Adult ADHD or Unreleased Trauma?

Adult ADHD seems to be the newest thing plaguing every adult I know lately. I was contemplating getting myself tested as I had a host of symptoms that I thought could be linked to ADHD. But then I learned about trauma and the impacts it can have on your multidimensional health even when you think you’ve dealt with it…or sufficiently stuffed it wayyyy down, like I had.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect children and may persist into adulthood. It is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity which can impact multiple aspects of a person’s life.

What is Trauma?

Trauma is anything that has altered, impacted, or affected your life in some way. It may be a major, life-threatening event, but it can also be something “small” that you think you are just over-reacting about, or the compounding effect of multiple “small” events.

Finding a Healthy Release

I had always been fidgety and easily distracted, but I also used to be the most calm, confident person. However, after many years of not dealing with traumas from my childhood and compounding Little ‘t’ traumas throughout my career, I suddenly found myself with a host of symptoms, especially related to inattention and anxiety. When I heard some friends talking about being tested, I began to wonder ‘do I have ADHD too?’ It only took a quick Google search to realize it likely wasn’t ADHD. Yet things still weren’t quite right, I fell somewhere in between and wanted to make a change for the better.

Although I was hired with The Holistic RN & Co in January, it wasn’t until March when I stumbled across The Trauma Release Retreat hosted by Brianne, the founder of The Holistic RN & Co. Reading through the description of the event had my stomach turning so I ignored it for a while thinking that it wasn’t for me. I had been to a few therapy sessions with little help and never followed up. Over the next couple months, I kept thinking about the retreat and knew deep down that my childhood traumas needed to be faced if I ever wanted to become the calm, caring mom I dreamt of.

I attended the retreat in July and was blown away by the positive impact it had on me. It was a safe place where I could share as much or as little details of my past as I wanted. We were guided through many shifting tools to help release old traumas and work through the emotions that come with it. These tools are things I can use on my own, in between counselling sessions and in times of stress.

Although I have more inner work to do, I feel like a weight has been lifted! My energy and focus have improved tremendously which has had a positive ripple effect into my everyday life including my relationships and nutrition. All these improvements, though each are subtle on their own, have compounded to make me feel a very noticeable shift in my mental well-being.

I have heard of many people having a lot of success with pharmaceutical treatment for adult ADHD, so I definitely do not want to take anything away from that. I do, however, urge you to take into consideration the many factors that can affect your physical, mental, and emotional health prior to committing to a medication to cover up your symptoms.

Some very important factors to consider include, but are not limited to:

Nutrition: This is huge and should not be overlooked! Your brain requires fuel to function and not all calories are equal. The quality of the fuel you give your brain will directly impact the way it functions. Poor quality, highly-processed foods will result in decreased mental & emotional functioning. A varied diet of nutrient-dense, whole foods will have a huge positive impact on your brain health.

Sleep: This can be impacted by so many things and often takes the backseat in our busy lives. It is important to explore the root cause if you have sleep issues.

Relationships: Surrounding yourself with people who lift you up, setting boundaries, and having a sense of community are important for your mental well-being.

Physical Activity: There are millions of articles about the positive impacts of physical activity on mental health. This doesn’t have to be anything crazy, even a daily 10-minute brisk walk is enough to boost your mental and physical health.

All of these factors go hand in hand and each one can impact the other. Choose one area to begin working on and you will eventually see a shift throughout the rest.

If you are struggling with mental health concerns it is important to talk to your doctor or therapist. Many medical clinics have social workers available, free of charge, and this can be a great place to start if you don’t have benefits to cover the cost of therapy.

There are many resources available to you and you should never feel alone in your journey to healing. Having a multi-disciplinary treatment team is vital to your transformation and a Health Coach can be the perfect guide as you navigate the journey towards ultimate health and well-being

If you have experienced trauma in your life, big or small, old or new, and want to take a leap to improve every aspect of your wellbeing then I highly recommend the Trauma Release Retreat. The next Trauma Release Retreat weekend is September 23rd & 24th in Edmonton.

Much love,

Caira Haynes, RN

Registered Nurse

I am a Registered Nurse and Student Health Coach. I have spent all 12 years of my career at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Over the course of my career, I have had the opportunity to work on an acute care unit, an outpatient clinic, as well as hemodialysis for outpatients and in the pediatric ICU. I have seen the struggles that come with being a healthcare worker, a parent, and a patient – each of which are loaded with their own set of challenges and traumas.

I became a nurse because I wanted to help people. My experience in the hospital was a great starting place but my position lacked the ability to focus on the bio-individuality of each client and failed to address the multidimensional needs of each person.

I never expected I would leave my “home” at ACH, but if I have learned anything from the past few years, it is that our mental and emotional health are just as important as our physical health. Taking a big step outside of my comfort zone was just what I needed to pursue the fire I felt burning in my soul. I have always loved helping people and have a passion for educating others. I love to use education to help empower those around me. The Holistic RN & Co blends the worlds of health, education, and empowerment so perfectly.

Holistic nursing allows me to help the whole person by creating a balance between western & natural medicine and holistic health. We are all so unique and have so much value to add to the world around us. Taking this step into the world of holistic health is just what I envisioned when I decided to become a nurse.

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Hi, I’m Brianne

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