After years of diagnosis’ and medicines that didn’t seem to fit the bill of my mental makeup- I finally had the “AHA” moment earlier this year: ADHD. Severe and combination type if you’re curious. I never would have thought of myself as a candidate for this disorder because, like most people, I had a great misunderstanding of what ADHD actually is. To be such a complex disorder, the root of it is quite simple: dopamine. An ADHD brain has less dopamine than that of the neurotypical brain. But oh, how the ADHD brain craves dopamine- because dopamine makes us feel good.
Individuals living with undiagnosed ADHD are at a much higher risk of, well, pretty much everything. Living with undiagnosed ADHD puts individuals at a greater risk of suffering from other mental and emotional disorders, developing an eating disorder, suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, partaking in risky behaviors, and are at a greater risk of suicide. ADHD is a disorder we really need to be talking about. We have to understand ADHD better.
Living with ADHD is not cute and quirky- like it is often portrayed, it is debilitating, isolating, and exhausting.
ADHD isn’t the friend that stops mid sentence to yell “SQUIRREL!”, ADHD is staying up until 5 in the morning to alphabetize your medicine cabinet- all while the pile of dirty dishes you cannot force yourself to do sit staring at you.
ADHD isn’t bouncing off the walls with the energy of a sugared up child, ADHD is wanting to move- but your body is concrete. So instead you become a prisoner of your couch, who hates themselves more and more each passing second.
ADHD is constantly searching for dopamine- even if it’s found in all the wrong places: Shopping. Food. Drugs. Sex.
ADHD is drowning in responsibilities, but you never learned to swim.
With ADHD thinking “outside of the box” is your superpower, but too bad you will only ever be graded on your ability to think inside of it.
ADHD is feeling like there is something fundamentally wrong with you. It’s looking around and seeing your friends, family, and peers just DO things effortlessly. Things that you cannot seem to accomplish yourself- no matter how hard you try.
ADHD is hearing your entire life that you “have so much potential”, but no one ever gives you the ladder to reach it.
ADHD is not fitting in- and not in the romanticized quirky type of way. It’s knowing that everything your expected to be is a circle, but you are a triangle.