Reply To: The foreigner

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I’m so sorry you couldn’t get a diagnosis. Insurance is so ridiculous, and, honestly, it can be a challenge to find a therapist willing to diagnose and medicate an adult. I hope you can find one. I got lucky.

Honestly, though, the biggest relief was getting the diagnosis and knowing that I’m not the way I am because of some moral failing. This is the way my brain is wired, and, while it can be frustrating, it’s also incredibly amazing. Our ADHD brains can do magical things if we can only harness them. However, our brains also tend to fixate and obsess, most of the time on self-negative thoughts. I’m so bad about this, and it’s difficult to change my internal monologue. I am making a concerted effort, though, to change the way I talk to myself. Instead of getting frustrated and calling myself an idiot because I once again left my keys in the door or forgot my phone at home, I instead have started being gentle and forgiving with myself. “It’s okay you forgot your phone. You had a crazy morning and had more to worry about getting out of the house than grabbing your phone. Plus, think how much more productive you’ll be today!” It’s not easy and some days are worse than others, but I’m trying!

You are most definitely not alone. I would suggest you read the book “Driven to Distraction” by Drs. Edward Hallowell and John Ratey. It will resonate with you, and also provide some simple suggestions that may improve your day-to-day existence. Also, even if you can’t get in to a psychiatrist for a diagnosis, it might help to see a therapist or counselor to help with the negative self-talk and self-image we often have as a result from internalization of a lifetime of struggle and negative comments from others. I am very sensitive to any kind of criticism or anything I may perceive as criticism. This is an actual thing with us ADHD people. There’s even a name for it: Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria. This negatively affects everything in our life, from work to relationships and friendships. But there are ways to deal. This article has some good suggestions:


Sorry I’m writing a book. It’s just that I’ve been exactly where you are. You are not alone and it can get better. I hope some of this is at least helpful.