All About my ADHD #realtalk

ADHD was in the news (by the news I mean twitter…) recently in that the Florida Shooter was diagnosed with ADHD. A comment on Twitter, said that having ADHD is “a way to diagnose behavioral problems.” Frankly, this comment rubbed me the wrong way. Other comments said things like “ADHD is not even a real thing”, and “ADHD has practically no impact on someone’s life.” Wow. I had no idea the ignorance on the internet was that bad.

I wanna say one thing before I begin my rant. I am in no way defending the shooter. He had no right to do what he did. He was in the wrong and though I suspect he has some mental health problems that in no way excuses his behavior. For even in the depths of mental anguish, its still not right to take another innocent man’s life, let alone the lives of children. I just saw the comments on ADHD and wanna talk about them, not the shooter and his problems.

To begin…

I have ADHD. I was diagnosed in 2011-2012. I went through 13 years of elementary, middle, and high school, and almost an entire economics degree with no accommodations, drugs, or therapy for ADHD. I was of the opinion that ADHD drugs were a parent’s cop out of parenting misbehaving children. Where that opinion stems from is beyond me.

I have talked about this here before but none the less, I will briefly repeat.

I discovered I had ADHD. (Yes, Hyperactive type. As I sit here bouncing my leg as I type.) I discovered it in about 2011 when I found out that I had Synesthesia. Synethesia is a neurological brain disorder where your senses are intermixed. So for me, I can literally tell you each color that is constituently associated with each letter of the alphabet. I can taste smells in my mouth… etc. I will make a page and link it here fully explaining my Syn.

Realizing that I perceived the world differently than the normal person got me researching. I started to piece together the I was different in more ways than just seeing colors for letters. When I talked to my parents about it and brought my research to them they where hesitant. I was informed that I had some teachers in elementary school that suggested I might have ADD/ADHD, and my parents not wanting to medicate a 10 year old, choose not to pursue testing.
As the months went on I was more and more convinced that ADHD diagnosis fit me. So, because I was 20 years old and capable of making my own decisions I made an appointment with my doctor. Not to say my parents were against it. They where for whatever was in my best intrest. I brought my Doctor all my research, and spilled it out for him. In the middle of the appointment he walked me down the hall to a associate (idk what there title was but they were the one that was capable of administering the testing) and they set me up with a ADHD test then and there. I finished the testing which was a long questioner and handed it back to the person. He read the first page and looked up and said “How old are you?” I replied “20,” he then said “According to this you have sever ADHD.” I was excited in a way and sad in a way. Excited that I had a word for my differences from society. Excited that there was a reason that I was different. Excited that I wasn’t broken, I just had ADHD. I was sad that there was something /wrong/ with me. Some time later I was talking with my doctor and explaining my troubles in math particularly. He immediately suggested I start a medication for ADHD. I was dead set against it. After a long conversation of trying to persuade me I was still agasint it. Then my doctor at the time said “How will you ever know that its bad and not for you until you try it first hand.” He had me there. I walked out with a prescription for Strattera. In the years since I have swiped up doses and meds and today I take Concerta in the morning and Methlephenadate in the afternoon. (If you wanna know my dosing I’m happy to tell ya.)

I went from a F in math to an B in a matter of two tests. I was so confident going in to the final I wrote “My sticker goes here” for the teacher since she put stickers on all the A exams.

Anyway, ADHD has been a major part of my life for 25 years. I” just didn’t know it by name for 20 years. 
Some of my symptoms include but are not limited to….
Constant movement. I wiggle/fidget/shift in my chair from the second I wake up till the second I fall asleep.
Racing thoughts. I think more thoughts in the first 5 min of being awake then most people think in a few hours. Thoughts fade in to other thoughts so fast that when I explain things my words are behind compared to the thoughts.

Insomnia. I have sleep problems. On my own I take hours to fall asleep, and wake up a lot. Then I wake up exhausted and go to bed wide awake. It’s miserable. But thanks to Melatonin I sleep pretty good most nights.
Lack of focus. I am so easily distracted that sometimes I have to have people repeat things because I accidentally stopped listening mid conversation to think about the joke I heard in 2005. The connotation of “SQUIRL” from the movie Up is the story of my life.

My whole point here is that ADHD is no joke. It’s a serious thing thats affecting people. Kids, Adults, Boys and Girls. I think it was so easy for me to go undiagnosed for 3 reasons. 
One: it was easier to pass the problem off to the next teacher than to try and solve it. 
Two: in the 90’s it was unheard of for a girl to have hyperactive type ADHD, when it looked to much different in a girl than in a boy. 
Three: It was easier to call me a behavioral problem and a lazy student that “didn’t care.”
I cared. I liked learning. Still do. But I have to try harder than everyone else to get it. I have to try harder than others to focus. 
/Rant/
Lemme stand on my soap box for a min and get to my point. To all the “Lazy”, “Don’t care” kids out there. Your not alone. Your not broken, your just different. What you experience is real and you deserve to learn just as much as the kid that does it with ease. I feel like the public school system failed me, that I was “left behind”, but you don’t have to be. Start advocating for yourself. Share what you are experiencing and don’t stop telling people how you experience the world till they stop and listen. Get in to your school councilor/doctor/parents/teacher and make them help you. It’s their job. You difference though it may seem like it makes you weird, actually makes you ridiculously unique. Companies and employers are dying for someone to think outside the box and guess what. You experience the world out side the box. Yes, it will be hard. Yes, it will be uncomfortable but God made you special and ADHD is something special about you, it’s not a “fake diagnosis to get Ritalin” it’s not “a behavioral problem” it’s not a “laziness” problem. Also there is no shame in asking for help and accommodations, even taking a med for it, if that works for you. You learn differently. Big deal. Learn how you learn. Listen to your body and figure out how it learns and go with it. The sooner you figure this out the better. It’s a journey figuring it out and its something I’m still working on. But it’s going to be worth it. 
You got this kid. 
/End Rant/
All in all. Don’t call out how someone else experiences the world unless you have all the facts and the knowledge to understand where they are coming from. 
If you have questions, comments, concerns, about my ADHD and how I manage it let me know I actually really enjoy talking about it. Also, if you have ADHD tell me! I love hearing how other people manage it. 
Thanks!
Kyra

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