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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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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#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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We Call it, Super Brain Power

In our home, we refer to ADHD as Super Brain Power, the ADHD mind is truly brilliant. The ADHD diagnosis came 5 years ago and it was not only a relief, but a much needed explanation as to why. ADHD is not an excuse , or even a disability, just a different ability.

ADHD has taught my family the importance of never judging others. It has taught us the importance of acceptance, patience, compassion, and tolerance.

Our journey has reminded us that we are each unique and beautifully made. We have learned the power of resilience, beating the odds, and embracing who were really are, not changing ourselves to conform to the world, rather, accepting ourselves, and adapting our world to meet our individual needs.

We each have a place and purpose. ADHD can be messy, loud, busy, and even lonely. To anyone reading this, you are not alone. You are cared about, understood, and deeply admired. You are strong and capable. Your super brain power will always be a part of you, own it and be proud!

Maxine Gregory

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Living on our island…together

Mother and SonMy son & I are ADDer’s. Unfortunately, some of our family members don’t see the validity of ADD. The worst is telling us to try harder, when to us – we’re trying our very hardest, so how can we try any harder? It’s comparable to telling a blind person to see. We. Just. Can’t.

My son & I compare our ADD lives to that of living on an island. At first, we thought of it as a deserted island. Alone; in despair; no resources; & no way off. We felt like we were deserted.

Through the years of hard work & learning to survive & thrive on our deserted island, our “deserted” island became our “paradise” island. Full of life; in amazement; many resources; & many great paths. We feel like we’re in paradise.

Our ADD no longer scares us because we’ve learned – it’s where our creativity & out-of-the-box thinking comes from. It’s why we have so many great thoughts & ideas & why our interests in this life aren’t confined to just a few.

It’s why we are who we are. And who we are……is pretty great.

Wallis Warriors