As you’re no doubt aware, we live in a time of easy access to ADHD treatment, where everyone with the disorder gets diagnosed and lives happily ever after. Just kidding. While ADHD awareness has improved, many adults with ADHD still struggle to get their symptoms addressed, if they realize that they have symptoms of a mental health condition at all.
If you want insight into how likely someone is to have ADHD, you could ask them about symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity. But a more creative question to ask is how often they experience changes – both big life changes, and smaller day-to-day changes.
In my post yesterday about late ADHD diagnoses, I included an image with the phrase "it’s never too late to live happily ever after." My usage of the image was a little tongue-in-check, but it got me thinking: some of my blog posts probably do give the impression that being diagnosed with ADHD means you can live "happily ever after."
In my last post, I talked about how one of of the defining characteristics of ADHD is that symptoms show up in multiple environments – school, work, home, social settings and so on.
I don’t know what all the ingredients are that are necessary for having a positive relationship with someone who has ADHD – whether that’s a romantic relationship, a professional relationship or a platonic relationship. But I’m fairly sure one of them is being able to separate "carelessness" – more accurately, inattentiveness – from not caring.
For many, the first ADHD treatment that comes to mind is medication. After all, ADHD is a condition rooted in the way the brain works, and ADHD meds seem to be the most effective technique we have for altering people’s brain chemistry in a way that reduces ADHD symptoms.
Looking back, I can see the signs of ADHD in my childhood self. But it wasn’t until I was in late middle school or early high school that I started to really become conscious of inattention and impulsivity as forces that were having a negative impact on my life.