I was recently diagnosed with ADHD (in my first session with a psychiatrist I’d sought out specifically for adhd), but I feel like I’d read up so much on it for the past year that I basically knew the ins and outs of it and worry that I just decided it was a fit and started to adopt it as an identity. The thing is I identify with most of the criteria, but I don’t really know anyone who doesn’t? Nobody I know would say they feel that they can easily focus and stick to tasks. Since getting my diagnosis it feels like everyone I know thinks they have it (and I don’t disagree with them!) Many of them seem to have it worse than I do in certain areas (then making me doubt my diagnosis more). It just doesn’t seem possible that this many people would have it.
The main thing that made me seek a diagnosis was how frustrated I was getting with being unable to read what I wanted to read. I sort of wanted to go back to uni but I just couldn’t make myself sit down and read and even when I occasionally did I would just get to the end of the page and realise I hadn’t taken in a thing. It felt like I was living my life in a daze, just going for bike rides, getting bored of the bike rides half way through, coming home and going on my phone and reading about adhd, trying and failing to read. When I first tried ritalin it was amazing how well I could read and how well I could make myself just do things, it was also weird how still I noticed I was sitting in my seat – it really felt like the whole world had opened up and i was more in control of my life than I’d probably ever been.
There were other things that didn’t distress me quite to the same level and that I almost saw some of as character quirks
-fast-talking and going down a million tangents while the people I’m talking to just look back at me bemused
-very bad short term memory
-getting bored of what I was doing, starting something else, getting bored of that
-emotional ups and downs within very short periods
-saying things I know I shouldn’t say and not being able to stop myself even though I know I should
I suppose the things that make me continue to doubt are that
-everyone around me seems to think they have it and it honestly seems like they probably do and I just don’t see how that’s realistic.
-while I clearly benefited from stimulants I think everybody does? Everyone at uni seems to use them for study. How am I different from them if my main reason for use is to do study type things like reading?
-I had a year or two of highschool where something snapped and I forced myself to be organised, I also got to choose my subjects and only do things that interested me and that I had a background in. I did super well and came to have an identity around being smart and organised (and from memory I didn’t forget to hand things in on time or anything like that for the most part, and I even judged people who were struggling and thought ‘how could anyone find this so hard?’). But as uni got harder and more demanding that all just collapsed. I feel like if I could do it in highschool, then surely adhd (a lifelong condition) can’t be to blame? Could it just be that the demands were less? I feel like I’m still not so bad at organising things, my whole life seems to revolve around my calendars and reminders and lists….
-I actually went through the diagnosis process. Some people I know seem completely incapable of making themselves do that
Anyway, I’m ranting. I guess if the meds make my life better that’s what matters?