Bee Gee Diagnosed at 68! Wow! I feel I’d love to talk to this person… being 51 and eagerly awaiting diagnosis it occurs to me that perhaps there are a few positives with late diagnosis. Sure we have all heard about the grief over lost opportunity “what I could have been if someone had recognised this in me”.. but a distinct positive has started to crystallise for me…. perhaps not being diagnosed meant that we clumsily found our own expert solutions to help us navigate the world without having the label of ‘broken’…
two and a half weeks ago I read something about adult ADHD in women… I’ve been reading ever since… talking to people and learning so much about myself… I felt at first elated, then broken, then confused over recent weeks. … so ‘broken’ is part of being self identified as ADHD.. and I imagine is a big part of it for many people… so perhaps those of us who are diagnosed late in life have a special role in communicating how it feels to be an ADHD person… because we now have the comparison of “what I thought I was” vs “what I have realised I am like”… and perhaps with that experiential distinction as an adult we are better equipped to point to strengths and solutions rather than labels and deficits …
Doug Puryear bee gee – you have many good points here. we do need to grieve the lost possibilities, but not spend much time or energy on it. I don’t think it as broken, but different in a way that makes life harder. and yes, I had many strategies before I ever knew I had ADHD or that they were strategies. and I think getting the right diagnosis, even if its ‘at last’ is a great thing.
Bee Gee For me it has meant that I have a reason..when I do those little things which I know are rude.. drifting off, interrupting etc. a few years back when I thought my cognitive difficulties were due to inflammation from auto immune stuff I turned up to have my hearing tested. I had made the appointment that morning and had been given the address and directions over the phone. The address was in a street I know very well in a suburb I have lived in for most of my life. when I arrived there was no record of the appointment. There was discussion about ringing and booking so she phoned her bookings person and they said they hadn’t spoken to me or booked me in. I was feeling really like I was in the twilight zone.She asked to see my referral.. the referral was for a different place … when I was given instructions about where the place was my mind leapt to ‘know already, don’t need to listen’ and told me that it was the place my dad went to to get his hearing aid… it wasn’t. Silly me.
Anyway those mind thwarting moments of being sure but being wrong which I had gotten used to continued and always seemed worse when having an RA flare. it is only since a friend told me she had just been diagnosed with adult ADHD and she explained how it is often missed in girls and why that I started to really go through my life and look at it through this lens. I recognised so much of myself. Every new bit of information seemed to colour in the detail of my vague life. I’ve now realised that what happened was I built some very successful skills to mask and deal with the ADHD but when I got sick those tricks and work around started to fail. I know this because these same little things used to happen a lot when I was little and right up until my teens… but I guess I just thought I was really misunderstood and/or teachers, parents, other kids were just being mean.
Doug Puryear bee gee. that sounds just right. would it be ok with you if I posted these comments on the ADHD blog? they would be good.
Bee Gee sure
Thanks, Bee Gee.
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