ADHD, Autism and Working as a Support Worker – an interview

Bryan shared his experiences with getting an ADHD diagnosis and, also, finding a suitable job. He lives in the north-west of England and we communicated by text.

Seeking diagnosis

The diagnosis for adhd was such a pain in the arse. I was diagnosed when I was 4 but that isn’t good enough for being medicated when you’re an adult so I went through a 5 year process of waiting lists and being told I ‘should have grown out of if by now’ by one GP. Nightmare.

I’m comfortable with the way I am and it has indeed helped me gain insights – I am not very good at reading social situations when I’m in them if people aren’t being straight forward but I’m surprisingly good at reading them for other people.

The challenges I face for the most part are battling with my wish to avoid people and the outside world because when I do that I get massively depressed which could be fixed if I went outside but makes me incapable so it is a bizarre magic roundabout of contradiction haha!

That and when I’m at work and too many people talk at once. I cannot focus on them. Luckily I’ve been there a while now and they know and accept my quirks.

Have you considered getting a diagnosis? Even if you didn’t want meds, it’s nice to feel validated. One of the biggest parts of it for me is the imposter syndrome, feeling like I don’t have adhd and I’m just a rubbish person

I feel comfortable being me but I don’t always like it – I just know that I would hate having to try to be anybody else, haha!

The five years was mostly due to me not understanding the system, we could get that down to less than a year for you now I know the process!

It is very hard indeed to speak up, and sometimes, it feels like you’re talking to an argumentative brick wall. I’ve given up a lot of times.

So the going out thing, I feel best when I’m outdoors in nature but when I have, a burnout, I find it impossible to go outside unless I absolutely have to (work or something) so that exacerbates the situation cos I need outside to feel better but my brain won’t let me! It’s stupid and I hate that part.

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Psychotherapy work in Ukraine


As the Russian invasion of Ukraine passed its 100th day, with little sign of an end, I interviewed Kateryna by text, a woman from eastern Ukraine who is currently volunteering to provide psychotherapy support to her countrymen and women. Her words are a reminder of the people of Ukraine, amongst whom some 14 million have been displaced and thousands killed and injured. It also reminds me of my responsibility to do what I can to try and promote peace in a war that even risks global famines and, also, nuclear escalation.

(i) You mentioned that you’re learning English to help with your next job and you had to leave your last role due to the war. Can you explain why you had to leave your job? Did the war force you to move away?

The war affected every Ukrainian without exception. The company I worked for was badly damaged, almost half of the stores destroyed by rockets and bombs. The company lost any opportunities to provide employees with jobs and pay salaries.

I became a volunteer of psychological care in 2020, when the world learned about Covid and it turned out that people are not ready mentally for social isolation. The war is a severe test for my psyche also. And I understood perfectly well how all Ukrainians suffer. At the same time, the war has united our nation like never before, we all want the same thing now. And we all are thinking in terms of categories: What can I do to be useful for our victory ?! So I decided that my knowledge, skills and experience should work for a single purpose now. And this is Save my country from the enemy!!!

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Volunteering & working abroad – facing anxiety and doubts: Interview

An interview with C, who I connected with on the volunteer and work exchange site, Workaway, over the past several months, as she has undertaken her travels and work roles. I was curious to know what the experience of volunteering or short-term working, for the first time, in a new country, was like and how she met the challenges she faced, including anxiety.

Nov/Dec 2021

i) How have you found the experience of volunteering in a bed and breakfast in Scotland and what are your next plans?

I feel like I managed to unblock something, as if I was stuck in Belgium (my home country) and needed to get away from everything to actually function. Having seen that I indeed am capable of working, of sustaining myself, I feel empowered and strong. I of course have all my vulnerabilities still. But I feel a bit more sure of myself and my resilience. When I realised that, my dreams emerged again: study something at uni or college and build a life for myself.

I know I am not there yet, I still have a lot of work in front of me before I can think about going to university again. But to get to dreams you need to take small concrete steps. So the first step was accepting the job offer to work as a cleaner in a nice b&b. It will be a quite well paid job and I will be able to keep working on myself, while feeling like I am on top of things financially.

Maybe, who knows, I will be accepted into college in September 2022. Or I will choose another path for myself and decide to work and not focus on academics for a while, get an apartment, and work my way away, trying to live my life. And not survive it.

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Street Photography – Observation and embracing anxiety (Interview)

Saram takes a range of photographs, including street photography, offering new perspectives on what we take for granted. In this interview article, collated from a series of interview answers, he discusses his photography approach, how it is influenced by his anxiety symptoms and life in Poland.

Saram shares his photos on Twitter, Instagram,
OpenSea and on an online print shop, saram.darkroom.tech.

Collage, Saram Maqbool

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Could you talk about your experiences of working and living in Poland, having moved from Pakistan?

I came to Poland two years ago to study for my Master’s degree in architecture. It has been a great experience overall. I find it a different experience doing street photography here simply because I walk pretty much everywhere as opposed to driving. I walked to my university and took photos on the way and back. I now walk to work and take photos on the way and back. In Pakistan, I used to do the same thing but while sitting in a car. So I would say it is definitely different and I guess easier in some ways. However, I also sometimes find myself feeling much more anxious while doing photography here because of the language barrier that exists. Other than that, it has been great exploring new places and being able to take photographs wherever I go.

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