Hello hello & welcome to my blog!
My name is Myrthe, that’s a Dutch name, which anyone outside of this tiny country is almost guaranteed to have trouble pronouncing (thanks mom & dad!), Haha. I have started this blog as somewhat of a journal for myself and my A.D.D. , a subtype of A.D.H.D, but also to share my experiences openly and publicly, as I couldn’t find that anywhere yet. I found loads of tips & tricks, but no personal experiences or struggles, and that it was normal how I was feeling. So here goes I guess…
At age 22, on April 24th 2017, I received the diagnosis Attention Deficit Disorder. Yay me? I tested positive, but I felt negative. This is now just over a month ago, and I still have no clue what I should think of it. So I guess I’ll just try to chronologically take you through how the process was for me. Before ADD came up however, I was already in therapy and taking medication for depression and anxiety, but that’s a story for another time. Below the story of how my ADD was diagnosed.
On april 3rd 2017, I was evaluating the side effects of the depression medication I was using with my psychiatrist. When I told her I was having trouble falling asleep at night, because I couldn’t stop worrying, she started to look a little quizzically. She then started asking me a bunch of questions, whether I was impulsive (… yes), whether I got bored easily (…yes), If I had trouble staying organized and misplaced things often (… yes x1000). Yes, I had trouble with all those things. She made a note and told me she would discuss this with the psychologist, she then looked back at me and told me there might be a chance that I have either ADD or ADHD, and that might be the reason why I couldn’t get peace of mind and was often quite restless. She saw that I was startled by this a little as she then proceeded to explain it was no big deal, it was something I could live with just fine, and learn to work with! Now I looked quizzically at her, didn’t having AD(H)D mean that there was something wrong with me, that I was kind of… broken? That things weren’t wired correctly in my head and that I couldn’t sit still, ever? She told me that that was not always the case, as it shows differently in different people, but also not something I needed to worry about right then & there, as nothing was certain yet. She’d discuss it with my psychologist & suggest a test. I left more curious than anything, but also anxious, it would explain a great deal, but would it fix anything at all?
I am a naturally curious person, and hence, for my brain to be different & special, that wouldn’t be so bad, would it? It meant I could maybe stop trying to be like everyone else! A week and a half later, I had my official test, which here in the Netherlands is like an interview. I had to answer a number of questions about my daily life, but particularly my childhood, because that is generally where AD(H)D is most evident. For this reason, my parents were also interviewed. The psychologist wanted to double check some of the examples I had provided, how they experienced them and also to get clarification on issues I didn’t know whether I struggled with them or not. These were for example if I was easily distracted from tasks or whatever toy I played with when I was 6 years old. For my part of the interview, I was surprised more that anything by how often I answered yes to the questions in the test, which were all statements in some form or another relating to AD(H)D. For a number of them, I also had to provide examples, which made me realize that maybe it wasn’t just me not trying hard enough all that time, but there was something else that influenced my behavior. As my parents were only interviewed or contacted after I was done with the interview, I had no idea what the outcome would be and left with an idea that there was a good chance the test came back positive, but that it wasn’t definite yet. .
Soon enough my next appointment came around, and with it my diagnosis. I had just sat down when my psychologist explained I do indeed have ADD, one of the three subtypes of ADHD. At first I was relieved, no wonder I struggled with planning, organization, staying focused and impulsivity, my brain is the issue, not me! Then came sadness, I wondered why no one ever wondered before? Did people think I was really too lazy or not working hard enough? And last but not least came buckets and buckets and buckets of frustration. At this point I had been battling depression and anxiety for 3 years, and I felt like so much pain and heartache could have been prevented if I had gotten help for my troubles sooner, if only a couple of months. Furthermore, I was really worried I wouldn’t be able to function, or get my life together basically. Basically I felt like everything had changed, and everything had stayed the same at the same time.
All in all, getting diagnosed provided me with directions on what help to get, but also really confused and frustrated at the same time.
Thanks for reading, and if you’re going through something similar, don’t hesitate to send me a message!