Tyler Page and Not Growing
Out Of It

You’ll grow out of it. It’s something Tyler Page’s doctor told him after he was diagnosed with ADHD with a child. The Eisner-nominated cartoonist and ADHD advocate carried that with him on his journey and realized that while he would never shed his ADHD, he could adapt to it instead of fighting against it. 

One of the ways Tyler did that was by sharing this story, offering a candid view on growing up with ADHD in his books Raised on Ritalin – A Personal Story of ADHD, Medication, and Modern Psychiatry and BUTTON PUSHER. 

Refocused, Together is a collection of 31 stories told throughout the 31 days of October, a part of our commitment to ADHD Awareness Month. Make sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts so you don’t miss a single story this month! 

To learn more about Tyler and his work, check out his website. You can also follow Tyler on Twitter and Instagram.

BUY: Raised on Ritalin – A Personal Story of ADHD, Medication, and Modern Psychiatry


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Tyler Page (00:00):

I was of that generation where even though I was diagnosed and medicated, my doctor continually told me that I would grow out of it. This is something that you’ll grow out of as you get older, it will fade, you’ll mature, et cetera, et cetera. To some extent, that is true. As I got older, you become more self-aware, more in control of your own actions and what’s going on and how people are perceiving you and reacting to you.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:29):

You’re listening to Refocused, Together, and this is episode 14, Tyler Page and Not Growing Out of It.


Welcome back to Refocus, a podcast all about ADHD. I’m your host, Lindsay Guentzel, and we are back with another episode of Refocused, Together, today sharing the story of Tyler Page. Tyler Page is a well-known Eisner nominated cartoonist and educator from Minneapolis. He is also the author of several books, including Raised on Ritalin, which the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry praised as, “Essential reading for medical students and those involved in helping address the challenges of ADHD.” Tyler was diagnosed with ADHD in 1985 just before his ninth birthday. The diagnostic process took about a year and started because of the trouble he was having at school. His pediatrician was familiar with the disorder as his son also had it. Tyler underwent a thorough evaluation process as well as group counseling for himself and family counseling.


In his latest book, Button Pusher, Tyler shares his personal journey of being diagnosed with ADHD as a child and learning how to manage it. The book has received critical acclaim, named Chicago Public Library’s Best of the Best Books of the Year for 2022, as well as the Excellence in Graphic Literature’s Book of the Year for 2023. Through his own experiences, Tyler provides readers with a raw and enlightening view of what it means to grow up with ADHD from diagnosis to treatment and beyond. You can learn more about Tyler online at stylishvittles.com. That’s stylishvittles, V-I-T-T-L-E-S.com, and raisedonritalin.com, and you can follow him on Instagram @tylerpage12. Let’s hear more from Tyler about life as a Gen X ADHD-er, what it’s like to share his personal journey in his books, and how he approaches creating artwork that resonates with such a wide audience.


I’ve made it really easy for myself with all of these interviews. I ask everyone the same questions and we start with the same one which is, when were you diagnosed and what do you remember of that process?

Tyler Page (03:11):

So I was eight going on nine, I think it was maybe a month or two months shy of my ninth birthday. So this was back in 1985, so a long time ago. Things were a little bit different then, but that diagnostic process took about a year or so between when I started going to the doctor, my parents were having concerns, my teachers were having concerns. And so they interviewed my teachers, my parents, I went to some group, I guess they were technically group therapy things with other kids to see how I worked with other kids. But yeah, I was just shy of my ninth birthday and looking back at my own memories, I don’t remember a lot that was special about that other than after I was officially diagnosed, that’s when I was put on Ritalin, and I just remember my mom saying like, “Here’s some special medicine you’re going to take to help you pay attention better at school.” And that was kind of it for a while.

Lindsay Guentzel (04:16):

Looking back with those memories and with starting the Ritalin, it’s a different journey than a lot of the people we talk to on Refocused, Together, many of whom are diagnosed later in life, but eight years old, almost nine is very young. You said you don’t remember a lot of those moments, but I’m wondering now when you can look back and you know what you know about yourself and your ADHD, how do you remember it showing up for you?

Tyler Page (04:41):

Well, I mean, I remember being kind of a rambunctious, I don’t want to say wild, but I was always kind of the extra energetic kid. And what’s interesting, one of the things that kind of got me into working on my first book about ADHD, Raised on Ritalin was finding these old medical records of mine and drawing a conclusion between two things, two memories that I had that weren’t kind of knitted together previously. The one key one is that I had had this pocket knife that my grandfather had given me. It was something that he had had leftover from World War II and the kind of thing that you use for whittling sticks and things like that. And I took it to school to show my friends, but the day that I took it, I decided that the vinyl on the bus seat looked really interesting, and I wanted to find out what would happen if I poked the knife into the bus seat and ended up just totally tearing up the bus seat and getting caught by the bus driver and having to go to the principal’s office.


And so looking back, having talked to my parents, having looked at my medical records, I can see that that was when the principal wanted me to talk to the school counselor. And then they took me to my pediatrician who said, “Okay, let’s start looking at things.” But until I started doing that work, those were completely separate things in my mind. I didn’t realize that they were related in any way, shape, or form, but now I know that that was really the instigating incident in all of that.

Lindsay Guentzel (06:14):

The impulsivity of children. I have very similar connections that I have made over the years. Tell me what you remember about taking Ritalin. Right now obviously with the stimulant medications and the way people view them, there is still so much stigma surrounding it, and a lot of that does come from this generation of people, yourself included, who fell into this category of a lot of the times being overmedicated with stuff we didn’t know a lot about.

Tyler Page (06:45):

I don’t recall a lot. I don’t remember it initially making me feel any different, because it was so just like I was used to taking Tylenol if I had a headache or cold medicine if I had a cold. I had a lot of stuffy noses as a kid, so I took a lot of Actifed, which would’ve had pseudoephedrine in it at the time. But yeah, for the first while I don’t remember noticing it very much. I think it was maybe one of the first times that I forgot to take it before I went to school was when I kind of mentally made the connection where I myself noticed that I was behaving differently at school, that I was just a little bit more out of control, just a little bit more giggly and rambunctious and wiggly in my seat and causing trouble. And that was really only reinforced through the regular checkups that I had with my pediatrician, who I should say I was kind of fortunate that my parents found him.


He was someone at that time who also had, he was sort of an expert on ADHD or ADD because he had a son who also had it and so it wasn’t something that was completely unfamiliar to him. But it was through those regular checkups and being comfortable to talk to him about what was going on, that he helped me see that connection and realizing like, oh, okay, there really is a difference when I take them. And in retrospect, because I ended up taking different medications as an adult, I was much more aware of that as an adult than I was as a kid. When I first tried meds again as an adult, I remember thinking like, oh, this is working now or this is happening, and not so much as when I was a kid or even a young teenager.

Lindsay Guentzel (08:35):

Your journey started at such a young age and so there’s so many years to look at. You’ve got elementary school, middle school, high school, and then whatever you did after high school, and then the book comes into play. So I’m wondering how you look at ADHD and your journey and how it breaks up into almost little chapters.

Tyler Page (08:54):

I mean, the way that I, I guess I still look at it this way, but up to a certain point, I was of that generation where even though I was diagnosed and medicated, my doctor continually told me that I would grow out of it. This is something that you’ll grow out of as you get older, it will fade, you’ll mature, et cetera, et cetera. And to some extent that is true. As I got older, you become more self-aware, more in control of your own actions and what’s going on and how people are perceiving you and reacting to you. And I think I continued to have these regular check-ins, I think every three or six months. And I stayed on the same equivalent dose as I got older and bigger so that by the time I was in high school, I don’t think that it was actually really doing very much.


And by that time, I think that would’ve been my sophomore year of high school, I had developed the good study habits. I had developed a good work ethic. I knew what I needed to do. I didn’t need anyone to be hanging over my shoulder to get my homework done. I was getting good grades, and I had honestly started to, I was self enough aware at that point to start questioning, I’m on this medication, what’s it doing to me? What is it? What isn’t it? And my mom, who was a nurse, had her big drug book in the house. And so I finally one day got it off the shelf and was like, what is this pill that I’m taking? And write a little bit about it. And it didn’t scare me or shock me, but it was kind like, okay, so medications all have side effects. This is interesting.


And so I decided just of my own accord, I was think 16 at the time that I was just going to try to stop taking it that next summer when I was off of school, because I was also smart enough to know, oh, if I go off of it and it’s a total disaster, I don’t want to do that in the middle of the school year. And I went off of it and I had a summer job, I hung out with friends. My junior and senior year of high school were just fine grade-wise. In retrospect, I went through a giant growth spurt between those two years so that was a big change physically and didn’t really experience anything difficult until halfway through college because I was still relying on those study skills and motivational or self-motivational skills and habits that I had already built up.


And so I know that college is a time where a lot of people who have ADHD really do struggle or they struggle for the first time. And for me, it was one of those periods where it was like, I got to set my own schedule for the most part, I got to choose when I got stuff done. And so I self-managed a lot, and I was one of those weirdos who always had too much time on his hand. So I did a lot of reading, did a lot of drawing extracurricularly, and it wasn’t until after I was out of college and into the real world and bumping up against those stressors that you really can’t self-manage, work, relationships, things like that, that I hit a wall again and started to wonder what was going on.


And so that was early to mid-twenties. And the thing that really sparked that next chapter was seeing an article in a magazine about adult ADHD, because up until that point in my life, I didn’t know that it was a thing. And reading it was like, oh, okay. And this was kind of in the early days of the internet, so I was able to get online and start looking stuff up and it was like, okay, so this is probably what’s happening to me. I’m realizing that I’m having these difficulties again. So I kind of went back into, called up a doctor and went through that whole process again. And then it kind of started a whole other process that lasted about 10 years of doctors, therapists, different medications, getting a handle on myself.

Lindsay Guentzel (12:59):

Well, you see this article and you’ve been waiting to grow out of your ADHD, and here it is telling you that, oh no, no, adult ADHD is a thing and it’s real, and now you have to deal with it.

Tyler Page (13:11):

Yeah, I mean, it was a shock, but as some of those things always are, it ended up being the thing that I needed because once I started reading about it, it was like, well, clearly I need to know more about it. And the more that I learned about it, the more there was to learn about it. And the more that you start looking at your family and all of your other relationships and everything else that goes on. So on one hand it does help you make sense of things, but on the other hand, you’re like, okay, well gosh, I’ve still got a bunch of homework to do basically to figure out how I can live my life more normally or with as less difficulty as I can.

Lindsay Guentzel (13:54):

I find it interesting. The word you used to describe yourself going back to 1985 is rambunctious. And I am not an expert on ADHD, but I have to imagine that in 1985 there were not a lot of dots connected about the internal side effects of ADHD, the comorbidities that can come alongside it. And so I’m just wondering, when you look at how ADHD affects you, keeping in mind all these different chapters that you’ve dealt with it in life, where does it affect you the most now as an adult? And are any of those things also things that you’ve dealt with as a child?

Tyler Page (14:26):

Probably one of the biggest ones is socially. One of the things I spent time on both in Button Pusher and Raised on Ritalin is that perception of, especially if you are the wild, overly wild, hyperactive, rambunctious kid, you can be off-putting in a social situation and as a kid that might be you’re the one flailing around or laughing hysterically at a birthday party. And as an adult it’s oversharing, getting too friendly with people too quickly, just talking about inappropriate things and obviously it pushes people away from you. So it is hard to find a lot of good casual relationships.


I’ve been lucky to, I think knowing all this has helped me maintain the kind of small group of core friends that I have as an adult and knowing that when they want to do stuff, you just kind of have to show up and say yes every time, even though it’s not very often just to maintain those relationships. But I think it also maybe as an adult shows up as an intensity, maybe that’s a better word for putting it as an adult, that some people when they first meet you can find off-putting, because I’ve had people, I mean, I think even my wife when we first met thought that I was a scary off-putting person like, “Oh, he’s busy. Don’t bother him.” No, I’m at work or I’m in the middle of doing something. Leave me alone, don’t bother me

Lindsay Guentzel (16:03):

Lots that I could say to that from my own own experience. I look back as a young girl and every time someone told me I was too loud, “You’re too loud, you’re too loud.” And it starts to weigh on you and you start to change who you are as a person. And we have this word we use with ADHD, masking, and I’m sure it’s something that you’ve explored. And so I’m curious how that has come up for you as you’ve gone through this journey.

Tyler Page (16:27):

I mean, I definitely thought about it and noticed it the most just because I’m more self-aware of it as an adult, especially in work settings where you’re in group situations where you’re in a meeting, whether it’s with people who are your peers or your superiors and fighting that intensity or that desire to blurt things out because I’ve, over the years learned that while I can be a good speaker, I’m not the best at putting things together sensibly at the moment. I’m really good at written communication where I can think about what I want to say, say it, edit it, and then send it out into the world, versus when you just try to open your mouth and then stuff just comes spilling out. And so I’ve learned to be that more quiet presence where you just sit and listen and nod and take notes and maybe once you realize you have a good point or a good question, making sure you have it formulated in your head before you speak it. It’s almost like rehearsal.

Lindsay Guentzel (17:42):

I used to do this as a kid and I know many people did this, but when everyone in the room had to read-

Tyler Page (17:47):


Lindsay Guentzel (17:48):

I would count out where I was going to go so that I could practice in my head so I could practice reading what I needed to read out loud to the class just to make sure that I tried to eliminate as many mistakes as possible. So I totally relate to that idea of working through what you’re going to say in your head, but then of course with the ADHD brain, what that does is disconnects us from the moment and then all of a sudden you’re going, “Wait, where was I again?”

Tyler Page (18:14):

Disconnection is a good way of putting it is that you’re always kind of, obviously there are certain situations where you’re right in there, but I think day to day it’s like you’re hanging kind of like a half step behind everyone in the room or in the world watching where they’re all going and what they’re all doing first before you decide, okay, I’ll enter this situation or I’ll do this or I’ll do that.

Lindsay Guentzel (18:38):

Let’s talk a little bit for a second about where you see yourself thriving. When you look at life and everything that you’ve accomplished and the person that you are today with your ADHD, what’s going really well for you?

Tyler Page (18:52):

Most things. The things that are going really well are, I’ve been married for 17, 16 years, 17 years. I’ve got two kids that are doing really well, and I mean that’s a whole other side story because they’re, to some extent or another may have some of the same challenges that I’ve had growing up, but they’re both doing well. Work, work, meaning day job stuff going well from the perspective of I think one of the challenges people like us face is finding something that engages you in many different ways. You have to find something that has lots of different parts to it that requires one day you’re thinking this way, the next day you’re thinking this way.


That can almost be described as random, and I think that those kinds of jobs are getting harder and harder to find if you’re talking nine to five salary jobs that pay benefits and so on and so forth. I know lots of ADHD people who are freelancers and they’re just kind of cobbling everything together. And then obviously art, I mean, that’s one thing that I’ve stuck with pretty much my whole life and just always kind of keep coming back to.

Lindsay Guentzel (20:14):

There is a connection between the ADHD brain and doodling, and so I would love to hear how drawing and becoming a cartoonist, how that started for you and what some of your earliest memories are of connecting with art in that way.

Tyler Page (20:30):

When you’re an artist or a published cartoonist or whatever, people are always saying, “how did you get your start?” And I am that classic case of just, it’s something that I don’t have any memory of not drawing. Both my parents were non-professional artists in their own, they kind of practice in their own way. But from a young age, one of the things that they engaged with us on was drawing, doodling, creative projects, and then really that was at school. I don’t remember it so much as a kid, aside from the kind of regular silly stuff that you would do with your friends in class or the projects that you would do in art class.


But specifically to me as I got older in middle school and junior high, it was the doodling and the margins. So even though I was on medication, it was still like I would just draw all over all of my assignments. I mean, I definitely had teachers complain about that at some point that like, “Oh, if you’re going to turn this in, you have to clean it up.” But it was a different version of instead of tapping your foot or tapping your pencil, it was sitting there and just kind of mindlessly doodling, but also being able to listen and focus completely while you were doing that. And if teachers called me out for doing that and they’d be like, “Stop drawing, pay attention.” Those are the classes, the teachers that I had the hardest time with, because I needed that little stimulating activity to really focus on what I was doing or listening to.

Lindsay Guentzel (21:59):

How have you seen your art transition throughout the years and what has that journey been?

Tyler Page (22:07):

I mean, a lot of it initially it was just an extension of some of those doodles of what I was doing in the margins of my notebooks. I remember one of the first kind of extended stories that I started working on was in my, it was ninth grade health class, because the class was just so boring that I had my class notebook and then I had an extra notebook that I was just drawing stuff on and just drawing silly stories in that and kind of figuring out where that would go. And that didn’t really go any place concrete until I met another group of kids in high school who were doing the, they were putting out their own zines and mini comics. They took me to Kinko’s and taught me how to use the copiers and put together little magazines.


And at that point, it was still kind of like we were doing our own versions of superhero characters and fantasy stuff, and so it wasn’t really until I was in college and looking for ways to use some of that extra time. I referenced earlier that I spent a lot of time in the library and found out that our library had a pretty large collection of comics from all over the world, like old comic strips and stuff. I was introduced to the work of Harvey Pekar and other autobiographical artists that way, and that’s when things started transitioning into almost using it as a form of journaling.

Lindsay Guentzel (23:38):

The story you told about the pocket and being able to connect the dots of this impulsive moment that you were very excited about that then turned into something else and how you were able to use that in sharing your story. I’m wondering what that decision was like for you to make something like this so public and what that process was like and what you found through sharing it.

Tyler Page (24:01):

When I first started, I had this inkling of after I found these medical records at my parents’ house that just the records on their own told the story, and I knew like, “Oh, this is important. I’m going to hang onto it.” It just kind of sat in the back of my brain for a couple of years, and I honestly don’t remember exactly what prompted me to really move on that other than, yeah, I got to a point where I felt like it might be worth exploring that or sharing that information for other people who were in the same situation that I was in, because I was learning so much about it that I didn’t previously know. And I knew just based on the odds and the number of people who are diagnosed, there have to be a lot of us other people with ADHD as an adult out there.


And I started working through it kind of in sketchbooks, and then I really kind of tentatively put some of it online, because it wasn’t even something that I talked about publicly. Not that I was ashamed of it outright, it was still, excuse me, not something that was talked about very much, especially in public conversation or whatever. And I wasn’t sure how people would react because with a lot of people, that initial reaction is like, “Oh, that’s not real.” Or, “That’s just for kids.”


So yeah, I was a little hesitant. I don’t know that I would say that I was scared, but I wasn’t quite sure how people would react to it. But once I posted the first little bit of it online and started hearing from people, it was that that told me that I was doing the right thing. People were writing me to say like, “Oh, this is interesting. This is me. This is the experience that I had.” Or, “I didn’t have that exact same experience, but I was also doing this when I was a kid.” And so on and so forth. And so it really was that feedback that was reinforcing to go forward with it.

Lindsay Guentzel (25:54):

Was there anything that you found in the medical records that surprised you or anything that you’ve discovered through sharing your journey that’s been just kind of eye-opening in a way you weren’t expecting?

Tyler Page (26:05):

A lot of things. A lot of it was just about stuff, family stuff between either myself and my parents or between my parents. Finding out that my dad was on Ritalin for a short period of time as an adult and no one in my family had ever talked about it. Which hey, that might’ve been helpful at some point in time. There was a lot of stuff, because this was in the day where it was kind of pre-computers, and so either my doctor or his assistant typed up all these notes, and so there was a lot of information about my parents’ marital troubles, because they were constantly in and out of counseling for obvious reasons.


My dad was an undiagnosed ADHD case clearly, and so it gave me this clinical window into all that stuff to help me really understand and look back as an adult on my childhood and realize, oh, okay, this is why that happened or this is why that happened. And I think that’s informed how I’ve dealt with all those things as an adult and realized what wasn’t, I don’t want to say that anything was, quote, unquote, “my fault”, but the things that were going on were out of my control, so to speak.

Lindsay Guentzel (27:22):

Working in higher education, do you feel like having ADHD makes you more empathetic to students that you might come across who you can see share similarities to you, but might not have been on the journey to find that yet?

Tyler Page (27:37):

Oh, definitely. Yeah. I mean, especially working in an art school, there are a lot of neurodivergent students, and so it’s two pronged really. Because I’ve also faced this as a parent where you’ve got your kids have friends coming over and you’re finding out that some of them are neurodivergent or on the spectrum and how you deal with that behavior as a parent and realize like, oh, wait, I was that kid going over to someone’s house. I need to give them a break. I need to understand them. I need to be the person that wasn’t there when I was a kid, so to speak.

Lindsay Guentzel (28:15):

That makes my heart so happy, you have no idea. I think it is so important the more we know and we get to be those people in other people’s lives. And I look back so many times where adults didn’t step in or they didn’t say something, and it’s really hard as an adult. I have this one situation with some severe bullying in middle school, and for a really long time I held onto so much anger towards the people who were bullying me, and I had this realization not too long ago. I’m from a very small town. There’s no way that what was going on, that there was not an adult in the school that knew about it, and not one person called my parents or even pulled me aside. And it’s that stuff that sticks with you. And so I just want to thank you so much from both as an educator standpoint, but also as a parent to see those kids come into your house. Because I think all of us have that adult in our life wherever they came in who was that kind of glimmer of hope, and it’s so important.

Tyler Page (29:15):

It’s easier, I think, working with college aged kids because older and more self-aware so you can point at them and say, “Hey, I know what’s going on over there. I can work with you on that.” Versus from the parenting standpoint where it isn’t always easy because you are like, “Oh God, that kid’s coming over. They’re just going to be a nightmare in my house for three hours. What am I going to do?” And I mean, honestly, I found that the easiest thing to do with a lot of those experiences that I’ve had is is just not being mean, but being assertive and stepping in and saying like, “Here’s what’s going to happen today. If you’re over at our house, you can do this and you can do that, but you can’t do this. If you want to do this, you got to ask.” Just kind of providing clear expectations.

Lindsay Guentzel (30:06):

Clear expectations for the kids who would’ve brought the pocket knife to school. Now, I had so many of those stories where the impulsivity of wanting to show someone something and bringing it to school. And mine wasn’t that I got in trouble, mine was that it just never came home. It always got lost. I want to ask, when you’re looking towards the future, you’ve got so many things going on, but what’s giving you hope right now? What’s really exciting for you and pushing you forward?

Tyler Page (30:34):

I think, I mean as far as ADHD and neurodiversion, that label or however you want to talk about it goes, is just the fact that in general, people are being more open about their experiences, what’s working, what’s not working, what’s hard, what’s easy, where they’re stumbling, whether it’s kids or adults. And I find when my kids come home from school, my wife and I find ourselves checking in with them, and it’s not just like, “Was your math test hard?” It was like, “What about that kid in this class, was he being mean again?” Or this, that or the other thing, and just making sure that you can be open. And I think it’s also just nice whether you know someone well or not to have these kinds of conversations because these are the things that make us people and whether people want to admit it or not, everyone has something that’s difficult or not quite right or something that they’re struggling with whether it’s in the present or in the past, and by talking about those things with each other, that’s how we connect.

Lindsay Guentzel (31:41):

Well, even going off of neurodivergence, everyone’s brains are different. Our brains just tend to be a little bit more different and different in a very specific way, but if you lined up 100 people, every single one of us is different.

Tyler Page (31:56):

I think that’s really the core of that message, which is for so long everyone, there was this assumption that everything was the same and it’s not. There are, yeah, a core set of similarities, but you’re right, everyone sees, does, acts just a little bit differently and you just have to accept that.

Lindsay Guentzel (32:20):

You’ve seen, I’m sure, a big change from the moment that you found out about your ADHD to sharing it publicly and putting stuff online and to where we are now with social media. What has that been like for you to see this influx in people being open about it and sharing their journeys and actually having those conversations that you’ve said a few times here, people weren’t having?

Tyler Page (32:44):

It’s good. It’s heartening. It’s just nice to know that people are comfortable having those conversations in the open now, not feeling shame or embarrassment or hiding from that and stepping out and just saying, this is who I am. I’m struggling here. I’m struggling there. I’m good at this. I’m good at that. Can you help me?

Lindsay Guentzel (33:02):

I want to wrap up by asking you, when you look at ADHD and everything that you’ve learned from your journey, what’s one thing that you wish people understood a little bit better?

Tyler Page (33:12):

I mean, the first thing that always comes to mind only because it was maybe one of the biggest eyeopening things for me was the emotional component. It’s one of those things that clinicians now recognize as a core part of ADHD or inability to control some of your emotional responses. It’s still not encoded in the diagnosis, but people recognize it, and that was the experience that I had in my family growing up, was living with someone who had an explosive temper and not understanding that, and then growing into a person who struggled with some of those same things and not understanding why, and then learning some of the science behind it and realizing like, “Oh, okay, this is part of the way that I’m wired. What are the things that I can do to nip that in the bud? What are trigger situations? What are the things that I can do to calm down or to leave a situation so that I can collect myself and respond in an appropriate manner and not fly off the handle?” Because I don’t want to be the person who’s throwing dishes across the room or things like that.

Lindsay Guentzel (34:26):

Thank you so much for joining us on Refocused, Together. This was so insightful, your story and the history behind it. We are at a place where we’re learning a lot more. We have so far to go, and so just for putting your journey out there and for sharing it with us here, I’m so grateful. Thank you.

Tyler Page (34:44):

Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it. It’s been really good.

Lindsay Guentzel (34:52):

One of the things I love so much about Refocused, Together is the connections I’ve been able to make. Tyler, who is an incredible resource of ADHD knowledge and lives like, 20 minutes from me. I really appreciated hearing Tyler talk about how much he had learned about himself and his ADHD by the time he reached high school. When we become self-aware of our challenges and our strengths, we can create strategies that work with our ADHD brains. All the workarounds Tyler talked about focusing on communicating through his strengths as a writer and utilizing doodling to keep his brain focused at times when it’s more difficult for him to stay in the moment, all of those helped him create a roadmap for what success could look like for him.


Of course, success doesn’t always look the same to others and what they want for us. We’ve got to sift through that noise pretty often. When we accept ourselves as we are with ADHD baggage and all, it’s a little easier. When we accept ourselves for who we are and the way we think, we are more likely to get things done and less likely to feel guilty or be self-critical. Recognizing that we always have a choice is an important part of the progress we need to see in order to identify what success looks like for us.


When we set specific and achievable goals, when we understand what works best for us and have a toolbox of tips and tricks to motivate ourselves and accomplish things, we know we can take action and be prepared for any obstacles that may come our way. Self-awareness isn’t magical thinking, but it can feel that way with just a little bit of consistent time and effort to understand ourselves and being our authentic selves can make way for real change. What gives me hope is how Tyler’s advocating for other ADHD-ers in his role as a teacher and as a parent. He’s setting others up for action, either for themselves on their own journeys with ADHD, or to better support someone who needs some help speaking up for themselves.


I said it before, and I’ll say it again, that’s the beauty of Gen X. They’re playing the long game here, helping others with the things that they struggled to figure out on their own. They may have been left out of the conversation about what they needed when they were kids, but they’re making it a point to be heard now and to make sure that future generations don’t have to fight as hard as they did. Tyler is a great example of this, using his own experiences to create a more inclusive and understanding world for those with ADHD. By advocating for those who may have trouble advocating for themselves, he’s making a positive impact on the life of so many. It’s inspiring to see someone turn their own challenges into opportunities to help others, and it’s a testament to the resilience and compassion of the human spirit.


Tyler May have gotten a jumpstart on his own journey, but he’s making sure that others can catch up and thrive as well. I’m so grateful to Tyler for sharing his story with us. I love these little trips back into ADHD history because it really highlights how far we’ve come. Don’t get me wrong, we have so far to go when it comes to diagnosing, treating, and educating people on ADHD and don’t even get me started on breaking down the stigma, but it’s important to acknowledge we are better off than we were. I don’t have medical records like Tyler to go back to, but I do have report cards and man, oh man, if those comments from my teachers don’t scream undiagnosed ADHD and a whole lot of masking.


We have so many incredible stories still to come for ADHD Awareness month. If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to Refocused wherever you get your podcasts. And it would mean so much to us if you would take a second to leave us five stars or a little note about what you love about this podcast. In the meantime, you can learn more about Refocused, Together and our partner, ADHD Online by heading to adhdonline.com/refocused, and we’ll see you back here tomorrow for the next episode of Refocused, Together.


Support for Refocused comes from our partner, a ADHD Online, a telemedicine mental healthcare company that provides affordable and accessible ADHD assessments and treatment plans. To learn how they can help you on your journey, head to adhdonline.com and remember to use the promo code Refocused20 to receive $20 off your ADHD online assessment right now. The biggest thanks go out to our team at ADHD Online, Keith Boswell, Susanne Spruit, Melanie Meyrl, Claudia Gatti and Tricia Mirchandani for their constant support in helping make Refocused, Together happen. These 31 episodes were produced thanks to our managing editor Sarah Platanitis, our production coordinator, Phil Rodemann, social media specialist and editor Al Chaplin and me, the host and executive producer of Refocused, Lindsay Guentzel. To connect with the show on social media, you can find us online at Refocused Pod and you can email the show directly [email protected]. That’s [email protected].

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