I have met and spoken with many adults at the moment of ADHD diagnosis. Many of the clients I start to coach are working through the diagnosis process or have only just been diagnosed. A few years back I had a great job for a while, I ran an Adult ADHD Diagnostic Clinic. I sat in on many psychiatric evaluations, hearing extraordinary tales of ADHD lives.
I loved to see the smiles appear on peoples faces, as they were told “you have a disorder”
On many of my Coaching Intro calls, the caller isn’t even sure if they are ADHD, I am frequently the first person they have discussed this prospect with.
It takes a lot of effort usually for an adult to figure out they are ADHD and it usually comes after a lot of suffering. Undiagnosed ADHD is painful,
for many adults ADHD diagnosis usually comes just after an emotional crash
Consequences of unrecognised ADHD
Problems have accumulated from childhood like barnacles on a ship. Each time we fail at something we should have succeeded, each time we fail to perform or act as expected there is a criticism (self or otherwise), there is a hurt, a dent to self-esteem. People around us judge us and see our failings, bosses, partners and friends are disappointed. We are disappointed too.
The serious issues of adulthood are more likely with ADHD, addiction, depression, anxiety, divorce and work troubles. Often doctors have been involved but who simplistically point at and treat the by-products, but miss the ADHD itself. Of course being ADHD it may take years for us to take the initiative and to make the effort to get help and seek diagnosis.
Life gets better
From the hundreds of people with ADHD that I have met, one thing is certain, once adults are diagnosed wellbeing improves. Not all at once, often in fits and starts, sometimes self-awareness is miserable for a while, but overall life starts to improve. Medications may help but knowledge is the key. Working through your history, re-framing experiences and decisions, gaining a more profound understanding of your nature are what shift our happiness levels.
Now you can better understand, accept and embrace your true self. It’s as if we have gone through life thinking we are a hammer, when in fact we are a saw. No matter how hard we tried to knock nails in, it was never easy. Now we know we should be cutting planks instead.
ADHD is difference and if you don’t know you are different then a lot of effort is wasted.
Knowledge is power
Understanding how you operate, why you think as you do, what works best for people like you can mean attitudes, behaviours and your life can start to change. Knowledge is power and new insight brings new hope to make changes and progress.
Life will still continue to be a roller-coaster, it would be boring if it wasn’t, but there’s an upward trajectory.
Life gets better after diagnosis.