Welcome back, Queen!
If you’re new here, thank you so much for visiting. Before we dive into today’s matter, how my ADHD diagnosis changed my life, be aware that this is part 2 of my previous post. Check it out if you haven’t already. 😉
The story left off when my first family doctor overlooked my ADHD symptoms.
Now let’s fast forward to the end of high school when my mom successfully contacted a psychologist to get a second opinion. I had no idea what to expect at the time of the evaluation, but I remember feeling flooded by nerves. It happened every time I had to take a test.
My ADHD evaluation was over 10 years ago, so I can’t describe the whole process in detail. I can, however, recall the familiar pressure I put on myself to perform well.
On the day of the appointment, the specialist carefully observed me as I worked through one tedious task after the other.
Not only was I feeling anxious about being watched, but I had to force myself to stay focused on topics that were putting me to sleep.
Thinking back on it, I question how that type of evaluation could have accurately measured my day-to-day functioning.
It’s hard to grasp how a complex cognitive assessment can be completed after only 2-3 hours of observing a stranger. That said, there’s more to determining a diagnosis than the examination alone.
For example, specialists must gather and analyze your history and the symptoms and challenges you faced earlier in life.
Still, wouldn’t it be interesting to know what additional information a more advanced tool, like a brain scan, could provide us today?
The Results Are In
The day I finally received the results arrived. And yup, you guessed it, I was indeed ADHD-positive.
OK, that might be a weird way to word it… I hear it now. 😆
In 2015, I was considered to have “mild ADD,” which would now be adequately referred to as “predominately inattentive type ADHD.” In other words, my main struggles were related to staying focused on one thing at a time, completing tasks that I wasn’t interested in, and meeting deadlines.
I didn’t show hyperactive or impulsive tendencies in early childhood, like interrupting my classmates or constantly leaving my seat.
An ADHD Diagnosis Can Change Your Life
Since I’ve spent more time learning about ADHD and how much it impacts your life, I’ve gained an appreciation for being diagnosed early in life. In addition, I have realized that having a name for the struggles you experience regularly can be life-changing!
In my case, receiving an ADHD diagnosis explained why:
- I struggled with time management
- I took extra long to complete assignments
- I was susceptible to others’ emotions as well as my own
- I was often overwhelmed by stimuli
- I excelled in creative subjects
And to this day, acknowledging that my brain is wired differently is not only helpful but necessary as I continue to work on and understand these challenges as an adult.
I would love to know how has your life changed since you’ve been diagnosed/treated?
Let me know in the comments.
Women in the ADHD Community
It’s sad to say that there are still many adult women in the ADHD community who have gone unrecognized or have been misdiagnosed. So you’re not alone if you still haven’t received an official diagnosis.
Thankfully, today’s resources enable us to connect with others within the community and become our own mental health advocates. In fact, many of us have had to be since most medical research has excluded women up until the 1990s.
While it’s upsetting that it’s taken so long for this gender bias to fade, it’s empowering to witness the great strides of people like Jenara Nerenberg. She’s the author of Divergent Mind: Thriving in a World That Wasn’t Designed for You, amplifying women’s voices and normalizing the different ways of thinking and connecting with others.
The lack of inclusion and education around women and girls in the ADHD field is part of the reason why I didn’t take my diagnosis seriously for the past nine years.
Despite having a diagnosis and access to treatment, I failed to recognize the importance of prioritizing my mental health.
But I’ll save that for the next post.
See you soon and stay well!
This was a wonderful story and you’re so brave for sharing it. I still can’t believe that your first doctor didn’t aknowledge your ADHD symptoms and was being dismisive of your struggle. We should demand more profesionalism and empathy from physicians.
We should because we have a long way to go! It’s comforting to know that more people like myself have a platform to share and we receive the support from people like you. <3