I Have ADHD

I went for an ADHD testing sometime last week and got my results back. My psychologist gave me a diagnosis of “Mild ADHD with Mild Anxiety and Moderate Depression”.

She found that I have severe impairment in auditory attentiveness meaning that when people speak to me, I can’t pay attention to what they’re saying which will affect my attentiveness during lectures and a moderate impairment when it comes to visual attentiveness. She says that my results indicate a high level of intelligence where I scored really high marks for cognitive abilities but my performance declines rapidly the longer I have to do a task especially if it’s a repetitive and non-exciting one. The test indicated that I get mentally fatigued very easily and that I have low stamina. That said, she gave me a mild diagnosis because of how I’m able to compensate for the deficiencies and because of my high marks in the cognitive part.

I’m glad that I finally know why I have so much difficulty in paying attention to people especially during conversation, why I feel so anxious all the time when it comes to social interactions and it’s given me an answer to a lot of my problems! I feel very relieved that it’s not just in my head! It also explains a lot about how I struggle so much in keeping just one interest (see last post about this!), how 5 words into someone’s opening sentence and already my mind’s off on its own whirlwind adventure resulting in me not knowing what the heck the topic of conversation was to begin with, how I can hardly remember a lot of conversations I’ve had with people, how disorganized and messy I am despite how much I try to clean up and how I can’t seem to pull myself out of a task that I’m focused on so much so that I can’t even hear my husband falling that one time. (Of course, there’s a few pages more of symptoms I could go into but I shan’t bore you with tedious details). Suffice to say, I need help.

My husband was the one who noticed and brought the issue to my attention late last year. After looking into the symptoms, I had an inkling that I might suffer from this disorder but after finding out about it, I had promptly forgotten about it until early this year soon after I went back to college. A co-worker who had graduated from the same college told me about the “Counseling and Psychological Services” and mentioned an ADHD test that I could probably take. At $300, it wasn’t cheap but I felt like I needed answers so I went and did the test. The tests were hard (not mentally difficult but rather it was hard for me to focus on all of them to finish the tasks given).

So since I already had a feeling that my husband was right in that I have ADHD, it didn’t really come as a surprise to me when my psychologist shared the test results with me. I was however, a little surprised by the “moderate depression” part as although I’m always a little sad, I didn’t think I’d be categorized in the “moderate” level. I guess my depression’s worse than I think it is! However, as a friend pointed out, at least it’s not so bad that I don’t know or don’t want to get help! That’s a start…

Of course now that I know, it means that I have to go through a lot of strategies and counselling sessions to overcome this issue. I’ve agreed to be referred to a psychiatrist as well so that I can get medication. I wish I knew this earlier. So many things could’ve been different but just like going back to college, it is never too late. It just makes me wonder if my parents had ever noticed how differently I behaved from other children or if they noticed but didn’t think it was a cause for alarm so they never sought help for me. I don’t think any parent would want to willingly admit that their child might not be 100% “normal” – whatever “normal” even means…

Anyway, I’ll probably go to the Adaptive Educational Services to see if I can apply for some special provisions for exams so that I don’t have to do my exams in the same large halls as other students (people’s pencil scratching really drive me insane and distract me to no end) and then I’ll embark on a series of counseling sessions and implement some strategies as well as take some medication to help with my disorder. Fingers crossed that I’ll come out of this stronger and better!

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