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Finding the positive side in any situation is something I’m pretty good at. In spite of life’s challenges, I’ve been called “insufferably cheerful” (whatever that means) and consider myself to be irrationally optimistic.

Even so (and even though it’s been over 7 years since my ADHD diagnosis) until recently, I couldn’t really come up with any benefits of being diagnosed later rather than sooner. (Besides the obvious one of life finally making sense.) (Sort of.)

Imagine my surprise when I finally did stumble over a plus.

Just when you least expect it

I’d been thinking about my decision not to be immunized before my trip to India. I’d been led to believe the shots were mandatory, only to find out at the last moment that they’re not.

Relieved, I chose instead to fortify my robust immune system with supplements under the guidance of a healthcare professional whose opinion and expertise I trust. It also helped that she visits the same area in India every year and knew what I would be up against.

Putting on my big girl pants

I realize some would see my decision as controversial, perhaps even foolhardy; but I’m grateful that I was able to decide for myself.

In thinking about my decision, I realized that I’d also had the choice when considering how to treat and manage my ADHD. I had that choice because when I was diagnosed, I was an adult.

As an adult, I had (and continue to have) the freedom and ability to research, learn about, and choose my own ADHD management strategies. And again, for this I am grateful.

Just one benefit of late diagnosis?

Finding a positive side to late diagnosis was something I’d almost given up on. It was such a welcome (and unexpected) discovery, I decided to push the envelope to see if I could think of any more.

And I did!

Here’s the complete list.

1 ) You get to choose your own treatment. (I’ve got ADHD; I’ve never liked anyone telling me what to do anyway.)

2 ) Your control of your own ADHD management is the perfect antidote to a lifetime of feeling out of control.

3 ) You’ve got a zillion zany stories about your undiagnosed years to tell at parties.

4 )  …but now you can learn when to stop telling them.

5 ) Your kids will have to stop telling you you never give them anything.

6 ) …but you can bond with them over ADHD management.

Once again, I’ve proven to myself (if to no one else) that no situation is entirely bad.

So far.

What about you?

Can you think of any advantages to being diagnosed with ADHD late in life? (Take your time. After all, it took me 7 years to come up with this list. It’s ok. I’ll wait.)

ADDENDUM:

This just in!  Ok, not just in, but I just read it. Chalk it up to poor ADHD organization. I jumped into today’s blog post, wrote and posted, before reviewing and responding to the many comments to other posts waiting in the queue.

Sure enough, on March 15, one reader said I sounded much like, “…a drug addict justifying their belief in ‘better living through chemistry”’” Ouch.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful to Dan for taking the time to write in, and fully respect his right to hold whatever opinion he wants, about me or anything else. But I’m not saying I was thrilled by the comparison. I’m too HSP-y for that. But if I can’t take the heat, I’ll get out of the limelight, so fair enough. (btw, if you’re interested in Dan’s comment in full and my response, check out the Comments to my post, Attack of the ADHD Zombies.)

 

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    Last reviewed: 19 Mar 2013

APA Reference
Kessler, Z. (2013). 6 Benefits of a Later-in-Life ADHD Diagnosis. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 20, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-zoe/2013/03/6-benefits-of-a-later-in-life-adhd-diagnosis/

 

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