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ADHD & Mental Health Diagnosis As Therapy

I am!!!
I am!!!

I’ve met a lot of people who may have ADHD. Some say “I have that. Well, I’m pretty sure I do.”

Others don’t say anything, possibly not recognizing themselves as being on the spectrum.

But without a diagnosis, you really don’t have a starting point for treatment. In fact, without a diagnosis, you’re just guessing.

When I first realized I had ADHD, I was stunned. I spent long moments trying to rationalize my life up ’til this point, and other long moments trying hard to deny and disprove the theory I had managed to create. It’s a very long distance from realization to diagnosis.

When I was first diagnosed … I cried

I had rehearsed the moment in my mind a thousand times prior to my appointment with my psychiatrist, had practised my reaction to both a negative assessment outcome and a positive one.

I had not expected the sudden release of emotion that had occurred. I had, in fact, assumed that I was ready for any result.

I was not!

But in the end, the diagnosis was needed. Without it I had doubts. Without it I would not bother to consider the problems that can be identified through the lens of a diagnosis. Why bother? What if there is no ADHD? What a waste of time it would have been.

Are there benefits to not being diagnosed?

In Australia, according to my fellow Psych Central blogger, Sonia Neale, there is a tendency to not diagnose BPD, Borderline Personality Disorder. The idea is that the diagnosis is “[…] too stigmatising and unhelpful. […]” according to her article on the Mental Health Australia web site.

Neale goes on to say “This is not a supportive, respectful or dignified response as it can be most enlightening and a great relief to find there is a name for this condition.”

I’ll vouch for that …

Well, as far as having ADHD and a diagnosis is concerned, I’ll vouch for the validity of a diagnosis as part of ones treatment.

In fact, if you get no other help or treatment, that one thing is still amazing validation.

Odd man out

Before my diagnosis, I had taken to thinking of myself as unique and unusual at the best of times, and being in denial about my differences at the worst.

Now, I’m never in denial. I am unique. I am unusual. I do have ADHD. And I’m never going to be like anyone else.

And I no longer try!

I still make efforts to better my life. But I know what I’m dealing with, I know not to go hard on myself, and I know that the stress of not knowing is no longer bringing me down.

That’s pretty uplifting.


(Sonia Neale is a Psych Central blogger and has her own web site that can be found here.)
ADHD & Mental Health Diagnosis As Therapy

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2015). ADHD & Mental Health Diagnosis As Therapy. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 18 Jan 2015
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