ADHD Myth Busting

Myth: ADHD is only present in children.

Fact: Many people do not even receive a diagnosis until they reach adulthood.

I am one of those people. I flew under the radar. In preschool, I was what you would call “hyperactive.” I was always on the go! As I got a little older, I learned that I was supposed to do as I was told, and was able to remain in my seat. This did not make it any easier to concentrate, remember things, or follow directions, however, and these issues persisted all through school.

I did manage to do well, because I put forth a lot of effort, and I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Social Work in 2006. This didn’t come without its struggles, though.

I finally decided to take matters into my own hands at 25, after I became increasingly concerned about my forgetfulness and difficulty staying on task. I received a diagnosis of ADHD, not to my surprise! This is not uncommon. Many adults receive a diagnosis after introspect.

Sue Abramowski

Being Patient

My 10 year old son was diagnosed with Severe ADD/ADHD.

Without the knowledge that I know now about ADD/ADHD I would not have understood my son. Before the diagnosis my son appeared lost all the time and forgetful about everything. He wouldn’t remember if he used shampoo in the shower or brushed his teeth.

My son had a rough start in 3rd grade last school year (2017-2018) and it affected his self-esteem. Our family and I had to work extra hard for him not to fall emotionally or get lost.

We had to be there by his side to speak for him or defend him against others that don’t understand, especially at school. We all need to learn to be patient, especially with those who are a little different.

Now, this year (2018-2019) my son started 3rd grade again and with his new medication he feels confidant now to do his work because he now understands. His self-esteem still needs a little push, but things are right on track at home and at school. My son is happy and so is the family.

Liz Perez

The Power of an Adult ADHD Diagnosis

After a decade of advocating for my child with ADHD, I started relating and empathizing more and more.

It took one simple comment from my own mother for the light bulb to go off in my head. “You’ve always thrived on chaos.”

Those 5 words were the “key” to unlocking my own struggles, by prompting me to explore my own ADHD diagnosis at the age of 46.

The truth is, I HATE CHAOS! I now know it’s my brain that thrives on it, and it’s my brain that creates it. My soul and my sanity have resented it for as long as I can remember.

Impulsivity, disorganization, poor self-esteem, and adolescent depression and anxiety, in hindsight, were largely the result of unrecognized and untreated ADHD (common for girls). The realization that my dysfunctions weren’t innate character flaws has been life changing.

My diagnosis has provided me with a new lease on life through effective medication and a greater understanding of how my brain works. I am now finally getting my college degree. Knowledge is power.

K.C.

That’s me and you (A poem)

For the hyper-focused yet easily distracted you,
For the overwhelmed yet logical you,
For the know-it-all yet know nothing you,
For the keen observer yet obsessively ignorant you,
For the judgemental and loving you,
For the fearful yet gutsy you,
For the disorganized and creative you,
For everything you are today and forever.
October is #AdhdAwarenessMonth
Let’s celebrate it together with love and patience for the one in you.
For the ones who are around you.
#MentalHealthAwareness #OneConversationAtATime #AttentionDeficitHyperActivity #Poem

Mp Mitra

My Life with ADHD

I was 7 years old when I was diagnosed with ADHD.

I vaguely remember how I was first diagnosed with ADHD. I was put in a test group for a new medication for ADHD called Vyvanse after I was diagnosed. Although I had several people that helped me to understand my ADHD, I was and I still am the only one who can truly understand my ADHD and how to deal with this newly discovered part of my life.

Dealing with my ADHD is what challenges me the most. It is an internal and external struggle for me. I have to deal with it each day. Having ADHD causes me to work extra hard. I have to think about what I say before I speak because I usually have no filter. I just say what is in my mind without thinking about others. This struggle is something that ADHD has forced me to work on.

I have embraced ADHD, instead of ignoring like it was a problem that I just wish would disappear. I have accepted that there is nothing that I can do about my ADHD, so I have just allowed it to be a part of me.

Kailey

K.P.

My daughter is 10, diagnosed at 5. I put her in lots of activities/sports to help make friends. She has known many if these kids for years.

I keep a lot of hurtful things I see/hear about her from her to spare her feelings. The most recent was this weekend. She’s in girl scouts, who have a code about being friends with one another and never leave a scout behind.

Today I see pics posted of a fellow girl scouts roller skating party and pretty much the whole troop was there, except my ADHD child. As her parent, seeing these pictures was painful, so I cried. A LOT!

This happens way too often, and it’s unfair, it’s cruel, its heartbreaking. All I can do is stand by and watch it happen. If she knew all the things I hide, she would he heartbroken. These kids are missing out on an exceptional kid!

K.P.’s biggest fan

Bouncing Off the Walls

I was formally diagnosed when I was 8. My mom says she knew beforehand, but she was in denial I guess. I remember thinking I was broken. Defective. I couldn’t sit still for more than a minute, couldn’t keep my thoughts straight, and I was constantly bouncing. Meds helped, but only a bit. I got sick of the side effects so I stopped taking them when I was 14.

When I had my son, I hoped beyond hope that he didn’t have to struggle like I still was. He was diagnosed halfway through kindergarten, because he was disruptive in class. He was like me, only more intense. We tried everything we could think of before meds, because I remembered how I felt.

Being a mom with ADHD is hard. Being a mom with ADHD to a kid with ADHD feels impossible sometimes. The worst feeling is when people who don’t understand tell me that it’s all in my head and ADHD isn’t real, and that my son is just being a normal little boy. I know normal, and I know my son. He’s normal, just a little extra. ADHD IS NORMAL!

Jess M

ADHD. My story. My journey.

As a parent of a child with ADHD you quickly realize from a young age that there is something different about your child. You can’t quite put your finger on it at first but soon others also begin to notice. Once we put our child in Montessori at the age of 2 1/2 was when things started to become more evident. We were getting phone calls from the teachers, he was very disruptive and hands on and couldn’t pay attention during circle time.

We were encouraged to seek help with child professionals. It helped but didn’t solve the problem. My son then started kindergarten. That year he was suspended 3 times.

I then knew I had to take action and sought out to find the best neuropsychologist (which I found) who diagnosed my son with ADHD. It was bittersweet. Sad but also a relief for we now had answers. We chose to medicate and it has been the best decision we ever made.

He can now focus and is able to learn and make better choices. It’s not perfect but he’s now thriving and happy.

– Mary Egglezos

ADHD is my super power
and my Kryptonite

Some people think that ADHD doesn’t exist; some of them think that we just need to be “disciplined” for misbehaving and not acting appropriately for our age. Some non-ADHD people are even using it as an excuse for procrastinating and for being lazy. It is sad that most people know only the myths about ADHD.

ADHD is always more than that. ADHD is both a super power and our Kryptonite. We sometimes feel limitless and are hyperfocused, but we do not always know when to stop. We sometimes think that we can do everything and everything is well planned, but three days later we find ourselves on a ball-pit of failure slowly swallowing us. There are times that we cannot really function well and unable to find motivation to finish a task and so we blame dopamine. We are an emotional sponge and can cry for almost everything that melts our heart. Emotional hyperactivity or hypersensitivity is sometimes so hard to contain. But ADHD is our strength and our weakness. This is ADHD.

-Anonymous

I finally felt I could see the world clearly…

In my younger years I was treated for depression. However, I stopped treatment for a long time thinking I could “handle my problems alone.” I struggled throughout college even though I had good intentions. Finally, at the age of 29 I went to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with ADHD. I began treatment and my focus has been excellent. It gave me a sense of empowerment. I finally felt I could see the world clearly as if putting on a new pair of glasses. I told many people that I felt like Patrick Swayze in Ghost, that I could finally focus to kick the can.

-Anonymous