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1. What made you decide to have your diagnosis?
I had been going to therapy for about 2 years for depression and anxiety. Towards the end, I felt like I had that under control but I still had so much energy and the motor. I realized the diagnosis of anxiety and depression had never sat right with me. For example I would get what i called panic attacks from sensory overload. When other people tell me about their panic attacks, it was different. I began noticing my triggers weren’t causing anxiety alone. I began talking to my therapist about it and over a few sessions I was referred for diagnosis.
2. What do you do for a living?
3. What is your ADHD presentation?
4. How were your school years?
I love learning and doing research. I think I had issues when I went to college. I went in with one major and started hating it. I was also failing so I switched and switched until I found what worked for me. It was the first time I realized I had issues focusing and kept getting distracted by everything because there was no set schedule or routine
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5. Looking back, what was an obvious ADHD trait in your childhood?
Super talkative! This is a huge trait for women that gets ignored because ADHD tends to be normalized the way it shows in boys/men. All my report cards said I talked too much even if my grades were great. I would also say my sensory issues were obvious. I couldn’t sleep with certain sounds or brightness or smells. I was called picky instead of paid attention to
6. Was it difficult to get a diagnosis?
Personally, no. Since I was in therapy, my therapist helped me get an assessment quicker than I thought. I was able to do everything within 2-3 months but I also pay a lot for my health plan
7. How did you prepare yourself for your diagnosis?
Research!!! We know how the ADHD brain gets LOL searched tik tok, google, instagram. Started annotating when I noticed any symptoms and how often.
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8. How did you feel right after getting your diagnosis?
Relieved. It all made sense. I finally had an explanation for always feeling like I was not normal or too much or too picky. It was like a huge weight was lifted off of me. Masking is exhausting, but even more so when you don’t realize you’re doing it and why.
9. How do you feel about it now?
Great! I’ve learned to be kind and gentle with myself. I’ve learned to enforce boundaries better and not let anyone make me feel bad about my choices or boundaries. It’s easier to catch myself and be kind to myself.
10. Do you think you "look like" the ADHD stereotype?
No. Because I was told I talked too much as a kid, I learned to keep quiet a lot. I also am really good at getting my work done. I would say someone who has ADHD however would see the signs so quickly. The messiness. The exhaustion. Insomnia. Sensory overload. Heightened emotions. I’m learning to let myself exist now instead of constantly masking though.
11. What are you struggling with because of your ADHD brain?
I am currently in grad school and working full time. I can handle that. I can’t be social though. Because my focus isn’t always there, I have to give myself a lot of grace when it comes to studying. This means I say no to a lot of things and feel guilty but I also know it’s what’s best for me at the moment.
12. What are your ADHD strengths ?
I love learning! I am also very understanding. I think it’s made me someone kind, patient and caring.
13. Did your ADHD diagnosis help you?
14. Do you feel your life could have gone the other way if you'd been diagnosed earlier?
Im not sure but maybe. I think undergrad and post grad life definitely would’ve been easier and more understanding
15. What was your family/friends' reaction to your diagnosis?
My family immigrated from Mexico. My parents didn’t agree with my diagnosis at first and said I was just looking for something to blame. My sisters acted like I had revealed I had a life threatening disease lol my friends were so happy for me and so supportive.
16. Do you have any comorbid disorders or neurological conditions?
Anxiety and depression which I’ve learned were caused by trying to mask my adhd.
17. Do you deal with anxiety?
I actually don’t feel it as much. Being diagnosed changed a lot of things for me. I take medication for my ADHD and it’s helped so much.
18. Did people around you make you doubt yourself during your diagnosis journey?
I didn’t really care to listen to people. I knew I needed to do something to be better.
19. Do you ever doubt your diagnosis now?
Nope. Not at all.
20. How has the diagnosis changed the way you live?
It’s changed everything. I have an explanation for so many things in my life. It’s forced me to evaluate myself, my needs and my wants. It’s given me stability and balance. I have never felt this happy.
21. How do you feel about medication?
I love it. The trial and error wasn’t fun but finally finding what worked was so magical for me.
22. What was the thing that helped you most in your daily life?
Having someone to hold me accountable.
23. What advice would you give someone who is wondering if they have ADHD?
Do your research and be kind to yourself. If you’re wondering, it’s for a reason. Take yourself serious and do what you need to do.
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