[ ] ADHD makes me the quirky person I am.
Lisa Livezey Comingore
Human resources and community
La Porte, Indiana
IN LAW SCHOOL, LISA LIVEZEY COMINGORE,
42, DAY- dreamed in class and had trouble studying for tests.
While some of her classmates pulled all-nighters to study
for finals, Livezey Comingore had to balance sleep and study
to succeed. To stay focused, she took nonstop notes in class
and frequent breaks while preparing for tests.
After graduating, Livezey Comingore ran her own home-based business, Owlz Media Group. “Working at home is a
minefield of distractions,” she says. At 39, she underwent
chemotherapy for breast cancer. That’s when her wife
noticed that Lisa was forgetting to rinse her hair in the
shower and wandering around the house aimlessly. On her
suggestion, Livezey Comingore sought and received an
ADHD diagnosis and began taking medication.
“The first med I tried didn’t work. When I found the
right med, it was like turning on a light,” she says. Livezey
Comingore also used the ADD Crusher program, a series of
videos and materials that teaches ADHD management skills,
to develop routines to stay on task.
She appreciates the structure her human resources job at
La Porte provides. She’s forced to get up and out the door,
but “there’s still some flexibility.” She’s learned to give
herself extra time in the morning to get to work, which has
reduced stress. At work, she uses reminders on her computer and phone to stay on task. She’s also learned to keep the
project she’s working on in the center of her desk. It helps
her fend off distractions.
Livezey Comingore can be hard on herself when she forgets or loses something, but, she says, “It’s important to
realize that, like anything else, ADHD isn’t all negative or all
positive. It’s important not to beat yourself up.
“I am at peace with the fact that the condition makes me
the quirky person I am. I try to
laugh at the silly stuff and call
it what it is: ‘There’s my classic
ADD acting up again....’”
Adolescent and pediatric psychiatrist,
KAREN TAYLOR-CRAWFORD WAS CHAIRMAN OF THE department of psychiatry at Christ Hospital, in Chicago, when she was diagnosed with ADHD, in her early 30s. She
supervised the department, saw patients, and reviewed piles
of documents, all while raising two children, ages two and 14.
Until she started treating kids with ADHD, Taylor-
Crawford was skeptical about the benefits of medication.
The turning point came when she started consulting for a
local CHADD group, and her patient load increased. That’s
when she realized, “This [ADHD treatment] works!” She
also noticed that she was often late for social engagements.
She concluded: “You know what? I have ADHD.”
Once she recognized her ADHD symptoms, she began to
see a psychoanalyst. Her analyst didn’t believe she had the
condition, because she was an accomplished psychiatrist.
“People would say, ‘But you’re so accomplished.’” When she
heard this, she thought, “Do you know what it takes for me to
get stuff done and how many deadlines I miss?”
Without a formal diagnosis and treatment, she relied on
her faith in God, the help of family members, and support-
ive coworkers to manage symptoms. After a year or so, her
analyst said, “You know, Karen, I don’t do a lot of medication
management. I’m going to refer you to a colleague, because I
think you have ADHD.”
“I sat up on the couch and said, ‘Really? Praise God.’”
She was diagnosed with ADHD and depression and was
prescribed a stimulant medication and an antidepressant.
Taylor-Crawford supplements her medications with fish oil,
vitamin E, and a multivitamin with B-complex.
While recognizing the challenges of ADHD, Taylor-Crawford also recognizes its benefits. She attributes her
intuition, spontaneity, and her capacity to forgive to it.
Although semi-retired, she keeps busy with patients, her
sorority, writing articles, and tackling projects. “[ADHD]
makes me look for projects and things to contain my
[ ] I look for projects to contain my wandering mind.