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Heather Fillmore Coaching

Enneagram Nines and Attention Deficit

This summer, I brought up ADHD in my Instagram stories and was surprised by the response of my Enneagram Nine community.

SO many Nines have wondered for years if they have an attention deficit, but most of them are not outwardly impulsive or fidgety like you see in classic cases of ADHD, so they (or their parents) have never looked into it.

In my IG Stories, I listed 13 ADHD symptoms and asked people to count up how many they have noticed. Here are the 13 most common difficulties:

    • Feeling restless
    • Putting off or not finishing projects
    • Mood swings
    • Getting easily stressed
    • Finding it hard to listen when someone else is talking
    • Struggling to remember or follow directions
    • Having so many thoughts that it’s hard to follow just one
    • Being disorganized
    • Poor sense of time
    • Trouble knowing what to do first
    • Not being able to multitask
    • Trouble staying focused and on task
    • Impulsivity- blurting things out that you later regret, for example

How many of them do you experience regularly?

Here are the results of my poll:

Of the 13 difficulties listed,

36% of the respondents experience 10-13 of them regularly.

39% experience 6-9 of them regularly, and

25% experience 5 or less of them regularly.

So 75% of the Nines who took part in the poll say that they experience at least half of the difficulties of ADHD.

There is a lot of crossover between Enneagram 9 traits (which are due to personality) and ADHD (which is due to brain wiring.)

How do you know whether or not to get tested?

First, take time to check in and listen to your inner knowing. You will know if you need more help than what education and proper diet can help with right now.

As you become more emotionally healthy, many of the symptoms/Nine traits (whichever they are!) will not be such a problem. I teach my clients tools that help with all of it in The Bold Nine Academy. You may also consider therapy. There are lots of resources out there.

Why is it helpful to know if you have ADHD?

An ADHD diagnosis is the only way to access the full range of treatment and prevention options. Untreated ADHD is associated with many difficulties, including substance abuse, addictions, higher divorce rates, difficulty performing in school and work, a higher chance of unemployment, and more.

Often, people who face these struggles don’t know why. When they receive the diagnosis, it tends to help them understand many of their most difficult challenges. This leads to greater self-compassion, which is the most helpful catalyst to change.

A few more things to consider about Adult ADHD:

    • If you have ADHD, chances are that you have always had it. However, research suggests that early trauma can cause structural and chemical changes in the brain, and these changes can lead children to exhibit behaviors that may look like ADHD.
    • Nines usually have the inattentive type (formerly called ADD) and aren’t super fidgety or impulsive, so it most likely has gone undiagnosed.
    • If you have adult ADHD symptoms, chances are high that your parent(s) also exhibited these symptoms and/or your child(ren) exhibit them (whether or not they’ve already been diagnosed with ADHD.)

If you suspect that you have ADHD and would like to try medication, you’ll need a diagnosis. Only a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist can diagnose you.

Many of the symptoms are very manageable with proper diet and/or supplementation, a mindfulness practice, as well as a good knowledge of how to work with your brain’s unique way of thinking. It’s not impossible to be successful in your relationships and work and have untreated ADHD. The key is to learn what works best for you and not get stuck in shame. There’s nothing wrong with you!

If you want help training your brain to be more resourceful and efficient, this is something that we do at The Bold Nine Academy.

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