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My Invisible Disorders: ADHD and DepressionFiled Under: ADHD and Depression, Choosing an ADHD Professional
A bad fall. A hip replacement. As my loved ones suffer through physical pain, I can't help but feel that my struggles with ADHD and depression, though often invisible, are no less worthy of compassion.
A little after midnight a week ago, the grandmother slipped and fell in the bathroom. She has been hospital- and bed-ridden since, which is akin to torture for everyone involved.
At 89, the grandmother is feisty and impatient and hates her roommates, the doctors, and the hospital food. She badly wants to walk again and the aunt doesn't have the heart to tell her that she won't be nearly as mobile as she was before the fall. The entire landscape has changed since that fall, and it's hard not to think "What if...?"
The timing is rough since the relatives from hell, the cousin, her fiancee and that whole clan has arrived. Under the premise of "giving them more space," I have moved into the school dorm for a month -- until the grandmother returns home, the annoying relatives leave, and I can gain some grounding. Maybe a change of routine and scenery will help, I think. It simply has to because this rough patch that I've hit -- the abyss-like funk and bouts of depression -- now seems to be infecting those whom I love, and it feels overwhelming.
To make things even worse, the sister rang recently and shared some unfortunate news: The white coats say she definitely needs a hip replacement this year. All those years of medications from her transplant have taken a toll on her bones. "The knee is now breaking down from the hip," she said, and all I can do is sigh and think: "My life is like whitewater rafting down a river that just gets rockier."
I've offered to take care of her and help out this summer. I don't mind, but at times I wish that my breakdown were more visible and that I could get an ounce of sympathy in the same way the sister does.
The most beautiful thing about having ADHD is resilience, though, and my feisty nature remains. After months of Internet surfing and research, I finally found an MD in Hong Kong who specializes in ADHD. American educated and Chinese, she seems like a ray of sunshine illuminating the bottom of a deep well.
I have a lunch meeting set up with her and I'm all ready to meet this woman. In the meantime, I've put the British counselor on hold, especially since our sessions have felt rather unproductive, and more like a trip to the Catholic confessional. I had spent the last few sessions spewing out my litany of complaints as she nodded and sipped tea. The sessions had lost focus and her mantra of "God helps those who help themselves" was now stale.
Bring on the MD and the medication I say to myself -- and to no one else, of course.
Jane is a 30-something city girl who graduated magna cum laude from college and has had 12 jobs in 10 years, including five years overseas. She's worked on the left coast, right coast, in the 'burbs, and has settled in Gotham (for now).
Jane was diagnosed with ADD and general anxiety disorder in late 2005, thanks to a kind neurologist who told Jane that she is a smart girl, but suffers from a disorder of creative-types and braniacs such as Albert Einstein and Dustin Hoffman. The diagnosis inspired Jane to explore therapy, meditation, introspection, and Eli Lilly.
Like many an ADDer, Jane considers herself a renaissance woman with a wide range of hobbies including swimming, watching films, fine dining (which includes the occasional vending machine cuisine), wine tasting, exercising, and shopping. She loves the ocean, sunsets, traveling, and in her next life wouldn't mind being a beach bum, or professional clothes shopper.
She recently entered the work world again after a long period of unemployment. Jane juggles the new gig at a large corporation run by a He-Boss, along with spending time with family and friends, a new romance after a lengthy romantic dry spell, and searches for stability in the office and out.
She is active in the adult ADD community, and hopes that one day ADDers will be recognized for their true worth, their creativity, their contributions, and their spark.
What do you think of this article? Share your comments on www.ADDConnect.com, ADDitude's community site. Check out the new ADHD Medication User Reviews and the ADHD Adults Support Group. Your fellow ADDers want to hear from you!