Ever since I was clinically diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), I'm hesitant to disclose that I even have the disorder—even with close friends. Maybe you're no stranger to this phenomenon yourself, but when I tell people I have ADHD they usually don't believe me.
Living with Adult ADHD
I learned how to trick my brain by accident. You see, several years ago (before my attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis), to lose the weight I gained from my second pregnancy, I went on a diet. After learning the ins and outs of nutrition, I began meal prepping and working out four times a week, with only one caveat—Wednesday was "cheat" day. My weekly 10-piece nugget meal accompanied by a medium, mountain berry Powerade was the absolute highlight of my week. However, once Thursday hit, I was back to my daily egg whites, chicken, and broccoli.
After receiving a clinical diagnosis for "mild inattentive attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)," something strange happened. What I thought would be liberation turned into weeks, if not months of self-loathing and debility. Instead of learning how to coexist with my ADHD, I became it.
After years of my voicemails going unanswered, high co-pays, and failed medications—I'm finally at a place in my life where I'm getting quality mental health care. I'm finding success with my attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications. But I want to caution you: this didn't come without great persistence. I've spent 15 minutes on hold with my insurance only to discover my behavior health care coverage wasn't through them. And I've called many offices just to be out of network. Because I've had my fair share of crappy experiences, doctors, and ADHD medication, I came up with a list of six tools and mindset shifts that helped me reach success with ADHD medication that I hope can benefit you.
I hate to say it, but my mental health hasn't changed much since the recent COVID-19 outbreak. Despite working directly with COVID-19 patients as a healthcare worker, lack of protective personnel equipment (PPE), and a limited supply of masks—my attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) remains intact.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) makes college harder. Two-point-nine, 2.9 was my GPA when I graduated from the local community college in the Winter of 2016 with a then three-week-old baby and three-year-old toddler. But I didn't care because "Cs still get degrees," and I already spent five years at that school. So how did I go from a failing teen skipping class every Tuesday and Thursday to the straight-A student on the academic Dean's List eight years later? The answer to my success with ADHD in college may surprise you, and none of it included stimulant medication.
As Black History Month comes to a close, I thought, what better time than now to shed some light on black mental health conditions--an issue I find all too common in the black community. Now I can't speak for all black people in the world, but I can speak from my own experience and the experiences others have openly shared with me regarding black mental health.
The struggles of motherhood when living with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can leave you debilitated. Picture this: it's the crack of dawn, and the sun has yet to rise. You awaken from your slumber because, according to the youngest child, "It's wake up time." The kids are ready to watch a slew of morning cartoons, argue about who got the most cereal, and then leave the same bowl of soggy half-eaten Frosted Flakes on the table next to a trail of milk. Kid number one can't find the Legos they hid from kid number two, so a meltdown erupts--and it's only 6:55 a.m. The rest of the morning goes something like, "Mom, don't forget to pack my lunch," and a whiny, "Mom, I want fruit snacks, too," so the monster mother I told myself I wasn't going to be today emerges. Quickly, my little reserve of patience begins waning. Now I'm yelling, overwhelmed, and to add to the stress, late dropping kid number one off at school--as always.
I’m Antoinette (Tonie) Ansah and I’ll be writing for "Living with Adult ADHD." Accepting that I had attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) didn’t come easily because I loathed the stigma attached to it. My family didn’t understand mental disorders, and, also, I don’t look like the stereotypical rambunctious boy--so I struggled silently for years.
People with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often think associatively rather than linearly. I am not alone in jumping from one thought to another (and another) in rapid succession. Though many of us are not able to track the steps our minds take to get from one idea to an apparently unrelated one, some of us are—usually after the leaps have been made.