I was in middle school when I was officially diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This was after I had to be tested at the school to receive special service classes, which I never got into. I've been on medication off and on since I was 13, a total of 10 years. I never really understood it and I honestly don't think my teachers did either. I can still remember certain situations and encounters with some teachers in middle school who just weren't nice, looked down on me, or treated me differently because I was a little different. I mean, I wore a tutu to school once.
Honestly, it's been a rollercoaster with this condition for the last 10 years. I still feel like I don't completely understand it. It's so frustrating. So many people have misconceptions about ADHD, like it's something just in children or the inability to focus. Or what the medication does or doesn't do for me. I don't ever talk about having ADHD to people besides my family or boyfriend. If I say something to others, I usually get judged and weird looks. Sometimes I wish I could just carry a book around with all the answers. That'd be so much easier than asking people the same things over and over and also would help with people not getting annoyed with me as easily.
Yes, I am an adult who has ADHD who is here to give you the answers to questions you've always wondered or always ask.
Sometimes I have a very difficult time focusing, it's usually because there are so many distractions in the room. It can be ANYTHING. From somebody biting their lip to listening to the air blow through a vent. When this happens, I start to fidget. This usually helps so I don't get up and start pacing, something I do more than the average person. I usually play with my fingers or shake my foot a bunch (I also have to shake my foot to fall asleep at night). I also will pick at my skin, a horrible habit.
2. Medication- appetite
No, 13 year old me didn't lie to get medication and 23 year old me still isn't lying to get it. It's also pretty expensive, I would't lie to pay as much as I do a month, that'd be silly. It helps me tremendously and if I don't take it, everything is just too much to handle at once. When I do take my medication, my appetite is like it doesn't exist. Not that it just suppresses my appetite, but because I just forget about eating because I am able to focus on tasks at hand.
Basically I can be hyper focused or not focused at all. Think being hyper focused is a good thing?? Sike! I can be trying to complete a task, and I can become hyper focused on something that is completely off task and not productive. I can spend hours editing pictures (when I say hours, I mean at least 4 hours at a time) when I have something more important I should be doing and I know it. I have such a hard time directing my focus to one thing. I can focus so well on things that aren't what I'm supposed to be doing. For example, there have been plenty of times where I've sat and stared at the wall while counting the lines.
Yes, hyperactivity is in the name, but it's not something that is always there. It's not like if I don't take my medicine that I'm just going run in circles and bounce around. Which in all honesty, I do that sometimes. I understand it's frustrating for people and I have really taught myself how to control it, but sometimes I don't realize I'm jumping up and down or making funny sounds while skipping around the house.
5. Do I get high taking my medicine?
The answer is no. I don't get high taking it, but if you were to take it, you would. It's a controlled substance for a reason. When I take it, it helps stabilizes the chemical imbalance I have in my brain. If somebody who doesn't have ADHD were to take it, most likely you would become high and there would be effects similar to taking drugs, but a little more controlled. This is why you CANNOT take somebody else's ADHD medication!!!
I become incredibly overwhelmed very easily. By everything, every. single. thing. There are constantly a million things going on at once in my brain at a time and my brain tries to process all of them at once, causing me to become overwhelmed, which causes me to cry a lot because it's so frustrating.
7. Misplacing things
I misplace things so often. I try to put things in spots that I don't think I will lose them, but usually I do. It's gotten to the point that I've had to put things on the bathroom counter so I don't lose it.
This is the absolute worst and best. When I say I can't remember, I just physically can't. I can be having a conversation with somebody and not even two minutes later I'll forget what they said. Although, I can remember in perfect detail how my 10th birthday when or when I was a toddler and my parents still lived together. Usually the things I can remember, are things that happened a long time ago. I have two paper planners I keep to remember things, I have notes all over my room reminding me of things. I try to hold onto things, but it's hard to keep working my brain harder than it should to remember them.
I apologize for how long this article has been, but so many people don't think adult ADHD is real. There are so many more things I want to talk about, but the list is endless. The thing is, it's very real and a very hard thing to deal with. I always used to think I was stupid because I'm different and I was always told to be more mature, act my age or I will "grow out of it." I've learned to accept myself for who I am and I hope others can learn to end the stigma against adult ADHD.