One of the problems with ADHD not being recognised as such when it should have been is that the shit has hit the fan long before anybody even considers ADHD. ADHD is widely unrecognised in girls; and I suppose more so in intelligent girls or intelligent boys. We’re talking about drug abuse, relationship problems, financial disaster, depression, educational problems, obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders… actually, you name it.
Like I said; I never ran into any real problems as a child. True: I was impulsive, had social issues, had DCD, and spent most of my pocket money on replacing things I’ve lost. But I went to school in the 1990s, we had classes of up to 40 kids and if you weren’t causing too much trouble and if you were getting good enough marks, nobody noticed you.
Secondary school was hell, really. But even then: I passed with ease, and teachers were more lenient with me. Even still: I skipped school, I cheated just for kicks, I was late more often than not, rarely did my homework unless it was for art, sometimes forgot about tests and more or less had a season ticket for math detention. My math teacher was so proud of himself when I graduated! I wouldn’t say everything went unnoticed: my third-year physics teacher strongly advised me not to choose physics. Apparently I wasn’t paying attention in class. In fact: I was probably either chatting or drawing and I was giving smart ass answers on tests if I lost my concentration. Nonetheless; I passed. I even landed myself into a good university.
And I also started a career as a psych patient. I started screwing around with food in Grade 1. I probably forgot to eat at school, which landed me in a fight with my parents, which taught me that I can use food to control things. Because they simply couldn’t shove it down my throat. Long story short: I’ve been suffering from anorexia and bulimia for 12 years now.
I’m in debt, because of impulsive spending. I get out of control when I see all the pretty. I have trouble planning, which leads me to think that I can afford things, forgetting the other stuff I need.
Insecurity, social problems, loneliness…chaos chaos chaos.
Then there were the major depressive episodes. You have no idea how debilitating that could be, unless you’ve been there. The first one could have been due to anything. The second one was mild. The third one hit me so hard I couldn’t turn it around. Basically I’ve burned myself out, working too many hours doing something beyond my limitations. I just crashed, and burned. And as a result, lost my job. (Ok, I have a new one now… but still).
My psych career started at age 17 at an ED clinic. The same one I’m being treated at now. I’ve seen 10+ psychologists, I’ve seen 4 psychiatrists, I’ve seen a few psych nurses. I’ve been at 4 different OP clinics. All of the following have been mentioned on my ‘list’ of DSM IV diagnoses: Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, eating disorder not otherwise specified, borderline personality traits, identity disorder, major depressive disorder… and maybe some others I was never told about. I’ve been in personality disorder group therapy, where I didn’t learn much at all. Except that I didn’t have a personality disorder. It’s the most probable diagnosis, given the above history, but still. It’s almost like everything I did was to find some quiet. In the end, I was the brilliant doctor who had the brilliant brainwave to have myself tested for ADHD.
Turned out to be a great big fat positive.
Now, the problem is to get treatment. I’ve just applied at practice nr 5; because an ED clinic doesn’t know how to treat ADHD, and the local ADHD centre doesn’t want to treat someone with an eating disorder… and psychologists seem to think I stop functioning as soon as I weigh less than a certain amount. Which is simply not true. But, they send me off to an ED clinic, to fix the ED that is the result of the depression and the ADHD… now how would that work?
Help me deal with ADHD, and I’ll try my hardest to maintain my weight and eat healthily, and the OP ED clinic will help me with that.
How hard could it possibly be?
Or do I need to figure this out by myself as well?