Black Women and ADHD w/ Advocate René Brooks
René Brooks has taken a late-life diagnosis and used it to uplift others. After being diagnosed with ADHD 3 times (age 7, 11, and 25), at 25 she was able to get the treatment she deserved. She is the founder of Black Girl, Lost Keys, a blog that empowers black women with ADHD and shows them how to live well with the disorder. In addition to Black Girl, Lost Keys, René has written for Healthline and is a Patient Contributor to TEVA Pharmaceutical’s Life Effects project. She has spoken at The International Alliance Of Patients Organization’s 8th Annual Congress. Today we’re talking about what led to her diagnosis, how she now uses ADHD as her super power, working with your brain instead of against it, and about what it’s like to be a gifted person of color who happens to have ADHD. This is awesome- enjoy!!
***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***
In this episode Peter & René Brooks discuss:
00:54- Intro and welcome Rene
2:07- So you grew up in the 1990’s, and you’ve been diagnosed 3 times now. Tell us how that played out?
4:00- So your diagnosis wasn’t really complete, or helpful in the way it was provided?
5:30- On the testing gifted kids in the 90’s
6:05- What prompted your third diagnoses at age 25?
7:50- So when you got properly diagnoses at 25, was that a lightbulb moment for you?
8:30- About the wrong labels…
9:09- What are you doing to make ADHD your superpower?
10:18- Talk about ADHD and being black
11:00- On stereotypes, race, and being neurodiverse
12:00- What kinds of things are you teaching your readers on your GREAT blog Black Girl, Lost Keys
13:24- On control versus being the control, and working differently
14:30- Society’s way or working, is not often our best way of working
15:54- Working with your brain instead of against it
17:06- How can people find you? Via her website: www.blackgirllostkeys.com and @blkgirllostkeys on Twitter and Facebook
17:30- Thank you Rene! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via firstname.lastname@example.org or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials.
STAY HEALTHY - STAY SAFE - PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASK.. until next time!
18:14- Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits
As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!
PS: If you're looking for that special gift this holiday season for someone in your life who has ADD, ADHD, or any kind of neurodiverse brain, how about a conversation with me? I've finally been convinced to join Cameo, where you can request videos, shout-outs, birthday greetings, even a one-on-one talk about how ADHD is a superpower! You can find me on Cameo here!
My name is Peter Shankman. You are listening to Faster Than Normal, and I have been told to change how I introduce every episode. So that is exactly what I'm doing. I hope you're happy, Steven, my producer. [Yes, I am & thank you- and your voice sounds better too now btw]. Okay. Welcome to faster than normal today on the podcast, we are talking to a woman named Rene Brooks. Rene Brooks took a late in life diagnosis and uses it to uplift others. She was being diagnosed ADHD at three times, age seven, 11 and 25. I'm guessing the first two didn't stick at 25. She's able to get the treatment she deserved finally. And then she went and founded Black Girl, Lost Keys, a blog that empowers black women with ADHD and shows them how to live well with the disorder and managed to say, this is sorely needed. In addition to black girl, lost keys Rene has written for Healthline, and she's a patient contributor to Tiba pharmaceuticals, life effects, project she's spoken at conferences. She talks about ADHD. She talks about ADHD and what it's like. For a black woman and I am so excited to have you on the podcast because this is a new, uh, uh, category for us. And I'm thrilled that you're able to lead it off and I'm thrilled that we can have you on it. So, Renee, welcome.
Thank you. Thank you so much for the invite. I really appreciate it. I see. We gave you the long version of the Bio. I’ve yeah. I've had to tell my assistant to narrow mine down to about 140 characters and you know, nothing more than that as I'm listening, I'm like, uh, we gave him the long version.
So growing up, you were diagnosed at age seven. Do you mind if I ask how old you are? I'm 36. So you're about 10 years old or 12 years older than me. And they were totally young, younger than me brother. And so, um, you grew up in, in nineties. And by that time, they had a pretty, a bit of like a, you know, a handle of sort of, at least the name of what ADHD was.
It wasn't so much as, Hey, this kid's hyper sit him down or sit her down, you know, and, and, and hope for the best. So at least they had some knowledge because if you were diagnosed at age seven, you know, there was, there was an idea of what was going on. Um, why three diagnosis. So the problem is when you take someone's child and you test them without their permission, and you do that to a person whose community has been marginalized and experimented at one by people who are in charge of social services and medicine. They're not trying to hear it when you do that to their kid. Um, it really was quite a violation and they didn't do it once they did it twice. And so both times you get from when you were at the age seven age 11, now neither of those tests were sort of authorized by you by your parents, by anyone, right?
Wow. So where was this?
Uh, I grew up in Pennsylvania in, uh, right outside of Harrisburg in, uh, in a little town called, uh, Carlisle. Okay. So, uh, actually you, you may or may not have heard of it. It's um, it's also the site of, uh, the army war college. Uh, there is a, um, just school. There was a school there for what we now call indigenous people. It was called the Carlisle Indian school and they brutalized indigenous people there. So it's an interesting place. Lots of history. Wow. I cannot, I can't complain about, uh, the schooling I received there or anything, but that was what happened and you were diagnosed, but it wasn't actually that it was, it was your parents or they just didn't listen because of, of, of what the expectations were to begin with. Well, you know, they, here's how I feel about it. They didn't give them the information that they needed to make an informed decision. They were basically attacked. So you, you can't. Um, when, when I tell that story, a lot of times people are like, Oh wow, your parents just didn't want to get you treatment. That's not what happened at all. What happened was a decision was taken out of their hands as parents and they reacted. And they reacted appropriately. I must say if I had been given the exact same scenario, although I have the advantage of the internet now, so I can do my own digging and my own research and find out things they didn't have access to information at their fingertips, the way we do. I imagine that it must've been so, so growing up there was obviously something quote, unquote, different about you. Right. And I don't, I don't see different. I don't say different is a bad thing. I've learned that this is not a bad thing, but no, the added sort of, sort of, uh, uh, you had to deal with essentially being black and, and everything that came with that. And then on top of that, you know, here's a hyperactive or, or a…