May 15, 2018
Dr. Nekeshia Hammond is the TV show host of “Parenting Explained with Dr. Hammond” and the author of “ADHD Explained: What Every Parent Needs to Know”. On top of that, she’s a speaker, psychologist, and business owner of Hammond Psychology and Associates (which has been featured on NBC, ABC, and CBS). She is a total wealth of information around parenting strategies—especially with children who have been diagnosed with ADHD.
Road to Here
Dr. Hammond had a dream of opening a practice while she was in graduate school and help children and families. However, she noticed a couple of years in that while she loved what she did in her office—there was a whole world of other people she would never be able to reach. So, she entered the media world where she was able to reach a much larger population of families that have children with ADHD.
The term ADHD has been thrown around as a buzz word and blanket diagnosis by the general public, and even some doctors, for years. A child may have bad grades, have trouble focusing at times, and have bouts of hyperactivity—but that doesn’t necessarily mean the child has ADHD. Dr. Hammond looks at the whole picture, the child’s health, issues at home, to see if the detriment in their life is truly caused by those symptoms. Many people have these symptoms but it doesn’t affect their academic or social life.
Self-diagnosing and misdiagnoses can have really negative effects on children as they grow up. They think that they aren’t normal, and may blame issues in their life on a condition that they don’t even have. It can affect how children socialize and put large dents in their self-esteem—and not child needs to feel like they are in a box because of a diagnosis.
The first step in moving the conversation about mental health forward is for everyone to realize that each individual person has mental health—it’s not some term that only applies to people who are suffering from depression or other clinical disorders. Also take time to educate yourself on disorders that affect your family members and other coworkers—it’s insulting to say things like “Oh, he’s so bipolar” or “she’s always so depressed”. Learn what symptoms manifest in those around you so you can better understand them, not group them into categories to ostracize them.