I was only diagnosed with adhd a year ago, when I was 16. I am still perplexed as to the fact four different schools missed the fact I had something wrong with me. my behaviour was far from normal at school or at home but everyone batted it off as me ‘just being Lauren.’ I was called naughty, the devil child, a monster and was often punished for my behaviour. But realistically none of this should have happened. I actually have something wrong with me. I have a diagnosis. I have adhd. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Something that didn’t really come as a surprise to us when a doctor finally diagnosed me.
Having adhd means that my brain works differently to other peoples. Adhd has three main parts to it: hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. Around 9% of school aged children in the uk are thought to have adhd and around 8% of British adults have adhd. so why did I slip through the net and miss my diagnosis at a younger age?
I would often get ‘bored’ at school or say I couldn’t do things when really I knew If I had put my mind to it I could. This was because of my low attention span.I had trouble focusing on a task. My brain cannot focus on one thing, there is a hundred different thoughts racing through my head constantly. I was easily distracted. If someone walked past the window, I would look at the window. If someone started conversation I would focus on that and not my work. I would often get up and walk around the classroom because I physically couldn’t sit still for long periods of time or really at all. Getting sent out of a lesson was a relief because I could pace up and down the corridor as much as my heart desired (and trust me, this was a daily thing.) In fact it would be an achievement if I hadn’t been sent out of a lesson that day. This is where pe really helped me because I was active. I could run about, I didn’t have to sit still and I didn’t need to focus on anything really which meant I couldn’t get distracted and then feel bad about myself for getting distracted.
In lessons I would talk non-stop; this was a distraction technique so I didn’t have to focus on my work. I would talk to whomever about whatever. In lessons I would often lose focus while the teacher was explaining the tasks at hand which meant I was unable to do the task because I hadn’t listened to the instructions. Teachers just thought I didn’t care and I wasn’t bothered about having an education because they didn’t realise I had a learning difficulty and needed that extra support. Don’t get me wrong, the teachers I had a good relationship with would always ask me questions about the work, which meant id cache a better understanding of the work and often would complete it. And therefore I did better in their lessons. I always found assemblies the hardest. I would find myself lining up outside the hall ready to go into assembly and feeling extremely nervous because I had to sit still for a considerable amount of time. I would often play with my lip balm, plait my hair or whisper to the person next to me.
I am also extremely impulsive in my actions, In lessons I would often shout out the answer instead of putting my hand up. I often act without thinking too. For instance, I would choose not to do my work and get sent out for that lesson but the regret it 10 minutes later. Sometimes I can be very loud and often talk over people this is another symptom of adhd.
The average age ADHD is diagnosed is 7. Adhd is a lot more common in boys than girls, 13% of boys will be diagnosed with adhd however only 4% of girls will be diagnosed with the disorder. So I believe this is one of the many reasons my adhd didn’t get noticed. My family situation didn’t help either. My naughtiness was often labelled as a reaction to everything I was going through. Having adhd and not being diagnosed really did affect my self-esteem. I would often get frustrated with myself, if I could sit still or couldn’t finish a piece of work. I didn’t feel like I was good enough at anything and often doubted myself but over the last year I have learnt that this is just me. This is how my brain was wired and it’s not going to change, so I have to be able to deal with it and manage it better. A whopping 67% of people that have adhd are either receiving therapy to help with the disorder or taking medication to help manage it better. When I was at school and someone said they had adhd, it was just brushed off- I didn’t think anything of it myself. But this is serious, this is a disorder, that is extremely hard to manage and live a ‘normal functioning’ life. A lot more awareness definitely needs to be made about this depilating disorder.
Often I wish I could have a ‘normal’ brain but what is normal anyway? I wish I could focus, I wish I wasn’t so fidgety or so impulsive in my actions but I have learnt to manage it a lot better now. Ultimately I believe if my adhd had been diagnosed earlier in my life, I wouldn’t be living the life I am living now. I count the small blessings that come with it and am a firm believer of ‘everything happens for a reason.’ I’m just not there yet. But that’s ok, I’ve learnt to accept my adhd and grow with it.
Next post on Friday!
I hope you found this one helpful/informative.
Have a good Thursday people!