Reply To: PLEASE Tell me your story, I was just diagnosed & feeling confused/alone at 28

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Hi MadisonDee,

As you can see, you have a lot of company, a lot of us can definitely empathize.

I am 35-years old. I’ve had two evaluations in the past month. One psychiatric NP who thought my symptoms weren’t very clear-cut so she sent me to the neuropsychologist to see if I had bipolar type 2, ADHD, or both. I saw the neuropsychologist yesterday. It took 2.5 hours, and we did a battery of tests. He told me what I already suspected: that I have ADHD, both inattentive and hyperactive. He didn’t give me the full results. I will get them in 2 weeks. But he said that from observations of me during the (super boring) tests, and looking at some of the results, it appears to him that I have classic symptoms of ADHD.

It was hard for me, too, to accept that I could have this condition. I grew up thinking there was something different about me. I didn’t know what it was. I just felt different. Kids in school didn’t really like me. My family was always exasperated with me for numerous things. I didn’t know what it was, though. So I just continued on this existence.

Fast forward to today. I sought ADHD experts because of some of the things I read online, I could totally relate to. Also, I was no longer depressed, and I could deal with anxiety much better than I was able to in the past. But I still felt like something was off. I looked at my life, and I looked at my sisters, my friends, other people around me, and I thought: “How could these people get their crap together by just putting extra effort? I’ve tried EVERYTHING and I am still a huge hot mess.” Also, my 11-year old is showing classic signs of someone who is both inattentive and she is also wildly hyper at times. So, I decided to dig deeper into myself.

Every time I doubt my diagnosis, I think back to my history and how I always felt weird and different, and that people seemed to treat me differently. I’m not saying it was my fault. Of course, having ADHD is not our fault! We were born this way, nothing can change this. But, I just KNEW there really was something that made me different from most of the other people I knew.

It’s interesting once you make this discovery about yourself. This discovery made me realize that my father is the one I inherited this from. He has no idea though, and if I told him he has ADHD he’d deny it! And his family.. my mother’s family has absolutely no history of this. My dad’s family, on the other hand.. I can definitely see now how this disorder manifests on my dad side, and everything has been made so clear. We are quick to anger. We focus on all the things that annoy and distress us and get ourselves worked up. We get aggressive and we tend to drive others away with our aggression. Hence the isolation and people not liking us!

What’s great is that, now you know, and you are taking the steps to cope with this. I am older than you are, and I am only just starting to accept, that this is me. I have to find so many ways to cope with life, and it is very different from how others cope. For example, to get anything done, I have to do them in very short, 15-20 minute chunks. And I must have my favorite tunes blasting so I can get myself hyped for the tasks. But I can’t just tell myself, “OK, it is now time to sit down and do this! Focus! You can do it!” Nope… doesn’t work that way for me. I have very specific ways in which I have to do things, and people think I’m crazy, but you know what… this is me. This is how we are, and this is how we must cope in a world that cannot understand what it is like to live like this. Be you. Be unapologetic about it. Your goal is to make sure you are comfortable, happy with yourself, and know that you are trying your best to cope. And you have a community who is working hard at this along with you!

Best of luck 🙂