As I’ve mentioned before, I’m in the process of learning how I might have ADHD. No one has ever suggested I might have it until this year. A friend suggested it. Another friend mentioned it in an unrelated conversation. Then, when I mentioned it to my therapist, she made the familiar, “You knowwww . . .” comment that told me she’d been thinking about it.
In addition to being a woman (ADHD is underdiagnosed for us as well), I’m a person of color. I’m also fat. Put all three of those together, and I’m only now starting to learn of my true medical concerns, and only because I’m asking about them and pushing my medical providers more than I ever have. Spoiler alert: Some doctors don’t like that.
Have you experienced this in your life? What went undiagnosed or unaddressed for you by the medical industry? What was falsely diagnosed for you? What do you have suspicions about? Do you feel treated differently by the medical industry because of some label you have? Talk to me in the comments!
Which one grabs your interest? Personally, I read about these topics to understand my own brain, my money, and my body because a lot of people have a lot to say about each one, but I need to understand what I think first!
I’m trying to get back into daily posts, but I’ll keep them short.
I always have a million and a half articles saved to read, and I rarely get to them. So, I put a daily reminder on my calendar and picked a category for each day like diet culture articles, small businesses advice, etc. I have Wildcard Wednesdays for things that don’t fit my usual categories, and today, ironically, was about decluttering. Reading an article about decluttering to declutter my reading list?! Surely not nooooo.
GERD, which is gastroesophageal reflux disease. It’s terrible acid reflux
PMDD or Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
GAD or generalized anxiety disorder
HBP or high blood pressure
And other non-acronym issues, but the latest possibility threw me for a loop.
A couple friends suggested I might have ADHD. While that thought has crossed my mind, I never put much behind it. When my friends suggested it, I did more research, then slipped into my favorite hypochondriac mode. Yay. More letters to self-diagnose. Wheeeeee!
So, I asked my therapist. This is how that conversation went.
Me: “So, yeah, a few friends have mentioned I might have ADHD–“
Therapist: *face lights up with recognition and urgency*
Me: *internally, ah fuck*
I know that look from my therapist. It’s the “I had that thought, too, and I’ve been meaning to tell you” look, which is exactly what followed when I was done explaining my thoughts.
Of course, I’ve not been officially diagnosed, and I’m not sure I ever will. I don’t have health insurance, and I have no desire to be on another medication. Plus, if I’ve gotten this far in life, I can continue to cope.
But I admit I was pretty upset yesterday, and I spent the whole day in a fog of processing.
I trust my brain. But adding another mental health concern made me feel like an unreliable narrator. Was my brain leading my down the wrong paths, and everyone around me has always just placated and tolerated my whims and ramblings? How can a person have anxiety, depression, PMDD, and ADHD and have a single clear thought?
Turns out, the additional part of being upset was a realization that I judge ADHD sufferers harshly. That wasn’t a nice thing to have thrown in my face in the way it was.
However, I have had multiple friends (women, specifically) tell me they also have ADHD, and suddenly, I had my biases challenged in the best way possible: People I love have are full of letters too.