Having ADHD as an adult is a very interesting thing. I am a 37-year-old company owner and mother of 3. I am a wife, a musician, a friend, a daughter, and I love to discuss politics.
And I have ADHD.
I was diagnosed twice, first at age 21 and then again at age 30. Both times the clinician asked me a series of questions out of what I now know was the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). This interview lasted about 20 minutes.
Then came this phrase, “Yes, you have ADHD. The medication I recommend for this disorder is…” And that was that.
Looking back, I’m pretty frustrated that neither of these medical professionals (one was a family doctor and the other was a psychiatrist) took the time to explain ADHD to me. There was no conversation about symptoms, impairments, therapies, or interventions.
I didn’t even get a pamphlet.
Because of this, I lived for so long thinking that ADHD was simply an inability to pay attention. I took medication, and yet I was still frustrated with my life. Why? Because I was still dealing with all of these issues:
- Inability to prioritize and plan
- Inability to use my time wisely
- Inability to remain cool, calm, and collected when I was frustrated
- Inability to start an overwhelming project
- Inability to finish an overwhelming project
- Inability to remember to do the stuff I really wanted to do
- Inability to switch out of work mode and into mom mode
- Inability to be consistent in the things I wanted to accomplish in life
- Inability to keep a goal in mind for any length of time
- Extreme frustration when I was interrupted
- Inability to do something that I thought is pointless (like scrub the floors every week when I knew they were just going to get dirty again)
- Inability to deal with the constant noise that my kids made
- Inability to wait for my husband to finish his sentences before I spoke
When I finally learned through education and research that each one of these obnoxious behaviors was a symptom or impairment from my ADHD, my mind was blown!
So I put together a resource for you, it’s the 10 Things I Wish My Doc Had Told Me When I Was Diagnosed with ADHD. If you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD, I sincerely hope that you already know this information. But if your diagnosis experience was anything like mine, I’m going to guess that you don’t.
Grab your free resource here: 10 Things I Wish My Doc Had Told Me When I Was Diagnosed.
This is why I am so passionate about helping adults with ADHD. If we live our lives thinking that ADHD is a basic inability to pay attention, we will remain in a constant state of frustration at all of the other symptoms and impairments from the disorder!