ADHD experience as an Adult.
I’ve calmed down a lot, my brain development has caught up to that of my peers. I no longer get stuck in laughing fits, explode in anger and am generally less hyper. My focus has improved. I use lists, alarms and meditation to keep myself on track and for the most part, this works.
Some days, you wouldn’t even know I have ADHD. I am so laser focused on what I need to do, working on my research – highly efficient and organised. Other days, well. Frenetic, unfocused and forgetful. Those days are sometimes write offs. However, I have learned – through much frustration that these days happen. They happen even to our neurotypical counterparts, but more frequently and intensely to us. I’m never going to be consistently focused, nor am I going to be able to tune out distractions without headphones. And that’s okay. I’m not broken, I just work differently.
The feeling of being different
As a child, I always knew I was different. I was hyper, weird and thinking differently to my peers. I could connect the dots in different ways; not just out of the box, but out of the whole room. I didn’t mind. My friends, thought I was funny and those who thought I was strange didn’t bother me. That thinking has persisted throughout my life and I am so glad of that. Working and studying in science, you need to be able to look at things through different lenses and perspectives – something I think us ADHDers are prone to do. We can come up with creative solutions, novel creations that others can’t. We just may need a bit of help with the monotony.
To parents who think their child has ADHD (or has been diagnosed) but you don’t want to medicate them: Fair enough. I disagree (though I rarely take mine anymore as I find my coping mechanisms work well), but you do you. The main thing, though is that if you have acknowledged that your child is struggling, suffering – whether you think it is genetic, vaccines, food, plastic, whatever. HELP THEM. Don’t tell them off for not being able to focus and tell them they need to try harder. I know it’s frustrating. We are more frustrated with ourselves than you are with us. You think we want to be like this? You think your child wants to zone out, not get things done, fail? No.
Listen and understand someone with ADHD
Help your child by understanding ADHD and if you don’t know how then don’t forget to read How can i help my child with ADHD. The developmental delays, the motivational and attention issues. Understand the challenges your child faces and come up with ways to help them. Whether that’s lists, star charts, alarms, medication, breaking down tasks into small, manageable chunks. Because growing up being punished for something out of your control, for something you’re trying to be better at but don’t know why it happens, by those who are supposed to support and help you, breaks you. Having ADHD doesn’t make you broken.
Having parents who know and bully you for it does. That’s how you create an anxious, depressed child who thinks they’re a failure and still has ADHD. It’s not your fault they have ADHD and it’s not theirs either. Don’t let them grow up like me. It’s taken me years and years of therapy to reconcile this and while I am now a successful adult, I still suffer from disociative disorders.
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