Archives for May, 2011
Evidence of ADHD symptoms in childhood is one aspect of an ADHD diagnosis. In Part I, I shared some of my childhood diary entries as part of my personal paper trail of ADHD evidence (or lack thereof). Today, we'll look at more historical evidence. We'll see that, based on the paper trail alone, an unskilled observer might erroneously conclude that I was a little angel, or a child prodigy whilst attending public school - neither of which is remotely true (ok, maybe the prodigy part). (Ok, maybe not...)
ADHD clues must be found in childhood for a diagnosis of ADHD. Knowing this, I examined documents from my past for hints about my ADHD. Only a shrewd detective like me would be able to interpret the clues in my case. Luckily, I know that ADHD is a context-driven syndrome. Lucky, because I understood why my symptoms were better, not worse, at school. Unlike the legions of ADHD kids who hated their early school years, I thrived in mine. Other kids' ADHD symptoms were magnified in public school settings that weren't conducive to their success. It's no wonder that those kids' report cards read like a charge sheet leading to the guilty verdict of ADHD. If my own report cards and other documents were used as the sole evidence for my ADHD diagnosis, the case would have to be dropped for lack of evidence.
Never say “yes” to a tattoo artist whose drawing you don’t really like, just to save hurting his feelings. This is one of the many bits of pithy wisdom I can pass on to you from my 47 years’ experience as an undiagnosed ADHDer. Also, don’t marry someone you’ve only known for three weeks, even if they are a distant relative, and don’t buy hot pink satin pants or bolero hats even if you are in France. They won’t work when you get them home. Trust me. I’m making better decisions these days (since my ADHD diagnosis and treatment). Still, I find myself making snap decisions for bad reasons and regretting it, or having absolutely NO idea how to decide in certain situations.
Some of you know how I found out about having ADHD: my friend Chris, who is TOTALLY ADD, suggested I take an online test for it myself. The one test you DON'T want to Ace... Now, normally, I'm happy to ace a test. This one, not so much... The test said if you had 70 and up, "You appear to be suffering from severe attention and concentration difficulties..." No sh*t, Sherlock.
Last time, we left Zoë at the bar waiting for Dr. Ned Hallowell to show up for their interview... From Zoë’s Journal: Our interview was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. It’s 5:05 p.m. [Hallowell’s] next appointment is at 5:15 p.m. There's a guy in a plaid shirt and jeans sitting at the bar. He’s the only person less casually dressed than me. Could he be the other journalist? He makes me look good. I'm leaving at six, tops. I'm at the second-guessing stage now. Did I come to the wrong hotel? Did he try to call me? Wish I had a @$&! cell phone. I want to go home. I'm almost finished my damn Perrier.
For many of us with ADHD, Dr. Ned Hallowell is a God. Ok, a demi-God. The only person who’s heard, “You saved my life” more is Jesus. Possibly. My own copy of Driven to Distraction, (co-authored by Hallowell) as I’ve mentioned before, has so many torn strips of post-its stuck to its pages it looks like a porcupine. I’d meant to present it, along with Delivered from Distraction, and Married to Distraction, to Hallowell for signing. I left the post-its in Driven to drive my point home, and hoped he’d get a laugh. It was not meant to be - but I’m getting ahead of myself.
ADHD Diagnostic Quiz for Women* (aka "How to Tell You're A Chick A-D-D") by Zoë Kessler, Certified, Bona Fide, Chick A-D-D 1) Do you play air guitar while crossing the street at a traffic light? 2) At age 50? 3) Did your boyfriend dump you for a woman who gets manicures and pedicures and has a regular paycheque? (Never mind where I got that question)
Researchers tell us that some people with ADHD use incessant worry as a way to focus. If that's true, I should be pretty darn focused at this very moment. I sure don’t feel that way. In an hour and a half, I'm going to do a live interview on Blue Roots Radio with psychologist Michele Happe, on her program, “Happe Talk.” [Program is at 7:00 p.m. EST, May 1, 2011] I'm getting really nervous. I have no idea what to wear (ha ha).