Life changing diagnosis

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    ADDingitup
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    Hello, friend

    This is my first post on a discussion forum. I read them frequently but have never felt strongly enough to bother writing. I tried to keep it short, please forgive me for failing.
    Where to start?
    When it was initially suggested to me by a drug counsellor that I may have undiagnosed ADD, I didn’t give it much weight. I felt she was basing it on the fact that my nephew has this diagnosis and receives medication. We didn’t discuss it much, and I left her office and forgot about it. Years later, I remembered, and the Googling began.

    I have done hard drugs since I was 16. I won’t bother giving you my drug CV, suffice it to say I have done all of them, in every possible way. I never actually got addicted to anything, though I had a fondness for pot.
    Since I was a kid, I have been an underachiever. Every school report read the same way: “Has ability, won’t work.” They would tell my parents that I was clearly intelligent, just lazy. I had a decent vocabulary and a good imagination, but when it came to homework and study I was a lost cause. I had a low tolerance for boredom and got distracted easily. Very disorganized and I found it impossible to make a start, even if the task was vitally important. Naturally, I was delighted to finish school…

    As an adult, I have always felt inept. Awkward, introvert and tense. I fail to complete simple forms and post them, resulting in loss of money, healthcare and opportunities. I have always been highly impulsive, bad with money and self-control in general. I am very hard on myself and take failure badly, so over the years the self-hatred grew.

    I have taken the blade out of a disposable razor and cut myself deeply. So deeply, when I finally showed it to a doctor he informed me it would require plastic surgery to fix. I didn’t really know why I was doing it at the time. Now I know I was punishing myself for the failures I can’t let go of.
    I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and given SSRIs. Every medical professional I saw would agree that there was something wrong, yet they all differed slightly as to what. I have been prescribed every variation of antidepressant there is, and they never helped.

    As I mentioned, I did a lot of drugs. MDMA helped me socialise, meet people and talk openly and honestly about deeply personal trauma. More than the high, I loved the type of person it made me. Around age 17, I met a friend who gave me a couple of Ritalin. I had a history test to study for, and he told me they would help. Ritalin did help; I was motivated, focused, alert. I studied and enjoyed it, and for the first time I scored highly in a test.

    Years later, I was working in a fast food place and I was hopeless. I would forget orders and lose track of what I was doing. Even as a dishwasher, I couldn’t cut it. Unmotivated and incapable of prioritizing tasks. My ineptitude in the most basic roles shattered my meagre self-confidence.
    Enter Ritalin. I didn’t seek them out, it was just the right place at the right time. And the difference! Not just at work, but in my personal life. I was able to manage my money and took better care of myself. I no longer procrastinated performing simple household chores.

    Now, nearly 30 and trying to study IT, I desperately need the focus and determination I lack. I have thought about speaking to my doctor many times, but I worry I won’t be taken seriously. Yes, I have a history of drug use, but perhaps this never would have happened if I had been diagnosed as ADD as a child.
    The first time I googled “undiagnosed adult ADD” I cried. It explained everything.

    I have a new doctor now, but I am afraid to tell him all of this in case I am labelled a drug seeker. In Ireland, prescription of Ritalin is tightly controlled, and it’s rare for an adult to receive it. They fear addiction, but I know that my tolerance for addiction is strong. If I just wanted to get high, I would do it. I want to be able to study, work, and make a real life for myself.

    I can’t say this to my doctor without a separate medical professional to back me up. I have no money for psychologists..
    If you have read all the way to the end, I sincerely thank you. If you have any ideas that might help, please share them.

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