Ever since I’ve started blogging and Tweeting about my experiences living with ADHD, I have received many personal messages. They usually begin like this…
Omg! I think I have ADHD too! How will I know if I do for sure?
Then they proceed to tell me all of the reasons why they think they have it. I’m not a doctor or anyone in a position to tell someone if they have it or not. Usually, I suggest seeking professional guidance, starting with an evaluation by a psychiatrist.
Many diagnosed squirrels get offended when neurotypicals say, “I have it too!” This is because an alarming amount of neurotypicals believe ADHD is only about being disorganized and hyper. When in actuality, it’s so much more than that.
Neurotypicals should really educate themselves on what having ADHD entails before falsely claiming the disability for themselves and offending a squirrel—no one likes an angry squirrel. Unfortunately, it’s not always on their to-do list. I don’t blame them though, life is busy enough.
So, instead of getting the messages and becoming offended, I decided to take a different approach. Maybe there is a reason so many people think they have it? Maybe I could do some research to see if there is a possibility that many people have been overlooked?
So that’s what I did.
What I found most interesting was the rise in cases from the nineties until now. The cases have practically doubled from 1990-2016.
Most like to blame it on lazy parenting. They think parents give up, run to the doctor and get some Ritalin—if only it were that easy.
However, what I learned was more people are being diagnosed now because of improved epidemiology—the method used to find the causes of health outcomes.
What does this mean? Well, it means that since the nineties, we have figured out more accurate tests for children and adults who are believed to have ADHD. So, maybe many people my age and older actually were overlooked?
Better testing means more people are being properly diagnosed. Which lessen the amount of undiagnosed squirrels running around trying to carry all of their nuts with no basket and can’t figure out why it’s so hard. That’s fantastic news for kids today, but stinky for us now adults.
I was lucky to have a mom who realized something wasn’t right. She saw me struggling and she did what she could to find out why. I say I’m lucky because I was fifteen when I was diagnosed and I’m currently forty-two. So, if you are good at math you will see it was—a long time ago.
Unfortunately, I went to private school which had absolutely no accommodations for kids with disabilities, so even with the diagnosis I still didn’t get much help—that’s a whole ‘nother blog.
Although the diagnosis didn’t get me much additional help back then it gives me clarity now. I can do my own research and learn why I do things the way I do and what I can do to help myself.
Just recently, I subscribed to Dana Rayburn. She is an ADHD advocate and has fantastic tips and tricks for us squirrels! I suggest subscribing to her as well.
So, to answer your question—how will you know? Schedule an evaluation today! Find out ASAP. It’s so much easier to carry your nuts when you have a basket! Better late than never.