July 4, 2020 at 8:37 pm #178240
I was recently diagnosed with ADHD a few months back and needless to say, accepting the fact that so much of my life has been negatively impacted because of this including my upcoming divorce, I am looking for those from the East Valley who would like to meet up or chat and just provide support between those who understand the impact ADHD plays on our everyday lives.
July 6, 2020 at 11:17 am #178270richardUXDParticipant
Kendjelic, I do not live in Arizona (I’m in CA) but for whatever reason I received your above message yesterday. My heart goes out to you. I was only diagnosed one year ago, very late in the game of life, and it is incredibly traumatizing when one eventually finds out just how many areas of basic life functionality are impaired by the ADHD Nervous System, which wreaks havoc in so many ways.
I’m still struggling to come to terms with it, and how I’d had 30+ years of therapy in Austin, San Francisco and Oakland, and not one practitioner in all that time ever once mentioned even the possibility of ADHD let alone, and beyond every single one of them were uninformed about the severity of Adult ADHD and what it does to one’s life when not diagnosed. And thus I was completely unaware of this whole complex neurology’s effects on all these aspects of life, from personal relationships to financial & career problems and beyond.
The first thing you should know is: ADDitude magazine online is one of the very few places in your whole world around you where you will find people who “get” what has happened to you in your life, and what is actually operating in the ADHD nervous system. This took me almost a whole year to recognize — as my healthplan’s mental health practitioners were completely, 100%, clueless about these “co-morbidities” of ADHD”… and what I can tell you is this:
It is a very painful reality to have to deal with the cavernous knowledge-gap in the mental health profession. I have seen stories like this elsewhere on ADDitude magazine — and unfortunately it is a very sad state of reality that MOST PEOPLE who get the diagnosis finally, then have to contend with the completely unexpected GASLIGHTING that occurs everyday in every city of this nation, and probably the world over: whereby the mental health professionals you encounter know only the most rudimentary aspects of CHILDHOOD ADHD, and still to this day frame the issue as “most solved my stimulant meds”. But the fact is: you WILL encounter this: There are very few professionals in mental health who have any knowledge whatsoever about the longterm impacts of undiagnosed ADHD.
So that’s NUMBER ONE. It is not comforting to hear this, but it is far better to KNOW THIS at the get go, vs deal with the further traumatizing that comes from all the gaslighting. It’s born of total ignorance, not from malice, but it is devastating nonetheless.
So, NUMBER TWO: You may or may not find people in your community who can chat & support you as you begin to learn various ways to reframe so much if what has come before in your life, and how to move forward as effectively as possible. If you do find people locally, more power to you. I would suggest that in addition to looking here on this site — which is one of the very best and most well informed resources in addition to the primary organization CHADD.org ( Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder ), you also check MEEETUP.com — and search for ADHD in your local area. You may be lucky and find a group already exists. But you may not.
NUMBER THREE: Though I have subscribed to this ADDitude website for the past year, and have found so many helpful articles and webinars, as of yet I still have not had the time to dig into the FORUMS and Online Support… (I’ve been pre-occupied with finding a therapist locally). But my best guess is that barring your having incredibly great luck finding some people locally in your area to provide support, using this website is probably going to be your best resource for now… Again, far better to connect with people who are actually informed about the complexity of the ADHD brain than to find people who also have ADHD but perhaps have not even discovered yet all of this hidden longterm componentry. Hopefully you get some replies here beyond mine. I just don’t have enough experience yet with the forums here to know how to best use them.
FOUR: Some people like and value the website REDDIT.com . They also have a very active set of forums for Adult ADHD — and you may find it helpful to you. For me, I find it too disjointed and disorganized, but others may not:
FIVE: If you have not yet explored the CHADD website, this might be a good gateway in:
Hopefully this gives you some framework for moving forward.
LASTLY, though, I will share two analogies I have used to try to explain adult ADHD to others, once I understood it myself:
(1) It’s like an undertow
It silently, invisibly ensnares you in its current and before you know it pulls you deep into a state of drowning, hanging on for dear life.
(2) Drip-by-drip corrosion of pipes, hollowing out
Again, sight unseen, no sound or signal to tip you off… It’s like somewhere in an upstairs bathroom under the flooring, there’s a slow slow corrosion that drip-by-drip takes many many years to start hollowing out the structural integrity of the pipe, until maybe 20 years later the corrosion causes water drippage to begin seeping into the wood that holds the floorboards and then all of a sudden one day without warning the floorboards collapse and the bathtub comes crashing down to the floor below it, causing devastating damage that requires very expensive rebuilding of the entire structure, replacing the pipes, and so on.
This costly damage though, in us humans, is not just the fallout in various areas of our lives, it is the TIME LOST that can never be gotten back… And this is just one of the many areas of despair, loss grief and anger that one experiences as a “sudden new trauma” — one you were never even aware of had been operating in the background.
ADHD is so misunderstood, but thankfully sites like this one DO have the knowledge and tools that help one to start dealing with the wreckage.
July 7, 2020 at 4:39 pm #178380
Thank you so very much for the informative post. I greatly appreciate the time you spent writing this and I can truly relate to what you have touched on in your analogies. My main focus is trying to find the proper medication dosage, work on learning CBT and attempting to win my wife back although I believe it is too late.
The below may be considered TLDR to some or rambling but I feel the need to continue on.
Regarding my marriage, it’s a shame that I took my wife for granted over the years by not showing enough attention and lacking severely in the communication department as well as my lack of creating and meeting life goals, planning, etc. the list goes on. I feel like I unintentionally came across as not caring about her or her feelings due to my poor listening and focusing skills and I know that I probably shouldn’t say “unintentionally” although that’s what it feels like. I hate to push any blame towards ADHD as it looks as if I am not taking responsibility for my past mistakes but God I feel the impact. Now that I have been diagnosed and have been researching what I consider a curse daily, I have such a great understanding now for the first time in my life as to why each day is such a struggle and I realize how much I need to focus on trashing my previous coping mechanisms and literally restructure the way I think and function daily.
Being labelled by the person you love so very much as selfish when in fact I care for her more than I can honestly put into words and also called controlling and a narcissist even though I am seeking professional help and my family (parents and friends) are already noticing a change. The thing is that I have accepted responsibility for the pain I’ve put her through and I fully understand (at least I think I do) what she went through dealing with me over the past 13 years. Needless to say I feel crushed and hopeless every day knowing that because of me my children will have separated parents.
Anyhow, this is so extremely difficult to accept when you know you can make a change for the best and already feel like a new person in a sense but she doesn’t get it or believe me which is disheartening.
Thanks again for the response and listening.
August 18, 2020 at 10:17 pm #182107Ssuarez0Participant
Hello from the East Valley!
If I’m being totally honest, I’m still pursuing a diagnosis and came to this forum hoping for some guidance. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder (at Banner in Mesa) just over a year ago, after a long time of feeling something in my brain was constantly setting me apart, but after much time on this site and others, bipolar doesn’t seem to be the only thing happening up there.
Your situation reminds me of several of the men in my life I’ve cared deeply about; our society does a poor job of extinguishing biases. Now that you have a diagnosis, actually facing it and dealing with the fallout are steps it’ll be your responsibility to take in order to move into a phase where you can work through the disorder instead of just feeling overwhelmed by it. Easier said than done of course, but the worst step you could take would be to ignore it. It sounds like you’re on your way to gaining a more workable understanding, but I hope this helps and feel free to reach back out!
Also, in case you enjoy books, I’d be remiss not to recommend:
David and Goliath – Malcolm Gladwell
The Obstacle Is The Way – Ryan Holiday
August 20, 2020 at 10:12 am #182195
I greatly appreciate the reply and help! I agree with you and am now focused as much as I can on the disorder in order to not repeat any past mistakes made because of the lack in executive functioning. It is hard going through a divorce the same time as being diagnosed and for the first time gaining an understanding of who you are and how you operate is extremely difficult and sad.
I can say that I recently started Vyvanse after trying everything from Bupropion, Adderall, Ritalin, extended releases of both and different dosages. For me the only medication that truly helped me gain some control was Adderall instant release with Intuniv at night which has been amazing for managing my emotions. I made the switch to Vyvanse in order to gain more coverage throughout the day and because I received it at no cost which is awesome.
Learning about ADD, starting meditation and for me medication which does a great job of straightening me out so to speak for the day ahead. As for reading, I struggle to still get past the first few pages of a book without the need to re-read each page many many times and then forgetting what I read immediately after. Not productive for me at all currently. Hopefully I will manage to get that under control eventually. Thank you again and I wish you the best 🙂
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