Thursday, February 16, 2017

ADHD Diaries // 1: Woman with A Disorder

Growing up with two younger brothers and two older brothers has it's ups and downs. Sure, I have a friend for different things at all points. Someone to talk music and growing up with, someone to raise hell with, someone to compete with, someone to spoil and teach, and ALWAYS someone to lean on. But sometimes, I'd forget about myself and what I needed.
In grade school, I remember being constantly pulled out of my classes to go to my younger brothers' classes to talk to them, comfort them. My mum is a single mother who worked three jobs constantly, she couldn't get out of work to handle daily tantrums. My two older brothers were in a completely different school and even then one of them had tantrums of his own and the other was simply over emotional ALL the time. I was pulled from my classes as a child to do an adults job. My two younger brothers have Autism, Aspbergers on the spectrum, one has ADHD and the other has ADD.
I would never complain about this. I actually get along very well with all of my brothers. My two oldest are currently married and off doing their things and my two youngest are doing far better than any of the doctors ever thought they'd mentally be capable of. They have jobs, apartments, and even friends. I would consider them my closest friends. But being the mediator (lol literal middle child) had its toll.
When I was fifteen, I was admitted to a psychiatrist who helped me through a lot of things including depression and anxiety. We got to the root of the problems eventually...Just before college applications, after years of being terrible at homework but amazing at tests, after years of being bad at remembering things, planning things, focusing....At 16 years old, I was diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed medication to manage it.

Now I'm gonna whip some facts at you. ADHD in women is typically diagnosed later in life, college or adulthood, when the inattention is prominent.  In most children diagnosed, the hyperactivity is very prominent so that's what's looked at first. But most women and girls have the inattentive aspect of the disorder and it goes unseen. Due to this, 50-75% of women go undiagnosed and the delay in this could be life damaging.
Women have been more likely to develop coexisting eating disordersmajor depression and anxiety disorders, and even classroom posttraumatic stress disorders.  Most of this is due to later diagnosis and the timidity of reaching out as a young girl when you have a cognitive problem. Girls in society are seen as the planner, the organizer so the need for help in focusing and planning, thanks to a stigma in culture, are seen as arbitrary by the girl herself. The many undiagnosed women and lack of research is a societal issue that is misplaced and overlooked.

As for an update on my ADHD, I'm getting there. I recently got insurance after not having it for 5 years and it took me a month or so to wait for an appointment with my doctor but it was worth it. The first thing my doctor did was refill my Vyvanse that very day. I've been taking it for about two days and I already feel like I can breathe and I have less worries. I don't know where there is but this feels close to it.

If you related to any of this post, talk to your psychologist or regular practitioner about taking a regulated ADHD test. Sometimes just talking to your doctor about what's going on inside your head, like I did, will prove efficient enough and you won't need to take the timed test.

Photo from @ohfajar on insta x


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