I have ADHD.
I was diagnosed last week.
It’s something I started exploring a while ago after learning about how attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often presents in women (hint: it’s not bouncing off the walls like we’re told) & matching myself to those symptoms.
I’ve been seeing a therapist who is helping me to understand it & work through 29 years of feeling like a failure & like I couldn’t meet the simplest of expectations & realizing that there was a reason besides not trying hard enough.
I’ve had a lot of built-up frustration & anger with myself because of this and it’s incredibly relieving to know there’s a reason behind it all & I don’t have to continue suffering and working against a brain that isn’t meant to do things like “normal” brains.
I want to share this with you today because women are 3 times less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than men. Our symptoms often present differently, so we’re told we have anxiety, depression, are lazy, have emotion disorders, etc.
This is what happened when I went to a new family doctor to ask for help.
I was completely brushed off & told I didn’t have ADHD because I “did well in school” so it must be my anxiety causing all of my symptoms.
I was given anti-anxiety medication & told the most common side effect was diarrhea.
I wasn’t told I would slide into depression.
I wasn’t told I would wake up drenched in sweat and shaking.
I wasn’t told my anxiety would skyrocket.
I wasn’t told I would stop caring about my work, which means the world to me.
I wasn’t told about the dizziness & tiredness.
I wasn’t told I would feel like a zombie, & the people around me would notice I wasn’t myself.
I wasn’t told I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed.
I went to my doctor to ask for help & I was dismissed & put on medication that was severely dangerous to my mental health with no warning.
I hate the thought of others going through it.
Thankfully, I have the resources & ability to advocate for myself but I know others aren’t so fortunate.
We need to normalize advocating for ourselves.
Find the people who are willing to listen to you and help you—I promise they’re out there.
I hope you’ll advocate for yourself.
You deserve it ❤
💡 ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults (CMHA BC): https://cmha.bc.ca/documents/attention-deficithyperactivity-disorder-in-adults-2/
- Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance (CADDRA): https://www.caddra.ca/
- Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada (CADDAC): https://caddac.ca/understanding-adhd/getting-started/adult/