This week's Topic: Giving yourself credit for the person you have become!!!

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I'm not quite sure where to start, I just knew my wife has u

OhDannyBoy's picture

I'm not quite sure where to start, I just knew my wife has used this site in the past for support with issues she has faced so I asked her for the link. To make a long story short I'm 28 years old and have recently begun to suspect that I am either on the autism spectrum or have ADHD. These realizations have come because we had our first child a year and a half ago. I don't remember much about my childhood if I'm being perfectly candid. But my son is also the first grandchild on both sides of the family tree. My mom has shared a lot of stories about me as a child that set off a lot of red flags in my head so I started to do research on the topics. Eventually I hunted down the clinical tests you would sit down and go through with a psychiatrist for both ADHD and autism. Needless to say according to my answers I'd be diagnosed with both if I had done them with a professional. I know there can be an overlap and one can be mistaken for the other. As a 28 year old man I'm not sure what to do with this information. I can definitely see my life being effected in negative ways, I just kind of feel like it's too late to bother getting help or medication or anything like that. If anyone else has gone through something similar I'd really appreciate another perspective.

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Nov 3

I have also long suspected that I have ADHD. I struggle on a daily basis with focus. I can't watch a TV without missing whole sections while thinking of something totally unrelated. Conversations are a struggle as I lose track of where I was and where I was headed.
At night, despite taking meds for sleep, I will lay in bed for hours with my mind going a mile a minute. It is not about anything I am worried about, just can't slow the brain down. I tell people it is like squirrel that jumps quickly from tree to tree (with trees being the thoughts). I am very hesitant to seek out meds as I have dry mouth syndrome already and adderall has the same effect on dental issues. Anyone out there found anything natural that helps at all. My brain hurts!

Nov 13

My son was recently diagnosed and the more I read the more I wonder if I have adhd as well. I agree with @coffe4therapy, you do have super powers. That might mean you have other skills that you have a harder time with. Decide if it’s worth putting in the effort to build the skill set you see as needing work or if it’s not really affecting you, accept it and move on.

leohmcswan's picture
Dec 3

I didn't get my diagnosis until I was almost 18--you are not alone, and I feel that these neurotypes are often misdiagnosed, so people who are wired this way are not told so. Looking back on growing up, I would need both hands to number off the things that, had my parents viewed them differently, would have been indicators that I had ADHD. As a kid, I was "the smart one" who didn't have to try very hard to do well; I didn't have a lot of close friends; I was loud and probably kind of obnoxious at times. Once I got to adolescence, the game totally changed. I struggled in school, I couldn't follow through on homework, I withdrew and lashed out and the lack of understanding from my family led to a lot of issues.
This is all to say, I didn't start my journey of managing my symptoms until much later than most, and there is never a bad time to start. The more you begin to look at your symptoms in a constructive way (it's taken me some time, but now I am able to acknowledge when I'm especially symptomatic, which is a huge victory and feels really empowering), the more you can begin to manage them. Additionally, though I know it may seem silly or pointless as an adult, I cannot encourage you enough to actually get tested. Having a frame to put my brain in was a massive relief--it proved I wasn't making things up, it validated the things I struggle with, and it gave me a springboard to more effectively managing those issues. And finally, medication is ALWAYS an option. Though ADHD and autism may still be kind of nebulous diagnoses, the understanding of them now is much broader than it was even ten years ago. If you find a doctor whom you trust, they will absolutely be able to work with you to find the most effective way of managing your unique brain chemistry. It will absolutely take some trial and error--that's just the nature of the beast, unfortunately, neuroscience is such a weird thing--but with some work and patience, you will find yourself feeling better and better.

ADHD and autism are not disabilities. They are unique levels of functioning that enable us to access parts of our brains that are not well understood, but that allow us to be creative, intelligent, and insightful in a way that those on a more "neurotypical" level may not be. Best of luck!!

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