267: Thriving at 75 – Hope, Strengths, and the Value of Animals with Paul Phenix

Paul Phenix joins me on this episode of the podcast.  Paul, at the age of 75, has an extraordinary story of his journey with ADHD and is the oldest (and most wise) guest on my show to date. Paul has struggled with ADHD throughout his life, especially when attending medical school to be a veterinarian. Since his retirement, Paul has learned to enjoy life, leisurely activities and how to say, “Thank You.”  

Since his childhood, Paul has loved animals of all species: from the 500 frogs he brought into his mom’s parlor to the python he put under his new bride’s bed, he has been active with animal research and welfare since the age of 5. When he found out as a child he could take care of animals for a living, Paul knew what he wanted to do as an adult.

Paul has learned through research since being diagnosed at age 50 how to be a good problem solver, alternative therapies which work for lessening his anxiety and how to use different strategies to get through his day.

Your Resources

The Gift of Adult ADHD: How to Transform Your Child’s Problems into Strengths  | Lara Honos-Webb PhD

The Red Green Show – Adult ADHD, ADD Blog   | Totally ADD

The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results  | Gary Keller

You’ll Learn:

  • [02:46] How Paul found out he had ADHD.
  • [05:00] When Paul learned he could be a veterinarian and the social negativity he experienced when he was young.
  • [07:50] Wild animals Paul brought into his home as a child.
  • [09:45] The size of the python Paul’s new bride found next to their bed!
  • [15:21] How Paul’s life changed after being diagnosed and treated with medication.
  • [17:35] Rejection sensitivity and other issues that changed when Paul started to manage his ADHD.
  • [19:19] Wellbutrin’s benefits for those with ADHD.
  • [21:07] Two times for those with ADHD: now and not now and hyperfocus.
  • [25:57] What Paul can do for enjoyment at this period in his life without feeling guilty for having fun.
  • [28:10] What advice Paul would give to his past self and learning how to say “Thank You”.
  • [35:49] Tapping your body meridians to relieve anxiety.
  • [38:20] Hypnosis and the benefits for those with ADHD.
  • [44:30] Paul was the first person in New Hampshire to bring a dog into a nursing home and the therapeutic power of dogs.
  • [50:35] How a golden retriever saved a family’s life.
  • [53:30] Releasing anxiety around daily activities.
  • [57:01] The more information we can get to kids, the better off they will be.

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