Home › Welcome to the ADDitude Forums › For Adults › How did you feel after diagnosis. Please share! *third attempt at posting › Reply To: How did you feel after diagnosis. Please share! *third attempt at posting
It sounds like the road to your diagnosis was a difficult one. I hate that for you; it sounds like it’s been painful. Thank you for sharing.
I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 28. No one really suspected that I was the ADHD kid because I did well in school. Didn’t care for it, but managed good grades. Turns out I can hyperfocus on stuff like that pretty well.
Grad school was the first time anyone suggested they thought I had ADHD. The professor broke us into two groups on opposite sides of the room and was giving us instructions. She was taking a really long time getting to the point and I was feeling restless. Apparently, when she looked over she saw me balancing on one foot with my arms stretched out to try to hold the balance and I was nearly falling over, narrowly missing hitting someone. She busted out laughing and asked if I had ADHD. I just shrugged, really. I didn’t know much about it.
Fast forward, at 28 I owned my own business and found that the process of building it was an absolute blast. But once I built it and it was doing well, I was struggling to keep it going. It wasn’t quite as interesting, my paperwork was so far behind I started having panic attacks whenever I thought about trying to get it caught up or just thinking about it in general because it being that far behind and disorganized ran the risk of getting me into some serious trouble.
Then it came time for taxes and I could not get myself to get it all organized and put together in order to file. It was horrible. My stuff was so disorganized it would take me weeks to get it all together. Time was running out and at the last minute, I realized I’d lost every 1099 tax document I needed in order to be able to even file. In a panic, I talked to my doctor to see what the heck was going on with me that I couldn’t even get myself to try to work on it. She sent me for an ADHD assessment and gave me a temporary prescription for adderall while I waited for the assessment to see if it would at least help me get through the tax situation. It did. I got everything organized and turned in on time. I had to work like a madwoman to get it done but I was able to do it without panicking, freaking out, or getting disorganized and lost again. I was also able to get caught up on my paperwork. when I went to the assessment, my doctor confirmed that I have ADHD. He taught me alot about ADHD (I was lucky that his entire practice is focused on treating and assessing for ADHD and he’s really knowledgeable about it).
The information he gave me helped me to realize that most of what I thought was anxiety (for basically my entire life) was actually ADHD. Since I started medication, I’ve noticed the weirdest things that I would never have guessed was related to ADHD. I’m terrified of needles and they make me sick to my stomach when I see them. On ADHD medication, I can now look at the needle while its in my arm (for routine bloodwork since I have other medical issues) without it making me feel anxious or sick. The constant overwhelmed feeling that I always thought was anxiety is gone. My emotions don’t completely overwhelm me and shut me down. I can carry on a conversation when music is playing (couldn’t do that before), and I can move on from things that actually do make me anxious much faster because I can use my thoughts more effectively to calm myself down. It’s been wonderful and crazy to say the least.
All of that ended up creating in me a passion for helping others with their ADHD. (and an opportunity to build another thing which it turns out I LOVE). So now I blog about ADHD. It’s a lot of fun! I get to help people better understand themselves and the role their ADHD plays in other areas of their life that they might not have realized. And what to do about it. It’s become a new passion…obsession…hyperfocus 😛
Finding out I had ADHD didn’t upset me the way I know it sometimes does for others. Even though I have struggles that I’d rather not have, I’ve learned to accept myself and actually like who I am even when I’m far from perfect. Being someone who’s really good at and drawn to creative problem solving, one thing that I think has been helpful in the way I look at my ADHD diagnosis that might benefit other people is I don’t really let my thoughts bully me about messing something up or forgetting it. Instead, I go into problem solving mode. like, Ok this happened. How do I overcome the challenges it presents? How do I work with what I have to keep it from being a big problem? That mindset has been really valuable to me in overcoming the challenges I experience and not beating myself up when ADHD creates….challenges…. 😀
Anyway, thanks for posting!
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