submitted 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago) by TempermentalAnomaly to c/adhd

So I don't normally reach out to a group of strangers for emotional support. I worry about failing to communicate my views and I'm pretty "sensitive", but I don't like to be coddled either. But I've been lurking here and, while there are many viewpoints and voices, as a whole, I see this community as being considerate and supportive.

I had my first appointment with a mental health professional yesterday. This is after a year or so of realizing that I might have ADHD. I went down the rabbit hole for a couple of months, talked to my primary care and got a referral and everything! Heck, I even followed up with the clinic when they didn't reach out to me as they said they would (gasp!). I occasionally display a moderate level of adult proficiency and sort of need to as a middle aged man.

The practitioner was lovely and she did her thing. I work in healthcare as well, so much of the structure was obvious even if the specifics were outside my field. She sends me the screen and gets the office to call me to schedule a follow up.

And I feel myself stalling again. If I look-feel at myself, I feel anxiety about being labeled. I personally don't think it's a bad thing to get a diagnosis; however, there are those who say it doesn't matter, but they aren't aware of their feelings enough to say otherwise. Sorry for being cryptic. In particular, I worry about future job prospects if needed. I always want to perform my job at the highest level I am able to and it would suck to have something that should be seen as just neutral become a liability.

Second concern lies with family members. I have a loving family, but some of the older generation view mental health conditions as a personal failing. It's funny because we have members of the family in the generation below me that have an ADHD diagnosis and there is a loving acceptance of that fact. However, being a grown, I suspect that they would see it as character flaw and a personal failing. I've soft drop the idea that I believe that I have this condition.

The next thing I was hoping to hear about is people's relationship to masking and choosing not to mask. For years, I've accept that I'm a bona fide weirdo. Many love and accept it even if it's a bit too much at times. But it's sort of unfamiliar to be my weirdo self and realize that I spend a lot of time keeping it at bay. Heck, writing this message makes me wonder if I'm masking or leaning into my over-explainer self. (For the most part I'm enjoying the process, so I'll keep on keeping on).

Finally, I didn't follow adult ADHD screening sent to me my the mental health practitioner. It was emotionally difficult swing from "Holy shit ... I know that." to "I know that and I a fucking failure". The shame and depression is real and I've struggled with it for years. I only hinted at it in the interview with the practitioner. As I gain trust in her skill and competency, I imagine that I'll share more with her.

Oh and meds! I'm glad to hear that meds have helped so many! I tend to be medication hesitant in general. I can see it being part of a management regime. However, I lack the clarity to contextualize its role in a long term strategy which is seated in a long term goal. If you have been medication hesitant, let me know what helped you decide one way or the other. And if you use the meds, I'd love to hear if you situate it in a long term goal and strategy for managing the condition. Sorry for the big ask.

Geez. ... I guess the last thing I hate is thinking that I can't just be me for everyone. I have to have zipped myself up in a certain way and even use meds to do it. I think this is the rawest thing that I'm feeling. Apologies if I come of as prickish. I think I need to wrestle with this more and find loving acceptance for society and myself in society. I am generally a fan of doing what you have to do to be in this world. Be kind to yourself. Be careful not to hurt others.

Alright. Preachy oversharing done. I know this needs a proofing and am tapped out. Cheers!

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[-] [email protected] 12 points 2 months ago

Just because you get a diagnosis doesn't mean you need to tell anyone about it, if you're worried about being judged. That can stay between you and your doctor and maybe your pharmacist.

[-] TempermentalAnomaly 3 points 2 months ago

Cheers. I may end up doing that. Just sounds lonely. But better than having to explain myself constantly.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 2 months ago

You can have people that know, and people that don't. Not everyone has to have full knowledge of all facets of your life, I find it great to have different groups to share different parts with

[-] [email protected] 4 points 2 months ago

Regarding meds, the nice thing about most of them (i.e. stimulants) is that you can tell more or less right away if they're going to help you. There's really no downside to trying them. It's not like, say, antidepressants, where you have to be on them long enough to risk developing withdrawal symptoms before you can tell how they're going to affect you.

[-] TempermentalAnomaly 2 points 2 months ago

Excellent. That's good to know for sure.

[-] [email protected] 3 points 2 months ago

You are not alone with those thoughts. My partner got diagnosed some months ago, and at first they were a bit doubtful of the whole thing, but as there are people in the family who also have ADHD recently diagnosed, they decided to get tested and the psychiatrist said it's as clear as can be.

After the diagnosis everything kinda clicked into place and things suddenly made sense. My partner was afraid the meds would change their personality, and they have to some extent, but it's all positive tbh now that the meds are correct. The person is the same, but the edges are not as sharp as before. It took a while to find the right meds and the ones they tried first caused quite a lot of mood swings etc. But for my partner the meds are life-changing. Same i've heard from the other family member who was first misdiagnosed and unsuccesfully treated for depression and bipolar disorder for several years.

But of course people are different and not all benefit from the meds. I just booked an appointment to a psychiatrist as I suspect being on the spectrum and that being partially reason for my mental health issues and other troubles. Mostly I'm looking for a reason, apart from me being a lousy human, for all of this and at this point I'd be relieved to hear that I'm not responsible of all the difficulties I experience.

There is a downside to the diagnosis though as doctors sometimes treat/face neurospicy people different than neurotypicals. But apart from that nobody needs to know about your diagnosis unless you want to share.

[-] TempermentalAnomaly 3 points 2 months ago

Thank you for sharing. I think I'll take it one decision at a time. Hopefully I'll make sense of it all along the way. Not my strong point.

[-] Curdie 2 points 2 months ago

Honestly? I doubt anyone will think twice about it unless you talk about it a lot.

Regarding meds, the side effects are worse than I expected but the benefits are way better than I expected too. I wouldn't hesitate to take your doctor's advice in that area. Just having a baseline for how effortless it can be to handle complex tasks really puts into perspective how much more effort it takes for us. Your first few good days on Adderall or whatever will open your eyes. And if nothing else, you might learn to forgive yourself when you just can't spare the effort for something in the future.

[-] TempermentalAnomaly 1 points 2 months ago

Thanks for sharing. I'm seeing different people have had different experiences with medication. I think, like you said, I'll have to keep in close communication with my doc.

[-] TangledRockets 2 points 2 months ago

This all rings incredibly familiar to me. I was diagnosed a couple of years ago, mid 30s. Like you, I didn't want to be labelled, I was skeptical of medication, of being judged or ostracised.

But the liberation of learning that I wasn't broken, wasn't useless and lazy, that there was a reason for all of the things tearing me apart every day, was indescribable. Just getting the diagnosis did so much for my outlook and approach to life.

And the meds. I took the first baby dose and it was like the sun came out for the first time in 30 years. They didn't make me 'normal', didn't take away any part of my 'self', it was more like opening valves in my mind which had never been more than a quarter open before. Ever drive a car with a couple of cylinders not firing? Get those sparkplugs replaced and see what it does. Full throttle is amazing.

I don't tell people I have a diagnosis unless I think it's relevant. But I can be more honest and open about my peculiarities than I could before - and noone cares! Diagnosis, medication, these are between you and your doctor. But if it gives you the freedom to live the way you want, it's all worth it.

[-] TempermentalAnomaly 2 points 2 months ago

Thank you. I hope my experience is just like yours.

[-] KroninJ 2 points 2 months ago

As Meno said, you don't have to tell anyone.

As for yourself, it's something that you'll have to accept about yourself but don't look at it as a label. You are who you are, a diagnosis of anything is just an explanation of why you are who you are.

Remember, a diagnosis doesn't give you anything accept awareness.

[-] TempermentalAnomaly 2 points 2 months ago

Cheers! Thanks.

[-] numja 2 points 2 months ago

ADHD is genetic. So if you say a generation younger has ADHD and you have ADHD, it is very likely that the older generation has it as well.

And to your Fear of Failure with the diagnosis/labeling. The fear is there and is real for you. Because we are so used to us being a Failure that we automatically think we are one even if we just get a diagnosis. I will use my fav analogy for ADHD. Your Eyesight is not so good and you notice that others can see better and more effortlessly than you. So you go to a doctor and do some tests. The doctor tells you, hey you are short-sighted (diagnosis) here are the tools to compensate for this disadvantage, e.g., glasses (meds and therapy). Would you feel like a failure because your eyeball is shaped oddly? Why do you feel like a failure just because your frontal lope is oddly developed? (I know this analogy is overly simplified; please don't crucify me)

But the advantage of ADHD over glasses, no one (except you and your doctors) need to know about it. You can share it only with the people you like. so auntie su doesn't need to know and therefor cannot judge you at all.

And just because others are more open with their ADHD is no guarantee that they dont mask. My crazy thoughts are private thank you very much, but i can control how much i need to mask.

next for the meds part. again my analogy, why would you refuse glasses? of course it works without, but why do you want a handicap?

I did not (and still do not) have this magical experience with meds. Like I can finally see in HD etc. Never, mostly I don't notice that I forget them (my coworker notices it and reminds me). I notice it in the evening because i was not productive and am in a darker mood. I struggle with taking my meds everyday for over 20 years! I have long acting so i only have to take 1 pill a day, still impossible. But the consequences when i dont take them over an extended period of time are so bad and lead straight down the depression rabbit hole. I have a long-term side effect now, I developed a tick. But better to have a random tick then being in the pit of my own head.

I am proud of you for getting help. Don't let your head tell you, that you suck, because you are awsome!

[-] TempermentalAnomaly 1 points 2 months ago

Thank you for sharing. The depression part is one of the major reasons I'm following through with this. Twenty years of that was too much.

this post was submitted on 29 Feb 2024
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