Practical Thoughts on Faith & ADHD

The following is the final piece in a 3 part series on faith & ADHD by Oren Mason, M.D. Read part 1 and 2 at these links: “How Treating ADHD Helped Heal My Faith” and “How My Faith Brought Healing to My ADHD

If you are disillusioned regarding spiritual matters, ADHD treatment might give you a new opportunity to re-experience your faith. Disillusionment may represent frustration over how ADHD degraded the practice of your faith. Maybe you are a discouraged believer, not an unbeliever. If you have left a church or the practice of a faith because you did not “fit in”, that might not mean you have lost your faith. Maybe it means that you feel left out or disconnected.

Consider that some changes may help you find a more “ADHD-friendly” worship experience. Several years ago, my family began attending a non-traditional church. It is multi-racial, located in a struggling inner-city neighborhood. There are many mixed-race couples in the church along with residents from a drug-rehab house, college students, immigrant families, suburban families and everybody else in between.

Nobody is “normal”, so anybody and everybody fits in. The music is lively and varied, the sermons are brief and thought-provoking, and the worship sequence changes every week, so that it is not predictable. This novelty factor is tremendously helpful for me, and, I suspect, would be for most people with ADHD.

Forgiveness is a central theme in most religions, and I believe it should be a central theme in our healing as well. We blame ourselves constantly; life is better when we learn to forgive ourselves. We blame others quickly; we need to learn to forgive them more easily. The practice of communion has been a wonderful part of my faith. The message of the service is: “God forgives you, so follow his example by forgiving yourself and others.” It’s been revolutionary for me.

To everyone who does believe in God, even if it only seems a tiny and inconsequential part of you, I encourage you to return to your roots and re-examine your spirituality. Life is hard, even after ADHD is well-treated. By the time he was nine, my son, Ben (who also has ADHD), could already tell you how harsh this world can be, and how much we need an anchor.

Anchors are pretty small things compared to the boats they secure. The question is not how big our anchors are. The question is rather how solid is the rock to which they are affixed.

“May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. Amen” 

This piece is an excerpt from “Reaching for a New Potential: A Life Guide for Adults with ADD from a Fellow Traveler” by Oren Mason, M.D.

Oren Mason IMGOren Mason, M.D. is a father, husband, ADHD patient, and physician at Attention MD. He wrote “Reaching for a New Potential” in 2009 after being diagnosed with adult ADHD. He hopes this book can serve as a source of encouragement and hope for those traveling a similar path. 

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