This is probably one of the hardest posts I’ve decided to write, mainly because of the comments I could receive on the decisions I’ve made but, honesty on my mental health journey is part of the reason why I started this blog in the first place. Please remember though, I am not a medical professional and only speak from my personal experience.
Within the last couple of months, I have been diagnosed with ADHD. I’m still early on my journey but I wanted to share how it’s been going so far.
For years I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression. I have been regularly going to therapy for almost 10 years trying to figure out how to manage my mental health. With more and more information coming out about how ADHD affects women I’ve found myself wondering if I had it. Some of the symptoms I had were:
- My mind was constantly going. The best way to explain it is my mind was loud all the time. There was never a moment of calm and quiet. Even when I was relaxed random thoughts would pop up either about my to-do list, a random observation about the room around me, or even just a daydream.
- I am very easily distracted either by notifications on my phone, or email and teams messages at work. Also, when I would be in a public place and if anything was mildly distracting for a neurotypical mind I would be completely distracted even if I was mid-sentence.
- I get overstimulated easily.
- I am constantly exhausted even when I would have a good night’s sleep. Even a couple of days of good sleep wouldn’t be enough to feel rested.
As time went on I would have honest conversations with my husband and my therapist. The first person to suggest I might have ADHD was my husband since he has ADHD and we also have a child who has been diagnosed. Since there have been links to show that ADHD is hereditary, he had to get it from somewhere. I was diagnosed by going through the diagnostic criteria in the DSM V with my therapist and an appointment with my primary care provider.
There have been a few things that have come out with my diagnosis, during a phone call with my mom it came out that there was speculation I had ADHD when I was in elementary school. She didn’t get me tested because she was doing what she believed was best for me; she didn’t want me to be put into a box with limitations. I hold no hard feelings about her choice because I had to make the same hard decision with my own child and we had more information on what it would mean for our child. In the late 90s, there was very little information. And mom if you are reading this, I know you did your best and I love you for that.
Now, what does this mean now? I have decided to go on medication because managing my ADHD without medication has become an issue and something has to change. I personally started with a non-stimulant option first. This is mainly because I wanted to start myself off slow. I am already on an SSRI for my anxiety and depression, and I wasn’t quite ready to go the stimulant route. So far it’s been working. Some of the changes have been that my mind is quiet and staying focused has been a lot easier. Also, writing has been a lot easier from this blog post, text conversations, and long emails at work has been so much easier.
Let me know in the comments what your experiences have been and if this post has helped you!