My ADHD Diagnosis at AGE 20.
After literally flunking my first year of college, I got tested for ADHD because I was clearly struggling with some things that had become debilitating and challenging to live with. I needed help, and I needed answers.
I was feeling overwhelmed with my school workload, having a difficult time managing my time and completing tasks, and forgetting things more than usual. I also was unable to come to terms with some things in my life, most of which reflected poor coping skills, procrastination, and my need for high adrenaline activities and social interaction to get my mind off things. In other words, I tended to "avoid" what I was dealing with.
These issues and my impulsivity became increasingly evident. All of this led to my ADHD diagnosis, coupled with mild depression and anxiety. I had a hard time accepting this, and yet it made a whole lot of sense. “Well, that’s a big surprise!”, I laughed to myself. It sure would have been good to know this about 5 years earlier!
Although growing up I wasn’t the rowdy or disruptive kid who couldn’t sit still or follow directions in the classroom, I could recognize I had some of the ADHD symptoms. One symptom in my later teens was the difficulty I had getting out of bed in the morning and finding a reason to excel. This was the peak of my downward spiral. I was drowning in shame, guilt, fear, confusion, and denial and was desperate for a way out.
Ok, moving on....
SIDE NOTE: What's redeeming about my journey is that God never left my side, and He encouraged me in my deepest despair and failure and ALWAYS opened doors for answers.
For those of you who can relate, you know what I mean when I say it felt like I was drowning. I was in a pit and felt like I was only digging a deeper one. No matter what is actually reality, the depth of those feelings overwhelm and become so real in those moments that a lot of people don't understand. Maybe they can empathize or sympathize, but the truth is when you add anxiety and depression, not to mention ADHD, the world seems quiet and like all eyes are on you, then you start to feel all alone. This is a dangerous mind path, as I like to call it. The bottom line is you're not alone! God has the answers and He had them for me. I will be talking more on this topic and about spiritual warfare in another post.
MY JOURNEY THROUGH LEARNING ABOUT ADHD AND ACQUIRING THE RIGHT SKILLS TO MANAGE:
ADHD is a neurobiological disorder. Now, I personally don't gravitate towards the word "disorder" and actually view my ADHD as a blessing now. However, prior to my diagnosis, I had such difficulty with the before-mentioned things that it really weighed heavily on me. To help me manage life in general, I tried medication (under the supervision of a doctor of course). It was an interesting road because I experienced various side effects and ended up trying four different medications in both families- ritalin and adderall. After much trial and error, I finally found one that really helped me. Even though I didn’t like the idea of being on a stimulant- it was worth it at the time.
When I was 24 I became pregnant with my son and immediately went off all medication. Since then I have not taken any prescription meds for my ADHD and no longer deal with anxiety or depression. I attribute this to major life changes, DIET, maturity, spiritual growth, and learning the appropriate skills to manage my ADHD. Praise the Lord!
Altogether, the medication was a life-saver in the beginning, but I also know that without the proper skills, diet, etc, the medication for me only treated the symptoms and wasn’t able to get to the root of the issue. I had to make personal lifestyle changes and make healthier choices regarding the foods I needed for optimal brain function and to have energy and focus. Food is fuel. I can't begin to stress enough the importance and the correlation between food and adhd and how it can either help or diminish focus and concentration. Also, the addition of healthy and natural supplements makes a HUGE difference.
THE GOOD NEWS IS THERE ARE NATURAL ALTERNATIVES- WOO HOO!!!!!