Reply To: ADHD + Masking Anxiety


I’m a counselor who has ADHD, inattentive type. I am not hyperactive, other than I sometimes fidget, and am bored easily.
When I was growing up, neither my parents nor my teachers had heard of ADHD or ADD (the older name.) It was called laziness, irresponsibility, not trying and not caring. I bought the story, and always tried not to be those things, and nearly always failed. The treatment for this was yelling, berating and threatening.
Even after I got my master’s degree, I didn’t recognize my own diagnosis, and simply attempted to conceal my condition, as always before. I had strategies for compensating, such as sitting on a front row, asking questions, and taking notes.
In one case, I had to read an extremely boring book, and my son had given me a watch with a stopwatch function. I didn’t know how I would get through it, but I set the stopwatch again and again, and discovered that at exactly 4 minutes, my eyes would be going over the words, but I would be thinking about something else. The alarm would ring, and I would resume reading until it rang again. I got through the whole book in that way.
I had been counseling for several years, and had diagnosed a lot of people with ADHD, when one day I said, “I do that, too.” And then I started noticing that I did most of the things on the list.
I went to a doc and got a prescription for Stattera, but after four months I discontinued, because it was expensive and I couldn’t see that it was doing anything for me.
Later I attended a seminar in which it was stated that the stuff doesn’t start working until about four months had passed. I then got another prescription, and noticed that it was hard to tell if it was working, because I didn’t feel anything, and just felt “normal.” However, when I would get off of it I would notice the symptoms again.
So now I just trust that, when I don’t notice anything, that means it’s working.

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by genedoug.