My Forum Comments
I also can relate to this. It sounds like you are a younger person (teen or young adult), and that is a tough stage of life to begin with – when you add in ADHD, rejection sensitivity (that fear of criticism) and what sounds like anxiety, it’s no wonder you feel overwhelmed. It sounds to me like you are being very hard on yourself. You are doing the right thing by seeking help, but above all be gentle with yourself. Try and let go of the “shoulds” (easier said than done, I know!)and just show yourself love and kindness as you are – you deserve that, from others and yourself.
I’m all for spreading awareness, but I also think we have to acknowledge that some minds are already made up and no amount of education, argument or persuasion will be sufficient to change them. It’s frustrating, but there is nothing to be gained by fixating on people whose opinions you cannot change and that were never your responsibility in the first place. Do what you can to remove or limit their influence in your life and beyond that, try not to dwell on them.
This resonates with me so much. I am 35 with two kids ages 5 and 1, and parenting with ADHD is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. It involves so much mental and emotional labour, so many repetitive, unstructured tasks – it almost seems consciously designed to be as ADHD-unfriendly as possible. I also have sensory issues with loud noises, and while my 5 year old is not badly behaved, he is one of those kids who lives at maximum volume, and it tears up my nerves like a belt sander. Add in a full-time job and it can start to feel just about impossible. I don’t have any solutions for you – just keep on keeping on, and try to let go of the small stuff. There has never been a perfect mother in all of human history, and yet our species survives. I firmly believe that most “super-moms” are just better at faking it than the rest of us. Sometimes all we can do is have a good cry and try again tomorrow.
While I’m certainly not an expert, I wouldn’t start worrying about ADHD just yet, at least until the assessment’s done. Behaviour that is noisy, impulsive and emotional is developmentally normal for 2.5 year olds. Doctors know this, and I would be surprised if someone would be willing to diagnose ADHD in a toddler. More likely they will suggest some different strategies for you to try in managing his behaviour. It’s also important to remember that kids have different temperaments and some are more highstrung and reactive than others; it doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong.
I wouldn’t start speculating about ADHD yet. With a strong family history, it’s certainly possible that your son may have it too, but the fact is, he’s only 11 months and there are a wide range of sleep habits that are totally normal in babies.
I wouldn’t be surprised if narcolepsy was more common in folks with ADHD. A lot of people with ADHD have irregular sleep-wake cycles and poor sleep quality, similar to narcoleptics. Maybe the some of the same brain regions are involved? It is an interesting question. I have ADHD, diagnosed as an adult, and I often wonder if I have some degree of narcolepsy as well, though I haven’t been assessed – I have a terrible time waking up, have periods during the day when I can barely keep my eyes open, and I have a burst of energy in the evening.August 23, 2017 at 7:04 am in reply to: Anger from Adult with ADD at Parent Over Late Diagnosis #58622
I think gentlygenli is right – I think for many folks who are diagnosed as adults, it’s easy to romanticize early diagnosis and its positive aspects. But early diagnosis can be a double-edged sword – kids still have to be taught responsibility and held accountable for their actions, including being punished when they deserve it. Parents can fall into the trap of conflating “accommodation” with “low expectations” or “special treatment.” I have met many people who got diagnosed young and then grew up believing that the usual rules don’t apply to them, and it’s not pretty.
Hi RV, As a woman with ADHD, I can definitely relate to the issue of “mental load” and how ADHD is absolutely a complicating factor. I would, though, propose a few points for consideration. Would a woman with ADHD be able to defer responsibility for mental load? In my experience, the answer is no. I tthink as people with ADHD who are in committed relationships, we have a responsibility to learn strategies to manage our ADHD, as much as possible, and to share the mental load of daily life with our spouses. Even if we are less than perfect at it, we owe it to our spouses to keep up rhe effort and not just shift the load. For their part, I think spouses of folks with ADHD need to recogize the effort that mental load requires from us, and value our contibutions in this area even if they aren’t always flawless.
Look at it this way: If you weren’t married, who would bear the mental load of cleaning, cooking, organizing appts, etc? If you have some things thar are particularly hard for you, as I do, I think its fine for your partner to take responsibility for these, but you can’t sort of defer responsibility for mental load wholesale. I also question why the eequitable division of household labour, mental or otherwise, is so often labelled “feminism” instead of “basic fairness,” but I digress 🙂 Sorry about any errors in spelling/grammar, I’m typing on my phone.
Edited: Just to clarify; I’m using “you” in the generic sense, referring to adults with ADHD in general, not any single individual
- This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by toomanytabs.
Sister, did you just write the story of my ever-lovin’ life.
I am also a 35 year old woman with ADHD, diagnosed when I was 27. Until then, I had spent my whole life getting reprimanded for having a messy folder, a messy locker, a messy car, a messy house, and so on. I strongly suspect I am dyspraxic as well, although I’ve never been assessed – I was the laughingstock in gym class and even as an adult I’m constantly tripping and dropping things and knocking stuff over. (I even smashed my computer once – I was home by myself and I was dancing.) I struggled with depression and anxiety for years before I was diagnosed with ADHD, and even then it was several years after that before I really accepted my diagnosis and acknowledged the impact that ADHD has on my life.
I’m so sorry that your parents handled it the way they did, and that you went through so much pain that you could have been spared. It’s a despairing feeling to look back and your life and wonder what might have been different, if only. I wasn’t diagnosed until adulthood myself but, while my parents always knew I was “different,” they never thought I had a diagnosable disorder, let alone that a treatable one. To hear that your parents knew all along — I can only imagine 🙁 Sadly, ADHD was, and still is, perceived in a very gendered way by parents and teachers. If the kid is a boy and they’re bouncing off the walls and making life mayhem for adults, they get tested and, if diagnosed, they get treatment and support. If it’s a girl who seems to do OK in school and doesn’t bother anybody, there’s a lot else that parents and educators are willing to overlook. And it’s the kids, and the adults that they grow into, who feel the effects. And it’s super unfair and more people should be angry about it, in my opinion. But you aren’t alone, and if you want to talk to someone who’s shared some of the same experiences, I’m here and I would like that. Hugs to you!August 21, 2017 at 2:42 pm in reply to: Anger from Adult with ADD at Parent Over Late Diagnosis #58429
Hi SuRi, I am sorry you are going through this. As a parent, I can imagine how painful it must be. I see a lot of myself in your daughter. When I was diagnosed at 27, I had a lot of mixed feelings. As much as my diagnosis was a relief and a validation, it stirred up a lot of sadness for “little me,” who had always felt inferior and ashamed. And it made me wonder what else I might have been able to accomplish if I had had the support and self-confidence that I needed. .
I think a lot of women with ADHD bear some scars that men might not necessarily have. Until recently, ADHD was considered to be a condition that affected white, middle-class, elementary-age boys. There was little recognition of how ADHD manifested differently in girls, especially girls who earned good grades and didn’t pose many discipline problems. Even in the most liberal of families, there is still a societal expectation that girls are to be neat, organized and conscientious. As women, especially if we are married and/or have kids, we are usually responsible for organizing not only our own lives, but the lives of everyone else in the household too – the “superwoman” who can juggle everything. For me, and for many of us I think, the person who was most active in teaching me about being neat, organized, etc. was my mom, and she was the one who was exasperated and disappointed when I couldn’t seem to learn these skills the way my sister could. In a way, I felt like I was flawed and deficient not only as a person, but as a female as well, because I couldn’t live up to my mom’s example of what (I felt) I was supposed to be and do. I also had the (not very reasonable) feeling that as long as I was doing well in school, going to university, etc., etc., and doing all the things that would seem to reflect well on my mother as a parent, that was all she cared about, and not whether I was struggling inside. When I got diagnosed, I suddenly remembered so many times that my mom had been angry with me or made me feel bad about things that we now know were ADHD-related, and I felt as angry as if it had all just happened yesterday.
A year isn’t a long time for your daughter to re-evaluate and re-process a lifetime of experiences based on what she now knows. She is thinking back over her whole life and experiencing all those feelings again, and unfortunately you’re suffering the brunt of it. A lot of it probably isn’t even about you.
My best advice: Don’t take it personally, and don’t blame yourself. You did the best you could with the information you had at the time, the same as my mom did. We all have things we would have done differently if we’d only had a crystal ball. With time comes perspective, and your daughter will come to realize this. In the meantime, I think you are doing something important by reading up on ADHD and learning as much as you can. Don’t grovel for forgiveness or tolerate abusive language – you aren’t to blame – but try to talk to her about her past experiences, if she is open to it; maybe she feels like you don’t really understand what it was like for her and thus you can’t make a real apology? After many years of feeling misunderstood, maybe she just needs to give voice to some of her feelings and to know that she’s being heard. I’m sorry you are experiencing this and that I don’t have any real solutions, but I really believe that having patience will pay off dividends. Big hugs to you!