Nobody noticed my ADHD

I remember as a child growing up that I would daydream a lot. I was terribly afraid of math but was above average in reading and writing.

I avoided taking algebra and higher level math in high school. Didn’t score very well on the SAT and had to take remedial math in college. Before entering college I enlisted in the Army and started drinking coffee. I noticed that the coffee helped me to concentrate and focus on the tasks.

I finished college, medical school and post graduate training. I’m currently a board certified foot & ankle surgeon. My son was diagnosed at an early age with ADHD. It was at that point when his psychiatrist said “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!”

Apparently I developed coping skills and was able to deal with it without medication ( I still drink coffee) however my son has been on medication for 7 years. I now understand his behavior in earlier years wasn’t deviant but purely impulsive due to his ADHD. I’m now a better parent!

AGordon


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Military and ADHD

Living with ADHD in the Military is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Mostly because they have high standards of excellence and require you to maintain those standards.

For the longest time I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Why couldn’t I just do the same things everybody else was doing? It wasn’t until recently that I started actually researching ADHD and went to therapy. It completely opened my eyes to all the challenges I’ve been facing and that it was all linked to my ADHD.

I have now accepted my ADHD and I have been happier and more comfortable in my own skin than I have in a long time. I’m glad that we as a community are finally bringing our struggles into the light. Happy ADHD Awareness Month!!

Matthew


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To have or not to have ADHD,
that is the question.

I’m Jacky, I’m 43 and was diagnosed over 21 years ago with Clinical Depression and severe anxiety. For the past year, I have come to understand that it is highly likely I have undiagnosed adult ADHD. It is highly likely that my ‘away with the fairies’ personality is not because my will is fundamentally flawed but due to genetics and brain chemistry.

I have asked to be assessed so I may better understand that I am indeed neuro divergent and not just the lazy waste of space I have always believed I am.

However, this process will likely take a further 2 years due to waiting lists to be seen. 2 more years of not knowing if I’m ‘allowed’ to even be who I actually am. And what if I don’t have ADHD and I AM simply unable to control myself?!

Jacky


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When I thought “normal” life-ing was hard for everyone

All my life I was “that” person- forgetful, absent-minded, aloof, annoying. I thought I could re-invent myself to be better, and at times I could, but sometimes I couldn’t. I didn’t do as well in high school or college, mostly related to my inability to do homework and poor memory recall.

I beat myself up so many times which made everything worse. Fast forward to getting married and having babies and I did all of that without even thinking I had ADHD. But then my dad died and I began therapy only to find out that my anxiety and depression were best described as ADHD co-occurring with anxiety.

The funny part is- I’m a therapist! I should’ve known. Being diagnosed at 28 was a hard pill to swallow (coincidentally ADHD medication is not a hard pill to swallow) but it helped me understand that all of my experiences were normal for me and normal for the way my brain works. It’s still difficult. I wish it wasn’t so hard some days but as long as I advocate for myself I know it will get better.

Erika


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A post ADHD diagnosis success story

boy chasing a brain

Not discouraged by his diagnosis, a young boy focuses on figuring out how his brain works. He watches his thoughts whiz by and compares his thinking process to a speeding race car with no brakes. He recognizes his brain’s unique assets and enthusiastically describes in great detail some of his ADHD superpowers.

Not only open-minded, but he’s also an out of the box thinker with great problem solving skills. Spontaneous, brave and resourceful, he always comes up with the best ideas for adventures and his qualities of honesty and empathy make him a great friend.

He wisely acknowledges the traits that he needs to work on which seem to fall into the category of executive functions. He wants to find out more about them and he realizes he has a lot to learn. Once he knows he is surrounded by an ADHD community, he adds asking for help to his expanding list of superpowers.

He turned his ADHD diagnosis into not only a learning experience but also into a self confidence boost. Success!!

Karen Ann Leonard


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Shine and Surprise!

I harness my potential, using a multi-modal approach, including Lifestyle modification, life-skills training and some Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

Lifestyle modifications imply The ‘MEDS-H’ approach, that is, Meditation, Exercise, Diet including supplements, adequate Sleep and Human connection.
Important behavioral principles comprise of practicing the pause and working on my listening skills.

Honing my communication skills through a speaking forum, books and online courses has proved beneficial to me.

While I am not on medication, Omega 3 supplements, and an ayurvedic medicament with herbs like Brahmi and Ashwagandha, are all helpful.

In hindsight I think that enabling an ADHDer child to play to his strengths by supporting him or her morally, emotionally and financially is the best things that a parent can do.

Working with natural ways of dealing with the condition, playing to my strengths and adapting my environment to ADHD have been my Mantra to surprise and shine with ADHD.

Ratan

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Jill, mum of 4, nurse, diagnosed ADHD age 35

hi!
Jill, mum of 4. diagnosed 3 months ago age 35. Absolutely life changing.

I spent 35 years winging it at life, disorganized, unsettled, house full of unfinished projects, money wasted on courses and ideas I couldn’t finish, changing jobs every 2 years (max), avoiding social situations, brain full of bees, masking pretty much every aspect of life. I spent my teenage years misdiagnosed anxiety/depression, almost failed school and university due to lack of interest and inability to focus.

Diagnosis and medication is unbelievable – my mind is quiet! I can find my words to articulate my thoughts without being a rambling mess! I can start a task and actually finish it. I am kicking goals at work. I am genuinely enjoying socializing without the nerves and fear. Growing in confidence in my abilities each day and working through the new me.
Who even knew this was the norm for neurotypical brains!

I owe all of this to my 6year old son. His extreme hyperactivity in ADHD started my research

Jill Byatt

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53 years ADHD

In kindergarten I was playing with blocks while the rest of the class was paying attention.
Did 4th grade elementary school twice so my parents sent me to orthopedagogics Professor Bladergroen to be evaluated.
I was diagnosed with ADHD in the seventies when I was 10. During the evaluation I learned to play with Lego. I did not had the focus to build according the build plan so I used my creativity to build something of my own. My parents were advised to stimulate the creativity in easy steps so I would not get frustrated. I remember having a pile of lego and lots of build samples but never made them exactly as it should have been. I had a knack for technical stuff so I went to technical school. Now 40+ years later I am a mechanical design engineer in a prototype department using advanced 3D software designing cool machines. I love being special 🙂

LT Tan

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ADHD POEM

Adhd is just a term
A description we use
Which raises concern
Its not who we are
Its a label we give
Should it determine
The way that we live?
Should it disable us
Or make us feel flawed
Or be an excuse
To close the door?
To make less effort
As we have something to blame
To cause trouble
Cos we aint the same..
If we can see
ADHD is a gift
If we can get underneath it
And give it a lift
Then it becomes
A source of power
An endless energy
For us to devour
Suddenly the world
Seems at your feet
When you turn a disability
Into somethin neat
So lets all celebrate
And take control
Lets be proud
And be lead by the soul.

Claire Allen

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#ADHDPositive and almost 50!

Sasha YoungIt was the fall of Covid 2020, having been off work for 6 months and struggling to accomplish the simplest tasks, I was at my breaking point. Wasting time watching TikTok and scrolling social media.

Then I saw it, ADHD symptoms in a quirky 30-second video. Hit the hashtag, and it’s been a journey. After some online tests, I made an appointment at my PC. At the age of 48 1/2, officially diagnosed, EVERYTHING clicked. School struggles, relationships, even staying on task for housework. In therapy, I was offered to try Strattera.

It has been a miracle. I’ve restarted college, and I’m headed into Junior year aiming for a Master in Psychology to help and advocate for individuals just like myself.

Understanding how the brain works with ADHD, what symptoms were in fact because of it, has been such a wild ride. I literally tell complete strangers, I have no fear of stigma and advocate with great vigor. I have no regret of what could have been only a positive outlook.

Sasha Young

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