“Karen’s Noggin’ 🧠 Nuggets” #34 ~ October 17, 2022
WHAT DID MY UNDIAGNOSED ADHD FEEL LIKE?
What are some symptoms of ADHD?
I knew something wasn’t right. But I didn’t know any different. I didn’t know that other people didn’t think and feel the way I did. I didn’t know I could feel better. I just didn’t know what I didn’t know. What I did know is that I struggled and wondered what was wrong with me.
To help others, I know that it means I need to be vulnerable about what I’ve gone through and experienced with my undiagnosed ADHD. This is a bit scary because I’ve spent the majority of my life appearing to have it all together. Which is a symptom in itself. We call that imposter syndrome. The following are some of the symptoms I’ve experienced with undiagnosed ADHD. My head was in a fog. I felt like I could sleep all day. I would jump into conversations. I was awkward in social settings. I was impatient and impulsive. I had ideas but didn’t have enough energy to implement them. I experienced low energy for daily tasks. Important tasks would feel overwhelming. I would search out things that were exciting so it felt like I was alive. I would put my foot in my mouth more times than I can count. And as much as it pains me, I could list more symptoms but this is enough to make the point of this blog.
Keep in mind, symptoms can be different for everyone and at different times in our lives.
In my classes at https://www.iactcenter.com/ Laurie Dupar goes into detail regarding the symptoms and diagnosis for adults.
• Impulsiveness, hyperactivity, inattentiveness
• Disorganization and problems prioritizing.
• Poor time management skills
• Problems focusing on a task
• Excessive activity or restlessness
• Poor planning
• Low frustration tolerance
• Financial challenges, difficulty obtaining and maintaining employment
• Frequent mood swings, emotional dysregulation
• Problems following through and completing tasks.
• Hot temper
• Trouble coping with stress
• Difficulties with all types of relationships (friendships, romantic, familial, etc.)
• Vulnerability to anxiety, mood disorders, addiction, impaired driving safety, and even premature death from accidents.
• Some research says between 25% and 40% of adults in prison have ADHD — most of whom are undiagnosed and untreated. The same study suggests that if those people had been diagnosed earlier and received treatment for their ADHD, the actions or behaviors that led to their jail time might not have happened.
• Psychologist Dr. Charles Barkley Says Life Expectancy is Diminished in the Worst Cases for Those With ADHD
Even for adults who seem to have “outgrown” symptoms, ADHD doesn’t disappear. Although the signs may be less evident as adults age due to their ability to control their environment and choose how they spend their time, ADHD lingers. An adult ADHD diagnosis is typically made when they can no longer cope with or manage the challenges, behaviors, and symptoms. This is what Laurie calls “The Tipping Point”.
Inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior are only the tip of the iceberg of living with ADHD. The challenges and struggles and inability to meet others’ expectations turn into self-blame, shame, lack of self-esteem, frustration, hopelessness, and feelings of being “broken.
When it comes to women and ADHD, the symptoms can look different.
• Inattentiveness symptoms are more common than symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity in girls and women with ADHD.
• Women with ADHD are more likely to experience low self-esteem compared to men with ADHD and women without ADHD.
• Anxiety and affective disorders commonly co-occur with ADHD in women, who are more likely to exhibit phobias and generalized anxiety disorder than men with ADHD.
• Even with symptoms present in childhood, diagnosis tends to come in adulthood for a significant proportion of women with ADHD.
• ADHD medication use is lower in girls and women compared to boys and men with ADHD.
ADHD challenges or symptoms don’t go away once your ADHD is diagnosed and medically treated started. There are usually many strategies, skills, and emotional impacts remaining for which counseling and or coaching can help. And believe me, it’s so worth getting the diagnosis and starting the treatments that will benefit you so you can live the life that you never imagined possible.
For more information on this subject and/or if you would like to work with a Life Coach to work through some struggles, contact Karen at https://happybrainlifecoach.com/
Thank you for reading “Karen’s Noggin’ 🧠 Nuggets” #34 ~ October 17, 2022