Infano brings to you 10 Days Of Mental Health in collaboration with The Logical Indian in lieu of World Mental Health Day on October 10. Let’s talk about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD
“Most individuals are born into families; I was adopted into the heart of the family that gave me a name. My parents and paternal grandparents, along with the entire socially culturally diverse global family, accepted my being in this unconditional source of positive regard and universal love. My struggle was first surviving being born and then growing into the bosom of this omnipresent love — the dark shadow of not being accepted and emotionally abused by my maternal family. And then actually began my conflict of the mind-body and spirit,” says Aarti Ahuja.
“My struggle was first surviving being born and then growing into the bosom of this omnipresent love — the dark shadow of not being accepted and emotionally abused by my maternal family. And then actually began my conflict of the mind-body and spirit,” says Aarti. She was a highly sensitive child and grew up with adults primarily who encouraged her different learning and supported her questioning spirit.
“As a person being ridiculed for my weight and academic under-achievement by my mother’s side of the family made me a reluctant participant in the education process. Only because I was blessed with grandparents and a far-sighted father who understood my other abilities, they encouraged my understanding of the world evolving through my own introspection and adding intuitive meaning that I could take on the diagnosis of being labeled with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Dyslexia in adolescence.
“Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is the commonest psychiatric diagnosis made in children”, says psychiatrist Dr Anirudh Kala. “The two important components of ADHD are psychological inattentiveness and motor hyperactivity. ADHD is mostly diagnosed between 3-5 years of age. Most children mature out of it after adolescence. But some do carry it into adulthood”.
The three types of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are
a) predominantly hyperactive, fidgety type,
b) predominantly inattentive, dreamy type and
c) a combination of both.
Hyperactivity leads to a disturbance at school and at home; and inattentiveness to not being able to concentrate and learn.
Aarti had a great memory but found it difficult to sit in a space and learn in the conventional ambiance of a school. She was dyslexic and had issues with language acquisition skills and learning complex Maths. Though she was doing well in other subjects, learning Hindi, Sanskrit or a foreign language was very challenging for her because she had difficulty with the speed of information processing, phonetics, and grammar.
“Fifteen years back, ADHD was mostly a misdiagnosis for over-sensitive and over-intelligent children who found it difficult to give prolonged attention to one thing at a time”, says Aarti.
“ADHD is now believed to be a neurodevelopmental illness with a delayed maturity of only certain functions. Environmental factors like a chaotic childhood with a lot of people coming and going have also been cited as a factor”, explains Dr. Anirudh.
After being subjected to bullying by teachers at her college, a struggling body image issue became a binge eating episodic depressive and self-harming behavior — that was an outcome of her psychology teachers degrading her scholastic ability and labeling her privilege as her fault, and mentally torturing her for being who she had evolved into despite the challenges.
By experiencing grief and mental trauma, Aarti tapped into her creativity and started expressing it through art and poetry. The gender identity of a fluid identity yet feminine driven gave Aarti a chance to take the decision to change her higher education institute to a private college. Her body went through a process of physical change with the help of weight loss surgery. She created her counseling and healing space Tatava: The Lifestyle Studio and Tatava Connect LLP a mental health awareness & application-based platform providing services across that mental domain.
As education ended, learning and seeking never stopped opportunities that came to her because society appreciated the thinner body and interacted with her worth of being few kilos lighter as the actual self. As again, the duality of being blessed with deeply supportive individuals who still despite the present COVID challenges stand by her and society stood shoulder to shoulder. People viewed the ability of the mind as being of the body, and the hypocrisy of this phase again triggered a relentless body image challenge. The present closest equations manifested themselves in her life with the same unconditional positive love and regard that allowed her to expand her abilities into the lifestyle consultant she masquerades as today.
“My body image issue continues as I have gained weight again and also experienced society’s hypocrisy and challenged depression, insomnia, and self-harm to be that person who continues to give. As the gratitude of what my body has received from family and those who have recognized my disabilities of shape and comprehension as the ability of spirit and beyond that one oneness with the universe, I bloom in being a psychologist/ counsellor with empathy and a businesswoman with the goal to create value in society through all my endeavour with the truest creative integrity of my authenticity,” she says.
While a challenge of being her authentic self was experienced, she has created her own modality of therapy that uses in counseling today. She combines the psycho-spiritual dimensions along with an understanding that everyone is in the mud, but the fight is to co-exist with the mud because the value of authenticity blooms in the spirit before the glow of life can be determined.
Aarti Ahuja is an alumnus of Modern School Barakhamba Road, and she completed her MA in Applied Psychology from Amity University Noida. In the past decade, she has diversified her professional skills by training herself as an NLP practitioner, Health and Wellness Coach, and gaining knowledge in family and relationships along with Expressive Art therapy. She is also the Project Manager for Burn Healing Foundation, an endeavor that brings a strong sense of giving back to society as a family value that encourages service along with self.
She has kept her social and business interest in the health, wellness, and entertainment domain to continuously explore opportunities to spread happiness as confetti!
So, this World Mental Health Day, what aspect of your mental health are you working on?
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