Tawny, diagnosed with ADHD at 37 in Canada

Tawny
Age:
38
Canada
Diagnosed at:
37

1. What made you decide to have your diagnosis?

I was put on a performance plan at work due to my lack and quality of work. I had my ovaries removed the year before and was on hormone therapy. I thought all my brain fog and other symptoms were from surgical menopause. Then my gf suggested the book "women with ADHD" by Sari Solden. After listening to it, it was clear I'd had ADHD my whole life.

2. What do you do for a living?

Database Configuration for an EMR

3. What is your ADHD presentation?

Inattentive

4. How were your school years?

Stellar student in elementary, but every report card always said "too much socializing, would do better if she applied herself". I loved to ready. Then puberty hit and things started to go downhill. High school was ok until grade 11. I couldn't focus at all. Would way rather be doing stuff that interested me. Quit beginning of grade 12, didn't graduate.

5. Looking back, what was an obvious ADHD trait in your childhood?

Daydreaming, binge eating, feeling lazy and stupid, little sounds driving me insane, coffee having no effect on me, starting a million things, info dumping, oversharing.

6. Was it difficult to get a diagnosis?

No! I went to a psychiatrist and he honestly diagnosed me in 10 min! Haha

7. How did you prepare yourself for your diagnosis?

I didn't. I went to my appointment with an open mind, just hoping for information.

✨ If you are wondering too if you have ADHD, check out my ADHD Self Assessment Workbook

8. How did you feel right after getting your diagnosis?

I had 4 appointments with him in total, and the experience was amazing. He explained everything in detail, helped me understand my medication, followed up, and did everything he could to help.

9. How do you feel about it now?

Like I was just born. Honestly, this was life changing. I went from almost losing my job to being a top performer, month after month. I have highs and lows, especially due to needing hormone therapy, but my baseline is great. And since I was diagnosed, my middle kid has been as well, and I'm watching it turn her life around. What a gift!

10. Do you think you "look like" the ADHD stereotype?

100% - but just to me. I have had decades of making.

11. What are you struggling with because of your ADHD brain?

Lately? Not much. But I'm on short acting ritalin, and might switch to a long acting med, like concerta. Sometimes it's hard for me to get going. But once I do, look out!

12. What are your ADHD strengths ?

People! I love being social. And getting things done on a deadline. I like the high paced busyness of my job. It's perfect for me.

13. Did your ADHD diagnosis help you?

100% the best thing I've done for myself!

14. Do you feel your life could have gone the other way if you'd been diagnosed earlier?

Absolutely. I had risky relationships, activities as a teen, etc. But I am who I am because of my experiences, and I wouldn't trade my three beautiful kids for any of it.

15. What was your family/friends' reaction to your diagnosis?

Everyone said it made complete sense. A couple people told me not to take ritalin because it's speed haha. But they just don't get it. And that's ok!

16. Do you have any comorbid disorders or neurological conditions?

I had horrible anxiety prior to my diagnosis, but it all went away after I started to treat my ADHD with ritalin. I was just in too deep with work and it was terrifying. I was actually diagnosed BPD in my early 20's, but no meds ever worked. Turns out I talk too fast and shop too much and had up's and downs because of ADHD.

17. Do you deal with anxiety?

Yes, I started PTSD counseling and it's given me a lot of tools to combat little flares.

18. Did people around you make you doubt yourself during your diagnosis journey?

No, I've had very supportive people around me.

19. Do you ever doubt your diagnosis now?

Nope!

20. How has the diagnosis changed the way you live?

It's helped my family understand me more, and why I do the things I do (like leave piles of stuff everywhere). It's so much more relaxed at my house now.

21. How do you feel about medication?

Awesome! It's changed my life for the best!

22. What was the thing that helped you most in your daily life? 

Ritalin and alarms on my phone/work calendar. I have alarms to take my meds, wash my face, brush my teeth, go to bed... And chunks of time blocked off for certain tasks in my work calendar.

23. What advice would you give someone who is wondering if they have ADHD?

Get a professional opinion!

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