I am in my thirties and just in the process of receiving a diagnosis. A lot of people wouldn’t believe that there is anything wrong with me because on the surface I look fine. When I was seeking a diagnosis, a friend told me that everyone has difficulty, but that I function, so what’s the issue? What they see is that I was able to complete two degrees, I can get to work on time (people don’t consider you as having a time management issue when you arrive inappropriately early) and I can function with a basic routine (but god help me if something throws me off). I have OK social skills in a serious environment and I appear to be a serious, articulate person.
My problem is mild, but it also isn’t. What people don’t know is that it’s had an enormous impact on my life. I struggle socially because I can’t regulate the appropriateness of my behaviour and I can’t adapt to new situations readily. That is the reason why I am so serious and boring all the time. It’s the safest way to not say poorly considered or weird things, although people don’t like me either way. My self-esteem suffered and my anxiety and depression are a problem that leads me to be unmotivated and impulsive. I have been constantly been dismissed as being stupid, incompetent, lazy, uncaring, weird, even though I scored as high as the superior range in some of my cognitive functions. I could never understand why I performed OK academically (and much lower than I should have given my effort, interest, and facility with the subject), but how I couldn’t do basic things. Rejection and failure are a bitch for anyone.
I chose my first degree because it was what I loved and wanted to study. I chose the second because I wasn’t able to do what I wanted with the first one; problems with executive function and attention limited what I could do. I drudge through a job that I never really wanted, just because I felt like I could at least do that. But now it turns out that I can’t do that job either. I was very underemployed for a long time and it looks like I might have to go back. People don’t understand when I say that I can’t do basic things or when I worry about my performance at work. It hurts to have a reasonably high level of intelligence and motivation but to be unable to realize our vision in the world. To be unable to exert ourselves and to see the result.
All I am saying is not to be so quick to judge. You may have a serious case of ADHD that affected your academic performance, but others have a different or milder profile while still having a legitimate issue. And I guarantee you that there are things you can do that others with the same disorder cannot do. You don’t necessarily know what others are going through, nor what they have sacrificed just to appear to be functional. Everyone has a different profile, different demands and differing strategies for dealing with it.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by elleanon.