August 1, 2018 at 12:58 am #89958BdobroskyParticipant
So, I am 29 years old. I have never been diagnosed with ADHD and have only thought that I may have it a few times in the last 10 years. I was a good student in elementary school, things were harder in HS and college…. and now I’m getting ready to start Grad school and I feel like my life is spinning out of control. My dad and my brother were both diagnosed with ADHD. I never wanted to have it because I always thought it was an excuse for my brother to get away with being bad…. he was always hyperactive, I was not. I didn’t know my dad had it until I was older, but thinking back he was not the hyperactive type.
I started doing some reading on ADHD because I feel I have so much going on in my life with Grad school-that hasn’t even started yet, working full time, being a mom to two girls, glass blowing classes, I recently joined a fire department. But I am finding it hard to concentrate on any one thing. Except glass blowing- that consumes me at times. I am missing doctors appts, I am losing things more frequently, I feel like I have Alzheimer’s because I cannot remember anything, even if I just read it or heard it. I will find myself re reading something 10 times before what I’m reading sinks in. I don’t know if it’s normal to have that OMG moment this late…. but I seriously feel like I need help
So I have always been unorganized, a procrastinator, ‘messy’, losing things (seriously, like 2-4 debit cards a year, 2 drivers licenses a year, keys at least twice a week, work ID more than I lose my keys), I’m so damn forgetful. I cant sleep at night because I am I know I have always been these things, but I have also been able to compensate for them until now. I don’t know if I am just taking on too much or if taking on as much as I have is what is bringing all of this to light.
I just did a symptom checker online because I literally feel like I’m losing my mind and I was shocked by how many of the ‘symptoms I have experienced for so long. My mom always told me that I was just like my dad because of how engrossed he would get with his art, he’d lose the world around him and all time… he would spend days focused on one project he was interested in, but unable to complete regular daily tasks. I’ve always been that way with my art, but since I have started glass blowing, I literally only want to do that and when I can’t, I’m watching videos on it. Yet I can’t make it to my allergist appt, despite my 3 phone alarm reminders. Then i saw that lack of a sense of time was a ‘symptom’… like, what!?!?! Is that why I’m always late everywhere and I’m unable to describe to my doctors how long something has been going on or when I had something. Days, weeks, months, years…. I always just pull a number out of my ads because I don’t want to seem like a person who doesn’t have it all together. Then i saw that people with ADHD thrive in adrenaline inducing environments. And I found my calling as an ER nurse and can’t imagine doing anything else. I love that adrenaline rush and how things are always changing and I’m always on the go. And coffee…. it has never had that energizing effect for me. I drink it 24/7. He’ll it’s almost 1 am and I just finished a cup. I feel like it helps me focus a bit better but not energize me.
Anyway. This is my late night…. revelation? Or am I just reaching?
I am posting here even though I just found this page because here is the deal…. i feel like I have a lot of the ‘symptoms’ of ADHD…. but it’s a diagnosis that I have never ever wanted until now and that is because I feel like I am drowning in my life right now and no matter how many calenders I keep and lose or how many alarms I set, I can not get it together and and I am hoping desperately that if I do have it, I can start some meds and get my shit together….. but I have had the same doctor since I was like 10. He knows that I was a good student. He knows that I have never had a diagnosis or suspicion of ADHD. He also treated my brother and my dad. I am so terrified to bring it up to him in fear that he will think that I am just seeking the meds to help me through school. I don’t want to look like a drug seeker or a hypochondriac. Plus I’m a nurse…. I’m afraid that he will look at me different professionally. The medical field is a small world. I don’t know what to do and I don’t have time to seek out a psychiatrist.
What are your thoughts? Does it sound like I have been managinging a bigger problem until now or am I just reaching? Should I make an appt?
August 1, 2018 at 8:38 am #89967ms_bedeliaParticipant
I’m new too, and waiting for my appointment with a psychiatrist to get my official diagnosis. But I definitely don’t think you’re “reaching.” An appointment is definitely worth it- maybe more than one if your family doctor doesn’t listen to you.
I’m terrified of not being taken seriously for some of the reasons you are. (And you and I have a lot in common in terms of our symptoms. Including doing well in adrenaline or crisis situations, absorption in a passionate activity, difficulty getting to appointments and a lack of a sense of time, and on and on.) I think coming off as drug seeking is really scary, especially because by now I am so convinced I have ADHD and so desperate for treatment that I’m like “Please please please give me meds!” (I’m scared of losing my job.)
I’m planning on printing out some of the self-assessments that led me to think I have ADHD and to write some notes as to how the symptoms match me. There is a checklist specifically for adult women here in which I meet like every criteria. There is also a list of “things that mean you DON’T have ADD” (I don’t remember if it’s on this website or a different one) and I am the reverse of every criterion there. (“If you don’t do well in a crisis, you likely don’t have ADD”- welp, I do so well in a crisis.) These are the kinds of things I was going to bring.
I think also talking about how you realiZe your symptoms are similar to your dad’s can be very powerful and clear.
I’ve been listening to the audiobook of Sari Solden’s “Women with Attention Deficit Disorder” and it’s also incredibly eye-opening. It’s made me feel less alone and less crazy. (She also cites the book You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy? a lot.) Her checklist is also online I think if you don’t get a physical copy of the book, like I didn’t.
You and I both deserve help, I don’t think you sound like you’re makibg stuff up, and it sounds to me like you’ve definitely been managing a bigger problem!
August 2, 2018 at 11:10 am #90113Penny WilliamsKeymaster
You won’t know for sure unless you get an evaluation. Your general practitioner should refer you to a psych or specialist for evaluation.
If you do get a diagnosis of ADHD, treatment can change your life. It’s worth pursuing.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
August 6, 2018 at 5:13 pm #90418kari123Participant
I agree that it is time to seek out a physician and a therapist. It also sounds like you have so much going on that any head might spin. Take care of yourself and make sure you give yourself time to breathe. If and when you get your diagnosis you may find the silver lining in your ADHD/ADD. There are some big strengths you have because of the way your brain works. It also makes sense to see a therapist. There may be a reason that you are pushing yourself to do as much as you are. There are also other things in life that can mimic the behaviors and struggles similar to ADHD.
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