New to the community and kind of new to the idea of having ADHD. I’m 39 years of age and live in Norway.
The short summary:
After years and years with different diagnose and treatment, and rejections of possible diagnose ( including ADHD), I finally landed on a psychiatrist that was willing to take a chance and let me try medication (Ritalin). It has been an eyeopener and I never thought I could feel as good as I did the same day I started on the medication. I am to try this for 3 weeks and then we will see how it goes. Excited for the future.
The slightly longer story:
As kind of an introvert whom liked to sit at home watching tv and being by myself as a kid, this continued in to my teens. But I wanted to be a little social as well, but struggled and alcohol became the ice-breaker for me to be social. Of course I could not quite stop drinking once I started as I didn’t want the carefreeness feeling to go away. And this continued while at university. I was lucky to have friends that toke care of me when I was blacked out and other stuff.
At the age of 27 I met my wife, whom at that time was the first ever girlfriend I had had. Being socially awkward and having low self-esteem kept me lonely for a long time. Se had here things as well and was drawn to me because I was kind I guess when I wasn’t passed out from drinking. It is thanks to my wife that I started my journey with getting help. First for my alcohol abuse and later for social anxiety. We also went to couples therapy ( A lot of my problems where not beneficial for the relationship). I managed to cut down on alcohol and keep it more in check, and these days I don’t have that need anymore. But my social anxiety wasn’t “cured” and when my wife and I moved in to our first house and got jobs and started on our “adult” life, the problems between us got worse. Without going into to much detail I was not kind to her, as I was not attentive, I went for zero to a 100 and did not have anything in-between. I didn’t listen, only focused on what I wanted to say. And got irritated and frustrated ( and angry) when I didn’t get credit for all the things i did do ( painting the house, fixing this and that, but of course only after my wife had planned it because it needed done and tried to get me involved for a long time. Which for me was nagging and got my frustrated, and of course my wife was also frustrated because she just wanted a team player).
I got more and more depressed and apathetic, and was in a downward spiral. She helped me seek help again, and went to a psychologist for 3 years. I did learn to maybe put more words to my feelings, but I was still the same as always and resentment and bitterness grew in both my wife and me I think. Luckily for me she never gave up and I again seek out some treatment ( because of suicidal thoughts). Was diagnosed with mild depression and some of these thoughts went away. And since my therapist at the time was quitting, he felt it was good to end the “treatment” and if I was to spiral down again I should just seek out help again. Not very happy with this, we wondered if there really was anything wrong or if it was just “me” that was the problem. We again started on couples therapy and lucky for us we got a therapist that was very good at her job but also to an extra interest in my problems. even this was a little but outside the scoop of her job. She then thought it could be wise to examine the possibility of ADHD. My doctor then sent me to a psychologist. The psychologist gave me sheets and tests to fill out and sent my also to a neuropsychologist for some specific tests. The “specific” tests showed problems with concentration over time and some other indicators which could be ADHD and recommended more test by my primary psychologist. My primary psychologist interviewed me and I filled in the papers she gave med. In these tests I scored high on problems with concentration and hyperactivity. But she also interviewed my parent whom are 80 and 71 years of age. And I love my parents, but there memory of thing and there view of ADHD of course resulted in almost no signs of ADHD in childhood ( Event though I got notes from school that said I was a distracting element for the other kids, and they even wanted to hold me back from starting my first year as i seemed to be immature and unfocussed.
So of course being a criteria for ADHD, my psychologist concluded with not ADHD, but just some problems with my executive functions and gave me some helpful tips on how to help. This was a hard blow to accept and did not help me or my wife who was getting more and more feed up with the challenges we had. Which seemed just to be that I was a selfish and self centered person.
My couples therapist luckily didn’t give up and encouraged me to try with my doctor once more, and this time he sent me to a psychiatrist that was well known and hard to get an appointment with. Which of course ended in a rejection. But due to some miscommunication I never got a rejection letter and had to call the psychiatrist for the letter (so I could send a formal complaint. Don’t know about other countries, but in Norway the healthcare system is basically run by the government, and then you have a lot of rights as a patient). The psychiatrist finally called me and while on the phone so he could get my current address, he suddenly said okay, why don’t you come in for a chat anyway.
I brought with me the epicrisis from my last ADHD examination, and he said that I was really well examined and they had taken all the relevant tests and he was shocked that they had placed the whole conclusion on my aging parents. He said that how things are, but he believed that ADHD could be the answer anyway. And since I was already well examined, he didn’t feel the need for anymore test apart from a few questionnaires and gave me a prescription for Ritalin to try for 3 weeks. This was on Monday 26 of august and I started on the medication on Tuesday. I was shocked that the effect came as fast as it did. My brain seems to clear up, I spoke calm ( so calm that my wife thought I was pretending), I managed to focus on work, I could hear what people said even though there was a lot of noise and other conversations going on, I didn’t feel stressed or nervous, and my movement where more controlled and I was basically just much more aware.
Now today I have felt a little bit more like my old self and the medication doesn’t seem to affect med that much, which scares me. I do not want to go back to the person I was ( or the person that was not the real my I should say). I am excited and nervous for these 3 weeks as it is no doubt in my mind that when the medicine did all that that ADHD is what I have been struggling with. And hopefully it is just a matter of type of medicine and dose.
One day at work I was on he way to the men’s room and I started crying, and it was because I was so happy. I realize now how much noise and disturbance I have had in my head all my life.
Sorry for the way to long post. I found How to ADHD on YouTube, and I’m learning so much. The pieces are falling in place, and all the things I didn’t know were connected to ADHD which I have struggled with, I see now in a new light.
Sorry for the English, I am not a native speaker and I wrote this fast