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The Moment I Knew It Was ADHD

When did the fog clear and a bright light clearly illuminate your personal challenges and characteristics as symptoms of ADHD? What was your "Aha" moment? Here, ADDitude readers share some of theirs.

6 Comments: The Moment I Knew It Was ADHD

  1. I was talking with my girlfriend and she said she had ADHD. I obviously knew it existed but only knew a little about it. I was curious, so I asked her what it was like to live with ADHD. My aha / holy s&&t moment was when she began describing MY life. Queue several online “tests” and then waiting 2 months to see a provider and then I had a confirmed diagnosis. My life is better for having the diagnosis.

  2. I’m 33, and throughout my school career, as well as my proper career, I procrastinated on every single project, scraping by at the last minute on a wave of panic. This behavior finally had consequences when, the day before a job interview, I was in too deep of a brain fog to focus on preparing my presentation. By the time I realized it was trash, it was too late to fix it, and presenting it was dreadfully embarrassing.

    Luckily, I had an appointment with my psychiatrist two days after the interview. I described my frustrations with short-term memory, inability to get things done, and general mental slogging, wondering if perhaps they had something to do with my depression meds. She immediately said, “No, that all sounds like ADHD stuff!” We were both laughing as I filled out the questionnaire – every single thing was an issue I had struggled with all my life, but I always assumed that a lazy airhead was just who I was as a person!

    It’s only been a few days since I started Adderall, and they have been some of the best days of my life. I feel as though I’ve been slogging through a snowstorm, and now I can just… walk. The snowstorm is gone, and now, I have a shovel! Knowing that I don’t have to resign myself to life as a space cadet, and that there is something concrete I can do about it, is indescribably uplifting.

  3. Like sian.padgham, I too was being treated for bipolar disorder and felt it wasn’t quite right either. In 2002 I became a mother of a 9 month old daughter adopted in China, and my personality changed when we got home, even though she is the best thing that’s ever happened to me and my husband! The disorder runs in my family so it made sense then. But I wonder now how many of the symptoms that I was experiencing at that time were more ADHD (for which I was diagnosed not long after the diagnosis for bipolar).

  4. I knew when my son was 2 years old that I was looking at ADHD. The verbal diarrhea combined with the body always in motion and not sleeping well were dead giveaways. I tried to convince the pediatrician to no avail. I spent the next 4 years saying “none of my tricks work on him”. I was at work one day when I overheard a co-workers literally saying “none of our tricks work on her”. When I asked what he was referring to, he recounted his daughter’s recent diagnosis of ADHD. I got the teachers on my side and finally convinced the pediatrician of what I had known for eons.

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