I’m writing this introduction at 1am, about 6 hours before this episode goes live. I’m doing so despite the fact I could have written and recorded this introduction more conveniently at almost any time in the last five days. Instead, I left it to the very last minute, and literally the most inconvenient and unpleasant time to write and record.
The reason why I’d do such a counterintuitive and counterproductive thing is, I learned about three years ago, because I have ADHD, like some three to five percent of adults, and have done my whole life. It’s a neurodevelopmental disorder – which, among many other things, means it’s something physically built into my brain that makes me bad at doing the things I’d ideally like to do at the times I’d ideally like to do them. But I’m an expert at delving into unexpected by-ways, rabbit-holes and tangents. For me, it’s both a blessing and a curse. It’s both what has caused me to do the things I’m most proud of in my life, and the thing which has lain behind the greatest unhappiness. For others, it can be anything from a daily irritation to a debilitating lifelong condition.
ADHD is the subject of today’s episode.
Heidi Bernhardt, is a psychiatric nurse by training, mother of three grown sons with ADHD and the founder of the Centre for ADHD Awareness Canada (CADDAC), a Canadian charity dedicated to awareness, education, and advocacy for ADHD. Heidi was the Executive Director of the Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance (CADDRA), a national not-for-profit organization of the leading clinicians and researchers in ADHD in Canada, from 2006 to 2012. During these years she built CADDAC in her volunteer life, nationally incorporating CADDAC as a not-for-profit in 2006 and becoming the Executive Director and President from 2012 to 2019. Heidi currently focuses on the development of ADHD education and advocacy material and systemic advocacy while holding the role of Director of Education and Advocacy for CADDAC. She also continues to teach and present on ADHD for CADDAC.