Louisiana Capital Area CHADD

A volunteer support and advocacy group for those dealing with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

             Reasons To Attend a CHADD Meeting
                  
        (instead of looking up information on the internet)

1. Less distractions at a meeting; opportunity to immerse yourself in AD/HD info and support.  The internet is a great resource, but did you ever start looking at one topic and find yourself drifting to other items of interest?  Or reading your e-mail?  Or getting interrupted by those around you?  You can focus on the subject at hand at a CHADD meeting.

2. Meet other people who understand the impact of AD/HD on your life.  Websites and articles are great for information, but not always so great for support.  Sometimes we just need to be heard, or to relay our frustration without being judged.  The atmosphere of honesty at our meetings is very refreshing.

3. Some aspects of the AD/HD journey are predictable and we can help prepare you for the next stage.  Often our members attend a meeting for information on one topic, and find important insights that they didn’t even know they needed.

4. Looking for feedback on area specialists?  Although CHADD doesn’t recommend or endorse anyone, others at the support meeting may have personal opinions that could be helpful for you.

5. Don’t re-invent the wheel.  Learn how others are coping with the same issues that you are.  Hear what they’ve learned, what methods they tried, and what they wish they had known.

6. No time?  Life too hectic to get out?  We hear you.  If you’re a parent you are dealing with homework, if you are an ADHD adult there are many other challenges.  But if you learn some new strategies, you may just save time by handling things in a different way.

7. Did we mention that our meetings are free?  We do encourage membership and accept donations, and occasionally charge a fee for special events, but here is a low-cost way to hear from area specialists on pertinent topics AND go home feeling competent and empowered.  

8. You have nothing to lose by trying us out.  At worst, you lose two hours out of your life (what – you have never wasted a couple of hours playing computer Solitaire?)  And at best you will find some solutions to make your life more manageable.
How A Support Group Can Help


Lew Mills, PhD, LMFT Chapter coordinator and a psychotherapist for Adults with ADHD in San Francisco. Dr. Mills can be found at http://www.millsconsulting.com/.




Maybe you already have someone to talk to about medication. You may also have a therapist to help you learn new ways of coping with your or your child's ADHD. What would you want to use a support group for? How much can a person just talk about these things?


Of course a support group may have been your starting point to set up some of those resources above. You may have asked others for suggestions about doctors, school issues and so on. A support group can even be a source of information on more arcane issues, such as figuring out what's the latest time of day for taking a medication without ruining that night's sleep. Often a support group is the first place you begin to put these things in order. But there is more to what a support group can do than just sharing information.


Think about a support group in terms of these two different functions: information and support. For the first -- though a lot of information is available on the internet now -- none of it has the interactivity of asking peers and following up with questions to really develop a first hand sense of how things are in the real world. Even seasoned hands at ADHD will learn things about the practical matters of ADHD management. The second, and sometimes overlooked, function of a support group is the support you get from and give to others.


Many people do not know how important this support can be. Even when you are fairly swamped, you can tell yourself that you are getting along OK. And if you do not need some new information, you may not see a need for a support group. It may seem that just going and hearing about other people in the same situation as you doesn't solve any problems. Maybe it will just make you feel worse, you wonder.


But support goes a lot farther than just blowing of some steam about your frustrations. Support can have real effects on your well-being, not just on your "feeling better." Studies of people with very serious medical problems showed that being in a support group actually improved their health and chances of survival. That is no small matter. The mechanisms by which it helps are subtle but powerful.


One of the key elements of attending a support group is realizing that what you are going through is not so lonely and unique as it feels. Many others have been in these same places. Some aspects of what you are experiencing are universal. Breaking out of your isolation and connecting with others can be a huge relief.


Support also means that there are others who understand what you are going through and care about your success. Even though the people at a support group start out as strangers, they will be involved in your story just as you will be in theirs. A shared burden feels much lighter. Furthermore, when you can help others, it empowers you. You will have been having an experience of not being able to control a lot of things. Being able to give to others is an area where you do have a lot of control, and this can be an antidote to some of the frustration you may experience.


It could be that you have been burdening your friends with some of your struggles and eventually it starts to feel unequal or that they are losing interest. Also, they may not understand, even though they would like to. You can use the support group to lighten up the load on your other friendships and be in a more equal give-and-take with your support group peers.


Sometimes it is uncomfortable or intimidating talking about your troubles with a group of people you have only recently met. But the mutual support, not to mention the information sharing, can be an invaluable aide in starting to get your life back on track. Don't miss out on this opportunity!


See the meeting schedule for information on LACACHADD support group meetings. If a topic or speaker that you need is not listed, please contact us with your suggestions.