I’m starting this blog to give people a glimpse into the life of someone ADHD. Some people think it’s a fake disease, and I’ll admit that I was one of them. I always thought it was an excuse to not behave or not get work done. So how did I come to find out that I had this “fake” disease? It all started when I got married.
My wife and I were happy, but we were having some trouble resolving issues. The main problem was that I couldn’t remember what we had just argued about, so we decided to go to a counselor. Skip a few months, and they said they thought I was depressed and I needed to get a psycho-neurological evaluation, which is a big word for “brain test.” My doctor thought it might be a thyroid issue but referred me anyway, so I took the test and surprised everyone. The psychologist said I was a textbook case for adult ADHD, combined type. I was a little skeptical, but then I saw the list of symptoms. Here’s a list of symptoms for a child from WebMD (mine are in bold):
- difficulty paying attention to details and tendency to make careless mistakes in school or other activities; producing work that is often messy and careless
- easily distracted by irrelevant stimuli and frequently interrupting ongoing tasks to attend to trivial noises or events that are usually ignored by others
- inability to sustain attention on tasks or activities
- difficulty finishing schoolwork or paperwork or performing tasks that require concentration
- frequent shifts from one uncompleted activity to another
- disorganized work habits
- forgetfulness in daily activities (for example, missing appointments, forgetting to bring lunch)
- failure to complete tasks such as homework or chores
- frequent shifts in conversation, not listening to others, not keeping one’s mind on conversations, and not following details or rules of activities in social situations
- fidgeting, squirming when seated
- getting up frequently to walk or run around
- running or climbing excessively when it’s inappropriate (in teens this may appear as restlessness)
- having difficulty playing quietly or engaging in quiet leisure activities
- being always on the go
- often talking excessively
- difficulty delaying responses
- blurting out answers before questions have been completed
- difficulty awaiting one’s turn
- frequently interrupting or intruding on others to the point of causing problems in social or work settings
- initiating conversations at inappropriate times
As you can see, I have most of the symptoms. Looking back on my life, I can clearly see that I’ve had this since grade school. The reason it went undetected for so long was further explained to me after the psychologist gave me my diagnosis. I have a very high IQ, which means that I was able to compensate and cover up my symptoms throughout my life. For that reason alone, I can say that if you have a child who is displaying some of the symptoms listed above, yet does well in school, you might want to talk to your doctor about having them tested. The symptoms can intensify over time, so it’s better to try to correct it early.
So here I am: age 24, taking medicine to help combat a disease I once thought was bogus. Life is interesting.