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‘Peace of Mind with Taraji’ Features Nicole Byer Episode on Facebook Watch | LOOK

*This week’s new episode of Peace of Mind with Taraji, featuring comedian and actress Nicole Byer discussing her experience with being diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, is now available on Facebook Watch.

In Peace of Mind with Taraji, Golden Globe Award-Winning Actress Taraji P. Henson and her best friend and co-host Tracie Jade shine a spotlight on the challenging mental health issues facing us today – particularly those in the Black community. Through personal interviews with both celebrities, experts and everyday people, the series shows how to provide support, bring awareness and help eliminate the stigmas of mental health issues.

  • Title: ADHD: Not Just for Hyper Kids with Nicole Byer
  • Description: Do you ever look for your phone with your phone in your hand? Maybe you have Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). #NailedIt’s Nicole Byer opens up about not being diagnosed with ADHD until she was an adult and how it affects her life and mental health. 25-year-old Christina Brown shares her traumatic experience growing up with ADHD and how she struggles with it today. Psychiatrist Dr. Eraka Bath shares tools and insight about the diagnosis, treatment and how it’s often mislabeled in the Black community.

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Taraji P Henson (with Nicole Byer - Peace of Mind)
Taraji P Henson (with Nicole Byer – Peace of Mind)

Some highlights from the episode include:

  • Nicole Byer describes getting diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. (1:45:81 – 3:03:14)

○      “How old were you again when you were diagnosed?” – Taraji P. Henson

○      “32? 30? My sister was just like, oh, that explains a lot. She was like, I see that for you.” – Nicole Byer

○      “How did you even know to go and get services?” – Tracie Jade

○      “My friend who’s a comic, we went away with a bunch of other girls on this like writer’s retreat. And she was like, I just wanna tell you guys something. I was diagnosed with ADHD, these were the things that were happening in my life that were just becoming unmanageable, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I do the same thing.’ A lot of that is the same thing with me. So then I told my therapist who then sent me to a psychiatrist who let me talk uninterrupted for like 10 minutes, and she was like, it is bad!…She was like, you are jumping around from topic, it’s bad.” – Nicole Byer

○      “How did you feel after you got diagnosed?” – Taraji P. Henson

○      “It was kind of like a wave of relief. Because I was like, oh, that’s why my brain operates like that. Like I get overwhelmed very easily. But now when I take medication, it’s very easy for me to sit and go, ‘Okay, Nicole, you have to do this, you have to do this, you don’t have to do this. So let’s get the things done you have to do today.’ It makes life a little easier. And then I tried to not get angry with myself anymore.” – Nicole Byer

  • Taraji P. Henson asks Nicole Byer about her initial fears of taking meditation. Nicole describes her initial fears of medication and how she thought it would affect her. (3:08:04 – 4:13:29)

○      “Most people, when they have been diagnosed with a mental illness, they get afraid of the medicine, it’s gonna affect things. Did you have that fear?” – Taraji P. Henson

○      “Yeah, I was like very scared.” – Nicole Byer

○      “You thought it would affect your comedy and your ability to be funny?” – Taraji P. Henson

○      “Yes, I fully was like, will it take away my spontaneity? Like is it gonna make me like really focused to the point where I stop having fun? But I don’t, I’m not on a high enough dosage for that. I stay on a pretty low dosage. I just have a lot of thoughts and trying to get things done, and it’s just not working but, uh-oh. I lost train of my thought…” – Nicole Byer

○      “Did you always feel like something was different about your brain?” – Tracie Jade

○      “Yeah, I always just thought I thought differently. Like you can ask, you know, five people that same question and my answer will be very different than the other five people. The simple answer is not what I’m reaching for…I’m reaching for something far away that doesn’t make any sense. And I always just thought I was like, ‘Oh, I guess my brain just works a little differently,’ but it does. It just, it processes things in a very different way.” – Nicole Byer

Nicole Byer - screenshot
Nicole Byer – Facebook screenshot
  • Nicole Byer describes how ADHD affects all aspects of her life. (4:13:33 – 05:59:56)

○      “Were there other areas where you struggled?” – Taraji P. Henson

○      “Oh, I mean with everything, like I forgot to put mascara on today…I just forget. It’s very hard. I’ll be looking for my phone with my phone in my hand…That happens like every single day.” – Nicole Byer

○      “So just little things?” – Taraji P. Henson

○      “The smallest things. But then there’s other things like, I know I have to like do something where I like physically can’t do it and I cannot articulate why or how it’s like that. But a lot of people with ADHD say that that’s a thing with them. Where they’re like, I just simply cannot get off the couch and wash the dishes. I’d like to wash the dishes, but like right now, I can’t. And I think it’s because for me specifically, there’s a chain of like, if you do one thing, another thing happens, another thing happens, another thing happens, and I can’t compute that.” – Nicole Byer

○      “In that moment, your brain, does it, it locks or?” – Taraji P. Henson

○      “Kind of, and then when it unlocks, you get everything done in one day.” – Nicole Byer

○      “How often does that happen for you?” – Taraji P. Henson

○      “Like once every two weeks. It’s very annoying then.” – Nicole Byer

○      “Does it at all get in the way of your work or even your personal life?” – Tracie Jade

○      “Yeah, like learning lines for an audition is very hard. I have to like sit there and kind of hype myself up into it and be like, ‘Well, you have to learn the lines, so you book it, then you already know that scene, isn’t that fun?’ And then, I usually have a friend come over to put me on tape. So I have a deadline to make, ’cause if my friend comes over and I don’t know the lines, I’ve wasted her time. So it was just like, you kind of have to give yourself accountability with some stuff. Otherwise, you just kind of let it go. But yeah, it’s very, very annoying.” – Nicole Byer

  • Nicole Byer talks about what it was like as a child and goes into how she found it difficult to focus in school and how she found her way to acting. (5:59:61 – 7:05:13)

○      “Tell me, what was it like for you as a child?” – Taraji P. Henson

○      “I was very loud, I talked a lot. It was hard for me to focus on things. So like in school, I would rush through all my work and then go talk to the teacher about how dumb the other kids were and be like, ‘They’re so slow, they don’t finish their work very fast.’ Turns out, I had ADHD. There’s a reason.” – Nicole Byer

○      “And how does your family react to that?” – Tracie Jade

○      “There wasn’t any specific reaction. It was just like, ‘Oh, Nicole is like a busybody. Nicole likes to be in people’s business. Nicole likes to talk a lot, she’s very vocal.’ Like that’s how I got into acting. My mother was like, ‘Go talk on stage. There’s enough of this at the house. Please leave, go do something else.’” – Nicole Byer

○      “Do you think that being a Black woman with ADHD, you think that we have a different journey in terms of how we navigate?” – Tracie Jade

○      “I think Black women have a harder journey with everything. You know, if you’re too assertive, you’re a bitch. If you’re emoting too much, you’re not strong. And it’s like, well, give me a break, just give me a break.” – Nicole Byer

  • Taraji P. Henson asks Nicole Byer about the biggest misconceptions she thinks people have about ADHD and if she’s ever suffered from depression. (7:10:34 – 8:18:45)

○      “I think people just think it’s about being a little spacey and forgetful, but it’s also like I have to write an outline. I know how to write an outline. I cannot write this outline right now. I have ideas in my head and I cannot put it to paper, and it’s not that we’re lazy. And I don’t know why, and I’m not alone. There’s a ton of other people who feel the same way, where they’re like, I cannot focus on things and I am, you know, spacey. So that is a part of it, but that’s not it. ADHD, anxiety, depression, bipolar, all of them are like little branches from like the same mental illness. So it’s like, you might think you have ADHD, but you might be depressed and that’s okay, too. Depression is fine. It’s just, you have to figure out a way to make your life manageable with these things.” – Nicole Byer

○      “Had you ever suffered from depression?” – Taraji P. Henson

○      “Oh, sure, yeah. I don’t have terrible depression, but you know, you have ups and you have downs, and sometimes my downs are like bad, but I’ve learned it goes with my cycle.” – Nicole Byer

  • Nicole Byer on what she would say to someone who may think they’re struggling with ADHD. (8:34:09 – 8:46:86)

○      “I say go get it checked out. Go speak to someone. I think therapy is very valuable. I say don’t be afraid of medicine, but also, if medicine’s not working for you, try something else.” – Nicole Byer

  • Psychiatrist Dr. Eraka Bath on something she wished people knew about ADHD. (19:07:64-  19:34:13)

○      “It’s really about attention and focus. It has nothing to do with IQ. People get it twisted all the time. It’s really about focus, organization, distractibility. There’s nothing about intelligence, right, aptitude, and there’s nothing there. And so, that’s like a MythBuster because then, I think that makes people relax, right…and it’s also not about being lazy. And it’s actually a neurological disorder.” – Dr. Eraka Bath
source: Hannah Macdonald –

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