My name is Noelle Matteson, and I will be writing for HealthyPlace’s blog Living with Adult ADHD. I am at the beginning of my attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) journey, so I thought this would be a good place to share my experiences and to learn about yours.
Noelle Matteson’s ADHD Diagnosis
After going to multiple therapists for several years, I finally felt as though I found both a therapist and a psychiatrist who listened to and understood me. In addition, they were both familiar with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The two of them gave me several ADHD tests after getting to know me and my background.
I was initially reluctant to accept the diagnosis, partly because of the stigma against it and the popular belief that it might not even exist. My therapist helped me overcome my doubts by acknowledging that women tend to be underdiagnosed and that the condition falls on a spectrum. I decided that it was worth investigating.
My psychiatrist also helped assuage my fear about ADHD medications by prescribing a low dose and suggesting that we methodically treat and track the symptoms. Getting the right diagnosis and treatment often requires patience.
Noelle Matteson’s Reaction to an Adult ADHD Diagnosis
I had mixed feelings about the possibility that I had ADHD. I felt denial, anger, and frustration, at myself, at the past, and even at the therapist. I felt overwhelmed and self-condemning—but I also relieved.
I did lots of research and made a list of symptoms I exhibited that might be associated with adult ADHD. The list went on and on. It felt as though I had found a missing piece of a puzzle. I never realized what a big effect this condition had on my life, nor did I know how treating it might help.
At the moment, I am trying medications and attempting to learn how to work with my adult ADHD. I finally have hope for being able to follow through on my ADHD brain’s many sparks of inspiration. I look forward to joining this blog and discussing what I learn about the disorder and how it functions within myself.