikki Kinzer: During the months.
Pete Wright: Yeah, right.
Nikki Kinzer: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.
Pete Wright: Anyhow, so that’s our little update on SAD. Hopefully that helps some folks that are in your circles. And now we’ve got some feedback stuff.
Nikki Kinzer: We have some feedback. So I had a question actually come from a client, who loved the episode on RSD, the rejection sensitivity disorder episode with Dr. William Dotson. But one thing that she was not clear about was the specific strategies for pushing past the rejection sensitivity. And what were my suggestions? And one of the very first things that I responded back to her was letting her know that I don’t think it’s necessarily pushing past it. I got the impression that you’re still going to feel those things. It’s still going to feel heavy and strong. What I got out of the conversation is that it’s not so much pushing past it, but accepting that it is part of the ADHD. There’s nothing wrong with you. And what we’re looking for is to have a quicker recovery time. And so instead of having it be something that really bugs you for a week, maybe it’s something that you hang onto for a couple days, but you’re able to recover quicker. Is that what you got out of it?
Pete Wright: That’s absolutely one piece that I got out of it. The other is being aware of it and having a name for it also gives you the ability to, for lack of a better word, dodge it. Right? There is an experience where you feel like, okay, I’ve just done something, or put something out in the world, or I have a relationship with a friend that I know now, I can sort of start to see the future a little bit. I know that there is risk for me in the certain scenario. And I can dodge and weave and feel better about ignoring the signals that lead to my own interpretation of rejection, and kind of alleviate some of that sensitivity. So I think there’s a combined effect. Once you know it, once you are practiced in the language of rejection sensitivity, I think you have more of an experience to be able to both dodge it on the front end, and recover more quickly on the back end.
Nikki Kinzer: Well, and I like what you said. It actually gives it a name. And so something that I noticed in our Discord feed is that there was a lot of conversation around just, gosh, I really felt this RSTD today. This really was strong today. This was my experience. And so they were actually able to really understand it from that perspective, and not just feel bad or feel-
Pete Wright: Hollow, empty.
Nikki Kinzer: It was like they were able to, yeah, they were able to kind of put something to it. And then of course, everybody supports them because they understand. They get it. And that was the other piece that I really got out of Dr. Dotson’s conversation, is that you’re not alone. It’s important that we understand that this is not something that you are only going through. There’s nothing wrong with you.
Pete Wright: Right.
Nikki Kinzer: And it is certainly a part of ADHD. He was very clear that 99.9% of people with ADHD are going to have RSD. So we have to certainly recognize that. The other things as far as more practical strategies is that, I think he talked about, well, I know he did, he talked about medication, which is going to regulate those body chemicals. He talked about therapy, CBT. But also made it very clear that he doesn’t necessarily believe that the CBT is going to work without the medication. He talked about coaching.
Pete Wright: Yeah. He was a pretty strict advocate for that. That was important for him.
Nikki Kinzer: Yes, he is.
Pete Wright: I’m curious with how that has ultimately shaken out. I’m certainly not equipped to be an advocate one way or the other. But I do find it, his perspective and experience in the field certainly lends interesting weight to that.
Nikki Kinzer: Well, and I think that actually brings up a point that I would want to express to our listeners, is that this is his research. This is his opinion. This is what he has come to find. And we are not the experts of medication or doing the research he does. Right? So we’re looking at what he has to say. And that’s what we’re relaying to our listeners. So it’s a different … Well, it’s not even a different perspective. I mean, we’re not pro or nay.
Pete Wright: Yeah. We’re just sharing hints, just sharing hints. Right?
Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. We’re just talking about it. And one of the things that I thought was really interesting and I appreciate was the coaching. He really was an advocate for coaching and how important it is to teach yourself those skills, that the pills aren’t going to teach you the skills. So he wasn’t only just medication focused. He knows that there’s something that has to be next. What’s next? Is what he would say.
Pete Wright: Right.
Nikki Kinzer: And I thought that was really great. Really loved having him on the show. I would love to have him come back. I know he does a lot of stuff with sleep too, and so I’d love to have him come back and talk about that too, so thought it was great. Now the followup episode after Dr. Dotson was James Ochoa. And I was really excited about having him come on for many reasons because I love him as person. I think he’s fantastic. But he had such an interesting story to share. And that was his whole experience with the audio book. And I thought, “Gosh, what a great followup from the conversation we just had with Dr. Dotson about rejection sensitivity disorder.” I mean, this is the storm that James is going through. Did you feel like that was a good connection?
Pete Wright: Oh, I did. I thought that was great followup, especially because he is a practitioner, a therapist in the space of ADHD, also living with ADHD. Right? The sort of onion of layers that we can peel back with his experience and that he is vulnerable enough and willing to share, I think makes him a really special sort of exemplar in this area. And I know he gave me a lot to think about, especially related to that recovery piece that we were talking about earlier. When you get hit with this, and you are gripping the counter because you just don’t know what’s next, what is the first step that you’re going to take to allow yourself to let go of the counter and move forward and stop the world from shaking? That’s what I got out of that.
Pete Wright: But it’s also interesting. As followup, here’s a guy, I don’t know James’ history with medication and self medicating. I don’t know if he’s on any medication or not. But here he is, specifically in an RSD scenario, storm, and he is able to talk to us about the accommodations and skills that he puts into place to move forward, and move forward admittedly pretty quickly. He recovered and had a fix to his audiobook out in no time.
Nikki Kinzer: Well, and that was definitely part of the recovery, which I thought was so fascinating, was the taking action.
Pete Wright: Yeah. Taking control, to recover control of the scenario.
Nikki Kinzer: Yes, having that small piece of action that’s going to make you feel like you’re getting out of it, which is really helpful. So then let’s see. Who did we have after that? Then it was Dr. Ari Tuckman. Correct?
Pete Wright: Tuckman. Yes. That’s right. That’s right.
Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, yeah. And he actually has an article that he wrote with Dr. Dotson that we didn’t really talk about this. But they actually co-wrote an article about rejection sensitivity disorder.
Pete Wright: That’s right.
Nikki Kinzer: And had some different ways of dealing with it, some different strategies. And so we didn’t connect those two, but they are connected, so I want to make sure people understand that. And when we did the emotion theme, it’s interesting because we try to kind of have a theme in the month. Now sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. November is going to be really kind of cuckoo, just to be honest with you guys. There isn’t really a huge theme going on in November. We do our best.
Pete Wright: We’ll see if one emerges by the time December comes around. Yeah. It’ll be a hindsight theme. Yeah.
Nikki Kinzer: Hopefully there will be. Yeah. But all of these were just really interesting interviews because they do have to do so much with just the emotional piece as humans. Right?
Pete Wright: Right.
Nikki Kinzer: Now we’re talking to Dr. Ari Tuckman about our relationships and the sex in our relationship and what makes those couples happy, and really important things that I know all of our listeners really care a lot about because it is so much to do with everything in their life. Now again, Dr. Ari Tuckman definitely has the research. He’s done the work, the surveys, everything that he’s done to put this book together. And not everybody’s going to necessarily agree with everything that he says, and that’s okay. Again, we want different people to come in and talk about their research, talk about their books, and give that information out to you. If you then need to take that to your own doctor or therapist, then we hope that you do, and kind of figure out what is best for you.
Pete Wright: Yeah. Well, and this is one of those that’s a terrific resource based on a reasonably significant sample size of ADHD respondents. And that’s what I think his book is all about. It’s sharing an experience and coming as close to something that is a shared experience with those living with ADHD in sexual relationships as he can come to, based on his experience as both a therapist and a sex therapist. Right?
Nikki Kinzer: Right. Right.
Pete Wright: I mean, that’s what he does is talk to people about sex, sex addiction, porn and ADHD and their relationship to it.
Nikki Kinzer: Absolutely.
Pete Wright: And so I think his perspective is fascinating and illuminating.
Nikki Kinzer: I do too.
Pete Wright: Hopefully you all agree.
Nikki Kinzer: I hope so too because I think it’s so helpful to see that it’s not just what happens in the bedroom, but it’s what’s happening outside of the bedroom. And that has so much to do with how close you are in your relationship. How are you taking care of your relationship? And that’s a lot of what I got out of his conversation, that positive attending, how to fight well, taking care of each other, taking care of yourself. All of those things are just so important, and so really appreciated him coming on the show and talking about all that.
Pete Wright: I’ve really been struggling with one of the comments we got in the community. A community member shared an experience about living and having a sexual relationship with a partner for many years when both partners have ADHD. And I’ve really been sort of struggling with that, kind of one of those back of mind comments, because that’s not something that Dr. Tuckman talks about. And in fact, he’s quite explicit about the fact that his research is only focusing on one ADHD member of the couple. And I think that limitation is one that can be a little bit frustrating, especially in our member who was commenting says there’s so many other issues that come into play when both partners are living with ADHD. And how do you build a thriving sort of relationship, a physical relationship, that also enhances the emotional relationship and vice versa when you’re having executive functioning and attentive disorder issues?
Pete Wright: And I feel like that is an area where it would be worth continuing the discussion over the next year. Have Dr. Tuckman back to talk about some of those things more explicitly because I feel like our community is likely one that has same ADHD partners. Right?
Nikki Kinzer: Right. It’s pretty common. Yeah. Yeah.
Pete Wright: I bet it’s pretty common. And I appreciate those who are wiling to continue to share about that experience. It’s not one that I have experience with. And I think it’s important.
Nikki Kinzer: All right. So let’s see. Pete, I’m going to have you take on this next question.
Pete Wright: All right. When one aspect of your life goes into a tough time, how do you stop that cascading into every part of your life? Not to be dramatic, but for my own example, my relationship life has been rough lately, which in turn has affected my health and my work. Separating each and minimizing the spread of the storm is tough. I try to think through it logically, but we all know how that works. Yeah, we get it. Yeah. What do you think about this one?
Nikki Kinzer: It’s so true. Oh, my gosh. I’m just thinking about my own life, my own little bubble. When one thing goes off, it certainly affects everything else. As much as I would love to try to compartmentalize work and home and relationship with husband, verse relationship with kids, it’s just no. It all is sort of a much of togetherness.
Pete Wright: Yeah. I think so. For me, and speaking specifically to when the relationship gets challenged, and for me that looks like when we both get so busy that there is just no time for intimacy, or affection, or we hit the pillow and we’re both so exhausted that we just fall straight to sleep, in spite of our best intents. Those things, when that suffers for me, everything starts to fall apart because it goes back to sort of love languages. We’ve talked about love languages before I think on the show. Right? And physicality is one sort of love language. And for me, that’s very important. I’m a big hugger. And I’m a physical guy. And so when we just get too busy for that level of expression, for intimacy in our relationship, when our sex life is just put on kind of a back burner, I get depressed.
Pete Wright: And I can’t even put that to … I can’t make a reason for that. I can’t describe it when I’m in the middle of it. But generally, my life turns around on a dime when we figure out a routine that works better. And that’s something that took a long time to recognize that it was, in fact, leaking into the rest of my life. And so I totally resonate.
Nikki Kinzer: Actually, I resonate with it too. And I think you bring up a really good point, that if there’s a way that this listener could figure out. What’s that first step to work on that relationship and get out of that rough zone? And at least get it to be a little bit better, where they’re connecting and feeling close to each other, I would just as you said, it can change in a dime, so it wouldn’t then affect his health and work. If it’s a domino effect, it probably would.
Pete Wright: That’s certainly my experience. And I think there’s something really … The challenge that we had, and this is a number of years ago when we started trying to figure this stuff out, was that I had to essentially be much more clear about my requests, making clear requests that say, “In order for me to live a complete and healthy kind of emotional life in and out of the marriage, I need this. I need to … ” It’s not like asking permission to have more sex, but it’s asking for acknowledgement that a healthy sex life may be more important to me because of just the way I’m wired than it is to her, even though it is to her, clearly. But she just might not see that connection to a healthy sex life to a healthy work life that I do, just because of that’s my love language. And so once we had that conversation, and it was easier to say, “Okay. This is where I am right now. I’m pretty depressed. We need to take a little time. And I need you.”
Nikki Kinzer: We need to go on vacation.
Pete Wright: I need you to make some time.
Nikki Kinzer: By ourselves.
Pete Wright: Vacation, Nikki, we need to just … We put it on the calendar. And on the calendar, I’m actually not joking. You ever see the Flight of the Conchords video? A song that they did in their TV show, old HBO show. Flight of the Conchords was brilliant. You can find it on YouTube. It’s called Business Time. It’s a music video.
Nikki Kinzer: Oh, yes.
Pete Wright: (singing). And it’s all about how his wife puts on sweats, and he knows that business time is over. (singing). It’s just the best song ever. And we laughed about that for a year. And then we realized, oh my God, we’re Business Time. And so we actually started putting Business Time on our calendar and sending invites to each other.
Nikki Kinzer: How cute.
Pete Wright: A, it’s adorable. And B, it works. That’s a thing that at least helps me express in my love language. And it gives me energy for other things.
Nikki Kinzer: That’s right. That’s right. Yeah. That’s great.
Pete Wright: Anyway, enough about me.
Nikki Kinzer: A little personal information about Pete Wright.
Pete Wright: (singing).
Nikki Kinzer: This is what Dr. Tuckman does. He opens up these doors for us to talk about this stuff.
Pete Wright: That’s what he wants.
Nikki Kinzer: That’s right. That’s right.
Pete Wright: That’s right.
Nikki Kinzer: That’s great. Well, now we had another question that came through. And it was sort of a situation. And it certainly goes back to these emotional pieces of ADHD. Unable to let arguments go was sort of title of it. So I’m going to try to just summarize what this person was saying. The issue is basically having the inability to let simple arguments go. So sometimes they can come off a little bit harsh or brash. They want to speak their mind, and so they’re going to be much more likely to tell someone to stop being an idiot, stop being stupid, whatever. And then they get in trouble for it again and again because obviously, most people probably don’t want to be called stupid or an idiot.
Nikki Kinzer: And this problem, he’s asking: Is this a problem with most of us with ADHD? Or is this more specific to him? Perhaps offer some tips and strategies toward overcoming or at least managing this kind of behavior when it comes to the ADHD brain. So the first thing that kind of came to my mind when we’re looking at ADHD is the impulsiveness. The impulsive behavior that’s happening here, and that’s a pretty clear sign to me. You may have heard people say that they talk without a filter. I’m not talking about ADHD specifically, but you may have a friend in your friend group that says, “Oh, yeah. He’ll just say whatever he wants to say. He has no filter.”
Nikki Kinzer: And that’s just thinking … Or speaking before you’re really thinking about how this might actually come across. The other thing that I’m seeing here on an ADHD level is that RSD is coming into play because if you’re feeling criticized, or you’re feeling like that person who you think is being an idiot, thinks you’re an idiot, then you’re going to be more likely to react. So here we’ve got this impulsive behavior. We have RSD coming into play. I think that as far as: Is this common with ADHD? I mean, I think the spectrum of ADHD is so big that you’re going to find people that, yes, they relate to this. And then you’re going to find people that maybe don’t say anything at all because they want to be that people pleaser, and they don’t want that confrontation. So they end up just bottling up. So I think it’s a wide spectrum to kind of say. You can’t just really say yes or no when it comes to that. What are your thoughts?
Pete Wright: It’s interesting. I just had a conversation with somebody living with ADHD. And they had forgotten to take their medication on a particular day, and they went into work and sat down, and were working on a project team meeting. And the person sitting next to them also lives with ADHD. And passed over some work to this young woman, and she said, “I’m sitting there thinking I just … ” His question to me was: What do you think of this thing? X, Y, Z, whatever it is, this widget, logo, whatever it was. And she said, “Why?” And immediately she says, “In my head I thought, oh my God. Why did I just say that?” The tone was off. The word was not appropriate. What am I possibly thinking letting that come out of my mouth in such an impulsive way? Oh my God. I forgot to take my medication.
Pete Wright: And then he says, “Well, I just wanted to know what you thought of this work I just did.” And she said, “Oh, well, why do you want to know from me?” And then she said, “Oh my God. I’m cringing at myself. How did those words just come out of my mouth? I’m dissociated from my body now.”
Nikki Kinzer: Who is this person?
Pete Wright: Who is this person? And then I got all squeamish in my skin. I was itchy. I felt super uncomfortable. I had to stand up. And because this other person lives with ADHD, he said, “Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way right now. I totally get it. I relate. You’re okay. Let’s take a beat.”
Nikki Kinzer: Oh, I love that. That’s so nice.
Pete Wright: I value your opinion and I would like to hear what you have to say about this work. And that’s all, there is nothing else embedded in this.
Nikki Kinzer: Oh, that’s fantastic.
Pete Wright: It is. It’s really fantastic.
Nikki Kinzer: That’s a really nice story.
Pete Wright: But that’s kind of the example. It doesn’t have to be you calling somebody an idiot to be an example of impulsivity getting the better of you. Right? It’s anything that you have an awareness that the words that are coming out of your mouth are not words that you would like to take credit for. You don’t want your reputation built on those words. And so I feel like that’s a legit thing. And it’s a legit muscle to have to really build and work on.
Nikki Kinzer: Well, and awareness, I’m glad that you bring that up because I think that’s a big piece of this, is that if this is an issue where you feel like this is happening in your life a lot, and you’re getting into arguments a lot, and you’re maybe regretting what you’re saying to people, or maybe you don’t regret it. But you know that this is just not maybe the healthiest way to have relationships with people. And how are they responding to you? Are they a little bit more hesitant to be around you or whatever? Those are the things that you have to kind of pay attention to and start seeing.
Nikki Kinzer: How’s the behavior affecting relationships? Are you losing relationships over it? Because I want to be honest, I see some of these people that they do Facebook … Not Facebook, but any social media especially, people it’s so easy to just poke, poke, poke, poke. And the arguments and the conversations go way too long. And it’s annoying. I just don’t even engage in it. I’ll just get out of it. But that’s what you have to really think about is your closest relationships and how that’s being affected.
Pete Wright: Well, and into practice, you can practice it actually on social media. Right?
Nikki Kinzer: Sure.
Pete Wright: You can be the person to let things go.
Nikki Kinzer: Yeah. Can you walk away? Yeah.
Pete Wright: You can be the person to make your point and then move along, and see how that feels. That’s a great practice ground to keep in your mind. Am I talking to people on the internet the same way I would talk to a coworker, or my brother, or sister, or my mom, or dad?
Nikki Kinzer: If they were in front of me.
Pete Wright: If they were standing right there, yeah, do that.
Nikki Kinzer: Well, and something that just actually when you were saying that, what is triggering you? If there are certain things that really trigger you, in a lot of people it’s politics, sometimes it’s religion, those really hot topics, then you may want to think about avoiding some of those conversations, or getting out of them in a respectful way before you do say anything that you regret.
Pete Wright: Yeah. Perfect.
Nikki Kinzer: So anyway, that’s another thing to kind of think about. All right.
Pete Wright: One more.
Nikki Kinzer: Let’s see. Pete, do we have anything else?
Pete Wright: I think we have one more.
Nikki Kinzer: What else do we have here? Do we?
Pete Wright: Yes. All right. Here we go.
Nikki Kinzer: All right.
Pete Wright: I feel they have taken … They, this is a piece of a longer question for feedback. I feel they’ve taken, they being our guests, have taken very different approaches to describe what in many ways is related to the same core issue, the emotional impact from living with ADHD, but did so a bit in isolation without recognizing or discussing the findings of the others. Perhaps it is unfair to expect them all to be working off some unifying theory of everything ADHD, but I believe we should look at concepts such as RSD and EDS as related.
Nikki Kinzer: And EDS is the emotional-
Pete Wright: Distress syndrome.
Nikki Kinzer: Distress syndrome, which is what James Ochoa talks about, yes.
Pete Wright: Which is good. I mean, well, what’s your perspective on this comment?
Nikki Kinzer: Well, I think that when … And I did respond back to the listener. I think that it’s true. I mean, they do all have very different approaches. I guess what I don’t agree with, and it’s not even that I don’t agree with it. I guess I don’t see it the same way. The same core issue, to me, there is not the same core issue. When I’m looking at the emotional impact from living with ADHD, I see so many different layers of that, and so many different ways that can connect to something else. And so that’s the only thing that I would say is that they all did come in with what we asked them to come and talk about. And they are coming from different viewpoints because they’re talking about different pieces of that emotional impact. It’s not just one big bowl of a topic that everybody can talk in the same way. I don’t know. Am I being clear when I’m saying that?
Pete Wright: Yeah. No, I think so too. I think this is one of those that’s a very complex issue. And I think it is hard on a non serialized podcast with hundreds of episodes to cover a unifying theory of ADHD. That doesn’t exist in my experience.
Nikki Kinzer: Is there one?
Pete Wright: I’ve never seen it.
Nikki Kinzer: Is there a unifying-
Pete Wright: I don’t think so.
Nikki Kinzer: That’s what I’m getting at. I don’t think there is.
Pete Wright: And I don’t think there is on anything, depression, anxiety disorders. It is such a unique. It’s sort of a bespoke condition that it’s different for everybody. And I think the listener actually posted a funny graphic of an elephant and a whole bunch of doctors, who are all looking at different pieces of the elephant very closely, like this is a trunk, and this is a tail. And none of them are saying, “This is an elephant.” I actually think that’s apropos of what we’re trying to do, which is, let’s look at the trunk. And let’s look at the tail, and then based on your experience as a listener living with ADHD, if those resources give you the ability to shine a bigger light on the elephant that is your ADHD, so much the better. Then we have accomplished our goal, our objective for bringing you more people to look at and more strategies to approach your life with ADHD. So we had a great discussion, I think, online.
Nikki Kinzer: We did.
Pete Wright: And I really appreciate the contribution because it is important. I’ve thought about, there are podcasts that we could do. We could change the entire nature of the show. And instead of doing every week a topic, instead we say, “Okay. We’re going to do 12 episodes and only focus on RSD. That’s going to be season two. The first season is 500 episodes. The second season is 12. And all we do is RSD with everybody who talks about RSD and focus only on RSD.” But in a sense, we’re also, we’re doing the same thing. We’re just looking at the trunk. And so I don’t know how we could ever accomplish a unifying theory, the singularity of the ADHD theory, but we’re just going to keep plugging away doing our very best to help.
Nikki Kinzer: Well, and one of the things I did definitely take out of it is that we can certainly make sure we’re making the connections like we’re doing with this show. These are the connections that we saw with these guests and what the topics were that they were talking about. And that was something that I got out of it too was definitely, maybe we need to talk a little bit more about what those connections are when we are doing a theme type of series of shows. Again, I have to say, November and December are going to be a little cuckoo, so do not be expecting that from us.
Nikki Kinzer: There’s just a lot of kind of random things we’re throwing in there at the end of the year. But they’re all really good things. I think that’s what, Pete, you’re saying is we’re trying to do our best. We’re trying to give our listeners different perspectives other than just from me and you. And that is what’s so nice about having these guests, is they are experts and they research this day in and day out. They’ve been in the field for such a long time. They’ve seen so many things. And it is such an honor to have them come on our show and give their little bits of wisdom in a 25, 30 minutes period of time, so I appreciate all of them. So one last thing that I want to bring up before we wrap up is that Dani Donovan was one of our last guests in October, maybe beginning of November.
Pete Wright: She’s wonderful.
Nikki Kinzer: Yes. And she was a wonderful guest, and absolutely brilliant in her illustrations of how to explain and think of ADHD. And it was so great to hear her talk about her story, and what an inspiration she is. There were little nuggets in that conversation that just were great. The perfectionism, when she was talking about really working on not being that perfectionist, and just so many wonderful things. I loved having her on here. And we didn’t get a lot of feedback because her show just went live not even a week ago. Right?
Pete Wright: Right. As we record this feedback show, her show is not live now. It’ll go live tomorrow as we record this, so we have no feedback from Dani Donovan yet.
Nikki Kinzer: So maybe we will in November.
Pete Wright: Maybe we will in November.
Nikki Kinzer: When we have wacky episodes, yeah.
Pete Wright: But great thanks to Dani because she is, she’s terrific, and I love her approach, the sort of emotional response to living creatively. And how does that relate to the ADHD experience? And letting go creative works into the world, I thought it was just really … It’s really special. And she’s sort of becoming an unlikely hero, a voice of ADHD, and very, very quickly. And so what does that sort of overnight responsibility look like? And I think she’s really terrific. So it’s been a great month. Thank you to everybody who has taken part to send feedback, to just straight up subscribe and listen to the show. We appreciate every single one of you for your time and your attention. And on behalf of Nikki Kinzer, I’m Pete Wright. We’ll catch you crazy November right here on Taking Control, the ADHD Podcast.
Nikki Kinzer: Crazy November.