Ok it's not officially diagnosed yet but wow do I ever feel relieved that I'm not crazy/stupid/lazy/slow/etc. So to anyone who might actually pay attention to this I can finally give a valid reason for my inconsistent posting! Although I love blogging I can never manage to do it consistently. Along with many other things.
I discovered this after a bad event happened recently. I got a 3-day unpaid suspension from my job for having made too many careless mistakes over the past month. I'm really not ashamed to say this after I've read all the other stories of people who didn't know they had ADHD that lost their jobs or had lifetimes of never being able to hold down a job for very long because of it. At least I've been able to hold down my job for 5 years now (although it took twice as long to train me, I've had to be re-trained twice and my performance has always been inconsistent), and I still have two chances left, the next step is a 5-day suspension before I get fired. I wish I could find a dishwashing job that paid as well as this... it wouldn't be as difficult to do without meds...
I had started to suspect it last winter when I got a warning from my boss and figured it's either a sleep disorder or ADHD and managed to get an appointment this spring with a sleep clinic but forgot about the ADHD until it came back to smack me over the head. So I've contacted someone at a hospital and tomorrow they're gonna email me some availabilities for appointment times next week for the first step in the long process of screening and evaluation (yes it's a long process there is no one test that you can take for it, it takes several hours of interviews with several doctors that speak with you as well as close family + friends)
A bit of basic info that I learned with all the reading about it I've done recently:
- There are 3 types: Hyperactive, Inattentive or Mixed. I'm definitely more innatentive than hyperactive, I was always the quiet distracted daydreaming kid that had a hard time in school. I match up with all the symptoms of the inattentive type that I've read online (the description of the "daydreamer" here fits me as a kid to a T)
- ADHD in adults is massively underdiagnosed, because it was only in the late 1980's that they finally realized that it existed and started doing research on it and how to treat it. Something like only 10 percent of adults with ADHD are officially diagnosed with it.
- There is a huge lack of doctors that specialize in ADHD in adults for the same reason as the previous paragraph, so to get tested/diagnosed for it it's either very expensive, or like here in Quebec you can get it covered by Medicare but the wait is looong. Thankfully not as long as the sleep clinic (6+months) but still 3 months or so.
- Medication is decided on a case-by-case basis since not every type of ADHD med works for everyone that has it. A lot of people have to try 2-3 different kinds at different doses before they find one that fits best.
- Medication is not the only treatment, several types of therapy and coaching are also important to have as medication is only half the treatment.
- ADHD can be missed in childhood and only discovered in adulthood, especially for those with the Inattentive type and especially for girls/women as well since they are on average more "quiet" than boys. See the paragraph under the question "How are the symptoms of ADHD different in adulthood?" here.
I'm not gonna tell my boss till I get an official diagnosis though, which I'm very eager to get as it hopefully will make so many thing so much easier.
And that's all I can think of to write about it for now and I have to go eat lunch before my break is over.
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