Joanna Chiu Profile picture
Jul 14, 2018 23 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I did the most #ADHD thing the other day. I took one pill then got distracted + took another, so ended up wired when one dose makes me like a "normal" person. I'm coming out as ADHD now after building a record of hard work bc there's stigma. Lmk if you have qs about pros and cons
I'm in good company with Michael Phelps and Einstein 🙂. Basically even without meds I'm able to hyperfocus on what I'm interested in accomplishing but if you ask me to do something boring I'll be incredibly inept.…
Also #ADHD is linked with higher sensitivity to things like bright lights, sounds and textures. I was only diagnosed a few years ago and just thought before that knit turtlenecks were a medieval torture device.
My doctor asked if I had played sports as a kid and I played about every sport my schools offered. That's a natural coping mechanism to burn excess energy.
I was also lucky to be in the Canadian school system, which doesn't emphasize standardized tests, so it didn't affect my university entrance to have had 99%/100% grades in English and History and 51% in Math. I tried hard so my teacher passed me instead of holding me back.
My teachers also noticed I needed more stimulation so they gave me extra books to read and creative projects to work on so I could stay engaged. This was all without labeling me as special needs, instead encouraging me to pursue my interests. Things could've turned out much worse
But labeling/diagnosis for ADHD/ADD is really important. Before I would get frustrated at myself for not being able to focus on certain things and everyone including myself assumed my behaviors were personality quirks. This can cause major confidence and relationship issues.
I was labeled early on as "gifted" and teachers said that being unusually capable in some areas often comes across to others as being weird or even stupid ("spacey"). I think actually all of us have different learning styles and preferences and environments should be flexible.
Having ADHD that comes with hypersensitivity to noises, light and textures can make working in busy offices with harsh lighting really hard. Bless my colleagues for putting up with me when I'd try to turn off lights in my corner and endlessly putter before focusing.
In Beijing I've found that developing asthma in response to pollution, while horrible, actually helped me because it was a good reason to work from home on smoggy days. I'd often get more done even when feeling sick because of less distractions.
Also overall I think people with ADHD can make great journalists or any occupation where keeping track of complex issues is important because the more engaged our minds are, the happier we tend to be.
Another reason seeking professional advice is important is that #ADHD and #depression are linked. I had serious depression as an adolescent and a lot of it came from having a mind that was maddeningly overactive. I didn't know about coping methods to turn a burden into my asset.
I also had awful insomnia and just couldn't turn off my thoughts. It's sad to think of how many people have hurt themselves or became seriously mentally ill because they didn't know they had #ADHD - a condition that is relatively straightforward to treat.
I would recommend that early childhood teachers all get training on this and it would help if kids can learn about this in a way that is free of stigma and shows advantages of special aptitudes. As much as a bookworm as I was, I didn't learn about ADHD until recently.
Companies need to be aware that some of their brightest minds may need adapted workspaces. Simple things like private rooms ppl can duck into for focused work if not feasible for all to have private offices. Better lighting for pete's sake.Whoever invented florescent should burn!
Also people should definitely not take Ritalin or similar medicines without a prescription. These don't tend to make people who actually have ADHD "high" or "wired" but can be dangerous for some, such as accelerating heartbeat.
I take medicine when I'm having a day where I feel particularly scattered or when I have a bunch of mundane tasks to get through on my to-do list. On tasks that I find interesting, I personally don't need medication to focus. Everyone's different though. I love making lists.
Also, little things that people don't see as big deals will make me totally angry, like if someone expects me to sit still and listen to your audio message! My cat has never learned to sit on laps because I'm never sitting! If sitting I'm bouncing my leg or on a yoga ball.
Adjustments for sake of ADHD people are actually beneficial to everyone. Building movement into your day, not sitting for hours on end. Offices with a mix of workspaces, flexible hours, work-life balance. The status quo is extremely unhealthy and hurts productivity.
I didn't know I had #ADHD until a boyfriend at the time noticed my behaviors and encouraged me to talk to my doctor. I was worried about stigma but I'm speaking out now bc the more we all learn about stg as common as ADHD the more we can help friends and family live better lives.
There are many resources online and support for people with ADHD or ADD now in English. Just Google or check YouTube for more info. I'm still learning. DM me if you want to chat more privately. I have to go to bed now! (another ADHD issue, getting too into stg to sleep)! Thanks!
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Curious to hear how in different cultures ADHD is regarded, if known about at all.

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More from @joannachiu

May 21, 2018
I was only able to really briefly touch on the precarious status of some news assistants in foreign media bureaus -- unsung heroes of journalism in China in my opinion. The complicated situation best described here by a former "assistant":…
Would be interested in hearing about status of local journalists working for foreign media bureaus elsewhere. I heard the situation isn't very good in Iraq, but I'm ignorant about what's happening outside China.
From Yajun in the piece: "Chinese news assistants perform a job that is not well known by the public. Due to language barriers and official hurdles, many correspondents rely on their news assistants for story ideas, finding interviewees, translation and research."
Read 16 tweets
Mar 16, 2018
A complicated situation on the ground: Writers face opaque and ever-shifting rules on banned subjects. Most self-censor to some degree to avoid repercussions that could end their careers. But many are also unwilling to avoid sensitive subjects.…
Despite many frustrations, there is still relatively more freedom of expression in online publishing, compared to traditional print. The prominent role of #socialmedia in #China has made creative fields more democratic as consumers have more ways to support creators.
As online censorship restrictions tighten, a deleted post is the least of some users’ worries. Writers and organizations have to contend with the possibility
that their social media accounts will get shut down entirely, or that administrators will get arrested.
Read 9 tweets

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