My name is Tracey. I am 50 years old. I have ADHD.
Getting to where I could say that wasn’t an easy journey. I want to share the story of how I finally got that ADHD diagnosis. I was only diagnosed recently, and you would think that it took so long because it wasn’t obvious that I had ADHD. But no. On my recent testing, I scored 9 out of a possible 9!
In my family, everyone said that I wasn’t even out of the womb and I was already running. That has been my explanation to others for fifty years why I do everything faster than the normal person. I’ve always had ADHD, of course. But I only recently diagnosed myself by filling out an online self-assessment. I had been searching online, looking for a name for my behaviour because I’d had enough of the long running jokes.
After my friends saying I had ADHD for years, out of curiosity, I finally took the test. I scored 96 per cent! Armed with this information, I visited my doctor. I demanded he refer me to see what would be my fourth therapist. This time, I swore I was not going to let him tell me I was fine. If we did not do something, I did not know what would happen. I felt I was dying. At least mentally.
My new therapist gave me the official test where I scored 9 out of 9 again. I am now taking medication, and I continue to see the doctor monthly. The medication has raised my blood pressure, which has the doctor concerned. He wants me to work on lowering my blood pressure or he will stop the medication. I lowered the dose of my stimulant and I find even that is strong! I had been on a higher dose, but I didn’t like it because it made my mouth so dry. I’m better on the lower dose, although it’s not a miracle cure.
I’m still fast. And I talk a lot. But I’ve done that for half a century. It makes make me more mindful! But, I’m not out of the woods yet. I’m still learning about my ADHD symptoms and I realize it explains a lot. Mornings are still very much an effort for me. I haven’t been able to work due to this. Every day I discover new evidence of my ADHD.
I have always hated basic housework. And I still do – that hasn’t changed. My wonderful twins have to tell me to clean my room and wash up the nine cups I left in the sink. I’m quite happy in my messy room. I can’t see what others see. Our minds most definitely work differently.
In the U.K., where I live, I find we are still very behind in recognising ADHD. It seems in the U.S., you have nailed it. You seem to recognise it and have organisations that offer support and meetings. I even have to educate my therapist!
I still have lots of work to do. I am far from cured! But on a positive note, I’m very proud of some of the behaviours that seem to come with my ADHD. My ADHD means I’m not shy about sharing about my ADHD, and I love talking to people about it.
I will keep in touch with other ADDA members. I love the way we discuss things and offer support for each other. If we all stick together, we can have huge influence on raising awareness of ADHD around the world!